Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Genesis 46 "Who went down to Egypt?"

Genesis 46:1-4 "And Israel took his journey with all that he had and came to Beersheba and offered sacrifices unto the God of his father Issac. And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night and said Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I. And he said, I am God, the God of thy father; fear not to go down into Egypt, for I will there make of thee a great nation: I will go down with thee into Egypt and I will also surely bring thee up again; and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes."

It is notable here that Israel prayed as he left Canaan enroute to Egypt. Perhaps he had heard the story from Abraham that the time in Egypt would be 400 years. He prayed there and it would be a long time before his descendants returned to pray again.

v6 "And they took their cattle, and their goods, which they had gotten in the land of Canaan and came into Egypt, Jacob and all his seed with him.

The middle of the chapter is a list of the children of Israel. Judah was sent ahead to Joseph to find the way to Goshen and there Joseph was reunited with his family.

Let's jump back to Genesis 15:7 "And he said unto him, I am the Lrod that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees to give thee this land to inherit it." v13 "And he said unto Abram Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs and shall serve them and they shall afflict them four hundred years; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge and afterward shall they come out with great substance."

The promise seems long coming and has been repeated to Abraham, Issac and Jacob. Now, the dark part of the journey to their inheritance has started. It seems that circumstances prevented any other course of action than going down to Egypt. God did, in fact, arrange it. All is well here in chapter 46 but with leadership change comes policy change. The good treatment here of Israel is based on the goodwill of Joseph with the Pharaoh.

For a really good summary of the history of Israel you may read Stephen's sermon beginning in Acts chapter 7 of the New Testament.

Psalm 4:3 "But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the Lord will hear when I call unto him."

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