Today’s reading is: Gen. 37-39; 1 Chr. 2:3-6,8
Genesis Chapter Thirty-Seven
- Following the death of Isaac, Jacob lived in the land of promise, as the heir to the promise (v.1).
- Jacob’s sons worked his flocks, near and far (vv. 2,12-17).
- There was a distinction at this point in their family life between Leah and the two concubines (vv. 2,10).
- Jacob considered Joseph his favorite son (v.3).
- As Israel, he loved Joseph more than all his sons. This reflects Jacob’s spiritual life priorities, and Joseph’s participation in assistance to his father.
- Joseph was the son of his old age. בֶּן־זְקֻנִים ben-zequniym. Years later, Benjamin will be described in this way (Gen. 44:20), as Isaac was to Abraham (Gen. 21:2,7). Joseph was born when Jacob was 91 years old, so Jacob is now 108 years old at this point.
- He was the young man who loved to learn from his elderly father (Philem. 9; 2nd Jn. 1; 3rd Jn 1).
- He was the son with the greatest spiritual eagerness (vv. 5-7,9-10,14; 39:2,3,8-10).
- Joseph was given the full-length robe (priestly garment). פַּס. כְּתֹנֶת פַּסִּים pas#6446: n.m. flat (of the hand or foot), palm, sole; of the tunic reaching to the palms and soles. Used 5x5vv. (Gen. 37:3,23,32; 2nd Sam. 13:18,19).
- Jacob received spiritual appraisals from his son, Joseph (v.2).
- Joseph has two prophetic dreams about his family (Gen. 37:5-11).
- Joseph’s brothers react with hatred and jealousy (vv.8,11).
- Jacob reacted to Joseph’s dream with a rebuke, and yet kept it in mind as one who respected his son’s dreams (vv.10,11).
- Jacob, as Israel, sent Joseph on a family priesthood work-assignment (vv.12‑14).
- Jacob’s brothers conspire to kill “the dreamer” (Gen. 37:18-30).
- Reuben speaks up and convinces the brothers to throw Joseph into a pit instead (vv.21,22), intending to return and rescue the young man (vv.29,30).
- Judah speaks up and convinces the brothers to sell Joseph into slavery, thus preserving Joseph’s life (vv.25-28).
- Jacob, the deceiver, is now deceived by his own sons (vv.31-35).
Genesis Chapter Thirty-Eight
- Following the betrayal of Joseph, Judah separated himself from his brothers, and lived with Hirah the Adullamite (Gen. 38:1).
- Judah married a Canaanite woman, Bath-shua, and while living in Chezib, fathered three sons: Er, Onan, & Shelah (Gen. 38:2-5).
- Judah arranges for his son Er to marry Tamar, but Er died the sin unto death before fathering any children (Gen. 38:6,7).
- Judah arranges for Onan to marry Tamar and father a child in Er’s name (Gen. 38:8-10).
- This practice is called Levirate Marriage, and was codified under Mosaic Law (Deut. 25:5-10).
- This practice gave rise to the Sadducees’ ludicrous question to the Lord (Matt. 22:23-28).
- In Onan’s case, he used Tamar for his own pleasure, but didn’t allow her to become pregnant (v9). Thus, he also died the sin unto death (v.10).
- Following the death of Onan, Judah was unwilling to give Tamar to his final son, Shelah (Gen. 38:11,14b).
- Bath-shua dies and the widower Judah finds support with Hirah the Adullamite (Gen. 38:12,13).
- Tamar disguises herself as a harlot, and has sex with her father‑in‑law, in order to become pregnant (Gen. 39:14-23).
- Tamar obtained Judah’s seal, cord, and staff as a pledge for the promised price of her harlotry (v.18).
- When Judah sent Hirah to pay the harlot, Tamar was nowhere to be found (vv.20‑22).
- Judah intends to replace his missing items, and not allow his harlotry to become public knowledge (v.23).
- Tamar’s harlotry, and Judah’s harlotry with her are exposed (Gen. 38:24-26).
- Judah intends to burn Tamar as a harlot (v.24). This will later become the law in Israel for the daughter of any priest (Lev. 21:9).
- Tamar confesses her harlotry to Judah, and then identifies him as the father of her child (children) (v.25).
- Judah confessed his own guilt, and her “greater” righteousness. He spared Tamar’s life, but kept her as a widow rather than a wife, from that time on (v.26).
- Tamar gave birth to twin sons, Perez and Zerah (Gen. 38:27-30).
- The scarlet thread was supposed to mark the firstborn son (v.28).
- Perez: “breach” came out first, however (v.29). Judah is the Tribe from which the Christ will come (Gen. 49:10), and Perez is the line through which that occurs (Matt. 1:3).
- Zerah: “rising, dawning” became the second son (v.30).
- Zerah may also mean “scarlet” if it comes from a Canaanite word rather than a Hebrew word.
- The Zerahites were one of the four clan divisions of Judah (Perez had two clan divisions) (Num. 26:20,21).
- Achan was a Zerahite (Josh. 7:1).
Genesis Chapter Thirty-Nine
- Joseph is bought as a slave by Potiphar, Captain of Pharaoh’s guard (Gen. 39:1).
- The Lord was with Joseph (Gen. 39:2). Joseph was spiritually prosperous even while he was temporally enslaved.
- Potiphar recognized the Divine blessing upon Joseph, and entrusted the young man with his entire house (Gen. 39:3-6a).
- Potiphar’s wife directly and repeatedly tempted Joseph to commit adultery (Gen. 39:6b-10).
- Joseph resisted the temptation (v.10a).
- Joseph avoided the woman (v.10b).
- Potiphar’s wife laid a trap for Joseph, and he was forced to flee without his garment (Gen. 39:11,12).
- Potiphar’s wife then accused Joseph of attempted-rape, and Potiphar had Joseph imprisoned for his crime (Gen. 39:13-20).
- The Lord was with Joseph (Gen. 39:21a). Joseph was spiritually prosperous even while he was temporally imprisoned.
- The chief jailer recognized the Divine blessing upon Joseph, and entrusted the young man with the entire jail operation (Gen. 39:21b-23).