Genesis 44-47


January 26, 1997


The book of Genesis is the book of beginnings.

That's what the name "genesis" is all about.

It's the beginning of creation.

It's the beginning of man, civilization, and sin.

It's the beginning of redemption and faith.

We need to be careful to be learning Bible History correctly!

Copied this from "True bloopers written by students"

The Bible is full of interesting caricatures.

In the first book of the Bible, Guinessis, Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree. One of their children, Cain, asked, "Am I my brother's son?".

God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac on Mount Montezuma.

Jacob, son of Isaac, stole his brother's birthmark.

Jacob was a patriarch who brought up his 12 sons to be patriarchs, but they did not take to it.

One of Jacob's sons, Joseph, gave refuse to the Israelites.

Pharoah forced the Hebrew slaves to make bread without straw.

Moses led them to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened bread, which is bread made without any ingredients. Afterwards, Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the ten commandments. He died before he ever reached Canada.

David was a Hebrew king skilled at playing the liar. He fought with the Finklesteins, a race of people who lived in biblical times.

Solomon, one of David's sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines.


We've been looking at the life of Joseph.

Sold by his brothers into slavery.

Put into prison unjustly.


Until his time came to interpret Pharaoh's dream.

Suddenly he found himself as the second highest authority in Egypt.

Seven years of plenty, now seven years of famine have begun.

Joseph's brothers showed up in Egypt, looking for food, and didn' recognize Joseph.

Joseph accused them of spying, and kept one of the brothers prisoner until they proved their story by bringing their youngest brother, Joseph's full brother, Benjamin, with them.

They've now arrived in Egypt a second time with Benjamin, and were invited to a feast at Joseph's house.

Genesis 44

:1 put every man's money in his sack's mouth.

This was what Joseph did to the brothers the first time.

:5 whereby indeed he divineth?

The idea is that this special silver cup was supposedly one that Joseph used for "divination".

Divination was a practice of trying to get messages from God, or tell the future by doing things like looking at birds flying, examining pigs' livers, or looking at the dregs of the bottom of a wine cup (like reading tea leaves).

The Bible FORBIDS divination.

(Deu 18:10 KJV) There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,

For today, this includes things like astrology, tarot cards, Ouija boards, psychic "readings".

Some people have had a hard time with this statement, because they have a hard time thinking that a believer like Joseph would be practicing divination.

But who says he actually did?

I think this is simply part of Joseph's whole plan to test his brothers.

After all, the servant had told the brothers that "he had their money" from before, when he hadn't.

The idea is that this is a pretty heavy offense, not just stealing a silver cup, but THE silver cup.

This would have to carry a pretty heavy penalty, not the penalty for simple theft.

Why is Joseph doing all this?

1. He wants an excuse to keep Benjamin with him.

If all else fails, Benjamin will at least be safe with Joseph.

2. He is testing his brothers to see if they've changed.

If they haven't changed, then they'll be glad to see Benjamin go.

Then Joseph will take Benjamin, and they'll never know the truth.

But if they've changed, then Joseph might consider telling his brothers the truth.

:12 he searched, and began at the eldest,

You have to admit, this servant of Joseph certainly has a knack for the dramatic.

He's going to make them sweat and watch while he goes through each of their sacks until he comes to the last one, Benjamin.

:15 such a man as I can certainly divine?

This is still just a part of the story.

I think Joseph has got these guys convinced that he's able to read their minds, especially by the way he seated them at the dinner table the night before, in order of their birth.

He's got them scared of him.

:19-29 Summarize

Judah tells Joseph a summary of everything up to here (except the truth about Joseph), and how hard this whole thing has been on Jacob, especially letting Benjamin go to Egypt.

:33 let thy servant abide instead of the lad a bondman to my lord;

This sounds a LOT like Jesus!

Jesus took our place on the cross.

Judah is willing to take Benjamin's place as a servant.

I think this is something that Joseph has been wanting to hear!

Genesis 45

:3 I am Joseph;

We know from Gen.42:23 that one of the ways Joseph had been keeping his identity hidden was by speaking to his brothers through an interpreter.

I kind of get the feeling that this is the first time that Joseph has turned to address his brothers without an interpreter, in Hebrew.

:3 they were troubled at his presence.

They're either thinking that this great exalted governor of Egypt has gone crazy, or worse yet, it really could be Joseph!

:5 God did send me


Could it be that God is even using the bad things in your life?

Turn to:

Rom 8:28 (KJV) 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.

Is it still in your Bible?

Joseph has learned the lesson.

There's no need to be complaining about your problems, just start moving closer to the end of the story.

We get so caught up in complaining about our problems that we sometimes fail to realize that God is wanting to turn it all around for the good.

Perhaps there's a reason for your troubles.

You're just not at the end of the story of your life yet.

You're still back in chapter 40, a prisoner in jail!


Don't hate the wrong people.

We like to blame our troubles on others.

Perhaps God is using them.

We can be bitter against those who want to hurt us, but should we stay that way when realize that God is using them for good in our lives?

:16 it pleased Pharaoh well, and his servants.


Love covers sin.

It doesn't sound to me that Joseph had been ragging on his brothers to the Pharaoh and his friends.

Sometimes when we're mad at people, we like to grab a friend and "vent" on them, telling them all the bad things that have happened to us.

And then the friend ends up hating the people as much if not worse than we do.

The Bible says:

1Pe 4:8 Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. (NAS)

The idea is that if we love someone, we aren't going to spread word of all their sins to everyone.

:20 the good of all the land of Egypt is yours.

What must the brothers be thinking?

They deserve to be locked up for what they did to Joseph, yet they find him forgiving them, and now being offered the best of Egypt.

:22 but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver, and five changes of raiment.

Hey, it's his kid brother.

:24 See that ye fall not out by the way.

or, "Don't fight among yourselves on the trip back ..."

I have to laugh at this. He knows his brothers.

:26 Joseph is yet alive,

I wonder if they're thinking to themselves, "And when Dad finds out how Joseph got to Egypt, are we ever gonna get it!"

Genesis 46

:3 fear not to go down into Egypt

There are times when trips to Egypt are not a good idea.

Abraham went to Egypt and got into a lot of trouble, even bringing back a servant girl named Hagar.

God never told Abraham to go to Egypt.

God tells Israel to go to Egypt.

:4 Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes.

His most precious son, Joseph, will be there to close his eyes when he dies.

:8-25 Summarize

Here we simply get the naming of all the folks that went down into Egypt - Jacob's sons and their kids.

:28 Goshen

Goshen is primarily recognized as an area in the northeast sector of the Nile Delta.

It was a fertile area, a great place for raising all the livestock of the family.

It was known at the time as the "best of Egypt" (47:11), though today it is only desert.

It is also the closest part of Egypt to Canaan.

:34 ye shall say, Thy servants' trade hath been about cattle

Joseph is concerned about his family being accepted into Egypt, and getting an adequate place to stay.

He knows the customs of the Egyptians, having been there for 13 years, and knows that sheep-herders were considered the dregs of society.

He wants his brothers to de-emphasize the "sheep" part of the family business, and just emphasize the general "livestock" or "cattle" portion of the business.

But watch, his brothers aren't going to pay attention to his advice.

Genesis 47

:2 he took some of his brethren, even five men, and presented them unto Pharaoh.

Apparently he doesn't want Pharaoh to meet all the brothers.

Perhaps they might embarrass him?

:3 Thy servants are shepherds

They ignore Joseph's advice and just introduce themselves as shepherds.

:6 make them rulers over my cattle.

Now they pick up a new government contract! Business is booming!

:9 few and evil

Jacob will die at the age of 147.

His father Isaac lived to be 180 years old.

His grandfather Abraham lived to be 175 years old.

:10 Jacob blessed Pharaoh

An interesting situation.

An old, crippled sheep-herder.

The ruler of the world.

Which would you say is the greater?

The Bible says:

(Heb 7:7 KJV) And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.

This is quoted in conjunction with Abraham and Melchizedek, when Melch. blessed Abraham.

In God's sight, Jacob is the greater.


You are God's treasure.

You may not have much in the sight of the world, but in God's sight, you are precious.

As Hebrews says "Of whom the world was not worthy" (11:38)

:11 the land of Rameses,

This is actually a later designation of the area, inserted by Moses so that readers of his day would know the area he's writing about.

:14 Joseph gathered up all the money

Now the famine is moving into full swing, and Joseph is selling food to all the people of the land.

:24 ye shall give the fifth part unto Pharaoh,

Genesis is the book of beginnings.

This is the beginnings of the income tax!

It's kind of ironic to think that now technically Pharaoh owns everything the people have, they are slaves to Pharaoh, and he is only collecting 20%.

What does that make us, with our taxes? :-)

:29 put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh,

We saw Abraham and his servant make a promise in this way.

Both Abraham and Jacob use this technique when they are getting old, and ready to die.

The idea is something like this, "May the ones who descend from my loins take care of you after I'm gone if you don't keep this promise with me"

It's a kind of promise that is to last after a person dies.

:29 bury me not, I pray thee, in Egypt:

It's not that Jacob is ungrateful for how his family has been preserved in Egypt.

But he knows where the promised land is.

He wants to be buried in Canaan.

He'll be buried in Hebron (Gen.50:13), in the cave that Abraham and Isaac have been buried in, the "tomb of the Patriarchs".

The city that has just been turned over to Palestinian control, except for the area surrounding the tombs.