Exodus 1

Israel Multiplies in Egypt

I hope you have kept it here and have not forgotten where we stopped at the end of Genesis. We close Genesis with the deaths of Jacob and Joseph with his brothers left living in Goshen.

Before we get into the book of Exodus, let us first hear what the Catholics have to say about it. Exodus, they say is from the Greek word exodos which means departure which is the main theme of the book. They continue to say, this is where they are quite honest, the church adopted the traditional Jewish view that Moses wrote the 5 books. This, they say, is not so much a statement of authorship as a religious affirmation that the book derives its authority from the work of Moses. They continue to say Moses cannot be conceived as the author of those books.

Exodus starts by listing the sons of Jacob who came to Egypt with him. You may be a little confused here;

1 Now these are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob; they came each one with his household……….

Israel here does not refer to a people but to Jacob. It gets absurd from here, at verse 6, we are told Joseph died and his brothers and all that generation but the sons of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly. How can this be? Who are these called Israel if the whole generation has passed on?

In verse 8, we are told a king arose in Egypt who did not know Joseph and feared their numbers and passed decrees to have them enslaved, treated harshly and ordered 2 midwives whom he later builds houses for to kill every male child. How could this one family give birth to threaten a whole kingdom? After being defied by two Hebrew midwives, the Pharaoh calls on all of Egypt to cast every son born to the Hebrews in the Nile River. I don’t know about you, but if I was king and my intention was to kill male babies and a midwife disobeyed that order, that would be her last day especially listening to the excuse they give!

This aside, however, why would a king be threatened by small male babies born to his slaves as we are told they were? There are better ways to deal with the population than killing male babies, don’t you think so. Why not just have all their women married by the Egyptians besides it is just one family and in a few years there would be none left who even remembers they were Hebrews to begin with. Unless there something we are missing?




Genesis 50

Before we look at the final chapter of Genesis, I want first to thank you for your readership, insights and comments that have made this a worthwhile exercise. It is my hope that we have all learnt something new or received a different insight to the ones we have always held. In summary this journey started with creation of man, then the fall of man, Noah’s ark, debasement of Lot by his daughters and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the stories of Abe’s family and his trysts to the sons Esau and Jacob and finally to Joseph who brings the family into Egypt where Israel will be slaves for sometime as we shall see. This therefore is the first Israelite march to slavery from where El will save them, one wonders why he didn’t just prevent it from happening in the first place?

In this chapter, we have two deaths, the first of Jacob and the next Joseph, before we come to that however let us look at the chapter in detail; shall we?

Death in the family

Joseph mourns his father together with his brothers and ends up dying too. I think the grief was beyond him to bear. He orders his physicians [I didn’t know there were] to prepare the body for burial and then spend 40 days[what is it about the scribes and numbers?] embalming[what were they doing embalming for 40 days?] begs leave of Pharaoh to go bury his old man and he is given chariots, all the elders of Egypt go with him; it was such a serious funeral those on the side of the Jordan felt it was a  great wailing for Egypt and the burial site got a name,  Abel-mizraim.

The brothers are worried that now with their father dead, Joseph may just want to exact his revenge. He reassures them all is well, promises to take care of them, feed them and ensure their security as long as he lives. He tells them it was god’s will all along anyway so they are blameless in the matter. How easy do they get off?

How long is a generation? If Joseph lives to see 3 generations of Manasseh and dies at 110, when did Manasseh have his first sons or daughters ? Just as his father before him, he asks that when he expires, his bones be taken to the land of his fathers and then quits at the ripe age of 110 years. He is embalmed and put in a coffin and with that, the first chapter takes a bow.

The death of Joseph by Giovanni Battista Pittoni



Genesis 49

Jacob’s last will and testament

The previous chapter ends with the old man approaching expiry and giving instructions of where he wants to be buried after blessing the two sons of David, I don’t know why the daughters are not included among those to be blessed, we will come to that someday ladies! Somehow the dying old man still has energy and a few blessings left to give before he expires and so summons all the sons for a last reading of his will. I think he didn’t want it contested in future.

If you think he is going to bless them or divide his property among them you are mistaken; he reads what looks like a riot act, blessing Joseph and his brother Benjamin, cursing others such as Reuben at the same time painting a royal future for the family of Judah, judges for the family of Dan, Naphtali’s line will be poets or orators, your take, and so the reading goes.

Jake/ Israel has 12 sons, how they become to represent a whole people still passes me and I am going to need quite some help here. If they are brothers[Jake] with Esau, are Esau’s kids also Israelites and what about their relatives? Do they represent different tribes or does each family represent a distinct tribe? And why all this favoritism, who was the audience to the scribes, I don’t think it was us!

His last act is to instruct his sons on where he is to be buried and quits. What a way to quit!


Genesis 46

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

Genesis 45

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

Genesis 44

The Brothers Are Brought Back

When we ended the previous chapter, Joseph had ordered a banquet for his brothers who have still not recognized him[ how damn are they?]. This chapter starts by Joseph conspiring with his house steward to set up his brothers. As in the many instances in the previous chapters, whenever we are being set up for an incredible story, the other co-conspirators do not protest or are not given that opportunity to express displeasure. As with this story, it would be hard to justify the crime against the brothers. They do not load the bags, they have not conspired with the stewards so they would just easily have told Joseph to go hang or to talk to the steward about the silver and the gold cup and the matter should rest there. No bowing before Joseph, no apologies!

What benefit does Joseph gain by making Benjamin his slave unless he wants to exact his revenge on his brothers for selling him to the Egyptians. In fact, by now they would have been suspicious of him. In the first instance he returns their silver when there is a world famine and everyone is buying food from Egypt then on their next visit they are treated to a banquet, please! even I would inquire as to the identity of the good man who treats us so well. I wouldn’t just let it pass and I doubt you would.

Lastly if there is a world famine and everyone is buying food from Egypt, I except the silos would be a beehive of activity unless the world population is just several hundred people. The store keeper wouldn’t be asking anyone if they have a father at home or if they have other brothers. What business of his is that? How does that relate to selling grain and that is the point where the brothers would have become suspicious. I wouldn’t easily divulge any information that I don’t think is relevant to the business at hand, I don’t know about you though.

The chapter ends with Judah pleading with Joseph to take him as his slave and let Benjamin go since if they are to go home without him, their father will surely die. I wish he tried this for us to see whether the old man dies.

Please don’t go away.


Genesis 43

The Return to Egypt

In the last chapter Israel alias Jacob was adamant in sending his last born, Benjamin with the other brothers to Egypt. They give him an ultimatum, either he releases the boy or all of them die from the famine. One of his sons, Judah, puts his life on the line and promises their old man that he will be responsible for Benjamin.

Am a little confused here though, if they are buying food from Egypt because of famine, where do they get honey, almonds and nuts to present to Joseph as presents? Israel’s family must be wasteful even in a great famine. They have finished all the food and have to go back so soon? What if there is no more and what year of the famine are we in? Someone help with that piece of detail, I think I must have missed it some where.

I will just mention that even during this second meeting, the brothers still don’t recognize Joseph.

There is a parallel I’d like to draw here with one of the Lukan parables in the NT, the parable of the prodigal son. In the NT, after meeting his son, the father orders a feast in honor of his son and asks that he be dressed in a clean robe and so on, here Joseph after seeing his brother Benjamin, issues a directive that a feast be made for his brothers and they be given water to wash their feet and Simeon, their brother who was in custody is released. Someone could object that am stretching the semblance here, but we all agree the structure is the same! And if we accept the structure to be the same, then we can as well conclude one is a re-harsh of the other and we all know which came first!

A section of this story also doesn’t add up. If it is an abomination for Egyptians to eat with Hebrews, then the Pharaoh’s appointment of Joseph as governor would have been met with great opposition and the other top ranking officials would have planned to undermine him in all ways possible. And since we are not told some thing of this kind happened, we can dismiss the whole story as a fabrication or a misrepresentation of facts.

The chapter ends on a party mode. We will see in the next chapter how the party ends. Stay tuned, don’t go away!

Joseph and his brothers. Artist Anton Franz Maulbertsch

Genesis 42

Joseph’s Brothers Sent to Egypt

We are no longer dealing with dreams, though the story is getting more interesting as we go along. In this chapter, which is quite long, Israel/ Jacob sends 10 of his sons to Egypt having heard there is food in Egypt.

Joseph sees his brothers, recognizes them and has a bitter exchange with them and all the while they do not recognize him. I don’t know if it is possible, I will let the reader decide, that 10 brothers couldn’t recognize their brother and we have not been told he wore disguise or had his face and voice altered surgically.

Joseph taking advantage of their ignorance, I shall call it so, harangues them before detaining his brother Simon and sending the rest with grains back home and their silver which they only discover while they are on their way. The workers under Joseph would protest the order to return the silver to these 10. There is no such protest!

I have said before concerning the scribes who wrote the bible stories, the ones we have met so far, that they were ignorant of the world around them. They write here there was famine in every other place except Egypt where the Pharaoh under the wise counsel of Joseph had the Egyptians store food. This my friends, I don’t think makes any sense. If there is a world famine for seven days and there is food in just one place, there would be disaster. The Egyptians would be fighting to get the food, foreigners would wage war just to get the food. There would be massive loss of life and destruction of property and this at least could not have passed unrecorded by historians of the time!

Besides, if the famine was worldwide as the scribes would want us believe,how is it then we have no Chinese or Indians or any other civilizations already present mention such a devastating famine?

Their father refuses to let them go back with Benjamin as the chapter closes, we will see what happens when we get to the next chapter! Stay tuned.

Joseph selling grain in Egypt. Painting by Jan van Noordt



Genesis 41

Pharaoh’s Dream

We are still in the theme of dreams and the scribes have gone a notch higher in the content and dreamer. The dreamer is Pharaoh and there is no one to interpret his dreams for him. The scribes have also improved their game, even though the dreamer is one, he has two dreams similar in structure but different only in detail.

The scribes here however seem to have missed the point in the last chapter that Joseph is the head honcho at the prison and enjoys the favours of the wardens so must have been well taken care of.  This being the case, the matter of Joseph having to shave and shower shouldn’t really arise.

Things turn out good for Joseph for the services he renders the Pharaoh. He is made second in command and rides with the Pharaoh. He is also given a wife and with whom he has two sons. All men in Egypt are to bow before him a parallel that we can make of Jesus being second to god and all bowing to him.

The problem that I have with this story however is that at the beginning of the Egyptian civilization they lived along the flood plains of the Nile River and so it is impossible to imagine a drought of 7 years. What happened to the river? Did it dry up and is there any evidence that would support the drying of Nile for 7 years in the last 2000 or so years? Any geologists please help.

Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s dream. Painting by Tissot

Genesis 40

Joseph Interprets a Dream

In this chapter, we are transported straight to dreamland and their interpretations. We have two guys; one the Pharaoh’s baker and the other cup-bearer joining Joseph in gulag where he[Joseph] is still head honcho. These two new prisoners, who are in prison for reasons that are unclear to me, both dream. Their dreams are similar in structure and differ only in detail and as such I find a difficulty in understanding why the interpretations are different. Joseph tells them that interpretations belong to god but goes ahead to do it. Is he god?

I don’t know about you, but there is no way I can have a long face for dreaming about vines, wines, grapes and so on. Or for that matter dreaming about bread baskets. If having such a dream gives you the freaks, you need help. And it is these two dreams that the two gentlemen had, wore long faces and Joseph set to interpret. Since the two men have no names, we can as well say they are cardboard characters, mentioned only for effect.

What I want us to pay attention to however, is from 12 Then Joseph said to him, “This is the interpretation of it: the three branches are three days; 13 within three more days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your office; and you will put Pharaoh’s cup into his hand according to your former custom when you were his cup-bearer. 14 Only keep me in mind when it goes well with you, and please do me a kindness by mentioning me to Pharaoh and get me out of this house. The reason this is important if you haven’t noticed is similar to what happens in the new testament in the story of Jesus. The three days represent the 3 days he is said to have died while the second part is the words of one of the guys nailed with him who asked to be remembered when he goes to the house of the father.

The next dream also has a similar import. I will just show the interpretation by Joseph and I hope you will be able to draw parallels with the new testament stories. 18 Then Joseph answered and said, “This is its interpretation: the three baskets are three days; 19 within three more days Pharaoh will lift up your head from you and will hang you on a tree, and the birds will eat your flesh off you.”

I also need to mention another important parallel in this story that the writers of the gospel stories could have made use of since by now me and you are aware that they could have access to the OT material, the Torah and other Hebrew text. And this is it, apart from the 3 days that are very symbolic is the people arrested one is cup-bearer and another baker. In the NT, Jesus asks his disciples to take wine and drink as a symbol of his blood for the forgiveness of sins and bread as his flesh. In fact, we can say confidently that the scribes creating the mythical Jesus could have given these and other stories as we shall see flesh to make him credible.

The only difference however as I can see is that the cup-bearer doesn’t remember Joseph.

Joseph interprets dreams painting adapted from lavistachurchofchrist.org