Genesis 1:31 - The Wonderful Works of God

And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Consider the wonderful works of God! Everything He makes is good (1 Timothy 4:4); for He reviews His work to make sure it's good.  At the end of the day, we should hold ourselves accountable by reflecting and reviewing on the things we have done.  Take a look at this world, so vast and well furnished as this, His wisdom shines forth far beyond our understanding (Psalm 104:24).

Genesis 1:29 - God Provideth

Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.
Notice how God provides food for all, at its proper time (Psalm 136:25; Psalm 145:15). He makes the grass grow for the cattle, and plants for man to cultivate (Psalm 104:14).  Consider the time immediately after the flood, there were no plants to eat, so God provided man the right to eat animals (Genesis 9:3).  Sometimes, we can't see the provisions that God is preparing for us; however, God always provides, in due season.

In the news: Lifestyle Rx: Fanatics of yesterday are today's trendsetters; Top 10 Bible Passages for the Holistically Inclined; Your mood is in the food.


Genesis 1:20 - Origin of Life

And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
How manifold are God's works! Earth has been richly supplied with life in abundance. From the great and wide sea, where thing that creep and swim are innumerable (Psalm 104:24-25), to the open firmament, where the tiny insect to the king of birds spread their wings and soar above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament proves his handiwork (Psalm 19:1).

Genesis 1:14 - The Signs of Time

And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
God established the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, for the benefit of all the nations under the whole heaven (Deuteronomy 4:19). These lights form the day and night (Psalm 74:16), and are used for signs (of the time) and for seasons (of sowing, planting and reaping), and for days, and years; even in the end times, there will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars (Luke 21:25).

In the news: Blessing the Sun: Jewish ceremony comes around once every 28 years; World of the Sages: The sun's new cycle; Birkat haChammah: An Evocative Blessing.


Genesis 1:11 - The Yielding Seed

And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
God created the seed within itself to grow and multiply. So the farmer tills the ground and plants the seed, the rains fall and feeds the ground; however, the amount of fruit the seed yields, is ultimately determined by God's blessing (Hebrews 6:7). As in the parable, The Sower, some seed died, and some increased at multiple rates, from ten times to even 100 times (Matthew 13, Mark 4, Luke 8).

Genesis 1:9 - Setting Boundaries

And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
God assigned a boundary upon the face of the waters, low enough to let dry land appear. The oceans were locked into vast reservoirs so the waters would not overstep God's command. The sand along the seashore mark the boundary line that the sea cannot cross, an everlasting barrier (Job 26:10; Psalm 33:7; Proverbs 8:29; Jeremiah 5:22). During the flood, God broke the reservoirs open  (Genesis 7:11); but made an everlasting covenant to never do this again Genesis 9:11).

Genesis 1:6 - When The Skies Were Created

And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
Through the power of God's word and wisdom, the skies were spread out to divide the waters from the waters. (Job 37:18; Psalm 33:6; 136:5; Jeremiah 10:12).

Genesis 1:2 - Taking Measure

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
The earth was barren, with no form of life. There was no sun, moon or stars (Jeremiah 4:23). Then, like a surveyor, God took measure of the waters and heaven; and calculated the amount of dust, mountains and hill necessary to keep everything in balance (Isaiah 40:12).


Genesis 1:1 - In The Begininning

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
All things were made and came into existence through God; and without God was not even one thing made that has come into being (John 1:3). God laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the works of His hands (Hebrews 1:10).


Genesis 44:29 - Abandoned, Helpless & Condemned

And if ye take this also from me, and mischief befall him, ye shall bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.
Judah uses the exact words of his father in describing how devastated Jacob would become if Benjamin were taken away from him (Genesis 42:38). mischief befall him: gives the impression that Jacob believes Joseph's disappearance may have been the result of some mischievous act. ye shall bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave: is like becoming an old helpless man abandoned by God and condemned to the grave in sorrow. This is very similar to how Naomi felt after losing her husband and two sons (Ruth 1:13, 21).


Genesis 44:28 - Convicted to Tell The Truth

And the one went out from me, and I said, Surely he is torn in pieces; and I saw him not since:
During their first visit, the brothers account of Joseph was "one is not" giving the impression that he was dead (Genesis 42:13); and, this also agreed to what Jacob said when he heard that Benjamin had to go to Egypt (Genesis 42:36, 38). Although Judah withholds the part about Joseph's bloody coat of many colors (Genesis 37:33), he does not say his brother is dead, only that he had not seen him since and that his father assumes that he is dead.

Genesis 44:27 - Rachel, Joseph and Benjamin

And thy servant my father said unto us, Ye know that my wife bare me two sons:
my wife bare me two sons: Rachel, Jacob's second wife, bare him his two youngest sons, Joseph and Benjamin. Jacob had twelve sons in all, listed by wife in order of their birth (Genesis 35:23 - 26):
  • The sons of Leah were Reuben (the first born), Simeon (2nd), Levi (3rd), Judah (4th), Issachar (9th), and Zebulun (10th).
  • The sons of Rachel were Joseph (11th ) and Benjamin (the youngest).
  • The sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s servant, were Dan (5th) and Naphtali (6th).
  • The sons of Zilpah, Leah’s servant, were Gad (7th) and Asher (8th).

Genesis 44:26 - Judah Sticking to his Story

And we said, We cannot go down: if our youngest brother be with us, then will we go down: for we may not see the man's face, except our youngest brother be with us.
Totally ignoring his obligation of settling his espionage case in Egypt (Genesis 42:20), Judah told his father we may not see the man's face, except our youngest brother be with us (Genesis 43:3). Apparently, Judah has convinced himself of this lie because he was so determined not to return to Egypt, unless he returned with his youngest brother, that he has forgotten all about the espionage charges.


Genesis 44:21 - What About the Espionage Charges?

And thou saidst unto thy servants, Bring him down unto me, that I may set mine eyes upon him.
Joseph did not say bring Bejamin that I may set mine eyes upon him. This gives the impression that Joseph desired nothing more but to just see Benjamin for no other reason than to show him favor. Apparently, Judah had forgotten all about the espionage charges (Genesis 42.15); as far as he was concerned, he was not returning to Egypt unless he returned with Benjamin (Genesis 44:23).


Genesis 44:15 - Can Joseph Certianly Divine?

And Joseph said unto them, What deed is this that ye have done? wot ye not that such a man as I can certainly divine?
Like Daniel, Joseph was appointed Chief Diviner; for he was found to have the Spirit of God (Daniel 4:9, 5:11; Genesis 41:38), not because he could find things out with a cup. Joseph gives the impression he used the cup found in Benjamin's sack as a cup of divination (Genesis 44:5) to enhance the cups value and, more importantly, to prompt the question: wot ye not that such a man as I can certainly divine? If they couldn't believe Joseph's dreams, then how could they believe an Egyptian could use a cup to tell the future?

Genesis 44:9 - Judah's Lofty Rhetoric

With whomsoever of thy servants it be found, both let him die, and we also will be my lord's bondmen.
Like father, like son. Jacob also offered the same death sentence when Laban accused him of stealing his gods; however, Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them (Genesis 31:32). Be realistic about the promises you make, along with it's consequences, and do not enter into agreements that you are not prepared to honor.


Genesis 44:8 - Judah's Pride and Arrogancy

Behold, the money, which we found in our sacks' mouths, we brought again unto thee out of the land of Canaan: how then should we steal out of thy lord's house silver or gold?
Judah is not hesitant or fearful to boldly boast their innocence in the face of danger. the money, which we found in our sacks' mouths: Joseph's brothers went to Egypt one other time to buy food. On their way home, they opened their bags and found the exact amount of money that they had paid for their corn. This money was returned in full during their last visit to buy food (Genesis 43:21).

Genesis 43:34 - Five Representing Grace

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.
There is no obligation to obtaining grace; it is totally dependent on the generosity of the grantor (Exodus 33:19). Benjamin obtained grace and favor so that he received five times so much as any of their's. I believe this was no test, because after Joseph made himself known to his brothers, he again favored Benjamin with five times so much (Genesis 45:22).


Genesis 43:31 - Time to Break Bread

And he washed his face, and went out, and refrained himself, and said, Set on bread.
Set on bread: After inquiring about Jacob and Benjamin (Genesis 43:28-29), Joseph is now ready to eat. He said nothing about the gifts he received (Genesis 43:25), because he is content with the news about his father and seeing his brother, Benjamin.


Genesis 43:30 - The Tears of Joseph

And Joseph made haste; for his bowels did yearn upon his brother: and he sought where to weep; and he entered into his chamber, and wept there.
Joseph's reunification produced many emotional tears of deep affection and compassion he had for his family. Tears of sorrow for sympathizing the suffering his family had to endure (Genesis 42:24; Genesis 45:2). And tears of joy for the blessing of having another chance to reunite with his family, especially with his brother Benjamin (Genesis 45:14), and his Father Jacob (Genesis 46:29).

Genesis 43:29 - Joseph's first time seeing Benjamin?

And he lifted up his eyes, and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother's son, and said, Is this your younger brother, of whom ye spake unto me? And he said, God be gracious unto thee, my son.
Benjamin is Joseph's only full brother (Genesis 35:24). Some biblical scholars insist that Benjamin was born after Joseph was sold into Egypt. However, I believe that opinion is easily refuted with Genesis 35:22. In the end, it does not make a big difference.


Genesis 43:28 - The Evil Bow Before the Good

And they answered, Thy servant our father is in good health, he is yet alive. And they bowed down their heads, and made obeisance.
The sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance (Genesis 37:9) because the upright shall have dominion (Psalm 49:14). God loves justice and will never forsake the righteous; eventually, evil will pay tribute to good (Proverbs 14:19).


Genesis 43:26 - Deja vu All Over Again

And when Joseph came home, they brought him the present which was in their hand into the house, and bowed themselves to him to the earth.
Here, we see the dream about the sheaves come true (Genesis 37:7). The first deja vu was triggered when Joseph's brother bowed themselves down before him on their first visit (Genesis 42:6). However, this time all eleven brothers are bowed down just as his dream predicted.

Genesis 43:23 - Was Simeon in on the secret?

And he said, Peace be to you, fear not: your God, and the God of your father, hath given you treasure in your sacks: I had your money. And he brought Simeon out unto them.
And he brought Simeon out unto them: Did Joseph let Simeon in on the secret while his brothers were at home worrying about the espionage case? I don't think so, Simeon was the second oldest and did nothing to prevent Joseph from being sold into slavery.

Genesis 43:21 - Judah Shows his Courage

And it came to pass, when we came to the inn, that we opened our sacks, and, behold, every man's money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight: and we have brought it again in our hand.
In the face of adversity, Judah told the story just as it happened; even admitting to finding the money at the Inn (Genesis 42:27) which ran the risk of having to justify why they didn't return at that point. I believe Judah is speaking here on behalf of his brothers, because he is the leader of this expedition and the one responsible for Benjamin (Genesis 43:3-14).


Genesis 43:9 - A Better Covenant

I will be surety for him; of my hand shalt thou require him: if I bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, then let me bear the blame for ever:
Judah's offer to take responsibility for the welfare of Benjamin was more convincing than Reuben's. Judah made an agreement that he was ready to honor (Genesis 44:32); whereas, being confident that nothing would happen to Benjamin, Reuben made an offer that was too lofty to be taken seriously (Genesis 42:37). Here, Judah is proving himself to be more of a leader, while Reuben is proving himself to be more untrustworthy.


Genesis 43:3 - Proof of Their Cowardliness

And Judah spake unto him, saying, The man did solemnly protest unto us, saying, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you.
Pharaoh did not say: Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you. Egypt was awaiting their return to settle their espionage case (Genesis 42:20). However, the brothers were ready to abandon Simeon and become fugitives of Egypt if Jacob refused to let Benjamin return.

Genesis 42:38 - Inconsolable Sorrow

And he said, My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he is left alone: if mischief befall him by the way in the which ye go, then shall ye bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.
then shall ye bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave: Returning home without Benjamin would break Jacob's tender heart. He would become as one dead (Genesis 44:31); living out the rest of his days without a remedy to rekindle his zeal for life, mourning for his sons until the day he dies (Genesis 37:35).


Genesis 42:20 - Joseph's Do-or-Die Ultimatum

But bring your youngest brother unto me; so shall your words be verified, and ye shall not die. And they did so.
Knowing that his brothers would soon need corn again, Joseph demanded to see Benjamin on their next visit. If they do not bring him, Joseph makes it clear that they shall not see his face and live (Genesis 43:5, Genesis 44:23), for they will be considered guilty of espionage.

Genesis 42:13 - An Inaccurate Account of Joseph

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.
The best lie contains some truth but not the whole truth. and one is not: It's true that Joseph was missing ( Genesis 37:30); but he was not presumed dead, as his brother tried to make it sound (Genesis 44:20).


Genesis 42:10 - Paying Homage to Joseph

And they said unto him, Nay, my lord, but to buy food are thy servants come.
Does Joseph indeed reign over his brothers (Genesis 37:8)? my lord: Is an expression of respect and reverence to one who has dominion over the affairs of state. thy servants: Is an expression of submission to one in authority. Therefore the answer to the question is yes; for Joseph has the absolute dominion over all who are in need of corn, including his brothers.

Genesis 42:8 - Their Long Lost Brother

And Joseph knew his brethren, but they knew not him.
but they knew not him: Joseph was just a teenager when his brothers sold him into slavery (Genesis 37:2). Now, 22 years later (Genesis 41:46; Genesis 45:6), Joseph is a full grown man and unrecognizable by his brothers.


Genesis 42:1 - The Wake-up Call

Now when Jacob saw that there was corn in Egypt, Jacob said unto his sons, Why do ye look one upon another?
Why do ye look one upon another? Overwhelmed and sinking into despondency, Jacob's sons were looking to each other for answers, even upon hearing the good news that there was corn in Egypt. However, Jacob's faith remained grounded in the truth that God would not abandon His people in the midst of despair. So upon hearing the good news, Jacob knew immediately what to do; he sent his 10 sons to Egypt (Acts 7:12), for they were unable to act on their own accord.


Genesis 41:56 - Reaching Out During Hard Times

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.
Joseph was wise to opened all the storehouses to sell corn. During hard times, people are extra sensitive and will curse those that store up excess for themselves. However, blessed are those the are willing to barter at a fair exchange rate to help those that are in need (Proverbs 11:26).


Genesis 41:46 - From the Pit to the Palace

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.
After 13 years of bondage Joseph stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt just as David stood before King Saul; they were liked immediately and made to be the king's right-hand man (Genesis 37:2; 1 Samuel 16:21).

Genesis 41:44 - Egypt's Stamp of Approval

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.
Joseph was the head honcho in charge of everything in Egypt, it's government and possessions. Nothing in Egypt could be done without his consent. He had a firm command over of it's top officials and was responsible for training it's advisors in wisdom (Psalm 105:21-22).


Genesis 41:38 - Where is the wise?

And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?
Where shall wisdom be found? Like Joseph, Daniel was commended for his understanding in all visions and dreams according to the Spirit of God that dwelt within him (Daniel 4:8); for the wisdom of man could not comprehend the hidden wisdom of the Spirit (Daniel 5:8).

Genesis 41:30 - God's Purpose for Joseph in Egypt

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
and the famine shall consume the land:This famine was not only very severe in Egypt, it also devastated the land of his father's household in Canaan (Genesis 47:13). For this reason, God placed Joseph in Egypt to be a savior to his people.


Genesis 41:28 - The Universal Communication of God

This is the thing which I have spoken unto Pharaoh: What God is about to do he sheweth unto Pharaoh.
There is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries in the dreams of man. Just as God showed unto Pharaoh the future in a dream, God also showed King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in the future (Daniel 2:28). God speaks to whomever he wishes, to both the believer as well as the non-believer.

Gensis 41:18 & 22 - Paraoh's Two Dreams

My Bible references Genesis 41:18 to verse 3, and Genesis 41:22 to verse 6.

I believe the connection lies somewhere in between the subtle differences noted in Pharaoh's reiteration of his dreams to Joseph; however, I am struggling in making the connection.

Commentators suggest that some of the changes noted in Pharaoh's reiteration are due to the fact that Pharaoh did not grasp the implications of the symbolism. While other commentators suggest that Pharaoh purposely disguised these essential points, to test Joseph's ability to interpret.