Friday, April 28, 2017

Genesis 42:7-20 comments: Joseph confronts his brothers

7 ¶  And Joseph saw his brethren, and he knew them, but made himself strange unto them, and spake roughly unto them; and he said unto them, Whence come ye? And they said, From the land of Canaan to buy food. 8  And Joseph knew his brethren, but they knew not him. 9  And Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them, and said unto them, Ye are spies; to see the nakedness of the land ye are come. 10  And they said unto him, Nay, my lord, but to buy food are thy servants come. 11  We are all one man’s sons; we are true men, thy servants are no spies. 12  And he said unto them, Nay, but to see the nakedness of the land ye are come. 13  And they said, Thy servants are twelve brethren, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and, behold, the youngest is this day with our father, and one is not. 14  And Joseph said unto them, That is it that I spake unto you, saying, Ye are spies: 15  Hereby ye shall be proved: By the life of Pharaoh ye shall not go forth hence, except your youngest brother come hither. 16  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. 17  And he put them all together into ward three days. 18  And Joseph said unto them the third day, This do, and live; for I fear God: 19  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: 20  But bring your youngest brother unto me; so shall your words be verified, and ye shall not die. And they did so.

Joseph puts on a good show for his brothers. He probably has spoken to several envoys from suffering lands around him and has his speech set by repeated usage. “Where are you from?” is the first thing he wants to know. There are probably countries that Egypt would be concerned about possibly sending spies in preparation for an attempted invasion to seize Egypt’s supplies. Joseph probably was normally wary. But he knows his brothers. He is successful in keeping them from knowing who he is.

As he speaks roughly to them he remembers the dreams he had where his family all bow to him.

Genesis 37:5 ¶  And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more. 6  And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: 7  For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf. 8  And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words. 9  And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me. 10  And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth? 11  And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.

Joseph realizes the fulfillment of these prophetic dreams. Now, notice the prophetic similarity regarding the Jews and Christ at the end of human history in the following verse.

Revelation 12:1 ¶  And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:

We can see how the Holy Spirit imparting wisdom to Moses to write this account of early history uses a metaphor to describe the tribes of Israel. We can then have a better understanding of prophetic verses in later parts of the Bible.

In this passage there is then an exchange where the brothers declare that they came to buy food but Joseph accuses them of being spies, come to check out the land. The brothers declare their innocence of this. When they admit that they have a brother that was left behind with their father Joseph demands that, to prove who that they are speaking the truth, they bring that brother to him. One of them is to go fetch Benjamin and the rest are to be hostages. He locks them up for three days, again symbolizing the bondage that death represents for God’s people until He releases them. Here, in this passage we see the synonymous comparison between ward and prison.

On the third day Joseph changes his order and demands that only one of them be a hostage and, in his mercy, the rest can take food back to their families. But, the younger brother must be brought to him. There are some interesting prophetic ideas here regarding Israel’s relationship with Christ, the Messiah whom they rejected and demanded that Rome murder. Who does Benjamin represent in this relationship? Whatever we think we must remember that this is regarding the Jews rather than Gentiles.

Joseph wants so badly to see his little brother.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Genesis 42:1-6 comments: Joseph's brothers come to him in time of need

1 ¶  Now when Jacob saw that there was corn in Egypt, Jacob said unto his sons, Why do ye look one upon another? 2  And he said, Behold, I have heard that there is corn in Egypt: get you down thither, and buy for us from thence; that we may live, and not die. 3  And Joseph’s ten brethren went down to buy corn in Egypt. 4  But Benjamin, Joseph’s brother, Jacob sent not with his brethren; for he said, Lest peradventure mischief befall him. 5  And the sons of Israel came to buy corn among those that came: for the famine was in the land of Canaan. 6  And Joseph was the governor over the land, and he it was that sold to all the people of the land: and Joseph’s brethren came, and bowed down themselves before him with their faces to the earth.

Here is an interesting idiomatic expression. “What are you looking at each other for? Get down to Egypt and get some grain!” I remember someone down in Georgia saying to me when they wanted me to do something right away, “Don’t look at me like a cow looks at a new gate! Get moving.” Or, if you’re more uppity and want to quote Shakespeare you might respond to a blank stare with, “There is a tide,” from Julius Caesar, to stop someone from spinning their wheels, to take action.

Jacob wants his sons to take action so they don’t just sit there and starve to death. All of them except for Jacob’s favorite, his baby boy Benjamin, go down to Egypt to buy grain. Just in case something bad happens Benjamin will be safe. This doesn’t say much for Jacob’s concern for the rest, does it.

Bowing oneself to the earth is one of the postures of reverence and worship.

Sometimes people bow their head to worship God.

Genesis 24:26  And the man bowed down his head, and worshipped the LORD.

Sometimes to the earth.

Genesis 24:52  And it came to pass, that, when Abraham’s servant heard their words, he worshipped the LORD, bowing himself to the earth.

Even falling down and grabbing the feet of the person worshipped.

Matthew 28:9  And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.

Sometimes they kneeled.

Psalm 95:6  O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.

So, it is that there are different postures of acknowledging someone as superior. We Americans are taught to bow to no one as superior so we have a hard time acknowledging God’s power over our lives in a real, tangible way. Americans lack the awe for anything other than something like a fireworks display or a huge bomb going off. Our shallowness of culture does get in the way of our understanding of who God is and of His power over our lives. The weakness of other cultures was that for centuries they acknowledged a king, tsar, or emperor as being God’s agent on earth and were in fear and awe of him but still not seeing, because of the propaganda their government controlled them with, that it was God who controlled every heartbeat and breath and God, not their king, who could save or destroy in an instant. Only God is worthy of our awe and reverence, our worship.

Psalm 33:8  Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.

Hebrews 12:28  Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:

The brothers come to this Egyptian official, mightiest in the land under the Pharaoh himself, to plead for food to buy. They are showing their inferior position and his power over their lives. This is a beautiful image of how we should come to Christ. Let Him lift us up.

James 4:10  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

1Peter 5:6  Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7  Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Genesis 41:46-57 comments: Joseph's position of authority

46 ¶  And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt. 47  And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls. 48  And he gathered up all the food of the seven years, which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which was round about every city, laid he up in the same. 49  And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering; for it was without number. 50  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. 51  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. 52  And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction. 53  And the seven years of plenteousness, that was in the land of Egypt, were ended. 54  And the seven years of dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said: and the dearth was in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. 55  And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do. 56  And the famine was over all the face of the earth: And Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt. 57  And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands.

Note that Joseph is thirty years old when he stood before the Pharaoh. Young Hebrew Levite men began their service to God at thirty years of age (Numbers 4:3). David was thirty years old when he began to reign (see 2Samuel 5:4). Jesus Christ began His ministry on earth at that age, as well when He, the Holy Ghost, and God the Father were all three present together at His baptism (Luke 3:21-23).

Joseph toured Egypt as Pharaoh’s representative, carrying with him the power of Pharaoh over the Egyptians. For seven years harvests were plentiful and there was no end to the amount that Joseph could store up for the coming dearth. Obviously, all the food doesn’t mean he left the Egyptians with no food, now, does it but that he gathered all of the food from the 20% of the land that the government took. Countries in crisis, like England in WWII, did things similar to this in their control of food output for war purposes. His wife, Asenath, gave him two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, the meaning of their names found in the text with Manasseh having to do with forgetting and Ephraim being fruitful. The seven years of famine came and in Egypt there was plenty of bread. Finally, when Egyptians began to feel the bite of the dearth they sought for help from the government. Wisely, Pharaoh directed them to Joseph.

This brings us to an important point about reading the Bible. The modern fundamentalist reads it like the owner’s manual for his car and sees And the famine was over all the face of the earth and says there was famine in South America, in the Pacific islands, and in China then, too. But, that is not what this means. The earth, in many places in the Bible, has only to do with the area under concern, the lands of the Near East, what we call the Middle East unless explanatory descriptions like uttermost part of the earth or the four corners of the earth are referring to the entire earth as we know it. This modernistic view of the Bible where we make it mean what we want it to mean and leave no room for question has caused much confusion over the past century, at least. Just remember that when the Bible says;

Luke 2:1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

…it most certainly does not mean that a Roman Emperor had the power to tax the Kalahari bushman of southern Africa or the Olmec kingdom of Mexico. Use some common sense. When you say, “I want everyone to come to my party,” you most certainly don’t mean the entire world without exception.

Thanks to God’s use of Joseph Egypt is now the source of food for the countries around it. All are drawn to it for food as all were supposed to be drawn to Israel for the food that is the word of God had they been obedient. The Old Testament model for evangelism was Israel as a place where men were drawn to know about God as it shall be in the millennial reign of Christ.

Zechariah 8:23 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.

While under the New Testament model for the Christian the role of evangelism is to go out in the world as we have no abiding earthly country. Jesus told the early Jewish Christians so. Notice in the following how the meaning is to go beyond the boundaries of what the Jew considered his homeland and the command is to go to the uttermost part of the earth.

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Genesis 41:33-45 comments: Joseph appointed second only to Pharaoh

33 ¶  Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. 34  Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years. 35  And let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. 36  And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine. 37  And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants. 38  And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is? 39  And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art: 40  Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou. 41  And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. 42  And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph’s hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck; 43  And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt. 44  And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt. 45  And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphnathpaaneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.

Joseph made a final recommendation to the Pharaoh, not meaning to suggest himself, a lowly prisoner in the king’s dungeon, a foreigner sold into slavery there. Someone wise and discreet should rule under the Pharaoh’s authority. Here is our first example of government being used to serve the needs of the state apart from war. The Pharaoh is to take 20% of the land so that wheat can be stored up during the good years to prepare for the lean years to come. This tax was for the benefit of the people and the security of the state when the famine would come.

Corn is the British reference to a seed of any cereal grass, notably wheat, and expands to be a reference to the plant itself.

John 12:24  Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

See how our Bible is written below in this verse’s parallel phrasing defining corn as wheat.

Amos 8:5  Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit?

Government for the welfare of the people is mentioned in Paul’s letters to the Christian in Rome. In fact, it is the only mandate listed in Paul’s letters for human government, to punish evil-doers. As said before, evil is usually a reference to malice or malicious, violent intent. Again, here in Paul, taxes are mentioned, paying tribute.

Romans 13:1 ¶  Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2  Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3  For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4  For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 5  Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. 6  For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.

Jesus Himself acknowledged that paying taxes to your government is a good testimony.

Matthew 17:24 ¶  And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? 25  He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? 26  Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. 27  Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.

I assure you that the Roman government referred to in the previous two passages was not a Christian or a righteous government. But, government has a mandate and, as we know, the power to tax is the power to govern.

Pharaoh acknowledges that the Spirit of God is in Joseph. Here, typology implies that Pharaoh is in type God the Father and here Joseph is a type of Christ, or God in the flesh, issuing from God and possessing His authority.

All ability, power, and authority, even that to do evil, comes from God. Nothing can be done without His permissive will or His direct will.

John 19:11  Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.

But, Christ as God in the flesh or the Son of God comes in God the Father’s authority…

John 5:18  Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.

Philippians 2:6  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

…and in fact, to have seen Him is to have seen God the Father.

John 14:9  Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

John 10:30  I and my Father are one. 31  Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. 32  Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? 33  The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.

John 12:45  And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.

So, in this passage in Genesis we have a picture, a type of God the Father and the Son of God, as Pharaoh gives Joseph his own ring, his own authority and power over Egypt. To see Joseph was to see the Pharaoh and Joseph carried all of the power and authority of Pharaoh. For such a thing to happen this could only have been God’s direct will. Do you see how many things He allowed the men and women of this narrative so far to do and how He molded and shaped those things no matter what their intentions, good or evil, into His plan, His ministry of reconciliation toward mankind?

The priesthood of Egypt was a powerful class whom the Pharaoh would want on his side and having Joseph marry one of their daughters was an astute political move. In this we can speak in type of how God drew Abraham from the Gentiles to create a people for Himself for Joseph’s offspring would be among God’s chosen.

On was a city that became known as Heliopolis, city of the sun. On is said by some authorities to be the birthplace of Egyptian mythology. It was the first capital of Egypt and the place where Egyptian myth said that creation itself took place. It is here that the great sun god, Ra or Atum, self-created god, was to have arisen from the Benben stone in the great temple to light up a dark universe. He was the source of all other gods and people themselves were born from his tears. It is of no little significance that God arranged for a priest’s daughter of this city and this god to be married to Joseph. God drew mankind away from the darkness of paganism and chose Egypt’s greatest god’s priest’s daughter to be the vessel through whom would come two tribes of the Hebrews, Ephraim and Manasseh. We will learn how troublesome they were.

Strong’s dictionary says that Joseph’s Egyptian name means, “treasury of the glorious rest.” We will receive new names from God.

Revelation 2:17  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Genesis 41:17-32 comments: Joseph explains the dream

    17 ¶  And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, In my dream, behold, I stood upon the bank of the river: 18  And, behold, there came up out of the river seven kine, fatfleshed and well favoured; and they fed in a meadow: 19  And, behold, seven other kine came up after them, poor and very ill favoured and leanfleshed, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for badness: 20  And the lean and the ill favoured kine did eat up the first seven fat kine: 21  And when they had eaten them up, it could not be known that they had eaten them; but they were still ill favoured, as at the beginning. So I awoke. 22  And I saw in my dream, and, behold, seven ears came up in one stalk, full and good: 23  And, behold, seven ears, withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them: 24  And the thin ears devoured the seven good ears: and I told this unto the magicians; but there was none that could declare it to me. 25  And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: God hath shewed Pharaoh what he is about to do. 26  The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one. 27  And the seven thin and ill favoured kine that came up after them are seven years; and the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind shall be seven years of famine. 28  This is the thing which I have spoken unto Pharaoh: What God is about to do he sheweth unto Pharaoh. 29  Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt: 30  And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land; 31  And the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following; for it shall be very grievous. 32  And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.

Pharaoh recounts his memory of the dream to Joseph. With a little embellishment and adding some emphasis, which is very human, he tells Joseph what was troubling him. There are very few people who do not read back their thoughts into previous experiences. Many Christians embellish upon the day they announced their belief on Christ by reading back into that experience things they think should have happened or wish had happened. We do the same thing with other events and moments in our lives but we are often not honest enough with ourselves to admit it.

These two dreams are actually one dream explaining how God intends to provide Egypt with seven years of plenty and then seven years of famine. The fact that God repeated this theme to Pharaoh twice establishes it as a definite prophecy of the soon-to-be future. This reminds you of how things are emphasized by God and in the Bible generally and established as definite and not merely if you or they do this then I (God) will do this propositions. For instance, when Jesus says verily, verily from the word we also get amen from when He is telling Peter of Peter’s future martyrdom.

John 21:18  Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.

It is questionable to make a doctrine out of one verse and can lead to error but when many verses comment on a thing you can be sure that God has established it as an eternal decree such as everlasting life, for instance, which is reflected clearly in many verses.

I apologize for digressing but another thought-provoking statement is the reference to these dreamt events, interpreted by God through Joseph, as happening shortly. We know this is true because it happened within a relatively short period of time as recorded in Genesis. However, when John brackets end-time events in Revelation 1:1 and 22:6;

Revelation 1:1  The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

Revelation 22:6  And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.

…we find that shortly does not carry with it the immediacy of the events described. Why, we must ask?

The writers of the Bible books were given inspiration from God.

2Timothy 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God…

Inspiration is not word-for-word dictation but understanding and wisdom.

Job 32:8  But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.

(Do not be fooled by a compound word that modernists translate as, “God-breathed,” a meaningless phrase in this context. All life is God-breathed, for that matter. How does that help in understanding the foundation of Scripture?  ‘Theopneustos,’ the Greek word for inspiration, can no more can be understood as, “God-breathed,” than computer can be understood as, “makes calculations,” or a television as, “far-off seeing.”)

2Peter 3:15  And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;

In the 1800s the Princeton Theological Seminary developed the doctrine that only the original autographs were inspired; documents we no longer have and no one on earth today has seen or can question. This was a retreat from the hammering away at faith by the proponents of the theory of evolution. The fact is, the writers of the Bible wrote based on the understanding they were given and often interjected their opinions or beliefs that were not strictly from God. Read Jeremiah 36:23-32 to see what God thinks of the originals.

Paul in 1st and 2nd Thessalonians and John seemed to believe that the end of history must happen soon and, perhaps, expected it in their lifetimes, although Paul seems to realize his death was imminent. Peter believed he would be martyred soon in his letters. God did not give anyone a date for the end of history although many modern Christians try to come up with one, usually, much to their embarrassment when it doesn’t happen. We must use common-sense when studying the Scriptures and not mistake every word recorded for our learning as coming straight from God’s mouth…

Job 12:6  The tabernacles of robbers prosper, and they that provoke God are secure; into whose hand God bringeth abundantly.

…and remember that things are recorded for us for our learning and for our confidence in God.

Romans 15:4  For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

And end-times prophecy was not given so that we could set a date but so that when events occurred we would realize that God had foretold them, making it even more important to teach our children in the Lord. When Jesus spoke of His death and resurrection He gave us a pattern for prophecy given for events after it.

John 14:29  And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.

We, in this age, while we discuss and study end-time events should not put those things ahead of our simple obedience to Christ and the further explanation of His commandments in the rest of the New Testament.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Genesis 41:9-16 comments: I have dreamed a dream

9 ¶  Then spake the chief butler unto Pharaoh, saying, I do remember my faults this day: 10  Pharaoh was wroth with his servants, and put me in ward in the captain of the guard’s house, both me and the chief baker: 11  And we dreamed a dream in one night, I and he; we dreamed each man according to the interpretation of his dream. 12  And there was there with us a young man, an Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard; and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams; to each man according to his dream he did interpret. 13  And it came to pass, as he interpreted to us, so it was; me he restored unto mine office, and him he hanged. 14  Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh. 15  And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it. 16  And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.

Now, after two years, the butler remembers Joseph. The Pharaoh is desperate for an answer and ready to call this Hebrew prisoner to be brought before him. Joseph probably didn’t just save his face in a bowl of water with a razor. There is evidence that Egyptians shaved the hair on their heads and face with razors and even some evidence that, at least the priests, shaving their entire bodies. Lice was something that was disgusting to ancient Egyptians, I have read, and this sanitary practice became a cultural practice for those who were not desperately poor. Wigs were very popular among both men and women and the Ebers Medical Papyrus gives us information about such details as how they made soap.(48)

Joseph’s answer to Pharaoh is significant in that he acknowledges that the interpretation of a dream is not in him but from God. God will put Pharaoh’s heart at rest regarding the meaning of the dream. See 1Chronicles 22:9 and Isaiah 62:1 for peace and rest and quietness as synonyms. Pharaoh’s troubled heart can only be calmed by God and Joseph says God will do it.

(48)Numerous sources talk about this. Here is one website among other; (accessed 4.4.2017).

Monday, April 3, 2017

Genesis 41:1-8 comments: Pharaoh's dream

1 ¶  And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river. 2  And, behold, there came up out of the river seven well favoured kine and fatfleshed; and they fed in a meadow. 3  And, behold, seven other kine came up after them out of the river, ill favoured and leanfleshed; and stood by the other kine upon the brink of the river. 4  And the ill favoured and leanfleshed kine did eat up the seven well favoured and fat kine. So Pharaoh awoke. 5  And he slept and dreamed the second time: and, behold, seven ears of corn came up upon one stalk, rank and good. 6  And, behold, seven thin ears and blasted with the east wind sprung up after them. 7  And the seven thin ears devoured the seven rank and full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and, behold, it was a dream. 8  And it came to pass in the morning that his spirit was troubled; and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all the wise men thereof: and Pharaoh told them his dream; but there was none that could interpret them unto Pharaoh.

Two complete years have gone by and Pharaoh has this dream. This reminds one of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and his calling of all his wise men together to interpret it for him, although he insisted he couldn’t remember it, so they had to tell him the dream, as well.

Daniel 2:1 ¶  And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him. 2  Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to shew the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king. 3  And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream. 4  Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation. 5  The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill. 6  But if ye shew the dream, and the interpretation thereof, ye shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honour: therefore shew me the dream, and the interpretation thereof.

Dreams are often disjointed things with actors and events that make no sense and seem like the extra stuff left over from what you thought about the day previous. It is almost as if the mind uses the film that lies on the proverbial cutting room floor in the old movie days and creates something surreal. The kind of sleep that allows you to dream is important for a successful sleep, we are told. But, occasionally, in cases mentioned in the Bible, some dreams are communications. These are communications from God and God also provides the interpreter of the dream. It is like the New Testament speaking in tongues, foreign languages. If there is no one in the assembly who can translate the speech does it serve a purpose from God and can it be from God? Paul says no. It is nothing more than confusion and God is not the author of confusion.

So, we have a dream that means something and we have need of someone to interpret it.

Here we have the definition of well favoured and ill favoured in the text as they are contrasted with fatfleshed and leanfleshed. Kine are cows, as is evident from the twenty or so verses in the Bible where the word is used. Do a word search on use a concordance to see.

And again, for corn, understand that it is a reference to a head of wheat in British English as it can refer to any type of grain. For example, look up the English “Corn Laws.”

John 12:24  Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Genesis 40:5-23 comments: Joseph forgotten

5 ¶  And they dreamed a dream both of them, each man his dream in one night, each man according to the interpretation of his dream, the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt, which were bound in the prison. 6  And Joseph came in unto them in the morning, and looked upon them, and, behold, they were sad. 7  And he asked Pharaoh’s officers that were with him in the ward of his lord’s house, saying, Wherefore look ye so sadly to day? 8  And they said unto him, We have dreamed a dream, and there is no interpreter of it. And Joseph said unto them, Do not interpretations belong to God? tell me them, I pray you. 9  And the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, In my dream, behold, a vine was before me; 10  And in the vine were three branches: and it was as though it budded, and her blossoms shot forth; and the clusters thereof brought forth ripe grapes: 11  And Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand: and I took the grapes, and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and I gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand. 12  And Joseph said unto him, This is the interpretation of it: The three branches are three days: 13  Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thine head, and restore thee unto thy place: and thou shalt deliver Pharaoh’s cup into his hand, after the former manner when thou wast his butler. 14  But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and shew kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house: 15  For indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews: and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon. 16  When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said unto Joseph, I also was in my dream, and, behold, I had three white baskets on my head: 17  And in the uppermost basket there was of all manner of bakemeats for Pharaoh; and the birds did eat them out of the basket upon my head. 18  And Joseph answered and said, This is the interpretation thereof: The three baskets are three days: 19  Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thy head from off thee, and shall hang thee on a tree; and the birds shall eat thy flesh from off thee.

    20 ¶  And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, that he made a feast unto all his servants: and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants. 21  And he restored the chief butler unto his butlership again; and he gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand: 22  But he hanged the chief baker: as Joseph had interpreted to them. 23  Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him.

Isn’t it odd how both chapters 39 and 40 have 23 verses? The baker and the butler both are given a dream. Each one had their own dream. The dreams grieved them and confused them. Joseph, being an astute observer wanted to know why they were so downcast. They told Joseph it was because they dreamed dreams that they did not understand. Joseph acknowledged that all interpretations of dreams belonged to God and offered to help.

The butler’s dream meant that he would be restored to his position and the baker’s meant that he would be executed. Joseph asked only of the butler that he would bring up Joseph to the Pharaoh himself due to Joseph’s predicament. Both consequences for the two officials would occur in three days.

Daniel will also interpret dreams by God’s understanding. 

Three days is a very significant in that it represents three days when mankind’s fate is settled, either to resurrection in glory or in an eternity of agony. Consider these possibilities, even if you disagree. They are interesting to ponder prayerfully.

The third day represents to us the resurrection of Christ after three days.

Luke 24:46  And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:

This resurrection is a theme mentioned in several places in prophetic verses in the Old Testament.

Hosea 6:2  After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.

Matthew 12:40  For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Jesus Christ was three days in Hell preaching to the lost. He arose from the dead. What the dead of that time and the living of the time since choose, Him or Hell, determines their fate.

1Peter 3:18 ¶  For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 19  By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 20  Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

But, for our purposes here, the chief butler forgot all about Joseph. God’s timing isn’t always pleasant to those whom He uses for His purposes.