I would have preferred that we keep this till we get to the commandments later as we go along with our systematic bible study but I think since it does no harm to have an updated version of the commandments as conceptualized by the late C. Hitchens.
You are free to create your own version so that by the time we get there, you will have made enough contributions to this great human endeavour.
Jacob’s Family Settles in Goshen
At the close of the previous chapter, I said the old patriarch and his household have packed and come into Egypt. The old man is 130 years, and when he meets Pharaoh the ultimate ruler he blesses him! The scribes at this point have surely not read the earlier verse that decreed the days of man shall not exceed 120 years. Jake/ Israel will live to be 147 years and before dying he asks Jose to swear he will not be buried in Egypt. Since the bible is not yet written, they swear by placing hands on the thigh, what I way to swear!
We are faced with a problem, the reason for leaving Canaan or wherever it was they lived was because of a famine. If there is famine in Egypt as well, what will the livestock feed on? If the Egyptians see livestock as abominable and his family came here at his behest, then why ask them to sell their property? And why do they offer themselves into slavery so easily? Isn’t easy to go back home than to be slaves unless this is written after the event as most stories in this [sic]holy book are?
People are offering their parcels of land or are willingly selling themselves to slavery and here is the contention; if the reason the Egyptians were asked to store food was so that they will have enough reserve for the duration of the famine, why then do they have to be slaves to get the food? Is it possible that a whole population become slaves? There could have been resourceful Egyptians who had stored their own food and would not need to sell their land or themselves to become slaves! Has the store keeper mismanaged the reserves? If the famine is global as we were told at the interpretation of the Pharaoh’s dream, doesn’t it follow that we would have had an influx of people into Egypt that the reserves would have been depleted within months and there would be death by starvation and if anyone survived the famine would be too malnourished to reproduce and we will have said goodbye to man at this point in time?
It is here for the first time we find priests under the protection of the ruling class which has remained to this day in many places. If there was famine and the priests were exempt, I bet their property would have been torched to the ground or taken by force for the open inequality it would have displayed in the midst of a starving and suffering populace even the pharaoh wouldn’t have survived. If anyone has doubts, then read what happened during the French revolution where even the monarchy wasn’t spared but suffered the brunt of the poor and the middle class! The priests did not sell their land but lived off an allowance by pharaoh and a tax was also introduced[any Egyptians here, do you still pay the 1/5th to pharaoh?] where again the priests were exempt and if this is not the reason churches don’t pay tax in many places, I will need to be told a better explanation.
Jacob Moves to Egypt
The last chapter ends with Jacob aka Israel ready to die now that he knows his son is alive just as in the NT Zechariah or someone like that will be ready to die when he sees the born messiah.
We have a total of 75 members of Jake’s aka Israel’s family c0me into Egypt. I will not repeat their names only to mention that somewhere along the road, [Beersheba, where Hagar earlier found water after being dismissed by Abe and the sacred shrine for Abe and Ike ], the family patriarch developed cold feet and had to be encouraged by a visitation from El of his forefathers with a promise to take them out of Egypt at the right moment.
A point of note, is the patriarch’s household was doing very well and needed special land lease away from the Egyptians who saw every livestock as an abomination! Why anyone would see livestock rearing as abominable passes me! As I have said before, you do not need much to see the folly in the biblical scribes and their source of inspiration! All you need is to objective, and critical and there you have it all staring at you.
Jacob goes to Egypt
Joseph Deals Kindly with His Brothers
In the last chapter, for those who have forgotten by now, Joseph has set up his brothers and they are brought back to Egypt accused of stealing among other things his divination cup, silver and I can’t remember what else.
In this chapter, however, from the very beginning we are made to believe that he is filled with emotion that he had to send out all the Egyptians just to introduce himself to his kinsmen. I don’t know who to believe, the brothers who are dismayed or Joseph who doubts whether their father is still alive. He tells them it is not them who sold him to Egypt but that Elohim sent him to save food for them due to the impending famine.
He manages to get pharaoh into the mix and he issues sweeping orders among them they be given food, donkeys and silver to go bring their family to Egypt. I don’t know why they were given so much and why would Pharaoh the ruler of all Egypt care about a single Hebrew family?
They say a picture can take the space of 1000 words, I let this do the speaking!
Joseph reveals himself by Jean Charles Tardieu
Some foolish men declare that Creator made the world. The doctrine that the world was created is ill-advised and should be rejected. If god created the world, where was he before creation? If you say he was transcendent then and needed no support, where is he now? No single being had the skill to make the world- for how can an immaterial god create that which is material? How could god have made the world without any raw material? If you say he made this first, and then the world, you are faced with an endless regression. If you declare that the raw material arose naturally, you fall into another fallacy, for the whole universe might have been its own creator and have arisen equally naturally. If god created the world by an act of will without any raw material, then it is just his will made nothing else and who will believe this silly stuff? If he is ever perfect and complete, how could the will to create have arisen in him? If on the other hand, he is not perfect, he could no more create the universe than a potter could. If he is formless, action-less and all embracing, how could he have created the world? Such a soul devoid of all modality would have no desire to create anything. If you say that he created to no purpose because it was his nature to do so, then god is pointless. If he created in some kind of sport, it was the sport of a foolish child, leading to trouble. If he created out of love for living things and need of them he made the world, why did he not make creation wholly blissful, free from misfortune? Thus the doctrine that the world was created by god makes no sense at all.
Jinasena (9th Century Jain master)