I want to write about Jacob’s blessing of Joseph’s sons in Gen 48, and his sons in Gen 49-50 tomorrow!
The last strong paragraph we have read in Genesis ended at Gen 40:23, with the chief cupbearer of Pharaoh forgetting about Joseph when he was restored to his postion. Gen 41:1, Pharaoh’s dreams, began a new strong paragraph, which does not end until today’s reading, at the end of Gen 47:27. It contains several weaker paragraphs (my topic ideas follow):
Gen 41:1-44:17 s Joseph the overseer
Gen 44:18-46:7 s prophetic picture of 1st and 2nd coming of Messiah
Gen 46:8-27 s seventy persons of Israel went down to Egypt
Gen 46:28-47:27 p Joseph the provider
The strong paragraph from Gen 41:1 to Gen 47:27 forms a chiastic structure, and God’s paragraph divisions revealed it:
1A: Gen 41:1-44:17, Joseph the overseer;
1B: Gen 44:18-45:8, Judah’s speech to Joseph + Joseph revealed to his brothers;
1C: Gen 45:9-15, Jacob and his household to come to Egypt;
1D: Gen 45:16-28, Wagons go up to Jacob;
1E: Gen 46:1, Jacob arrives in Beersheba;
CENTRAL AXIS: Gen 46:2-4, God’s promise to Jacob;
2E: Gen 46:5a, Jacob departs from Beersheba;
2D: Gen 46:5b-7, Wagons go down to Egypt;
2C: Gen 46:8-27, Seventy persons of Jacob go down to Egypt;
2B: Gen 46:28-30, Judah sent to Joseph + Joseph revealed to Israel;
2A: Gen 46:31-47:27, Joseph the provider.
Joseph said to his brothers at one point in this narrative, “But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here: for God sent me before you to preserve life,” Gen 45:5. God put all of this narrative together into one strong paragraph, so we can see the big picture, that Joseph was indeed cast down in the will of God, to be brought up in the will of God, to preserve the life of Israel. The central axis out of seven chapters worth of narrative, is two verses:
Then God spoke to Israel in the visions of the night, and said, “Jacob, Jacob!” And he said, “Here I am.” So He said, “I am God, the God of your father; do not fear to go down to Egypt, for I will make of you a great nation there. I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again; and Joseph will close your eyes.” Gen 46:2-4
When we consider that Joseph is prophetic of Messiah, that Messiah was cast down in the will of God, to be brought up in the will of God, in order to preserve life – our life, we can see that this central axis promise applies to us as well who have placed our trust in Messiah Yeshua!
Egypt is a type of the kingdom of darkness. It is a type of the exile we are in, dwelling in the kingdoms of this world which is not our home. God has surely been with His people – that is you and me! – while they have dwelt in Egypt. God has surely made His people into a great nation – the kingdom of heaven -while they – we – have been exiled in Egypt. And God will also surely bring His people – that is you and me! – up again, and bring us to the kingdom He has promised us for our inheritance and our dwelling place!
The tenderness of God’s promise and reassurance blessed me so greatly today!