Reading the Bible w/ a Fresh Perspective: A few new approaches

I have been blessed and fortunate to always have amazing men of God in my life both as peer to peer friends and as mentors, leaders or teachers. This trend continues and the last two years have brought the chance to become friends, brothers and business partners with a few of these men in particular. This past half year especially since starting my own business I have also had the pleasure of being challenged by my two business partners daily from spiritual perspective or angle. In light of where I am at right now with the my walk it has been one of the most amazing, overwhelming, exciting and frustrating times in my life. I feel more excited about pursuing the Lord and pressing deep into his Word as well as time with him than I have in  recent years. I consider this a huge blessing as so many days and times in my life I have found myself quite distracted with my drive and attention focused on other things. I am still not nearly perfect nor where I want to be in terms of time management and focus but I feel that shift taking place again which is an awesome and exciting. It is also comes as a huge challenge.

If you have read the blog… (I know your out there.. Mom, is that you? Ok, maybe this is just more of an outlet for me )… then you know that I have been on this whole kick of reading the Bible with a fresh perspective idea. I have been enjoying it immensely but it is also slow going. Well, I found a few more ways to make it even slower. This is ok and actually reminded me of something I learned once while providing worship for a summer camp in Nebraska with the Foolish Things (the band I used to play drums for). We had the opportunity to hear from a speaker named Jeremy Kingsley and one of the things he always told the kids was that you read the Bible to change, not to finish. That has stuck with me for a lot of years. Although I think a complete understanding and picture of the Bible is very important if you are only reading to gain that overview or knowledge but not to change your life or obey what it says then is there really any point in reading it? That being said, although things are slow going I think the importance behind reading the Word and truly trying to gain and understanding and grasp on what it is I believe is a huge deal and huge adventure. Knowing Christ and doing what he says is the end game and goal in it all.

Ok, so back to the things that are making this adventure a little bit slower but better for me. I have been introduced to a few new resources over the past few months and I would like to toss them out there and share them for you as they have brought some major challenge to my thinking as well as complicated and/or made my study of the word more exciting. Some quick background on how I came across some of the resources. One of my now best friends and business partners is what I am calling, and I may butcher this, a Torah believing Christian. My other partner is actually pretty much the same or really close behind in the same line of thinking and living. Although labels suck and I am not probably representing their journey perfectly it is the best and quickest way to touch on where they are coming from without me or them giving you a few hour tour of where God has taken them on that journey. One of the things that comes along with this is a that they celebrate and honor all the festivals, honor sabbath, etc. Very cool to see in action and very cool to start to take part in on many levels. I am learning a ton and being challenged daily as mentioned. Obviously I had and have a ton of questions and have been asking them. They have been very gracious to share in a very raw format where they are at and how they came to it. They have also sent some awesome resources along the way that I swear at some point in this post I will stop talking about and actually post. We have had email after email of great dialog and passing of information. in fact I think I have enough email to keep me busy for a few years in terms of studying things out. There is absolutely no pressure from them for me to agree with or be on the same page as them although the challenge to read and pray through the Bible is constant and something they and I get quite excited about.

So finally, for some of the resources mentioned.

One of the first things that I watched and found myself quite connected to and interested in was a video called A History of Hebrew: Its Langauge and Philosophy. You can watch the full video in short clips that have been put into a playlist on Youtube here… http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0E346CF634AD0E30 The whole playlist is about an hour and thirty minutes and quite interesting. I think I landed on that from a link that my partner Andrew had sent after we were talking about the original text and language. He had sent me to the the Ancient Hebrew Research Center which is one of the sites that Jeff Benner(the creatore of the video) runs and created. He has a bunch of great resources and items on there including a course that you can take on ancient Hebrew. I think the videos were part of assignment one. I am waiting on access to assignment two still.

I also ended up purchasing one of Jeff Benner’s books on Kindle for $5 titled The LIving Words – Volume 1. It has been quite good and interesting. I am still working out going back through and really confirming all that is being said and taught. Some pretty crazy stuff to be honest. I will probably post about it in the future at some point.

One of the other resources that I have been enjoying is the Skip Moen’s blog. He post daily on a Hebrew or Greek word and where it came from and what it means. Does quick and consumable thoughts and teaching on these words. I also signed up for his 30 day newsletter series called… Thirty Days of The Hebrew Worldview. It has been captivating thus far and I have enjoyed it a ton.

I am still at the beginning of my journey with a lot of this stuff and a bit weary of some of it but I think that is healthy. I think an area where I have struggled in the past is that it is easy to take someone else’s word for something without really studying it out for yourself. Really understand what is being said and then acting accordingly. That is one of my huge goals as I move forward in my studies. Bottom line is that I want to know the Lord better and then do what he says not matter how hard or easy. I don’t want to throw something out because it does not fit my life or because a certain person did or didn’t say it or endorse it. Time to really understand what I believe. Time to dig deep. It is not an easy thing to do. It is time consuming, exciting, overwhelming and frustrating all wrapped into one.

As so many people have said in the past. If it was easy, then everyone would be doing it. Don’t get me wrong… I still wish it was easier most of the time. :)

 

If you are interested in seeing where this set of blog posts all started then read the other posts that I have written on the idea of Approaching the Bible w/ a Fresh Perspective…

 

Reading the Bible w/ a Fresh Perspective: Exodus (Part 1)

As some of you know I have been slowly working my way through the whole Bible and doing it from a fresh perspective. Trying to approach it from fresh eyes while not impressing anything that I have know or think I know on it. Trying to gain the experience of reading it through for the first time again. It has been a challenge. It has been slow thus far and it only increases in challenge as new ideas and thoughts have been introduced in my journey over the past few months. More on that in a later post. But for now I just wanted to take the time to post the notes that I have taken thus far on Exodus. The majority of these are just a reiteration of the verses that I read and usually typed out word for word of the version that I had been reading from, which is typically NASB. Once in a while there are questions of thoughts sprinkled in but not many.

Here are my notes for the first part of Exodus. This is more for person reference than anything else. Not really trying to make a statement, show off or be weird. Just trying to share what I have been reading through.

Exodus Bible Reading Notes

Chapter 1

Introduction includes a list of the sons that moved to Egypt with and under Jacob when he was alive. Joseph was obviously already there. A new King and Pharaoh took over after time, one that did not know of Joseph. He saw the Israelites/Hebrews and saw their numbers. They had multiplied greatly and he was worried that they would partner with an enemy and take them over. He made them into slaves and they built storage cities. There lives were bitter with hard labor.

Pharaoh spoke to the midwives and asked that if they delivered baby boys that they would be killed, but baby girls were allowed to be kept. But the midwives feared God and didn’t obey and kept all the children alive upon birth. Pharaoh asked why and they told him that the Hebrew women would not wait for them to come and just give birth without the midwives present.

By the end of the chapter there was an official law stating that all male children be thrown into the Nile river.

Chapter 2

A man from the house of Levi married a daughter of the house of Levi. They conceived a little boy of which they hid for three months. When she could not hide him anymore she got him a wicker basket and floated him down the Nile. His sister followed from a distance to see what would happen.

Pharaoh’s daughter found the baby and had pity on him. She had them find a nursing mother amongst the Hebrew women. It was the boys mother. She nursed him and received wages for it. Pretty cool story. Pharaoh’s daughter named him Moses because she drew him out of the water.

When Moses was older he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew. He looked about and saw no one was around and struck the Hebrew dead. The next day he saw some of his fellow Hebrew brothers fighting. He told them to stop and they shot back with, “why? are you going to kill us like you killed the Egyptian.” Word obviously got out and Moses was afraid.

Pharaoh heard of the matter and tried to kill Moses but he fled to MIdian. The priest of Midian had seven daughters. He helped them at the well that he had been resting by or found. He helped them by driving away the shepherds and the daughter returned to their fathers earlier than normal that day. Moses had helped them water the flock. The priest asked his daughters why they had not brought the man back to give him something to eat. He fetched Moses and Moses ended up staying with them. The priest gave him his daughter Zipporah. She gave birth to a son and they named him Gershom.

The King of Egypt died and the sons of Israel cried out to God. God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God saw the sons of Israel and took notice of them.

Chapter 3

While Moses was shepherding sheep near Horeb the mountain of God. God appeared to him in a blazing fire amidst a bush. Moses looked and saw the bush was not burning up. God called to him from the bush and told him he was standing on holy ground. Moses hid his face as he was afraid to look at God. God told Moses that he has seen and heard the affliction of his people in Egypt. He told him that he has come to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians and to bring them into the land of Canaan. He told Moses to come and that he would be the one to bring his people from Egypt to the land. Moses said, “who am I to bring them out.” The Lord said that he would and would bring them to this mountain. Moses asked what he should say to the Israelites, who sent them. God told him to tell them the I AM has sent Moses.

I AM (strongs 1961 Ha-ya)

to be, become, come to pass, exist, happen, fall out

God was telling Moses that this was his Memorial-name to all generations and that it is his name forever.

Moses was to to go to the elders of Israel and tell them what the Lord had said. That he understood their afflictions and that they would be delivered into the land of milk and honey, Canaan. They would then listen to Moses and Moses and the Elders would go up to the King of Egypt together and ask that they be released on three day travel to go sacrifice to the Lord. However, the King will not let you the people go except under compulsion or a mighty hand. The Lord told him that he would stretch his hand against them with various miracles. After that he would let the people go, but after they plundered Egypt. They would walk away with gold, silver, articles of clothing, etc.

Note: Was listening to Steve Gregg the other day and it has been thought that maybe that this is how the Israelites even became armed. After the Egyptians drowned when chasing them.

Chapter 4

Moses was worried that when he went into Egypt that the Israelites would not listen to him. God then told Moses to throw his staff on the ground, upon doing so the staff turned into a snake. Moses was afraid and ran from it but the Lord told him to pick it up by it’s tail. It then turned back into a staff. The Lord also told him to put his hand into his bosom and when he pulled it out his hand was full of leprosy and when he put it back in and looked again it was completely healed. The Lord said if they still do not believe pour a cup of water from the Nile on the ground and it will turn into blood.

Moses then became concerned about his ability to speak. The Lord told him that he was the creator of his mouth and controls if one is mute or deaf. He told Moses he would be with his mouth and teach him what to say but Moses was still hesitant and wanted another to be the messenger.

vs. 14
The Lord was angry with Moses probably due to his lack of faith. He told him that he would use Aaron his brother and a Levite.

vs. 16
This is interesting. It says that Aaron would speak for Moses to the people; and he will be as a mouth for you and you will be as a God to him.

What the heck does that even mean?

When Moses headed back to Egypt the Lord told him that he must perform before Pharaoh all the wonders that have been put in Moses’ power. But God would harden Pharaoh’s heart and not let the people go. Then Moses would say to Pharaoh, “Thus say the Lord, Israel is my son. My firstborn. So I said to you, ‘Let my son go that he may serve Me’; but you have refused to let him go. Behold, I will kill your son, your firstborn.”

Kind of a hardcore prophecy.

vs 24-26… seems out of place. What is going on here. There is circumcinob stuff going on. Sounds like with Moses wife and maybe a son? Bridegroom of blood to me? What is she talking about.

Aaron was then sent to Moses as the Lord mentioned and he helped communicate all the Moses had heard from the Lord to the elders of Israel. Aaron spoke the words and Moses performed the signs. The people believed and when they heard that the Lord had heard their cry they bowed before them.

Chapter 5

1-3
Moses and Aaron request the release of the people by request of the Lord so that they might go and have a feast in the wilderness. Pharaoh denies them this and states he does not know the Lord.

4-9
Moses and Aaron again request three days to go celebrate the festival in the wilderness but Pharaoh denies them and gets frustrated that work would cease. He then actually makes the work harder by making the people gather there own straw. He does not change the quota of bricks to be made and says that the people must be lazy and have too much time if they are able to cry out to God. He made the work worse so that they would not pay attention to the “false words” from Moses and Aaron.

10-14
The taskmasters implemented the request of Pharaoh and did not supply the straw. The people scattered throughout Egypt looking for stubble and straw. They were not making their quotas. The taskmasters were getting on them about it.

15-21
The foreman of the sons of Israel approached Pharaoh and told them they did not have what they needed to meet the quota but Pharaoh called them lazy and said that they had time to request festival time in the wilderness. The foreman saw they were in trouble. The people then went to Moses and Aaron and told them that what they were doing was making them odious in the sight of Pharaoh. That they had put a sword in the hand of the Egyptians to kill them.

22-23
Moses went to the Lord in concern and asked why he was ever sent as the people had only been harmed since he had arrived according to Moses.

Chapter 6

2-3
Interesting verses here that I am not sure that I understand. The Lord is telling Moses that he revealed Himself to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as the God Almighty, but by His name, Lord, He did not make himself known to them. This is right after he tells Moses in verse 1 that he will make Pharaoh let the people go out of compulsion.

God then goes on to have Moses tell the people that He will be taking them out of the land as promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The people don’t believe Moses though because of the great bondage they are in.

The chapter then talks of all the sons of the heads of Israel. Moses was still freaked to talk to Pharaoh and not confident in his speaking ability. Kept on doubting his ability and his speaking and therefore was not confident in God for it.

Chapter 7

God tells Moses that he will make him like a God to Pharaoh and use him and Aaron to show Pharaoh his power. However his heart would be hard and he would not release the people so God would bring his hand against Egypt because of it. They met with Pharaoh and when he asked them to, ‘Work a miracle’ they were to throw their staff down and it would turn into a snake. Pharaoh called his wise men and sorcerers and they did the same thing, however the snake from Aaron’s staff ate and swallowed up the Egyptian snakes.

Next the Lord told Aaron and Moses to meet Pharaoh on his way to the nile and ask about releasing people again of which he refused. They then told him that they would turn the nile into a river of blood. Pharaoh rejected them again due to his hard heart and they did as they mentioned they would and turned the Nile into blood. However, again the Egyptian sorcerers found a way to copy that and Pharaoh’s heart remained hard and he had no worry about this. Although his people had to dig up water rather than use the Nile.

Chapter 8

Some more back and forth between Pharaoh and Aaron and Moses. First the plague of frogs. Second the plague of insects. Specifically gnats. The gnats could not be reproduced by the magicians of Egypt.

Chapter 9

Even more plagues. All the Egyptian livestock dies but none of Israel’s. Moses and Aaron throw soot up in the air in the presence of Pharaoh and a plague of boils and sores casts across Egypt. Next comes the giant hail storm that essentially wipes out the Egyptian crop and kills anyone who is not indoors. However the land of Goshen where the Israelites live is not touched by the hail.

Chapter 10

Here comes the locust. They will eat anything left over after the hail. They will eat all the trees and then they will be all over and in your houses. The slaves of Pharaoh were getting restless and frustrated that they continued to be afflicted by Aaron and Moses without Pharaoh giving the Israelites what they wanted. The Egyptians were then plagued with darkness for three days. However after all that has gone on the Lord continued to harden Pharaoh’s heart and he would not let the people go.

10:28-29
Then Pharaoh said, “Get away from me! Beware, do not see my face again, for in the day you see my face, you shall die.” Moses said, “You are right; I shall never see your face again.”

Chapter 11

So the Lord was going to bring one more plague on Egypt and its people. But before doing so he told the Israelites that they would be driven out completely and that he would give them favor. So they were to ask their neighbors for gold and silver. The Egyptians looked on the Israelites with favor. Moses shared what the Lord had told him that the Lord would go out around midnight and kill all the firstborn. Traditionally I think people have this attached to babies for some reason, at least I did, but after reading it again and hearing Steve Gregg talk about it in some of his verse by verse I now understand that this could be any age and really it could be male and female as well. Families might find themselves with multiple losses if a Father and son were both first born. Obviously there would be a great cry in Egypt from this plague or event.

Chapter 12

The Lord begin to establish the calendar and some traditions with the Israelites. He said…

this month shall be the beginning of the year for you; the first month of the year
on the tenth day of the month everyone is to take a lamb for themselves according to their Fathers households.
if the household is too small then they are to share with a neighbor
divide the lamb against all those who will eat
Lamb shall be unblemished male a year old
can be taken from sheep or goats
You shall keep it till the 14th day then the whole assembly of Israel is to kill it at twilight
They are to take the blood of the lamb and put it on the two door post and lintel of the house in which they eat the lamb
they shall eat the flesh that same night burned roasted with fire
they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs
Don’t eat it raw or boiled with water but again with roasted fire and with its head, legs and entrails.
Don’t leave any till morning and if you do then you shall burn it
You shall eat in this manner with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. You shall eat in haste – It is the Lord’s passover.

The Lord would then go through Egypt and kill the firstborn as mentioned in chapter 11. However when he sees the blood on the house doors he would pass over these homes.

12:14 – One of the catalyst for the study that I am doing on the festivals. It is an interesting area. I don’t know who it applies to. Anybody who reads? Is he talking solely to the Israelites? Do we fall under the part where it says, “throughout your generations”? Is this revoked by something that Jesus does in the new covenant?

It then gives a rundown of all that was asked of the Israelites during that time starting at verse 15.

15 – Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day removing all leaven from you home. Whoever eats leaven will be cut off from Israel.

16 – On the first and seventh day there is a holy assembly. No work must be done except what must be eaten by every person. That work and preparation can be done.

17 – You shall observe the Feast of Unleavened bread for it was the day that the Lord brought you out Egypt. Or would bring them out of Egypt. Again it mentioned that they shall observe this day throughout your generations as a permanent ordinance.

18-20 – Starting to get into the specifics of the requirements that The Lord is asking. First month, 14th day till the 21st day of the month at evening. They shall eat unleaved bread. No leaven in within houses or dwellings. Whoever eats leaven shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel whether native or alien of the land.

21-28 Passover is created and the command is to take passover lamb for your family and slay it. Then take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood and apply to the door posts and the lintel. None shall go outside until morning. The Lord will pass through to smite the Egyptians but will passover homes with the blood on the doorposts and lintel.

vs. 24 talks about observing this forever again. Word study on forever in light of what you have learned about the Hebrew culture and concrete vs .abstract thought. What about how ancient Hebrews thought about the future and the past? How does it interact with the hebrew word for “forever”?

… looked at it a little bit last night and it seems like it means forever. However it seems to appear as two words in the Hebrew if I am understanding things properly here. H5704 and H5769. Need to learn a little more about how to determine the actual original meaning. I still think there is something here in terms of how Hebrew thought would approach this passage.

Some thoughts about lintels. Was reading the wiki page and it was defining the lintel as follows… A lintel can be a load-bearing building component, a decorative architectural element, or a combined ornamented structural item. It is often found over portals, doors, windows, and fireplaces.

Interesting how from an architectural standpoint that the lintel has load-bearing properties. How does that relate to the passage? Does it? Maybe just a cool coincidence.

29-32
At midnight the Lord struck at the first born throughout the land of Egypt. From the firstborn of Pharaoh to the captive in the dungeon. First born cattle, etc. There was no home where someone had not died. Pharaoh called Aaron and Moses and told them to gather the people and leave.

vs. 32 Pharaoh tells them to take both flocks and herds and go and “bless me also”. Is Pharaoh asking for a blessing from these guys and the Lord here? Seems kind of intense and out of place.

I listened to Steve Gregg on this passage not too long ago and he brought even more light to the situation. When you really sit back to read and think about what it means to have the firstborn of all killed it is a pretty huge and deal. A family could lose multiple people that night. A firstborn Father and then son. I doubt that it was limited to just men and it clearly stated that at least the cattle were affected. We are talking about a massive amount of death in a single place.

Steve was also talking about how the blood on the doorposts and lintel was not only an option for the Israelite or Hebrew but for Egyptians as well. If they overheard they could have done the same thing to their doors and been passed over. There were probably a lot of converts to the Lord during the time of the plague so why would that be limited to only the Israelites.

33-36
The Egyptians urged the people to leave in haste. So the people took their dough before it was leavened with their kneading bowls bound up in the cloths on their shoulders.
Just as Moses had said they asked the Egyptians for articles of gold, silver and clothing and therefore plundered Egypt.

37-41
They left Egypt and traveled from Rameses to Succoth. 600,000 men on foot, aside from children. A mixed multitude also went up with them… is that in the 600k number? They traveled with flocks, herds, etc. They baked the dough they had brought out of Egypt. The Israelites lived in Egypt 430 years to the day. Wonder what if any significance that number has?

42-51
It is a night to be observed for the LORD for having brought them out of Egypt. The night is obviously the passover night. Should be observed throughout all the generations.

The ordinance of the passover…

no foreigner is to eat of it, but every mans slave purchased with money after circumcison can eat of it
A sojourner or hired servant shall not eat of it
Is to be eaten by a single house
you are not to bring forth any flesh outside of the house, nor break any bone of it
All congregations of Israel are to celebrate this.
All males must be circumcised and not uncircumcised person may eat of it

Chapter 13

vs. 13 – A mention of the Law of the LORD being on the the peoples mouth after they had left Egypt. This is clearly before the ten commandments were given. So I guess something to note is what commands and laws had been given to the people up till now. The other thing to remember is that the Law is not solely the Ten commandments although in my head many times I associate and think this way for some reason.
13:2 The Lord said to sanctify to Him every firstborn, the first offspring of every womb among the sons of Israel, both man and beast; belongs to God.

What is the Word sanctify here? H6942 – qadash – to be clean, appoint, bid, consecrate, dedicate, defile (red Strong’s), hallow, dbe or keep holy, keep, prepare, proclaim, purify, sanctify oneself wholly

To be clean ceremonially or morally

13:3 Moses told the people to remember this day. The day the Lord brought you out of Egypt. Nothing leavened shall be eaten.

13:4 This day in the month of Abib. What is the month of Abib and what is the day they is being referred to here?

http://www.karaite-korner.org/abib.shtml

Excerpt from above…

The Biblical year begins with the first New Moon after the barley in Israel reaches the stage in its ripeness called Abib. The period between one year and the next is either 12 or 13 lunar months. Because of this, it is important to check the state of the Barley crops at the end of the 12th month. If the barley is Abib at this time, then the following New Moon is Hodesh Ha-Aviv (“New Moon of the Abib”). If the barley is still immature, we must wait another month and then check the barley again at the end of the 13th month.

By convention, a 12-month year is referred to as a Regular Year while a 13th month year is referred to as a Leap Year. This should not be confused with Leap Years in the Gregorian (Christian) Calendar, which involve the “intercalation” (addition) of a single day (Feb. 29). In contrast, the Biblical Leap Year involves the intercalation of an entire lunar month (“Thirteenth Month”, also called “Adar Bet”). In general, it can only be determined whether a year is a Leap Year a few days before the end of the 12th Month.

Kind of stuck in my note taking. Not sure if I am just tired today or not understanding what is being said in these verses. 13:5-7 or so.

Talks about not eating bread with leaven quite a bit in the few verses here in a row. Then it moves into talking about after the seven days in which people were not to eat bread.

13:9
It… the feast? Shall serve as a sign to you on your hand, and as a reminder on your forehead, that the law of the LORD may be in your mouth; for with a powerful the LORD brought you out of Egypt.

13:10
Therefore you shall keep this ordinance at its appointed time from year to year.

13:11-13
Once brought into Canaan the Israelites were to devote to the LORD the first offspring of every womb, and the first offspring of every beast that you own; the males belong to the LORD.

Every first offspring of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, but if you don’t redeem it, then you shall break its neck; and every firstborn of man amroun your sons you shall redeem.

The word “devote” or Abar or A-var. H5674… should be more something like pass over or carry over.

Reading the Bible w/ a Fresh Perspective: Genesis

So a month or two ago I wrote a post called Reading the Bible with a Fresh Perspective. In that article I had articulated that I wanted to start fresh and really gain an understanding of the Bible on a whole for myself thinking of it from the angle of someone whom had never read, heard or grown up with the Bible. Since then I have made it through Genesis and am into Exodus. I wanted to post the notes that I have for future reference. It is doubtful that they would be helpful to anyone really as much of them are just stating what was already in the passage with an occasional thought or comment. Most of my Genesis notes were taken by hand and I have not yet converted those yet, however I did start using digital means part way through the process. Those are where I will pick up the notes.

 

Chapter 44
1-5
Joseph set his brothers up once again by putting the silver cup in Benjamin’s sack. he lets them leave and then has his house steward go after them.
What is a house steward?

6-13
When the steward caught up they said that no one of them had taken any gold or silver and were so confident that made a deal that if any one of them had it that they would be a servant or slave to the egyptians. They went from highest to lowest and found the cup in the youngest brothers sac exactly where they had planted it.
14-34
The brothers meet up with Joseph and plead for a different scenario. Judah asks if he can speak to Joseph and explains the full scenario that his father was hesitant to send the youngest as he was worried he would not come back. Judah took responsibility for him and to his father and therefore asked if he could take the place of the youngest in slavery. He told Joseph of how he missed his other son that he lost and how his life was bound up with the youngest.

Chapter 45

1-3
Joseph finally came to a place where he could not contain himself and revealed himself to his brothers. Weeping and crying much of Egypt heard him. He was able to reveal himself to his brothers in private and was interested to know if his Father was still alive.

Always interesting when a question is asked that seems like the answer is clear. Of course his father would be alive or they would not be willing to make such a huge push to be sure that they brought back Benjamin. Not saying that would have not made the same sacrifice but it seemed clear that his father was still alive.

45:5 Pretty amazing approach as he was sold into slavery by his brothers. Check it out…
“Now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life.”
Love how he can have such a rich perspective and understanding of what God was doing and had done with his life that The Lord had brought him to a place where he was consoling them.

4-15
Joseph continues to tell his brothers of the Lords purpose of having put him here in Egpyt because of the famine and to be sure that the remnant would survive. He told them to quickly go get his Father and bring him and all he owns. They would live in the land of Goshen and in a place where Joseph was close and could take care of them. He was able to connect with Benjamin as well.

16-28
Pharaoh heard of the news and offered up the best of Egypt to Joseph’s family. the best of the land, goods, etc. The brothers then went back to Israel and told him of the news and he told them to take him to Joseph before he died.

Chapter 46
So Joseph headed down to Egypt. On the way he stopped in Beersheba to offer sacrifices to God. God spoke to Jacob/Israel in a vision that night. He said, “I am the God of your Father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you a great nation there. I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will surely bring you up again; and Joseph will close your eyes.
The middle part of the chapter tell of all the sons of Jacob and the descendants who would be going up to Egpyt. There could be some interesting numbers in here for a later date or names that would tie to people of importance but am not sure they are worth writing down but something that we can certainly refer back to.

Towards the end of the chapter it talks about how Joseph set them all up in the land of Goshen and told them that when they are called upon they are to tell Pharaoh that they have looked after livestock and are shepherds. Said that shepherds are loathsome to egyptians.

Why would Joseph want them to be loathed? To prevent intermarriage and a clean line away from the Egyptians? Did Joseph have Egyptians wives? I am pretty sure that he did. How does that affect the family line? Is that important?

Chapter 47

1-6
Joseph presents five of his brothers to Pharaoh. They are asked their profession of which they answer as instructed, “We are shepherds.” They then are accepted into the land of Goshen and Pharaoh puts whatever they need at their disposal. Joseph is told to have them lead any of Pharaoh’s live stock as well.

7-12
Jacob is presented to Pharaoh and they have a conversation about his life and then Israel blessed Pharaoh. Joseph provides the food needed for all his family. They refer specifically to the little ones.

8-26
The famine worsened and the people began to come to Joseph but they were out of money to buy any more food. So they made a deal that they would sell their livestock for food. The next year they had exhausted all their resource in livestock and so they sold themselves to Pharaoh, then they sold their land and then finally they sold a fifth of all they produced to Pharaoh via Joseph’s management and suggestion. So Pharaoh pretty much had everything. So all that was produced by the land of Egypt, Pharaoh gained a fifth of all of it.

27-31
Now Israel (the people group) grew in number and became fruitful. Jacob/Israel lived in Egypt for 17 years. He lived to be 147 years old.

When it was nearing the time where Jacob was going to die he was sure to made Joseph swear that he would not be buried in Egypt but in the proper burial place. Assuming that is somewhere in Canaan. Somewhere that had been mentioned already. To make this deal or covenant he asked Joseph to place his hand under his thigh. He also was asking Joseph to be kind and make this promise. Makes me think that he was being respectful of whom Joseph had become and where the Lord had placed him in his life.

Chapter 48
Again Jacob/Israel is preparing to die. Joseph brought his two sons to his Father. Their names where Ephraim and Manasseh. When Jacob saw his sons sons he blessed them. However when they were brought near Joseph tried to place them in a manner where Jacob would have his right hand on the first born, Manasseh’s, head but Jacob crossed his hands and blessed Ephraim as the first born. Joseph tried to correct his Father who could not see very well but he told Joseph that he knew what he was doing. At the end of the chapter Jacob told Joseph that the people would be back in the land.

Was thinking about Joseph and his children and was wondering who Joseph’s wife was. He obviously had a wife as he was bearing children and sons. Pretty sure that was Egyptian. Doesn’t really affect the family line I guess…. Looks like he was given a wife in…

Gen. 41:45 – Then Pharaoh named Joseph Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, as his wife.

Chapter 49
Jacob summoned his sons and spoke to each of them as to what would befall them in the coming days. Here is a list of his sons. Refer to chapter for exact details that are not noted below.

  • Reuben
  • Simeon
  • Levi
  • Judah
  • Zebulan
  • Issachar
  • Dan
  • Gad
  • Asher
  • Naphtali
  • Joseph
  • Benjamin

Looks like the two most positive reviews or statements went towards Judah and Joseph, however there were others that received positive blessings but nowhere as in depth as these two.

After the blessing Jacob charged his sons to bury him in the cave that is in the field of Machpelah near his wife Rebekah and Leah. His parents Abraham and Sarah were buried there as well.

vs. 33
Jacob draws to his feet and into bed and breathed his last.

Chapter 50

1-3
Joseph wept over his Fathers death. He then had him embalmed. Egypt mourned the loss of Joseph’s father for seventy days.

4-6
Joseph request time to go bury his father. The request is granted by Pharaoh.

15-21
Joseph’s brothers were scared that since Jacob had died that Joseph would seek revenge on them for what they had done to him when he was younger. They lied to him saying that Israel/Jacob charged Joseph with forgiving them. However, Joseph saw that their evil was in the long term done for good and he forgave and comforted them letting them know that they and their children would be cared for.

22-26
Joseph lived for 110 years and he saw the third generation of Ephraim’s sons.He also saw the sons of Machir, the son of Manasseh born on his knees. Joseph asked his brother to carry his bones up from Egypt after he had passed. He was embalmed and placed in a coffin in Egpyt.

Reading the Bible with a Fresh Perspective

bible

A while back my friend an business partner sent me a video of Francis Chan talking about reading and interpreting the Bible for ourselves. Got me thinking a lot about the Bible, what I know about the Bible, what I can remember, what I learned for myself and what I have been told. I have spent a fair amount of my life listening to others who have really read the Bible, understand and then live life accordingly. Many of these men have had huge impacts on my life but there has always been a real itch to know the Bible and what it says because I read it and the Lord opened up its meaning to me. As my partner said and as Francis Chan says in his video it is not that there are not a lot of capable teachers out there to encourage you and help you learn the Word. The idea is not to diminish what others teach but encourage us to go see if it is true and know that it is true because we have read it ourselves.

My favorite present Bible teach is Steve Gregg and although I don’t agree with everything he has to say I love his approach. He always challenges you to go back to the text. Put two and two together for yourself and don’t take his word for it. He still is teachable and open to any idea that promotes Jesus and promotes his truth. If he is not in the proper understanding about something he wants to know about it and put it against the text of the Word.

That being said my exercise that I will explain here in a minute has one presupposition that you believe and take everything in the Bible for fact and truth. So my question and goal is as follows. As a thirty one year old man I have only read the Bible through one time intentionally cover to cover. It was an awesome time and I made quick work of it back then and read it in 90 days. I would like to think that I have read it collectively a few times over the years but I can only say that I have read it in full once as a fact. Not only do I want to make it through the entire word again I want to really try and approach it with a fresh eyes, ears and heart and see what the Lord has for me there. I really want to try and dismiss any pre set knowledge I have and really see what I can draw from the text. What are my own conclusions? What connections can I make on my own. I have started the process already and have begun taking notes and already I find it hard to not impress my pre existing understanding on my reading and what I deem as important. Also, some of what I read actually sounds a little crazy. I wonder what it is like to read the Bible for the first time without any knowledge of it.

So that is the goal and experiment at hand. It is slow going but I am having a good time thus far and am looking to post maybe per chapter or a few times per chapter. Who knows, eventually I may get into and use this format as a way to really dive in and write down my thoughts as I am reading and then just post. Anyway, I am looking forward to the journey and maybe someone else other than myself will read this and benefit from it someday. Who knows… maybe I can print all this and hand it to my sons some day and explain my time approaching the Bible fresh and new. Here we go…