7/21 Reading (Genesis 49-50; Luke 15)

Genesis 49: This chapter is about Jacob’s (Israel’s) final blessings to his 12 sons, who end up being the 12 tribes of Israel. The blessings vary, but it seems that Judah and Joseph end up with the more favorable blessings. The oldest, Reuben, doesn’t because he slept with Jacob’s concubine in Genesis 35. The next two brothers, Simeon and Levi, don’t take his place because they killed Shechem, the one who raped their sister in Genesis 34. Judah is elevated to the “firstborn” status. Joseph ends up with a more favorable blessing as well. This chapter finally ends with Jacob telling his sons again that he wants to be buried with his ancestors (Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, Leah, etc.) in Canaan. After this Jacob (Israel) dies.

Genesis 50: Joseph weeps for his father. He tells the Pharaoh that he swore to bury his father with his ancestors. The Pharaoh tells him to do it. Joseph and his brothers and many other people from Egypt take Jacob’s body to bury him with his ancestors. After this, Joseph’s brothers fear that he will punish them for selling him into slavery. They deceive him, saying “¹⁶ So they approached Joseph, saying, ‘Your father gave this instruction before he died, ¹⁷ ‘Say to Joseph: I beg you, forgive the crime of your brothers and the wrong they did in harming you.’ Now therefore please forgive the crime of the servants of the God of your father.’” (Gen. 50.16-17) Joseph’s reaction was to cry. His brothers cried and Joseph assured them he forgave them and that God intended for all of this to happen.

Joseph remained in Egypt and took care of everyone. He saw his sons have children and their children have children. Before he dies, Joseph says this to his brothers: “Then Joseph said to his brothers, ‘I am about to die; but God will surely come to you, and bring you up out of this land to the land that he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.’ ²⁵ So Joseph made the Israelites swear, saying, ‘When God comes to you, you shall carry up my bones from here.’ ²⁶ And Joseph died, being one hundred ten years old; he was embalmed and placed in a coffin in Egypt.” (Gen. 50.24-26) To the end of his life Joseph continued to do good things and to forgive. Something for everyone to strive for and definitely something that I need to work harder on.

One book down, many to go. I enjoyed reading through Genesis. Definitely learned a lot. On to Exodus!!

Luke 15: This chapter begins with a mention that Pharisees and scribes are continuing to get more irritated with Jesus because he welcomes tax collectors and sinners to dine with him. Jesus shares the parable about a herder searching for one lost sheep among 100 and how the herder celebrates when finding this one sheep. Jesus then explains that “there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance” (Luke 15.7). This is followed by the parable of the women how lost one of her 10 coins and she rejoiced when finding that lost coin. He says “there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15.10).

This chapter ends with a third parable about two sons. The younger takes his inheritance, squanders it, lives on the streets, and then returns home to be treated just as well as his father’s slaves (feed and taken care of). The father rejoices at his son’s return and celebrates with a big party and a fat calf. The older son gets angry because he has always been there doing what his father asked of him and he never received this type of celebration. The chapter ends with the father explaining to his elder son that they “had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.’” (Luke 15.32).

This chapter was easier to understand than other chapters. Additionally, the text didn’t make me as uneasy as the text in Luke 14. I am learning a lot during this process and look forward to what else I will learn.

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