Thursday, June 24

Disciple Bible Study: Week 4, Reading 5

I’m participating in Disciple Bible Study, a 34 week intensive. For five days, we have different readings.  I have decided to document my initial noticings from a close reading of the scripture. Well, an attempt at a close reading.

Week 4 Theme:  Covenant

Week 4, Reading 3: Genesis 36-50


  • Genesis 36 - Esau's Descendents
    • Esau becomes from Edom / an Edomite
  • Genesis 37 - Joseph Dreams of Greatness / Joseph Sold by His Brothers
    • v. 3 - Joseph was loved by his father because he was the child of Jacob's old age.  So, umm, what about Benjamin?
    • I think Joseph seriously lacked a personal edit button.
    • Reuben seems to be a good guy.
    • The development of the "Ishmaelites" is interesting.
    • v. 28 - Midianite traders take Joseph and sell him to the Ishmaelites who take him to Egypt.  I wonder what the motivation of including the Ishmaelites in the story is?  Make them look bad?  Or could it be that they look good because they leave Joseph in a better situation than being a slave to the Midianites.
  • Genesis 38 - Judah and Tamar
    • This is an unusual story to be put right here.  Why?  What problem are they addressing? must be that the widows are not being taken into families properly the way the social environment intended.
      • v. 15 - So then, prostitutes cover their faces?  Weird!  Especially given the emphasis on covering yourself in some communities.
    • v. 18-19 - He went into her and she conceived.  Poof!  Instantly.  Not that it can't happen that way, but how would she be sure?
  • Genesis 39 - Joseph and Potiphar's Wife
    • Meh.  Blame the woman.  :-0
  • Genesis 40 - Dreams of Two Prisoners
    • v. 23 - Really?  The cupbearer forgets Joseph so quickly?  Boo!
  • Genesis 41 - Joseph Interprets Pharoah's Dreams
    • v. 14 - Funny that the story includes details about changing clothes and shaving.  Good story-telling technique!
    • v. 38 - Pharoah recognizes God and is looking for "one in whom is the spirit of God."  Seems to be a pretty inclusive God running around here sometimes.
    • v. 45 - Joseph marries into the power structure of Egypt.
    • v. 57 - All the world came to Joseph during the famine!  ALL the WORLD!
  • Genesis 42 - Joseph's Brothers Go to Egypt
    • It seems to me that there are two versions of stories side-by-side.
    • v. 15-17 - One of you go and get your brother.
    • v. 18-20 - All of you except for one go get your brother.
    • v. 36 - Jacob is a little selfish.  Joseph is presumed dead and he's like, "how could you do this to me!"
  • Genesis 43 - Brothers Return with Benjamin
    • I am struck that the brothers didn't return right away.  They waited until they had eaten all the grain up and then they return with Benjamin just because they want more grain.  They are jerks!!
    • v. 11-14 - Hey, it seems like they have a lot of stuff to take to Joseph.  I thought they were in a famine!
    • v. 32 - The Egyptians can't eat with the Hebrews?  (and wait, I don't remember Hebrew coming up before).  How has Joseph been eating all these years?
  • Genesis 44 - Joseph Detains Benjamin
    • v. 15 - Judah knows divination.  I wonder if he learned it from Laban?
  • Genesis 45 - Joseph Reveals Himself to His Brother
    • v. 5 - Joseph is so gracious!
    • v. 9 - "God has made me [Joseph] lord of all Egypt."  Hmm.  Lordship is subject to Pharoahship.
    • v. 17-19 - Get the best land in Egypt.  Boy, they are going to fall far.
  • Genesis 46 - Jacob Brings His Family to Egypt
    • v. 3 - covenant again
  • Genesis 47 - Famine in Egypt
    • Joseph buys all the land in Egypt through this bartering of food for land.  Enslaves all the people.  How can Joseph and Pharoah be considered anything but users?
  • Genesis 48 - Jacob Blesses Joseph's Sons
    • v. 5-6 - Joseph's first two sons are Jacobs.  I'm assuming for inheritance purposes.
    • v. 8 - Joseph's sons are unknown to Jacob.  Really?  Jacob has lived there for 17 years.  I'm sure he knows the sons.
    • v. 12 - Sons are on Jacob's knees.  Toddlers?
    • v. 19 - Why is it always the younger son?  What is so special about it?
  • Genesis 49 - Jacob's Last Words to His Sons
    • v. 4 - Reuben gets a rotten blessing considering he was a good guy most of the time.  All because of the Bilhah incident.
    • v. 24 - Joseph's blessing includes, "by the name of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel."  New names for God?
  • Genesis 50 - Jacob's Death and Burial
    • v. 2 - Jacob is embalmed.  Surprise!  I thought that was anathema.
    • v. 3 - The Egyptians wept for 70 days.  That's interesting.
    • v. 16 - Joseph's brothers are still liars.

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