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By The Rolling Stones
Under my Thigh...er, Thumb
Pharaoh gives Jacob and his family land for their sheep. Jacob blesses Pharaoh (twice apparently: verses 7 and 10) and Pharaoh gives them the best of the land in Egypt. You'd think the Egyptians, in a time of severe famine, might not like foreigners taking up their best land. But we don't hear of complaints, perhaps because of what happens next.
The famine continues, and because they've given all their money to Joseph, all the Egyptians have left is their livestock. So Joseph tells them to give him all their livestock in exchange for a year's worth of food. What a nice man that Joseph was! Especially considering that he had an inside source (that rascal Yahweh) who had already foretold more than a year's worth of famine. So after a year, they beg him for more food. They offer to give up their land and go into slavery so that they can eat. Joseph accepts their offer, and so all of Egypt goes into slavery. Good old Christian values strike again! Beggars can't be choosers, I guess.
One omission here: the beginning of the chapter mentions Canaan also being hit by the famine. Are the Canaanites also bought as slaves, or are they just left to die? In any case, the priests don't have to give up their land (freeloaders! are they even priests of Yahweh, by the way?!?). Everyone else, who has been made slaves, has to give 20% of their food to the Pharaoh once the famine is over. Joseph distributes seeds, so the famine must apparently be nearly over. How many have died or needlessly suffered due to God's famine, we're not told.
"Israel" (verse 27, KJV) lives in Egypt. Here it apparently means the nation and not the man, since it says "they had possessions therein", referring to Israel. They do well in Egypt under Joseph. After 17 years in Egypt, Jacob asks his son to swear that he will bury him not in Egypt, but with his forefathers. Joseph grabs his dad's private parts ("under my thigh", which is a euphemism for genitalia — the link is to a Christian site so you don't think I'm making it up) and swears it to his father. This was apparently a way of taking an oath in the ancient world, grabbing someone by their midsection and swearing on something. The word "testament" (a type of oath) is possibly related to the word "testicles". They didn't teach that in Sunday School!
One other thing to note: Jacob was not happy with his life before coming to Egypt. He says "few and evil have the days of the years of my life been" (47:9, KJV). Based on consulting a number of other translations, the "evil" here appears to mean more wretched or miserable. Jacob isn't happy with the life God gave him, and he thinks he hasn't lived long (after all, some of his ancestors lived over 900 years!). But he'll be happy as long as he's buried with his family, some consolation apparently.
So in this chapter, we see God allowing Joseph, without comment or intervention, to enslave and take away the land of the famished Egyptians so that they don't starve to death. Sounds like a nice story to me, Joseph definitely could have been a multi-billionaire businessman if he lived now!
| ||Posted 6/10/2009 4:26 PM - 40 Views - 0 eProps - 0 comments|
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