Saturday, March 26, 2011

Genesis 43:11-14 Jacob Lets Benjamin Go to Egypt

"Then their father Israel said to them, 'If it must be, then do this:  Put some of the best products of the land in your bags and take them down to the man as a gift -- a little balm and a little honey, some spices and myrrh, some pistachio nuts and almonds.  Take double the amount of silver with you, for you must return the silver that was put back into the mouths of your sacks.  Perhaps it was a mistake.  Take your brother also and go back to the man at once.  And may God Almighty grant you mercy before the man so that he will let your other brother and Benjamin come back with you.  As for me, if I am bereaved, I am bereaved.' " (Genesis 43:11-14 NIV)

I noticed that Jacob is called 'Israel' in this portion of Scripture.  This is the name which God had given him after his wrestling match with God .  I am not sure if there is any significance as to whether either name is used, but it is interesting that as Jacob lets go of some of his fearfulness and acts as the godly patriarch of this family, the text refers to him as 'Israel'.

At any rate, Jacob/Israel seems to have realized that the time for complaining and fearfulness is over.  He instructs his sons to take some of  the special products of Canaan with them as a gift to soften the heart of the Egyptian official.  He allows the brothers to take Benjamin along, and tells them to leave at once.  Israel is resigned to whatever happens; he prays that God Almighty,  the One who had appeared to him a Bethel and watched over him in all his own travels and troubles, would grant them success in their journey.

The brothers are on their way to Egypt at last.

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