Day #28 - This post is part of a year-long series where we are reading chronologically through the Bible. Click here to learn more. You are most welcome to join along at any time.
Today's text from the ESV Study Bible: Genesis 46-47.
For reasons unknown to this writer, God has chosen to bring a horrible seven year famine upon the land. Further, God in his sovereignty has chosen to elevate Joseph (from the tribe of Jacob), in the most unusual of circumstances, to become second in command of all Egypt.
Further still, we find that Joseph, because of his high post, brings the entire clan of Jacob to settle in the pasture lands of Goshen, a region of Egypt, where the stage will be set for the birth of Moses, and a subsequent dramatic exodus in later chapters.
One of the comforts brought to the Christian is the reliability of the sacred text when viewed through the historical, and archeological record. Though certain empirical evidence is very difficult to obtain from such ancient times, the overwhelming breadth of historical, and archeological evidence certainly brings one the ability to provide a buttress to one's faith.
I think of the Mormons, for example, where evidently there exists not one shred of archeological evidence, throughout the whole world, that the claims of Joseph Smith are true. Certainly this must weigh heavily upon the thinking Mormons mind.
The above mural, found in the late 18th century BC Egyptian tomb of Khnum-Hotep, portrays a band of "Asiatics" coming down into the lands of Egypt. No one is making the claim that this portrays a particular Patriarch's family journey, but it does however put the right people, in the right place, and at the right time, and gives us a glimpse of what the Patriarchal families must have looked like.
This from BibleArcheology.com on the above mural scene of famous Asiatics visiting Egypt:
"Bene Hasan Asiatics and the Biblical Patriarchs
The Khnum-Hotep tomb paintings, in general, provide an important glimpse into daily life and activities in this Egyptian province early in the second millennium BC. Yet this one scene offers a unique glimpse of Asiatics in Egypt at this time. Whether merchants or traveling artisans, the scene and inscription suggest an extended family, of thirty-seven, traveling from Syro-Palestine into Egypt.Because Khnum-Hotep’s administration occurred at the turn of the nineteenth century BC, the depiction of Asiatics in Egypt at this time can’t help but conjure up a picture of the Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph) each of whom also spent time in Egypt during this general time period. A group of men, women and children suggests an extended family unit working and traveling together, reminiscent of Jacob’s family traveling to Egypt. So the Beni Hasan Asiatics’ appearance, dress, equipment and mode of travel should reflect much about the Patriarchs. Both the Biblical Patriarchs and the Beni Hasan Asiatics traveled from the same region (Syro-Palestine) to the same region (Egypt) during the same period (twentieth–nineteenth centuries BC). While no one proposes these are the Israelites, it is the right people, the right places and the right time to offer greater insights into the world of Biblical characters."
Tomorrow we are going to finish the Book of Genesis with the death of Jacob. What a journey this has been! Think about it. We have witnessed creation, the fall, the flood, the Tower of Babel, and have concluded with the Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, with a stout dose of Job through in between.Has your view of God been changed in any way? How has your faith deepened?
These are the very breathed words of God. We must drink them deeply.