Genesis 35-50 The suffering and the glory…Joseph, cont’d.
Genesis 49:1-27-Jacob knew the character traits of each of his sons and accurately predicted how their lives would be affected by them.
Genesis 49:3-4-Reuben: a lack of personal control (sexual in this case…with Bilhah, 35:22) negates his ability to lead others. “Uncontrolled as water” literally means “a boiling over of water”…a vivid picture of instability. No prophet, judge, or hero came from this tribe.
Genesis 49:5-7-Simeon, Levi: a lack of respect for others (they killed…34:25, they lamed animals) resulted in a curse for their cruelty. It resulted in their tribes not being coherent. Simeon was given an inheritance within the land of Judah (Josh. 19:1; 1 Chron. 4:39-43) and the Levites had no inheritance of their own (Josh. 21:1-3). The Levites redeemed themselves by opposing the idolatry of the golden calf (Exod. 32:26) and became the priestly tribe.
Genesis 49:8-12-Judah: means "praise". He would be among the leaders of the tribes. He has strength like a young lion that is well fed and strength of a mature lion that is well respected and feared. This will result in peace ("Shiloh" means peace) and prosperity.
Genesis 49:13-Zebulun: will live by the sea and be a merchant.
Genesis 49:14-15-Issachar: strong, but lazy.
Genesis 49:16-18-Dan: their tribe would produce Samson, one of the judges...they would judge for 20 years. Their name is not listed among the tribes in Rev. 7:4-8...perhaps because they were the tribe that introduced idolatry to Israel (Judges 18:30-31).
Genesis 49:19-Gad: their territory in the Promised Land was on the eastern border and was prone to attack by neighboring nations.
Genesis 49:20-Asher: their territory was on the sea cost near Mt. Carmel.
Genesis 49:21-Naphtali: swiftness, and eloquent speech.
Genesis 49:22-26-Joseph: he receives the most detailed and positive blessing.
Genesis 49:27-Benjamin: successful in war, but cruel.
Genesis 49:28-33-Jacob dies.
Genesis 50:1-14-The burial process for Jacob. Joseph wept over his father’s death. It is interesting that the only other brother recorded as having wept was Benjamin (45:14). The Egyptians wept (mourned) over the death of Jacob for 40 days.
Genesis 50:15-21-After Jacob’s death, the brothers thought that Joseph would exact revenge on them for selling him into slavery. But Joseph had forgiven them and told them that God had used their evil intent against him for good. Joseph's perspective of what his brothers had done to him is full of mercy. Joseph wept again (42:24; 43:30; 45:2,14; 46:29; 50:1,17)...this time because his brothers didn't trust him.
Genesis 50:22-26-Joseph dies at 110 years old.
Prayer: Lord, Israel knew his sons all too well. He clearly identified each of their character traits…and how it would affect their lives. As I think about myself…I become very aware that I am not the man I should be. I desire so deeply to be a godly, Christ-like man. And yet, I know the truth. Please, Father…make me like Jesus. Develop His character in me. Help me to become like Him in all things.