Thursday, December 16, 2010

Genesis 50: 1-26 (Israel is buried and Joseph dies)

Joseph was very sad when his father, Israel, passed away. And since he was such a bad-ass at Egyptian politics, so was the rest of Egypt.

He asked the Pharoah if he could bury his father in his homeland, and the Pharoah agreed and sent his whole court to accompany Joseph and his family. Which is strange. . .

They all poured into this valley near the Jordan, and observed seven days of lamenting and rending of clothes, and the people around that area referred to the place ever after as "Egyptians sobbing."

They reached the special cave, bought squarely and fairly, you'll remember, from Ephron the Hittite, so it was perfectly legal that they bury their father there, and they did.

They all returned to Egypt.

Joseph reassured his brothers that they needn't fear him now that their father was dead. He wouldn't exact any kind of revenge or anything. They were well relieved.

Joseph lived 110 years in total, and when he died he told his brothers (also very old, presumably) that one day their god would come through for them, and lead them back to the land of their people and out of perfectly fine Egypt. I'm sure they were excited to hear that.

Then he died.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Genesis 49: 1-33 (Israel dies)

Did I give away the ending? You had to have foreseen it, no one lives forEVER. Yes I'm making a joke.

So Israel was getting frail and wanted to bless his many sons before he died so he bade them gather 'round his sickbed.

Reuben! he cried, you are my firstborn! You are mighty and strong. You will no longer be mighty and strong, for now you have defiled my couch! (?) Now off with you!

Simeon and Levi! You're next. You guys are a couple of thugs. All you want to do is violence. Well, do it somewhere else, I disperse both of you!

Judah! You're the best! You'll rule for a long time, son, for you are like the lioness, reow! Nations will bow before you. You will wash your clothes in wine and have very white teeth. (Not making that last bit up)

Zebulun! You will live by the sea. Have fun.

Issachar! You will work very hard for your nice life.

Dan! You will be justice for the land! You will be like a snake that lies by the road and waits to bite unsuspecting horses who then throw their riders! I'm on a roll!

Gad, you will be attacked by a band of raiders. But then you will attack them back. Specific, huh?

Asher, you're going to be a cook.

Naphtali, you will have many fawns.

Joseph. . . ah Joseph. My favourite. Ahem. Joseph, you will be like a fruitful vine, shooting back at archers that attack you, (?) your arms limber and strong. You are blessed by your father, by your father's god, blessed from the skies, the deeps, from the bosom and the womb, a blessing better than those mountains over there, blessed, blessed, all these blessings upon you, you prince among herders!

Benjamin. You're next. You. . . uhh. . .you're like a wolf, aren't you? Yeah, you'll devour your prey in the day, divide up the spoils at night. That's your blessing.

Thanks dad.

Then Israel made sure they all knew where he was meant to be buried, the field of Ephron the Hittite, remember, the one Abraham bought? Remember, we buried Leah there?

Wait, Leah's dead? News to me. Anyway. His sons all agreed, so Israel laid back down, tired from the blessings, and died.