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Notes on Gen. 37-50

I like to get feedback when possible on thought processes. Discussions help me understand texts differently, and writing thoughts makes it easier for me to participate in class. I've decided to start writing all of my thoughts down relating to some of my classes, so that I'll have them if something should crash. I'm making it public, so others can read if they want. Feedback is welcome, but not required. I just want to get these thoughts written down so I don't lose them.

The first thought I have is that Joseph's life isn't a straight line. It's not like tthe plot lines we drew in school, with one climax and then a resolution. Joseph keeps having crappy things happen to him. He's also not perfect, even though I always thought he was. He was rather errogant, which I never realized in Sunday school. It was kind of wrong to talk about one of the heroes of the Bible like that, but it's true. If you have a dream like he did, wouldn't you keep it to yourself? Ticking off several grown men is not a good idea, if you ask me.

Anyway, back to the plot. Something good happens (the coat, Potiphar's favor, for example), then something bad happens to him (getting sold, getting sent to prison and accused of rape). It's not this steady ascent into happiness and perfect order. In short, his life was messy. There are several climaxes, and several side plots.

I notice that this account reads more like a story. Instead of getting context as we do in other areas of the Bible, it is assumed that we know who Joseph is and know about Rachel being Jacob's beloved wife.

It's interesting that the beginning of this story and the end of it are about Joseph's quest to be respected and Jacob's love for his son. Jacob blesses his family, but blesses Joseph's kids first. It's also about coming home. In the beginning, Jacob has been trying to get back to his home land. At the end, he is telling his family where to live.

Each character has an important role in this story. The first character is Joseph. First, we see the spoiled son. Joseph is loved the most, and he knows it. He's even got the coat to prove it. He tattles on his brothers and tells them about the dreams. He even manages to tick off Jacob. Then, his brothers want to kill him. Reuben saves him in the sense that he gets them to not kill him, but Joseph gets sold into slavery.

Chapter 38 is confusing to me. It seems to be a lot of sleeping around. I'm incredibly lost!

The rest of the story I've summarized some. It's just interesting that Joseph went through all of that putting stuff in his brother's sacks. Why did he do that?

I'll have more reflections, but don't have time to write them down right now.


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Sep. 18th, 2006 06:46 pm (UTC)
Genesis, chapter 38
You basically have the right idea. Before I butcher the text, I would like you to know that i am reading from the King James Bible, So I may miss something in translation.
Judah marries a canaanite named Shuah, and they have three kids:Er, the eldest, Onan and Shelah. Judah arranges a marriage for his first born son, Er to a woman named Tamar. Er ends up angering god,and i so slain.
Judah then proceeds to get Onan to marry Tamar and have children with her. Onan marries her, but will not chance getting her(Tamar) pregnant and so he Spilled his seed on the ground(I am sorry, put it is really hard to put that in a clean manner). God is angered by this and kills Onan.
Judah then asked Tamar to stay at his house and wait until his other son, Shelah is grown. She consents to wait. Years pass, and Judah does not have Shelah marry Tamar. She becomes angry and deceives Judah by dressing like a Harlot (prostitute) He promises her a sheep and some of his things if Tamar would let him "go into her"
She consents, they commit adultery, and Tamar goes back to his house and changes back into her regular clothes. Judah sends his friend to give her the gifts, but does not find her. Three months later, he finds out that Tamar tricked him, and that she became pregnant because of it. Judah disowns her as his daughter-in-law, and she leaves. She ends up having twins; Pharez and Zarah.
I hope that makes it easier to understand. Sorry it was so long.
See you when I see you,

Jesse Vangunst
Sep. 18th, 2006 07:05 pm (UTC)
Why did he add that?
He adds in Judah because he has importance later on in The Bible. Judah later founds the Tribe of Judah, to which King David is a part of. also, Judah is an ancestor of Jesus Christ.

Matthew, Chapter one, verse 2-3,6,16:
2. Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob;and Jacob begat Judah and his Brethren;
3. And Judah begat Pharez and Zarah of Tamar...
6. And Jesse Begat David the King; and David the King begat Solomon...
16. And Jacob begat Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ.
As far as mentioning all that sleeping around, maybe they showed that as yet another illustration as to how contaminated the bloodline of Jesus Christ was. I think it makes God seem all the more powerful that he can take such a corrupt bloodline and still have someone as perfect as Jesus. This is just my ramblings. Take what you want from it.

Jesse Vangunst
Sep. 19th, 2006 02:14 pm (UTC)
placing the goblet in the sack.
Josephs motives for placing the cup in his brothers sack were very devious, but good-hearted.

If he held one of his brothers captive, the other Brothers would send for Jacob, to get him to be released. Joseph did not know that the seven year famine would bring Jacob to him in the tribes attempt to stay alive during the period of strife. I think that is how it works. have a nice day. I may write more on this later, I don't know.
Sep. 20th, 2006 03:14 am (UTC)
Re: placing the goblet in the sack.
You're right on, given the discussion we ended up having in class about the text. On your earlier comment, I can't believe I didn't make the connection about Judah being the chosen one to carry on the line to the Messiah. Bad Nickie...
Sep. 20th, 2006 02:03 pm (UTC)
Re: placing the goblet in the sack.
don't beat yourself up. I also had the text, with footnotes, in front of me while I was writing to you. (As I said, I have the King James Study Bible)It gives me a little more perception, especially for a guy who has only been seriously reading the Bible for a few weeks.(My girlfriend's Bible Study Group)Have fun and good luck!
Sep. 20th, 2006 02:08 pm (UTC)
Re: placing the goblet in the sack.
I didn't realize it was a study Bible too! I'm supposed to have one for this class, but there aren't any accessible ones I'm aware of.
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