Joseph Invites Jacob to Egypt (Week 12, Part 4/7) Genesis 42–50 | Mar 14 – Mar 20 – powered by Happy Scribe
It’s family reunion time in Genesis chapter 45 and 46. Like most family reunions attendees, food, travel arrangements, accommodations, lists, love, and forgiveness are all part of the process. Reunion plans begin after a dramatic relationship reveal Joseph meets the sons of patriarch Jacob, who’ve come to Egypt again to buy provisions for their famished families. After some stressful shenanigans engineered by Joseph to punish his siblings, the now Prime Minister of Egypt informs his brothers that he is the brother they threw into a ditch, then sold. Nevertheless, the brothers have demonstrated they have changed.
Humble, honest, devoted to their father, they proved willing to sacrifice for one another. A lot of weeping, hugging and kissing, transpired, and it was heard in Pharaoh’s house, and it flees the Pharaoh well. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Saint thy brethren, go get you into the land of Canaan. Take your father and your households, and come unto me, and I will give you the good of the land. With Pharaoh’s support, Joseph invites his entire family to come live in Egypt.
Pharaoh, without reading Marie Kondo, counsels the family of Israel not to bring all their things. Also, regard not your stuff for the good of all. The land of Egypt is yours. Pharaoh’s admonition to regard not your stuff and the family reconciliation demonstrate. Traveling light means letting go of things and leaving behind resentments.
It highlights the potential of radical repentance and forgiveness to promote healing and happiness. The Savior teaches this. He promises it will bless us eternally as well as temporarily. We feel the power of repentance and forgiveness flood the pages of this biblical epic after the feasting, tears and gifts after wagons are loaded with supplies to sustain the entire mishpochah. On the journey to Canaan and back to Egypt, Joseph warrants his bands of brothers, see that Ye fall not out, by the way, in Genesis 45 24 in the King James Version or do not quarrel on the way in the RSV.
This principle that parents provide for children’s needs, while prohibiting children from fighting amongst themselves, is echoed in the Book of Mormon King Benjamin Admonishes in Mosiah 414 and you will not suffer your children that they go hungry or naked. Neither will you suffer that they transgress the laws of God and fight and quarrel one with another. All the food and new clothes won’t bring joy. If jealousy, greed, or blaming prevail on the journey, as it was in Joseph’s time and Mosaic’s time. So it is with our families as we travel towards our heavenly home.
Back in Canaan, convincing 130 year old father Israel to move to Egypt is not a Slam dunk. First, he doesn’t believe the son he has mourned for nearly a generation is alive. Jacob loves his other sons, but he doesn’t trust them entirely. However, the compelling evidence of 20 asses bearing gifts from Joseph to his father convinces him it is enough. He exclaims, acknowledging Joseph must be alive and agreeing he must see him before dying.
An archaic form of the Hebrew phrase it is enough is used in 45 28. The idea of enough already is repeated in the passive Rahageda and has been for over a millennia. We find out in the Seder written by Rav Amran Daiinu, which still means it would have been enough is sung at Passover to remind all that the first miraculous blessings of God to Israel. Would have sufficed to elicit utter devotion. The sacred history of many miracles and great deliverance is recited.
Celebrates, recall, recognize and experience. The blessings heaped on blessings Jehovah has given those with eyes to see and ears to hear. Counting blessings past and present reminds us we all, if we choose to acknowledge them. Have received more gifts from God. Than we should ever need to overflow with gratitude to our heavenly parents.
But going on so Israel journeyed with all that, he had more than 66 souls. Which came unto Egypt. Much livestock and their goods. Which they had gotten in the lands of Canaan. But first they went to bershiva to sacrifice and seek guidance.
Where Jacob’s father had already built an altar. And both Abraham and Isaac had offered offerings in return. Yahweh blesses Jacob with specific promises. I believe the Lord will bless everyone with this kind of encouragement. As we earnestly seek it in the face of life’s.
Unexpected twists and turns in my life. These divine assurances have made all the difference when facing overwhelming situations. Over which I had no control. Emboldened by the Lord, Jacob advances to Egypt with confidence. As he approaches, he sends Judah ahead to let Joseph know he is near.
What happens next brings me to tears every time I read it. Joseph, second only to Pharaoh in Egypt. Made ready his chariot. And went up to meet his father, Israel. And fell upon his neck.
And wept on his neck a good while and Israel said unto Joseph, now let me die. Since I have seen thy face. Because thou art yet alive. But as it says in the Muppet Christmas Carol. Jacob did not die.
He lived another 17 years with his family, including Joseph and his sons. He lives to bless Pharaoh and his own posterity. When he does die, his wish to be buried in Canaan. Is honored by Joseph. Israel left to his children and to all of us.
A legacy of faithfulness to covenants, forgiveness and gratitude. Which will reliably fortify us through life’s unpredictable trials and traumas. Having experienced many, I can testify this formula works.