Monday, March 21, 2011

Genesis 42:1-5 Jacob Directs His Sons Toward Egypt

"When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, 'Why do you just keep looking at each other?'  He continued, 'I have heard that there is grain in Egypt.  Go down there and buy some for us, so that we may live and not die.'

Then ten of Joseph's brothers went down to buy grain from Egypt.  But Jacob did not send Benjamin, Joseph's brother, with the others, because he was afraid that harm might come to him.  So Israel's sons were among those who went to buy grain, for the famine was in the land of Canaan also."  (Genesis 42:1-5 NIV)


I can't help but smile when I read this part of the passage.  Jacob seems like the stereotypical cranky, old Dad here, directing somewhat hesitant sons into action.  He explains that the grain which they need in order to survive is available in Egypt, so what are they waiting for?

Jacob send his sons off to buy grain, but he does not send Benjamin with them.  Things had not worked out very well the last time he had entrusted one of his sons through Rachel into their care.  He is definitely not willing to trust them with his last remaining son from Rachel, Benjamin.

Perhaps, too, Jacob had been somewhat suspicious when the brothers had reported that Joseph had seemingly been killed by a wild animal.  Jacob knew that his sons had hated Joseph because they were jealous.  Perhaps somewhere deep inside, Jacob wondered if the brothers were responsible for Joseph's disappearance.  At any rate, Benjamin would not go with the brothers to Egypt.

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