Parasha #10

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 Parashah #10: Mikketz (At the end)

(Genesis 41:1 – 44:17)

Additional Readings:
1 Kin. 3:15-4:1; Act. 7:9-16

Previous parashah recap – Last week we saw with the accounts of Joseph and Judah’s stories how the Lord stays with those who trust and keep their trust in Him. Now we left our study of scriptures with Joseph in jail for a crime he didn’t commit, all due to his own pride having stirred his brothers’ jealousy against him. Nevertheless the Lord was there giving him the means to interpret the dreams of those in jail with him but as they come out they forgot about him and let him rot there…

  • The title of today’s parasha is a hint that Joseph’s trials are about to finish.

  • Effectively, after 2 more years left in jail things are about to change radically for Joseph: Pharaoh dreamt dreams and no one could interpret them. The butler/cupbearer to whom Joseph interpreted his dream suddenly remembers him and tells Pharaoh about him.

  • Then in one day, Joseph is moved from total obscurity into the light becoming the highest ranking person in the kingdom of Egypt, second only to Pharaoh when he would sit on his throne, the rest of the time being therefore his equal.

  • Now as we will see Joseph’s pride had been broken through his ordeals, it wasn’t about him anymore but about God.

  • Gen. 41:15-16 – Is Joseph gifted? For sure, but now he’s quick to respond with humility; this shows us how far he had come in regards to his pride. His time in jail had completely changed him; he took no credit for himself but instead gave all the glory to God and made sure that the people knew his gifts were not of himself. This forced the people to turn their attention away from Joseph and onto God, recognising that it was God working through Joseph (Gen. 41:38).

  • As followers of the Lord we need to come to a place, just as Joseph did, where we no longer move in pride. We must always remember that every gift and talent we have is not ours to begin with; it comes from God, therefore we must give all the glory, honour and praise to Him and make sure we give this same reminder to the people who may direct their praise at us; so that they too can turn their eyes toward God and not men.

  • By putting God first, everything was added to Joseph. In one day, he became the most important person in Egypt, apart from when pharaoh was on his throne – we also need to do the same, just as it says in (Mat. 6:33).

  • Gen. 41:32 – When we receive two dreams or visions in a small space of time, that are saying the same thing, this means that the matter is fixed and cannot be changed. We cannot pray against it, and to do so would be in vain. It has already been ordained and fixed by God. A double dream may also indicate that it will come to pass soon (in our lifetime). If the dream is not doubled, this means it is not fixed, therefore we have the opportunity to pray against it.

  • Mat. 24:19-21 – In this scripture Jesus was speaking about the time of tribulation; notice that He never says to pray against it, because the matter has already been fixed. We cannot change the book of Revelation; what is written, WILL happen. However, Jesus did tell us how we can pray AROUND the circumstance. In the same way, when we have a double dream that fixes an event, we cannot pray to change it, but we can pray around the circumstance.

  • Going back to Joseph, he was 30 years of age when he was taken out of jail. So he went through about 13 years of tribulations (Gen. 37:2), most of them in jail!

    He then was given Asenath, the daughter of an Egyptian priest, as wife and had 2 sons with her (Manasseh and Ephraim). Now Joseph’s father-in-law was Potipherah (he whom the god Ra gave) the priest of ‘On’ (pronounced ‘one’) – ‘On’ used to be a city in Egypt, but is better known as Heliopolis, the city of the sun, because it was the centre of sun worship (to the god ‘Ra’, ‘Re’ or ‘Amon-Ra’), also known as the eye in the sky. So in other words, he was really an idolater and priest of Satan.

  • Gen. 41:34-36 – All this happened during the 7 years of abundance, and abundance there was for Joseph employed himself to store 20% of all the produce of the land of Egypt in each city nearby to where that produce came from. This is what abundance is, to have 20% spare on top of what’s needed (living and normal taxes). And the abundance was such that all the scribes of Egypt couldn’t keep up with the records of the quantities getting stored! And that’s something to say for to this day Egyptian bureaucracy is recognised as having been one of the most efficient ever!

  • 20% was an exceptional measure. According to God’s laws, we are to give a tenth of what we have. But Pharaoh’s dreams showed that the famine would be so harsh, Joseph decided to take double the amount (a double tithe), this was in addition to all the normal dues. 

  • The system worked so well that not only there was enough for Egypt to go through the famine, but there was also enough for all the other countries too. For the famine was such that all the known world was suffering from it.
    So that is a wonderful thing to make in practice in our personal lives: if, beside the tithe and taxes and all our living costs, we are able to put at least another 10% of all our incomes aside for ourselves then we would live comfortably. If we are able to put 20% aside when all else is paid then we are in abundance and not only be able to go through hard times but also to help others when they are in need!
    After giving all your dues, having less than 10% leftovers means that you’re not living, just surviving; and not being able to meet your needs is being in poverty.

  • Gen. 41:56-57 – Now due to the famine being in the whole world, Jacob and his sons had no other choice than to go buy some food for themselves in Egypt in order to survive. So Jacob sent his 10 sons to do so. But when they arrived Joseph recognised them and decided to test them. They on the other hand didn’t recognise him.

  • So Joseph invented a ruse, calling them all spies. To prove themselves they’ll have to bring their younger brother, Benjamin, to him. Then Joseph send the brothers back with food, and put the money for it back into their bags, unbeknownst to them. He also bound Simeon in front of them and kept him in jail as assurance for their return.

  • Gen. 42:24 – According to the Rabbis, they all agree that Simeon (one of the brothers of Joseph) was the first one to start speaking so viciously against Joseph (Gen. 37:19). They believe he was also the one who threw Joseph in the cistern, and was the one advising his brothers to kill Joseph; Hence he was the one who was bound and put in jail to be taught the same lesson as what Joseph had been taught.

  • Gen. 42:9-28 – Then the 9 brothers go back to Jacob, terrified to have their money back and thinking that God is exerting His vengeance upon them to punish them for what they did to Joseph. So they recount to Jacob all that happened, who refuses to part from Benjamin, at least till all the food they got is consumed. Then he doesn’t have the choice but to send the 9 plus Benjamin back to Egypt with the money they got back and the money to buy more food and some presents in the hope that they’ll all be released. When they arrive and Joseph sees that Benjamin is present, he makes a feast for them all, with more for Benjamin his brother (from the same mother as himself, not half brother like the other ones).

  • Joseph set up to have Benjamin arrested for the theft of his personal cup. Joseph’s thinking behind this was that he needed to save Benjamin from the other brothers, because he thought they were still envious towards Rachel’s line.

  • When all the brothers were on their way back to their father, Jacob, Joseph sent his troops to get them, search them and arrest Benjamin for the theft of his personal cup.

  • We are told in the LXX that this cup was used by Joseph for ornithomancy (also known as augury or auspices), a type of divination through the study of the flight and cries of birds strictly forbidden by God. Other versions speak only of divination, through inspecting the cup (its content). Either way it was used by Joseph as part of his ploy to get Benjamin and keep the brothers in the dark concerning his identity, not because he himself was a diviner.

  • So we read that they all go back to Joseph, and give themselves to him as slaves for their guilt (what they think as being the killing of Joseph) is revealed and upon them. But Joseph refuses and sends those back, wanting to keep only Benjamin with him.

  • Gen. 43:32 – Before finishing with this parasha there is an interesting point to make. We find that the Egyptians were upset about eating with the Hebrews, but the Hebrews didn’t care. We can see how the mindset of the Hebrews changed over the years; At first they didn’t mind eating with the Egyptians, but in the New Testament, God had to bring Peter an open vision to teach him about eating with heathens (Acts 10:28 – read the whole chapter 10 in the light of what happened with Joseph). The KJV uses the word unlawful; meaning, against the Torah/instructions of God. So did God change his mind between the time of Joseph and Moses about how to be with people? No; the unlawful commandments Peter was speaking of can be found in Exo. 12:43, 45, 48; Lev. 7:20, Deu. 7:2-3. Those commandments state that unclean, uncircumcised, heathens, should not eat consecrated food. The Hebrews were commanded not to make any covenant (including marriage contracts) with the seven nations that the Lord wanted destroyed, due to them having corrupted blood (Nephilim).

    In the midst of all that, religious leaders (with religious spirits) came in and twisted the meaning of these commands. People began to believe they should not eat with heathens at all. God’s instructions said the uncircumcised heathens should not eat the food for the temple, nor share in the things which are consecrated to the temple for the priests. The religious leaders turned this around to say that blessing food makes it sacred to the Lord, and it is just as sacred as the food going to the temple, therefore the Jews should not partake of anything which has to do with the heathens.

    Pertaining to the seven nations to be destroyed, God instructed the people not to make any contracts with them or mix with any heathens/gentiles. But the religious leaders took this to such an extreme that if a Jew saw a gentile walking in the street, they would have to cross over to the other side of the road or turn back and wait in their house until they passed by. All of this is the working of a religious spirit. And these ways of thinking were so entrenched in the mindset of the people, that God had to give an open vision to Peter to correct those wrong ways of thinking.

    From all of that, we see how the Jews of the New Testament (and even today) have become like the Egyptians of the Old Testament. Nowadays, Christians behave like the New Testament Jews, who behave like the Old Testament Egyptians.

  • Through Joseph, salvation came. He was a type of Christ coming in a period of history and saving the people, just as Jesus did. When we look at the life of Joseph, we see a pattern; And the same goes for Moses, who was also a type of saviour for the people. Their lives were a shadow of things to come, and pointed toward Yeshua:

JOSEPH

JESUS

30yrs old when he stood before pharaoh, stepped out of darkness and was revealed to the world.

Around 30yrs old when He was baptised and began His public ministry, being revealed to the world (Luk. 3:21-23)

Not recognised by his brothers when they saw him.

Even today, the Jews still don’t recognise Him for who He is…the messiah.

Married to a gentile bride, the daughter of an idolatrous man.

He came for the sinners, and his bride will be composed of sinners.

He was married whilst rejected by his brethren

The bride of Christ is being gathered whilst He is rejected by most of His brethren

Everything was handed over to one man (Joseph) representing the king (pharaoh)

Everything will be handed over to one man (Yeshua) representing the king (Yahweh)

The famine was a period of tribulation affecting the whole world, including his brethren. A period of judgment out of which the kingdom of Egypt was established over all the other nations, in wealth and strength.

A period of tribulation is coming which will affect the whole world, believers and unbelievers alike. A period of judgment out of which the kingdom of God will be established on earth.

The marriage of Joseph happened before the 7yrs of famine

Rev. 7 – the bride of Christ is chosen before the coming tribulation affecting the whole world.

The 7yrs of famine saw his brethren tested, but at the end they were all reconciled with him

In the coming tribulation (the time of Jacob’s trouble – Jer. 30) all brethren will be tested and realise who He is. They will cry for the one they pierced, and be reunited with Him (Zech 12:9-14, Rev 1:7)

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