Goodbye Genesis

Genesis 50 is a sign of the greatness of Joseph. Now after the death of his father, he could have done evil to the brothers. It seems that the brothers were afraid until these words of Joseph, as written:

” ַיִּרְא֤וּ אֲחֵֽי־יוֹסֵף֙ כִּי־מֵ֣ת אֲבִיהֶ֔ם וַיֹּ֣אמְר֔וּ ל֥וּ יִשְׂטְמֵ֖נוּ יוֹסֵ֑ף וְהָשֵׁ֤ב יָשִׁיב֙ לָ֔נוּ אֵ֚ת כָּל־הָ֣רָעָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר גָּמַ֖לְנוּ אֹתֽוֹ׃וַיְצַוּ֕וּ אֶל־יוֹסֵ֖ף לֵאמֹ֑ר אָבִ֣יךָ צִוָּ֔ה לִפְנֵ֥י מוֹת֖וֹ לֵאמֹֽר׃ כֹּֽה־תֹאמְר֣וּ לְיוֹסֵ֗ף אָ֣נָּ֡א שָׂ֣א נָ֠א פֶּ֣שַׁע אַחֶ֤יךָ וְחַטָּאתָם֙ כִּי־רָעָ֣ה גְמָל֔וּךָ וְעַתָּה֙ שָׂ֣א נָ֔א לְפֶ֥שַׁע עַבְדֵ֖י אֱלֹהֵ֣י אָבִ֑יךָ וַיֵּ֥בְךְּ יוֹסֵ֖ף בְּדַבְּרָ֥ם אֵלָֽיו׃”

“And when Joseph’s brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us, and will certainly requite us all the evil which we did unto him. And they sent a messenger unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying: So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him. (Genesis 50:15-17).

The tears of Joseph remark his final forgiveness to his brothers. Now when Jacob was dead- he could have a revenge, but he didn’t.

This is how a book should end- forgiveness is something that you can’t take back according to your convenience.

Have a blessed weekend, see you all on Sunday with Exodus,

Goodbye Genesis, it was a pleasure

Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

Eli

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Genesis 49- the last words of Jacob

The last words of Jacob were always a riddle to me. Here are some thoughts about them:

Reuben is the first born, but his blessing is positive and negative, probably because he has done something wrong with Bilhah.

Simeon and Levi have a blessing with negative words together, though that we know that Levi eventually was the tribe of the priests while Simeon disappeared.

Judah had the longest blessing with 5 verses and only with good and complexes Hebrew words about his future.

Joseph got a second blessing after his sons were blessed in the previous chapter.

Also the other sons were blessed though that in their own life there are no stories about them.

Dinah wasn’t blessed- these are different times or that the story with the rape in Genesis 34 was too much for her father.

Finally, Jacob wants to come back to the cave of Machpelah- there his father and grandfather are buried with Leah his wife.

Tomorrow it’s the last chapter of Genesis.

Bye Genesis, welcome Exodus,

Photo by Raphael Schaller on Unsplash

Eli

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Genesis 48- Ephraim and Manasseh

Do you remember who was the only first born in the Bible that really was a hero?
This question is written due to the hidden message of the text- what we expect to happen- not always will happen- on the contrary.
Also in our story we can see this idea- and here it’s revealed in Jacob’s words before the blessings were given, as written:

” וְעַתָּ֡ה שְׁנֵֽי־בָנֶיךָ֩ הַנּוֹלָדִ֨ים לְךָ֜ בְּאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַ֗יִם עַד־בֹּאִ֥י אֵלֶ֛יךָ מִצְרַ֖יְמָה לִי־הֵ֑ם אֶפְרַ֙יִם֙ וּמְנַשֶּׁ֔ה כִּרְאוּבֵ֥ן וְשִׁמְע֖וֹן יִֽהְיוּ־לִֽי׃

“And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine”(Genesis 48:5)

Even though that after these words, Jacob asked Joseph, who are these sons (See verse 9-probably because he was old, or maybe this is another version of the story…), we know from the beginning of this chapter that Ephraim will be greater than Manasseh, although Manasseh is the older.

How’s beautiful is the Bible- the surprises never stop!

For those of you who fast- Tzom Qal and Gemar Chatimah Tovah.

Eli

How much time do you have to live?

People tend to complain. In our world it could be called to comment or to share, or in a politically correct word ventilation.

Asking the question above, it’s no easy. When I asked my students this question in a lesson about Ecclesiastes 3 some were confused. I assume that this is now what they have expected to be asked.

In Genesis 47 Jacob was asked how old he is by Pharaoh Jacob answered as written:

״וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יַעֲקֹב֙ אֶל־פַּרְעֹ֔ה יְמֵי֙ שְׁנֵ֣י מְגוּרַ֔י שְׁלֹשִׁ֥ים וּמְאַ֖ת שָׁנָ֑ה מְעַ֣ט וְרָעִ֗ים הָיוּ֙ יְמֵי֙ שְׁנֵ֣י חַיַּ֔י וְלֹ֣א הִשִּׂ֗יגוּ אֶת־יְמֵי֙ שְׁנֵי֙ חַיֵּ֣י אֲבֹתַ֔י בִּימֵ֖י מְגוּרֵיהֶֽם׃״

And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage.”

From this answer we can see how frustrated is Jacob. He didn’t live so much as his fathers, and he also added that his life was evil.

130 it’s a lot of time. No one reached this number in the last centuries. Jacob would have 17 more years.

If you would have known the answer to the question above would you live your life differently? Would you change the question to what new and good this day would bring me even if I won’t know the day of death?

Write me, I would love to read!

Gemar Chatimah Tovah from Israel!
Eli

How to know the future with the help of names?

Names, names, names dear friends.

How’s important the name that you give to your child.
Sometimes when the name can be changed in the Bible in order to change the destiny of the character; Israel was first of all Jacob, Benjamin was the son of Rachel’s affliction.
Genesis 46 gives is the list of the 70 descendants of Jacob that arrived in Egypt. When you read the beginning of the list you can find these words, as written:

“וְאֵ֨לֶּה שְׁמ֧וֹת בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל הַבָּאִ֥ים מִצְרַ֖יְמָה יַעֲקֹ֣ב וּבָנָ֑יו בְּכֹ֥ר יַעֲקֹ֖ב רְאוּבֵֽן׃
וּבְנֵ֖י רְאוּבֵ֑ן חֲנ֥וֹךְ וּפַלּ֖וּא וְחֶצְר֥וֹן וְכַרְמִֽי׃
וּבְנֵ֣י שִׁמְע֗וֹן יְמוּאֵ֧ל וְיָמִ֛ין וְאֹ֖הַד וְיָכִ֣ין וְצֹ֑חַר וְשָׁא֖וּל בֶּן־הַֽכְּנַעֲנִֽית:”

“And these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt, Jacob and his sons: Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn. And the sons of Reuben; Hanoch, and Phallu, and Hezron, and Carmi. And the sons of Simeon; Jemuel, and Jamin, and Ohad, and Jachin, and Zohar, and Shaul the son of a Canaanitish woman.”(Genesis 46:8-10).

If the author felt that he must tell us that Reuben is the first born of Jacob, although we know it, Reuben will be the first born on the paper, and we can’t be surprised why his tribe decided not to enter the Promised Land in the future.

If we read that the son of Simeon is Saul, who was a son of Canaanite, King Saul won’t end his life in a good way. These are the links that this chapter sends us to the future.

I will be very happy to read your comments about this in another future- from now and on…

Have a blessed week, Eli

Photo by Marc-Olivier Jodoin on Unsplash

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22 years- this is how we end the roller coaster?

When Joseph finally revealed himself to his brothers, we are told that, first of all he asked if his father is still living. Then he reminded them that they sold him, but from the other hand, he promised them protection since he believed that god caused this situation (Genesis 44:5, 7).

However, when we look at the verses to come, there’s still a discrimination between Benjamin and the others as written:

“וַיִּפֹּ֛ל עַל־צַוְּארֵ֥י בִנְיָמִֽן־אָחִ֖יו וַיֵּ֑בְךְּ וּבִנְיָמִ֔ן בָּכָ֖ה עַל־צַוָּארָֽיו.וַיְנַשֵּׁ֥ק לְכָל־אֶחָ֖יו וַיֵּ֣בְךְּ עֲלֵיהֶ֑ם וְאַ֣חֲרֵי כֵ֔ן דִּבְּר֥וּ אֶחָ֖יו אִתּֽוֹ…לְכֻלָּ֥ם נָתַ֛ן לָאִ֖ישׁ חֲלִפ֣וֹת שְׂמָלֹ֑ת וּלְבִנְיָמִ֤ן נָתַן֙ שְׁלֹ֣שׁ מֵא֣וֹת כֶּ֔סֶף וְחָמֵ֖שׁ חֲלִפֹ֥ת שְׂמָלֹֽת”

 

“And he fell upon his Brother Benjamin’s neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck. Moreover, he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them: and after that his brethren talked with him…. To all of them he gave each man changes of raiment; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver, and five changes of raiment.” (Genesis 44:14-15,22)

Is this the end of 22 years that we expected? Couldn’t it be the end of Genesis 43 when everyone drinks, even though that also there Benjamin got more? These are the questions that I would like to ask the author as I asked myself…

What would you like to ask?

Have a blessed weekend, Eli

Photo by JC Dela Cuesta on Unsplash

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This is the end?

In the great movie “Apocalypse now”, the scene that opens the movie is with the beautiful song “The end”. I have always thought that this was strange to start a movie with a song about the end. However, when you see this fantastic movie you understand!

When we read the end of Genesis 43, it seems to be that the end is coming. The brothers are eating and drinking (probably wine) and every one of them got portions or presents, as written:

“וַיִּשָּׂ֨א מַשְׂאֹ֜ת מֵאֵ֣ת פָּנָיו֮ אֲלֵהֶם֒ וַתֵּ֜רֶב מַשְׂאַ֧ת בִּנְיָמִ֛ן מִמַּשְׂאֹ֥ת כֻּלָּ֖ם חָמֵ֣שׁ יָד֑וֹת וַיִּשְׁתּ֥וּ וַֽיִּשְׁכְּר֖וּ עִמּֽוֹ׃”

“And he took and sent messes unto them from before him: but Benjamin’s mess was five times so much as any of their’s. And they drank, and were merry with him.”(Genesis 43:34)

But, this is not the end yet. As the Bible surprises us all the time, it just the beginning of the end and Joseph would have to hear the words of Judah and only then 22 years of his life would end.

This is what’s so magical in the Bible. What you think before you read wouldn’t be always what you understand after you will read!

Have a blessed week!
Eli

Photo by Matt Botsford on Unsplashthe end.jpg

Sometimes changes are simple…

When we plan to make a big change in our life, we bear in mind all the disadvantages and the advantages and then we do it or not. However, sometimes the change is so simple that we just must do it without all the brainstorming. If you read Genesis 42 there’s a simple change in Joseph’s words that the traditional commentaries skipped or tried to explain in a difficult way.

Let’s see the words.

In Genesis 42:15-16 it’s written:

“בְּזֹ֖את תִּבָּחֵ֑נוּ חֵ֤י פַרְעֹה֙ אִם־תֵּצְא֣וּ מִזֶּ֔ה כִּ֧י אִם־בְּב֛וֹא אֲחִיכֶ֥ם הַקָּטֹ֖ן הֵֽנָּה׃שִׁלְח֨וּ מִכֶּ֣ם אֶחָד֮ וְיִקַּ֣ח אֶת־אֲחִיכֶם֒ וְאַתֶּם֙ הֵאָ֣סְר֔וּ וְיִבָּֽחֲנוּ֙ דִּבְרֵיכֶ֔ם הַֽאֱמֶ֖ת אִתְּכֶ֑ם וְאִם־לֹ֕א חֵ֣י פַרְעֹ֔ה כִּ֥י מְרַגְּלִ֖ים אַתֶּֽם׃

“Hereby ye shall be proved: By the life of Pharaoh ye shall not go forth hence, except your youngest brother come hither. Send one of you, and let him fetch your brother, and ye shall be kept in prison, that your words may be proved, whether there be any truth in you: or else by the life of Pharaoh surely ye are spies”

Then in Genesis 42:19 it’s written:

“אִם־כֵּנִ֣ים אַתֶּ֔ם אֲחִיכֶ֣ם אֶחָ֔ד יֵאָסֵ֖ר בְּבֵ֣ית מִשְׁמַרְכֶ֑ם וְאַתֶּם֙ לְכ֣וּ הָבִ֔יאוּ שֶׁ֖בֶר רַעֲב֥וֹן בָּתֵּיכֶֽם׃”

“If ye be true men, let one of your brethren be bound in the house of your prison: go ye, carry corn for the famine of your houses:”

What happened to Joseph? He decided to re-think about the situation, and also 3 days passed. To send one brother to Jacob won’t bring Benjamin back. All the brothers need to come back to Jacob in order to convince him to bring Benjamin. The only one that was left is Simeon since he threw him to the pit according to the Midrash. It’s so simple.

Sometimes the changes are so simple.

Shannah Tovah to you all dear Bibleli’s friends!

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Genesis 41:50-52- Manasseh and Ephraim

We have seen until now three stories with two brothers that are born one after one- Cain and Abel, Esau and Jacob, Perets and Zerach. In our chapter today another story appears as written:

” וּלְיוֹסֵ֤ף יֻלַּד֙ שְׁנֵ֣י בָנִ֔ים בְּטֶ֥רֶם תָּב֖וֹא שְׁנַ֣ת הָרָעָ֑ב אֲשֶׁ֤ר יָֽלְדָה־לּוֹ֙ אָֽסְנַ֔ת בַּת־פּ֥וֹטִי פֶ֖רַע כֹּהֵ֥ן אֽוֹן׃וַיִּקְרָ֥א יוֹסֵ֛ף אֶת־שֵׁ֥ם הַבְּכ֖וֹר מְנַשֶּׁ֑ה כִּֽי־נַשַּׁ֤נִי אֱלֹהִים֙ אֶת־כָּל־עֲמָלִ֔י וְאֵ֖ת כָּל־בֵּ֥ית אָבִֽי׃ וְאֵ֛ת שֵׁ֥ם הַשֵּׁנִ֖י קָרָ֣א אֶפְרָ֑יִם כִּֽי־הִפְרַ֥נִי אֱלֹהִ֖ים בְּאֶ֥רֶץ עָנְיִֽי׃”

“And unto Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, which Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of on bare unto him. And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father’s house. And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.”(Genesis 41:50-52)

Manasseh is called because God caused Joseph to forget all his past. Ephraim’s name is related to the present. Now Joseph feels fruitful in the land that was until now a land of affliction. This Manasseh won’t get the important blessing of Jacob before his death.

Another Manasseh would be in the future also a king that will rule over 55 years, but would be a sinner more than the others (2 Chronicles would tell another story, but this is for the future).

One more time we can see that if you are a first born in the Bible it would guarantee for you a better future than the others.

Shannah Tovah everyone!
Let’s pray that we will remember and not forget to be happy, to be good, and to be there for ourselves and for others.

Genesis 40-happy Birthday to Pharaoh

The first birthday in the bible appears in Genesis 40:20 as written:

” וַיְהִ֣י ׀ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַשְּׁלִישִׁ֗י י֚וֹם הֻלֶּ֣דֶת אֶת־פַּרְעֹ֔ה וַיַּ֥עַשׂ מִשְׁתֶּ֖ה לְכָל־עֲבָדָ֑יו וַיִּשָּׂ֞א אֶת־רֹ֣אשׁ ׀ שַׂ֣ר הַמַּשְׁקִ֗ים וְאֶת־רֹ֛אשׁ שַׂ֥ר הָאֹפִ֖ים בְּת֥וֹךְ עֲבָדָֽיו׃

On the third day—his birthday—Pharaoh made a banquet for all his officials, and he singled out his chief cupbearer and his chief baker from among his officials.

However, this is not just a day that you celebrate for the king, it’s also a day when the dreams of the baker and the butler came true-one would have more birthdays and the other just won’t have the chance to celebrate since he didn’t take care of his king, in reality and in his dreams!

May you all have good dreams and a great weekend!

Eli