Posted tagged ‘Israelite baby boys ordered to be killed’

Genesis 49 – Exodus 2

May 20, 2009

Jacob has come to Goshen to be close to Joseph and lived about seventeen years.  Near his death, it is time to hand out the blessings (or curses!)…

Genesis 49

  • Although Reuben was firstborn, he would not receive the double blessing or any of his other rights as firstborn, because he slept with Bilhah, Jacob’s concubine.
  • Simeon and Levi have their anger and wrath cursed, due to their actions against Shechem.  They killed the man that raped their sister Dinah and everyone in Shechem’s land, dishonoring Jacob.
  • Judah is blessed.  Perhaps this is due to Judah’s change of character when he stood for his brother, because he had done some awful things in the past (lying to his daughter, selling Joseph into slavery).  Judah’s descendants would come to include Jesus.
  • Gen. 49:10 says “…until the coming of the one to whom it belongs,…” which can also mean ‘until Shiloh comes.’  Shiloh has been disputed to be another name for Messiah or to the Tabernacle set up at the city of Shiloh.  Either way, this prophecy came true.
  • Zebulun will be a harbor for ships.
  • Issachar will submit to forced labor.
  • Dan will goven his people but will not be a good leader unless he trusts in God (based on Gen. 49:18: “I trust in you for salvation, O Lord!” — Jacob prays to God that Dan will turn to Him).
  • Gad will be plundered and in turn will plunder those same people.
  • Asher will produce good food.
  • Naphtali is compared to a deer producing great fawns.
  • Joseph will be fruitful.  He has remained strong in times of adversity.  He is greatly blessed and is prince among his brothers.
  • Benjamin will devour his enemies like a wolf.
  • Jacob told his sons to bury him in Machpelah, where Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, and Leah were buried.  After making his sons commit to this, he died.

Genesis 50

  • Joseph wept over his father and kissed him.  Then Jacob was embalmed (as was custom in Egypt), which took forty days (the mourning lasted for seventy days!).
  • Joseph got permission from Pharaoh to bury Jacob in Machpelah as Jacob requested.  Several of Pharaoh’s counselors and advisors went with Jacob, as did his brothers and some of Jacob’s household.
  • They held a solemn funeral and had a seven-day period of mourning.
  • Once they returned to Egypt, Joseph’s brothers were afraid that now Joseph would get his revenge on them.  Joseph reassured them that he would still take care of them as he did before.
  • Joseph died at the age of 110.  He told his brothers that eventually God would lead them out of Egypt and to Canaan, the land he promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
  • Joseph made the sons of Israel swear to take his body back to Canaan when God would lead them back there in the future.
  • So Joseph died, was embalmed, and placed in an Egyptian coffin.

Exodus 1

  • Joseph and his brothers died, as well as the current Pharaoh.  The Israelites prospered, bearing many children.
  • The new Pharaoh saw the Israelites as a threat.  So he made them slaves and put Egyptian slave drivers over them.  This was done in order to make the Israelites wear down and not multiply as much.
  • However, the more badly the Egyptians treated the Hebrews, the more quickly they multiplied.
  • The situation got so bad that Pharaoh ordered Shiphrah and Puah (two Hebrew midwives) to kill all Hebrew males as soon as they were born.  They did not follow this command.
  • When Pharaoh questioned them, they lied, saying the Hebrew women were strong, having there babies too quickly for them to kill them (unlike the Egyptian women, who were slow in giving birth).
  • Despite the lie, God blessed the midwives due to their obedience to God’s commandments — avoiding killing innocent life.
  • The Israelites continued to multiply and grow more powerful.  Pharaoh ordered all his people to throw all Israelite male babies into the Nile, but the girls could be spared.

Exodus 2

  • A man and woman of Levi’s descent married and had a baby boy.  The wife hid him for three months then made a weatherproof, waterproof basket and put him in the Nile, where his sister watched him from a distance.
  • One of Pharaoh’s daughters found the baby, who touched her heart with his cries.  The baby’s sister asked the daughter if she would like one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby.  Pharaoh’s daughter agreed to this.
  • The baby’s mother nursed the baby until he was older, when she brought him back to the princess.  He was named Moses (meaning ‘to draw out’ — from drawing him out of the water).
  • When Moses was grown up, he saw an Egyptian beating one of the Hebrews.  Making sure no one was watching, he killed the Egyptian and buried him.
  • The next day, he saw two Hebrew men fighting.  They asked him if he was going to kill them, as he did the Egyptian.
  • Figuring out that Pharaoh was going to have him arrested and killed for his murder, Moses fled to Midian.
  • Shepherds would often chase the girls of a priest of Midian and their flocks away from a well.  Moses aided them one day, rescuing the girls from the shepherds.
  • When the girls returned to their father, Reuel, so quickly, they told him about Moses.  Reuel invited Moses over for a meal.
  • Moses accepted and started living with Reuel’s family.  Eventually, Reuel gave one of his daughters, Zipporah, to be Moses’ wife, and they had a son named Gershom (meaning ‘a stranger there’).
  • Several years passed, and Pharaoh died.  But still the Israelites were enslaved.  God heard Israel’s pleas and remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
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