1 And it happened after these things, that someone told Joseph, Behold your father is sick: and he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. 2 And someone told Jacob saying, Behold, your son Joseph comes to you: and Israel strengthened himself, and sat up on the bed. 3 And Jacob said to Joseph, God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me, 4 And said to me, Behold, I will make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will make of you a multitude of people; and will give this land to your seed after you for an everlasting possession.
- God appeared to Abraham personally. He appeared to Paul personally.
- We see His genius and power in creation. We see Him revealed to us in His word.
- In the future we will see Him personally.
- In Ezekiel 1:26-28 we are told what He looks like—the fiery amber form of a man flashing forth rainbows!
- I John 3:2…now we are the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we will be: but we know that, when he appears, we will be like him; for we will see him as he is.
- Revelation 21:7 He that overcomes will inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he will be my son.
5 And now your two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; like Reuben and Simeon, they will be mine. 6 And your offspring that you have after them, will be yours, and will be called after the name of their brothers in their inheritance. 7 And as for me, when I came from Padan, Rachel died by me in the land of Canaan in the way, when there was still a little way to come to Ephrath: and I buried her there in the way of Ephrath; the same is Bethlehem.
- Jacob made Joseph’s sons equal to his own sons forever. They became tribes in Israel. They inherited equally as if they were Jacob’s direct sons rather than grandsons.
- God has an astounding inheritance for His people.
- Revelation 3:21 To him that overcomes I will grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
8 And Israel saw Joseph's sons and said, Who are these? 9 And Joseph said to his father, They are my sons, whom God has given me in this place. And he said, Please bring them to me and I will bless them. 10 Now the eyes of Israel were dim for age, so that he could not see. And he brought them near to him; and he kissed them and embraced them. 11 And Israel said to Joseph, I had not thought to see yours face: and, look, God has showed me your seed also.
- God surprises us with wonderful blessings.
- At this time Jacob had been in Egypt 17 years.
- Joseph’s sons had been born during the 7 years of plenty so Joseph’s sons were at least 21-24 years old.
- 1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has entered into the heart of man, the things that God has prepared for them that love him.
The LORD redeems us from all evil
12 And Joseph brought them out from between his knees, and he bowed himself with his face to the earth. 13 And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel's left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel's right hand, and brought them near to him. 14 And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it on Ephraim's head, who was the younger, and his left hand on Manasseh's head, guiding his hands intelligently; for Manasseh was the firstborn. 15 And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who fed me all my life long to this day, 16 The Angel who redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them increase like fish into a multitude in the midst of the earth.
- ‘Grow into a multitude’ is the Hebrew phrase ‘as fishes increase.’
- Notice at the end of Jacob’s life his heart was centered on God. In verse 3, 11, 15 he says, God, God, God. We humans from birth say I, I, I. and me, me, me. Yet we didn’t create the universe or life or ourselves.
- Acts 17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being…
God is with us and will bring us to His place of blessing for us
17 And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it was evil/wrong in his eyes: and he held up his father's hand, to remove it from Ephraim's head to Manasseh's head. 18 And Joseph said to his father, Not this my father: for this is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head. 19 And his father refused and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also will become a people, and he also will be great: but truly his younger brother will be greater than he, and his seed will become a multitude/fullness of nations/swarm like fishes. 20 And he blessed them that day saying, In you Israel will bless saying, God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh. 21 And Israel said to Joseph, Behold, I die: but God will be with you, and bring you again to the land of your fathers. 22 Moreover I have given to you one portion above your brothers that I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow.
- Jacob gave Joseph a special piece of land that he’d personally conquered.
- God knows the choices each person will make.
- Here God revealed through Jacob that the younger son would be greater than the older.
- Being the younger is humbling. Man needs humility for God’s purpose to be realized in his life.
- Lamentations 3:24-26 The LORD is my portion, says my soul; therefore I will be confident in him. 25 The LORD is good to those that wait for him, to the soul that seeks him. 26 It is good that a man be confident and wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.
- Romans 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
1 And Jacob called to his sons and said, Gather yourselves together so that I can tell you what will happen to you in the days to come. 2 Gather yourselves together and hear, sons of Jacob; and listen to Israel your father. 3 Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power: 4 Unstable as water, you will not excel because you went up to your father's bed; then you defiled it: he went up to my couch.
- Reuben lost the birthright and the blessing by adultery with one of his father’s wives, Bilhah. (Genesis 35:22).
- Reuben showed lack of character and self-control.
- Contrast this with Joseph who ‘fled fornication,’ refusing to sin against God in the face of great temptation.
- Throughout history Reuben’s tribe never had a leader in Israel.
- They settled for less before they got into the Promised Land, and at times did not answer the call to arms.
- God forbids adultery for our good.
- God also tells his sons what is to come.
- Exodus 20:14 Do commit adultery. (Evil whispers to us that ‘stolen waters are sweet.’ But secret relationships with someone other that God’s designed mate for us do not bring happiness. They bring regret, anger, and at times death.)
- 1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man does is outside the body; but he that commits fornication sins against his own body.
- Isaiah 45:11-12 The LORD says, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command me. 12 I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.
5 Simeon and Levi are brothers; their swords are weapons of violence in their dwellings. 6 O my soul, do not come into their council, to their assembly, my honor, do not unite: for in their anger they killed a man, and in their self-will they lamed oxen. 7 Cursed is their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will disperse them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.
- In Genesis 34 Simeon and Levi destroyed a whole city because the son of the leader of the city had raped, their sister Dinah. The man was guilty not the whole city.
- Scattering them throughout Israel was a benefit because together they were big trouble.
- Levi’s tribe would later distinguish themselves in God’s service so that God took them to Himself to become the priests of the nation.
- James 1:20 … the wrath of man does not work the righteousness of God.
- Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that is what he will reap.
8 Judah, you are he who your brothers will praise: your hand will be on the neck of your enemies; your father's children will bow down before you. 9 Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, you have gone up: he stooped down, he couched like a lion, and as an old lion; who will rouse him? 10 The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes; and unto him will be the gathering of the people.
- His hand on the neck of his enemies means conquest.
- Shiloh means ‘the One who brings peace,’ or ‘unto him the peoples will gather.’ It is a title of the Messiah.
- This verse pronounced that the rulers, the kings, even the Messiah would come through the descendants of Judah who was not the firstborn, but the one who excelled in leadership as shown in Genesis 44.
- When Shiloh, the Messiah, comes He the appoints rulers over the whole world from all Israel and Gentile believers (Luke 19:17).
- When the Romans took over Israel (around 30 AD), the priests marched around the city in ashes, mourning, wailing, ‘the scepter is taken away and Messiah has not come.’ At the same time, Christ left his carpenters shop for His three-year ministry. Messiah had come.
11 Tying his foal to the vine, and his ass's colt to the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes: 12 His eyes will be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.
- A foal was the transportation of the wealthy.
- In times of apostasy the tribe of Judah became alcoholics.
- God’s love is better than wine. If we soak ourselves in God’s love we will be able to let go of the harmful excesses that control us.
- Song 1:2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for your love is better than wine.
13 Zebulun will dwell at the haven of the sea; and he will be a haven of ships; and his border will be unto Zidon.14 Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens: 15 He saw that rest was good and that the land was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant under tribute.
- Strong but lazy, after entering the Promised land, at times they bowed to Canaanite rule.
- Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you: he will never allow the righteous to be moved.
16 Dan will judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel. 17 Dan will be a serpent by the way, an arrow snake in the path that bites the horse heels so that his rider falls backward.
- The word ‘Serpent’ is Cerastes, a snapping adder, a venomous viper of the near east having a horny process over each eye.
- The Danites introduced idolatry into Israel in Judges 18:30, 31.
God is the LORD who saves us as we wait on Him
18 I have waited for your salvation, O LORD.
- The word LORD means eternal self-existence. Everything else depends on Him for existence.
- Salvation means to deliver. God delivers us from evil, sin, our pride, and every difficulty that can be imagined.
- Isaiah 30:18 therefore the LORD will wait, that he may be gracious to you, and therefore he will be exalted, that he may have mercy on you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all those that wait for him.
19 Gad, a troop will overcome him: but he will overcome at the last.
- Gad’s property was east of the Jordan River on the edge of the kingdom of the Ammonites and other desert peoples. Often attacked they were well able to fight off the enemy.
20 Out of Asher his bread will be fat, and he will yield royal dainties.
- Asher’s land was on the rich northern seacoast, north of Mount Carmel, all the way to Tyre and Zidon.
- They failed to take possession and deteriorated because of their love of ease.
- The descendants of Asher have been known throughout history as exceptional bakers.
21 Naphtali is a hind let loose: he gives goodly words.
- Naphtali’s descendants have been swift warriors, fleet of foot.
- Also they are known as composers of eloquent speech and beautiful literature.
God is our shepherd who makes us strong
22 Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches/ daughters run over the wall: 23 The archers have sorely grieved him, shot at him, and hated him: 24 But his bow remained in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from there is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:) 25 By the God of your father who helps you and by the Almighty, who will bless you with the blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies under, blessings of the breasts and of the womb: 26 The blessings of your father have prevailed above the blessings of my forefathers to the utmost bounds of the everlasting hills: they will be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separated from his brothers.
- The tribe of Joseph was strong with strength from God— numerous and steady but hated and attacked.
- Jacob’s testimony was that the Lord had blessed him more than Isaac or Abraham. The nation is named after him, and gates in the eternal city are named after his sons.
- The Lord blesses to the utmost bounds of the everlasting hills. ‘God of Jacob’ means God of the sinner.
- God changed Jacob’s name to ‘prince’ after Jacob was humbled and learned to trust God.
- Psalm 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
27 Benjamin is like a ravenous wolf: in the morning he will devour the prey, and at night he will divide the plunder.
- The tribe of Benjamin was known for it’s fierce warriors.
- A wolf devours.
- Benjamin disgraced Israel and was nearly destroyed by the acts of Judges 19. They had fallen into evil and devoured those who came near them. In Judges 20, all eleven other tribes went to war against them for heinous acts, and needed God’s help to win the battle.
28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel: and this is what their father spoke to them, and blessed them; every one according to his blessing he blessed them. 29 And he charged them and said to them, I am to be gathered to my people: bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30 In the cave that is in the field of Machpelah which is before Mamre in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field of Ephron the Hittite for a possession of a burying place. 31 There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah. 32 The purchase of the field and of the cave that is in it was from the children of Heth.
- King Herod built a shrine over this spot. Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob and Joseph are preserved beneath its towering form.
- The Lord will raise the dead.
- Isaiah 26:19 Your dead men will live, together with my dead body they will rise. Awake and sing, you that dwell in dust: for your dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth will cast out the dead.
- John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet he will live: 26 And whoever lives and believes in me will never die.
33 And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and died, and was gathered unto his people.
- Mankind is under a death sentence from God that has far more dire consequences than the end of life on this earth.
- If man doesn’t seek the solution that his Maker has provided he will spend eternity in the lake of fire.
- Notice that Jacob didn’t cease to exist at death but was gathered unto His people.
- Revelation 20:15 And whoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
- John 10:28 I give to them eternal life; and they will never perish, neither will any man pluck them out of my hand.
1 Joseph fell on his father's face, wept on him, and kissed him. 2 And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father: so the physicians embalmed Israel. 3 Forty days were fulfilled for him; that is the period required for embalming: and the Egyptians wept for him 70 days.
- Egyptian embalming was so amazing that the Pharaoh of the Exodus can be seen today in the British Museum.
- How much more amazing is God who will resurrect the dead?
- John 11:25 Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet will he live:
4 And when the days of his mourning were past, Joseph spoke to the house of Pharaoh saying, Now if I have found grace in your eyes, Please speak in the ears of Pharaoh saying, 5 My father made me swear saying, Look, I am dying: bury me in my grave that I have dug for myself in the land of Canaan. Now please let me go up and bury my father, and I will return. 6 And Pharaoh said, Go up and bury your father, as he made you swear. 7 So Joseph went up to bury his father: and all the servants of Pharaoh went up with him, the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt, 8 and all the house of Joseph, his brothers, and his father's house: they left only their little ones, their flocks, and their herds in the land of Goshen. 9 Both chariots and horsemen went up with him: it was a very great company. 10 And they came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond Jordan, and they mourned there with a great and very heavy lamentation: he mourned for his father seven days.
- A lamentation was intense anguish accompanied by beating the breasts.
- Isaiah 53:4 Surely he has borne our grief and carried our sorrows:
11 And when the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning in the floor of Atad, they said, This is a grievous mourning to the Egyptians: therefore the name of it was called Abelmizraim, which is beyond Jordan. 12 And his sons did to him as he commanded them: 13 For his sons carried him into the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, which Abraham bought with the field for a possession of a burying place from Ephron the Hittite, before Mamre.
- Abelmizraim means ‘the mourning of Egypt.’
- God turns death to life and mourning to joy.
- Not only was Jacob reunited in death with his loved ones that had died before him but when God brings them back to physical life they will all rise from this spot together: Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob and Leah.
- Rachel was buried at Bethlehem.
- Romans 6:23 the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
- Jeremiah 31:13 Then the virgin will rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow.
14 After he had buried his father, Joseph returned to Egypt, he and his brothers, and all that went up with him to bury his father,. 15 And when Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, now Joseph will hate us, and will certainly repay us all the evil that we did to him. 16 So they sent a messenger to Joseph saying, Your father commanded before he died saying, 17 Say this to Joseph, Please forgive the trespass of your brothers, and their sin; for they did evil to you: and now, we beg, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of your father. And Joseph wept when they spoke to him. 18 And his brothers also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we are your servants.
- After all the things Joseph had done for them they didn’t trust him. Just as, after all God has done for us, we still doubt and fear. He has forgiven our trespasses.
- Psalm 103:2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits: 3 Who forgives all your iniquities; who heals all our diseases; 4 Who redeems your life from destruction; who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies;
God rules over all life; He turns evil into good to save many
19 And Joseph said to them, Do not fear: am I in the place of God? 20 But as for you, you plotted evil against me; but God wove it into good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save many people alive. 21 Now therefore do not fear: I will nourish you and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spoke kindly to them.
- In Genesis 1, God made everything good, good, and very good. Notice here in Genesis 50 God is still doing the same thing.
- God also comforts and speaks kindly to us when we humble ourselves before Him.
- Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose…31 If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He that did not spare his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how will he not also with him freely give us all things?
- 2 Corinthians
1:3-4 Blessed be God, even the Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4 Who comforts us in all our troubles so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, by the comfort with
which we ourselves are comforted by God.
22 And Joseph lived in Egypt, he, and his father's house: and Joseph lived 110 years. 23 And Joseph saw Ephraim's children of the third generation: also the children of Machir, the son of Manasseh, were born on Joseph's knees. 24 And Joseph said to his brothers, I am dying: and God will definitely visit you, and bring you out of this land to the land that he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. 25 And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will definitely visit you, and you shall carry my bones up from here. 26 So Joseph died, being 110 years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.
- Joseph’s coffin was to be left out in the open rather than enshrined in a pyramid. This gave the Israelites a continual reminder that God would bring them to that land He had promised them. Jesus will do much more for us.
- John 14:1-3 Do not let your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; so that where I am, you will be there too.
- Hebrews 13:5 Let your behavior be without covetousness; and be content with what you have: for he has said, I will never leave you, or forsake you.
SUMMARY: Genesis 48-50
- The LORD redeems us from all evil
- He is with us and brings us into places of blessing
- He saves us as we wait on Him
- He is our Shepherd who makes us strong in His strength
- He rules over all life and turns evil into good to save many