ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Bible: What Does Genesis 49-50 Teach Us About the Destinies of Israel's Sons?

Updated on September 9, 2016

Jacob Blesses His Sons

225px-Maitre_Ja...
225px-Maitre_Ja...

Israel Prophesies About His Sons' Futures

Gathering all of his sons to his deathbed, Israel now prophesies concerning their individual tribal futures (vv. 1-2).

[Apparently, the blessing of a patriarch had a revelatory, prophetic nature. It also appears in the text as poetic in form].

Although he was Israel’s firstborn, Reuben’s unstable character, as well as his disrespect for his father’s “bed,” will prevent his success (vv. 3-4).

Likewise, Simeon and Levi will be scattered because of their uncontrollable anger, an anger resulting in cruelty toward man and animals alike (vv. 5-7; cf. 34:25).

Judah, on the other hand, his brothers will praise, for he will defeat enemies and gain respect (“bow down”) from his grandchildren (v. 9).

Like a mighty lion, he will rule and enforce the law until “Shiloh” comes; Him people will obey (v. 10).

[Undoubtedly, “Shiloh” is a name for Messiah, but no source consulted seems to know what the grammatical interpretation of the word is.

Shiloh was also a town in Canaan where Joshua set up the tabernacle of meeting and divided the land to the children of Israel (cf. Josh. 18:1, 10).

The LORD first set His name there, but had to destroy the city because of the people’s wickedness (cf. Jer. 7:12)].

His association with the “blood of grapes” may indicate a connection with judgment (v. 11; cf. Is. 63: 2, 3; Rev. 19:13, 15), and his outward description is almost Solomonic (v. 12; cf. Song of Solomon 5:10-16).

Verses 13-21 deal briefly with six more brothers:

(1) Zebulun’s future is in shipping (v. 13);

(2) Issachar’s stubbornness and laziness will lead to slavery (vv. 14-15);

(3) Dan’s destiny appears full of treachery and antagonism (vv. 16-18);

(4) Gad’s a long-term victor over adversaries (v. 19);

(5) Asher will become rich and prosperous (v. 20); and

(6) Napthali’s descriptions remind one of freedom and cleverness (v. 21).

Israel’s attention now focuses on Joseph whose continual fruitfulness (v. 22) and divine blessings, despite attacks from enemies (vv. 23-26), are in the offing.

Benjamin, however, he describes as a famished wolf (possibly referring to his exploits in the Benjamite War) [v. 27; cf. Judges 20].

Thus are Israel’s blessings such as they were (v. 28).

[Out of the twelve blessings, only two (Judah and Joseph) receive extremely “positive” ones, while only three others (Gad, Asher, and Napthali) seem relatively good].

The patriarch’s final words direct his sons to bury him with his fathers in that very familiar spot in Canaan (vv. 29-32).

[Why is it so important to Israel that his sons bury him in Canaan?]

After this command, Israel lay back in bed and passes away (v. 33).

Israel Dies in Egypt

200px-Egypt_ter...
200px-Egypt_ter...

Jacob's Funeral

220px-Jacob's_f...
220px-Jacob's_f...

Deathbed Prophecy

view quiz statistics

Joseph Mourns, Forgives, and Dies

Genesis 50

After mourning his father’s passing for a period of time, Joseph has him embalmed—a process which took forty days—and the Egyptians weep for Israel thirty days longer (vv. 1-3).

Joseph then approaches Pharaoh through the latter’s household, asking his permission to bury Israel in Canaan, as he had promised his father (vv. 4-5).

Pharaoh allows him to go, sending him with most of his family servants and elders, as well as chariots and horsemen (vv. 6-9).

Joseph observes a week of mourning at the threshing floor of Atad; so great is the lamentation that the Canaanites name it the “Mourning of Egypt” (vv. 10-11).

Afterwards, he and his brothers fulfill Israel’s wishes by burying him in Abraham’s cave, and then they return to Egypt (vv. 13-14).

Fearing Joseph’s reprisals now that Israel is gone, the brethren (apparently) fabricate a message from their father, asking that Joseph might forgive them their trespass (vv. 15-17).

Compassionate and forgiving man that he is, Joseph speaks gently to his repentant brothers, telling them not to fear (vv. 18-19).

Hearkening back to their original treachery, he instructs them that God used their evil to bring about a great good— the “salvation” of many (v. 20)—and then repeats his intention of providing for them (v. 21).

Joseph lived to the age of only one hundred ten—enough years to see his great-grandchildren (vv. 22-23).

As he lay dying, he reminds his brethren that God will take them back to the Land, and that they (actually, their descendants) would someday carry his bones back with them (vv. 24-25).

The great “savior of the world” then passes away, and is entombed in Egypt (v. 26).

SUMMARY QUESTIONS OF THE BOOK OF GENESIS

1. Discuss instances in Genesis where God stepped into the flow of history, checked man’s evil actions or reversed the human condition, and preserved His creation.

2. What structural device does the author use to arrange his narrative?

How many times does he employ this device throughout the book?

3. What are the passages that intimate that God is more than one Person?

4. Choose a controversial story or two, and interact with the author’s views.

For instance, since the act of naming something signifies one’s superiority to it, what can one say about Adam’s naming Eve?

5. Examine Yahweh’s relationship with various men and women in this book.

What surprises you? What confuses you, if anything? What delights you?

6. Which biblical and theological covenants does Genesis introduce?

7. What are some of the character deficiencies and strengths of the following major players:

Noah ___________________________________________________

Abraham_________________________________________________

Lot ______________________________________________________

Jacob ____________________________________________________

Esau ____________________________________________________

Isaac ____________________________________________________

Joseph ___________________________________________________

Sarah____________________________________________________

Rachel____________________________________________________

8. What covenant ritual must males undergo on their eighth day of life?

What results will occur if they do not undergo this procedure?

9. Describe the ritual God performed with Abraham in Genesis 15.

10. Examine some of the dreams and visions experienced in this book.

11. What are the three aspects of the covenant God made with Abraham?

12. Examine passages in which a Christophany occurs.

13. What are the roles of women in this book?

14. What can explain the decrease in the longevity of the patriarchs?

15. What is/are the purpose/purposes of the considerable repetition in this book?

16. Name several of the outstanding locations in this book, and discuss what events occurred there.

17. What are the names given to God in this book, and what significance do they have in the various contexts?

18. Who were the various kings with whom the patriarchs related? Determine the quality of those relationships.

19. Interact with the sexual proclivities of the ancient world.

20. Examine the names given to major characters, and determine their significance.

21. What role did angels play in the book?

22. What do we learn about the Messiah from Genesis?

23. Examine the concept of “remembrance.”

24. God is reportedly omniscient. Interact with the passages where He asks for information.

25. Discuss the character traits of the following sons of Israel (Reuben, Simeon, and Judah).

26. Identify the “interruptions” to the flow of narrative sections, and formulate a reason for their insertion into the text.

27. Interact with God’s curse upon the serpent.

28. What is noteworthy about Lamech? About Nimrod?

29. Discuss the person of Melchizedek.

30. When did Abraham believe God for salvation?In Genesis 15 or earlier? Explain.

31. What does Abraham’s steward teach us?

32. Describe the general character of Laban and Bethuel.

33. What attempt at self-preservation did both Abraham and Isaac make?

34. What do “Jacob’s ladder” and the “descending and ascending” angels represent?

35. Compare and contrast Laban’s handling of Isaac and Jacob.

36. Which brothers avenge the “rape” of Dinah?

How does Jacob handle this tragedy?

37. “Possessions” seems to be a prominent theme in Genesis.

Why do you think this is so?

38. Was Joseph’s bringing his family down to Egypt in any sense a self-fulfilling prophecy?

39. Why do Israelites such as Lot and Reuben appear so cavalier and callous about sacrificing their own children’s lives?

40. Is there any significance as to why Benjamin receives five times more provisions than do his brothers?

41. What procedures does Joseph implement during the seven years of famine?

© 2014 glynch1

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • glynch1 profile imageAUTHOR

      glynch1 

      4 years ago

      I appreciate your words; thanks for the encouragement.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Hi Greg,

      Excellent study in Genesis. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)