2 Samuel 23

  1. David’s words (Psalms) are words that have been approved, inspired by God. The one who rules in the affairs of man must be one who renders justice properly. Subjects will look upon his rule as with much pleasure and satisfaction as they look out at a clear sky in the morning hours. Those who are rebellious, on the other hand, will be as thorn bushes discarded (23:1-7). The remainder of the chapter focuses on David men in their military capacity (23:8-39).
  2. Application: As you consider the military victories that David’s men had gained it might be easy to think that military prowess is a virtue of and from God. This would be a mistake. Without the Lord taking the lead to establish David what military victories were gained by his men would have been defeats.

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Genesis 50

1. Jacob, now dead, is now in Egypt, cared for by Joseph and is about to be transported and buried in the land of Canaan, the land of promise given to Abraham many years previous. Joseph received permission from the king to bury his father and as a large number of people come from Egypt to the land of Palestine, the people take note and are impressed that a great man was buried in their “own” homeland. Three great patriarchs are buried in this land. The events surrounding Jacob’s burial is significant; we read of more surrounding this burial than we do of Abraham and Isaac.

2. Ridden with guilt and apprehension the brothers of Joseph appeal to him, via their father (50:16), to forgive them of the dastardly deed many years previous. Joseph reassured them and even instructed them on an important point: Joseph does not have the arbitrary right (authority) to extinguish life. If life is to be taken, let there be just cause (cf. 9:6). Another point worth notice is that what evil the brothers of Joseph intended, the Lord turned it into good.

3. Application: there are two points to make in this application. First, it is evil that a government can arbitrarily take the right of another person’s life. Just as evil dictatorships have killed the innocent, in our country evil rulings have authorized the taking of innocent life (abortion). Christians are to beware: are they guilty of voting into office those who subscribe to this evil? If so, they are complicit in this evil. Second, no matter what evil may befall a person, the Lord can turn it into something good. Paul and Silas were thrown into prison for doing nothing evil, but a good came out of that.

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Genesis 49

1. Presumably, after Jacob speaks with Joseph and his sons, he calls all of his sons together (ESV uses the word “then” while other translations use the word ‘and” to begin the chapter.). This gathering was in order to tell his sons what would befall their families in the future (49:1). Jacob begins by telling of Reuben, Simeon, and Levi that their individual legacy has historical consequences (49:3-7).

2. Jacob speaks of Judah, his fourth son, with more words than toward any of the other sons, except Joseph (49:8-12). To Judah he spoke of his character, and because his character had shown forth, “the scepter shall not depart…” What is in view with these words? From the earliest of times, the Jewish people have pegged their hopes on these words. “Similarly, the current exile [speaking of the present day status of Israel], too, will be followed by a return of the Davidic dynasty, proving that Jacob’s blessing remains in force…This verse is a primary Torah source for the belief that the Messiah will come” (Chumash, p. 279). It is too bad they have failed to recognize that He did come!

3. To Zebulun, Issachar, and Dan (49:13-18), it is worth noting that Issachar is spoken of as becoming lazy in later days. Jewish theologians have interpreted this as the descendants of Issachar having become “indentured servants.” To Gad, Asher, and Naphtali (49:19-21) little is spoken. Gad was recognized as gallant warriors, Asher’s agricultural products would be highly regarded, and Naphtali would use “beautiful words” (NKJV). This is generally understood in relation to Judges 4 and 5. To Joseph and Benjamin (49:22-27), Jacob extends his praise to Joseph, but not to his youngest son Benjamin. To Joseph was given the status of firstborn (1 Chronicles 5:1-2), thus, he represented Israel to all (though there was no tribe of Joseph in the land distribution). “This history of Israel, both before and after the division, was most significantly influenced by the Joseph tribes and the tribe of Judah” (Jones, p. 237).

4. Application: The legacy of the sons, especially Simeon and Levi, brings consequences that others pay for. This does not mean that what the father were the sons had to be, but it does means that the sins of the father will be reaped by the following generation (or generations). This is surely seen throughout history and even experienced by families. Many things in life people are not proud of, but they can be proud of the changed course that they are now (or should be) walking on. This kind of physical legacy is a legacy that is not lasting, but instructive in a positive way.

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Genesis 48

1. Jacob has reached the end of his life; before he passes, however, he seeks to have a final word with Joseph and then final words with his other sons (C-49). In his final words to Joseph and his two sons, he relates the experiences he has endured and that God brought him through it all. While he thought he would not see his son Joseph, he reflected on how blessed he was to see Joseph’s sons.

2. Jacob does something that is interesting; right near the time of his passing he adopts the two sons of Joseph and says, “and now your two sons…are mine” (48:5). This is important because we learn that Rueben, Jacob’s firstborn, lost his status in this position. Physically speaking, he will always be the firstborn, but it carried with certain responsibilities, not just rewards. Reuben threw it away as did Esau (49:3-4; 1 Chronicles 5:1-2).

3. Now adopted into the status of being Jacob’s sons, Jacob further delineates between the two. Manasseh was the firstborn, but Jacob places his hand on Ephraim and gives to him the higher status between the two. Joseph resisted this (it displeased him, 48:17), but Jacob knew exactly what he was doing. In this sacred setting, a number of things occur: first, Joseph is blessed (48:15-16) and, second, he placed in his family as direct descendants (via adoption, 48:6) both Ephraim and Manasseh; third, Joseph received a “double portion” in the family.

4. Application: We always live in the present; we don’t live in the past, and the future has yet to arrive. Living in the present, as Jacob did, he was now preparing for the future. More than that, however, he was preparing to enter into the realm of eternity. Much heartache was experienced in his life, but in the moment in which he was living he was able to see his son (Joseph) and his grandsons (Manasseh and Ephraim). The heartache of the past was behind him, the joy of the heart was in the present, and the reward of eternity was before him. Paul’s words to the Philippians comes to mind in this (Philippians 3:12-14).

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Genesis 47

1. Having arrived to their new home, Jacob and five of his sons are taken before the Pharaoh, making an official request to reside in the land. Pharaoh is more charitable than the words reveal in 46:29 in that the livestock of Pharaoh needs a competent person to oversee his own flocks (47:5-6).

2. Now the great patriarch stands before the king, and his age is asked. Jacob tells him he is 130 years of age (Since Joseph is about 39, that would mean that Joseph was born to Jacob when he was 91. Jacob was at least twenty years with Laban, making him about 70 years of age when he left home and arrived at Laban’s.). Twice, in this section, Jacob “blesses” the king. It is not known in what way that Israel “blessed” Pharaoh, but Wenham thinks it might have been in a form of a prayer. The formal meeting is over, and Joseph takes his family and “settles” them in the land of Goshen (47:11-12).

3. Joseph now is underway with administration during the famine years (five years remaining), and in this period, the people sell their land to the government in order to survive – all with Joseph’s administrative ability. Joseph, in turn, moves the people into the cities and gives the people seed to sow the land – with a tax of 20%. Now, seventeen years have come and gone (47:28); Joseph was still in position of authority, and Jacob, preparing for death, makes a request of his son that he would not be buried in Egypt, but that his body would be taken back to the land of promise (47:30). Jewish theology has an odd reason for this request of Jacob: he knew “those who are buried outside Eretz Yisrael will not come to life at the Resurrection until they roll through the earth to Eretz Yisrael” (Chumash, p. 268). This odd reason of Jewish theology, I can safely say, is to be dismissed.

4. Application: I mention Jewish theology in this chapter for really one reason. They put a great deal of emphasis on the material land without regard to the power of God. Is it really the case that a body must be in the geographical border of Israel before he (she) will attain to the resurrection? The question has an obvious answer. It goes to show, however, that when loyalty to a material realm is so strong, spiritual rationality dismissed. In this we can make an application.

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Genesis 45

1. Judah’s appeal made an impact on Joseph. It is not known whether or not Joseph made any plans to reveal himself to his brother, but on this occasion, planned or not, he did. I am always touched by the scene of the first part of the chapter; I try to imagine how it played out, and I can well appreciate the “motionless” (or dumbfounded) response of the sons of Jacob (45:3). For such a long time, it is likely, they wondered at what had happened to Joseph. Though they attributed to him that he was dead, they had no way of knowing that, and now that he declares to them who he is, probably a range of fearful emotions come over them. Joseph knew as much, thus he reassures them (45:4, 7-8, 24).

2. Word spreads throughout the “palace” and when Pharaoh learns he sends for the family of the “savior” of Egypt. If Joseph was such a great man to receive from the Lord God the ability of interpreting dreams, one can only image something, anything about the remainder of his family! Jacob, though, is hard pressed to believe this; in time, however, he comes to a point of belief and whatever sadness there was about him with respect to Simeon and Benjamin, his sorrow over the years is now overturned (45:28).

3. Application: The joy of reunion is beyond descriptive words. The joy of reunion for Joseph was that whatever bitterness he might have had, it was now gone. He could look upon the future as one that needed nurture, not just repaired. The joy for Jacob was that he could now reclaim joy in knowing that each of his sons was alive. He could also rejoice over the fact that near youngest son had attained to a station in life where he “saw” the Lord’s protective care – more than that he was over Egypt. Reunion is always better when wrong is made into right.

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Genesis 44

1. Jacob’s sons left their uncomfortable environment; it is possible that when they left their discomfort was somewhat dissipating. Whether this was the case or not, it was not long after they left that Joseph, who was still in the midst of teaching his brothers a lesson, sprang the trap he placed them in.

2. When the trap is sprung the brothers of Joseph was greatly surprised and, no doubt, perplexed. Hearing the accusations, with great emphasis the brothers are not only surprised, but they deny any wrong-doing at all; so sure are they that the guilty one will be given over to the death penalty while the others go into servitude (44:7-9). As search was made the “stolen” item was found with Benjamin.

3. One can only imagine Benjamin’s horror at such a find, but add to that what Judah was now facing (failure), he felt no other compulsion but to step forward, putting himself at physical risk, and asked for Pharaoh’s mercy (44:18). Coffman cites the words of John Skinner (ICC) about what Judah said to Joseph, “It is the finest specimen of dignified and persuasive eloquence in the OT” (Coffman, p. 517).

4. Application: As has been previously stated, the brothers are feeling the guilt/shame/sin of their actions against their younger brother over two decades previous. As Judah and his brothers prostrates themselves before their governmental superior, it is then that Judah confesses openly that “God has found out the iniquity of your servants” (or “God has exposed the sin of your servants” NET; 44:16). Of course, the sin of Jacob’s sons was long ago known by the Lord (it had been “found out”), now there was an experiential and heavy load carried all these years that loosed. In this we, too, can learn. Confess sin to the Lord, resolves to do right, and be sure to stay on the Lord’s path of righteousness.

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Genesis 43

1. Having returned from Egypt with the necessary grain for food, it was but an inevitable thing that the food would run short, and in this chapter we read about that. The sons of Israel knew what the authority of Pharaoh said concerning their next arrival (42:18-20); if there was no younger brother with them they could not stand before him (44:23), thus they could not get the necessary food to sustain them and their large family.

2. Jacob was told this (42:33-36), but he was not willing to part with his son, who by this time was in his twenties (he was born before Joseph went into slavery and it had been about twenty-two years since that time; 35:18). Judah speaks plainly to his father and, finally, Jacob relents and resigns himself to the possibility of Benjamin not being seen again (43:14). It does not matter, evidently, to Jacob that his fourth son made a solemn promise to him to care and protect him. Already he has lost one son and another is incarcerated.

3. Jacob’s sons arrive in Egypt and Joseph prepares for them a festive occasion. his brothers, not sure how to interpret what was going on, appeal to the servant of the house that their honesty is in full view bringing with them “double-money” for the purchase of the grain needed; though they were reassured (43:23) it is difficult to know how comforting that was to them in in this most unusual circumstance. Joseph comes out; they exchange pleasant greetings and conversation, and then begin to eat.

4. Application: Joseph’s brothers were “haggard” by their guilt/sin (Numbers 32:23); they simply did not allow themselves to be comfortable in an uncomfortable environment. It is not unusual to be uncomfortable in a new environment, but when guilt and sin is added to one’s apprehension, this is multiplied many times. It is obvious as to how one can remedy this, and if we are honest with ourselves the obvious remedy becomes clear.

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Genesis 42

1. Over twenty years have come and gone since Joseph saw his brothers last. The lasting memory of his brothers was when they cast him into a pit, retrieved him, and sold him into slavery. If there was an occasion for bitterness to exist this was it. However, we do not read or get the impression that Joseph had bitterness in him (cf. 45:5). Though he may not have been bitter he did play rough (42:7)!

2. The two decade interval between seeing one another was able to prevent Joseph’s brothers from recognizing to whom they were speaking (42:8). There are good reasons for this; they expected to see Joseph no more, having sold him into slavery; in fact, they thought he was dead (42:22; 44:20). The man they saw could have resembled Joseph (for all they knew), but they surely did not expect a man of similar appearance (if they thought this) to be Joseph over Egypt! Third, if for some reason (inkling) they thought the resemblance of the man to be Joseph, the existence of an interpreter between the two parties would have eliminated the thought.

3. As Joseph interacts with them he placed within them fear, a fear they attributed to their guilt in how they handled the situation with the younger brother (42:22). Joseph was moved as he learned, for the first time, the role some his brothers played in the treachery. Even though Joseph “played” rough, he sends the men home with the necessary food and a reimbursement of the purchase price they paid. The fear/apprehension of the brothers is amplified when they learn that in the sacks of grain each had their purchase price inserted (42:28, 35). Explaining all this to their father, Jacob is grieved yet once more in the loss of another son (Simeon).

4. Application: Guilt is a mighty power feeling. Its power can be utilized toward that which is good or toward that which is debilitating. It can be good because if it motivates us toward godly fear/repentance then the guilt is removed (2 Corinthians 7:9-10). It is bad when we are so ridden with guilt that the oppressive weight prevents us from moving. There is a resignation of self to the consequences, hopelessness, and rejection. For over twenty years Joseph’s brothers lived with the guilt of their actions. If it were not for Joseph, they would have died with no opportunity (presumably) to get things right. Where can we find Joseph?

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Genesis 41

1. The chain of events that brought Israel to Egypt is now brought before us. Joseph, being twelve (or thirteen) years in prison was released to stand before the king of Egypt; he was thirty years old (41:46). The king has him brought forth because he had heard it said of him that he is able to interpret dreams, but Joseph accepts no credit for this; instead he gives all attention (glory) to God (41:16).

2. When Pharaoh replays his dream Joseph gives him the meaning of the dream. He declares that the two dreams are one and that the “doubling of Pharaoh’s dream means that the thing is fixed by God” (41:32). The wording of this verse might encourage one to think that the lack of doubling-dreams by the chief baker and the cupbearer would suggest that the interpretations were not fixed by God. This would be a mistake in understanding; when the Lord brings about a dream for those involved – it is fixed.. The Chumash reads this way, “As for the repetition of the dream to Pharaoh – two times – it is because the matter stands ready before God, and God is hastening to accomplish it.”

3. So impressed was Pharaoh that after the recommendation by Joseph concerning how to address the upcoming fourteen years he placed him in authority over all (41:44). Now married to the daughter of an Egyptian priest, two sons were born to him and his wife. Having made all the necessary preparations the famine comes (41:54).

4. Application: For a period of 12 or 13 years Joseph was in prison and, all of a sudden like, he is removed, cleaned up, and is standing before the king. To make the circumstances all that more anxious, it is demanded of him to hear and interpret the king’s dream. Perhaps Joseph was in full control of all his emotions at this juncture; on the other hand, perhaps he was feeling the stress of it all. In either case, it is likely he knew that an interpretation not liked or received could result in death – even if God gave the answer. Joseph stays the course (41:16). Again, suddenly he is thrust from the position of a slave to the second highest ranking man in Egypt. Did his managerial skills over a household and over prisoners prepare him for this? Whether it did or not, we can say for certain that the Lord prepared him. Has the Lord prepared you for a work to be done?

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Genesis 40

1. Joseph, now in prison (dungeon) had proved himself all over again (39:22-23). It is unknown exactly how long Joseph was with Potiphar before he was put in prison; Jews think it was but one year, while it was the ninth year of Joseph’s “residence” in prison that we read of the events in this chapter (cf. 41:1, 46).

2. Two of Pharaoh’s royal officials were cast into the prison where Joseph was a servant overseeing many of the prisoners. One of the prisoners was a cupbearer (chief butler, NKJV). “The Hebrew term cupbearer corresponds to the Egyptian wb’, an official (frequently a foreigner) who often became a confidant of the king and wielded political power (see K. A. Kitchen, NBD, 248). Nehemiah held this post in Persia” (NET, E-sword). The other prisoner was, just as the words indicate, the chief baker. These men played an enormous role in protecting the king; if the food or drink was tainted at all, these men who would be the “tasters” suffer first and, thus, spare the king.

3. While in prison they had dreams that were perplexing to them. Joseph inquires and declares that only God can interpret dreams. Because God was the interpreter of these dreams the certainty of their meaning was indisputable. Just as Joseph told the officials of Pharaoh, it came to pass.

4. Application: Dreams are remarkable. There are times when we dream and wonder about that which we dreamt. Other times we hardly remember if we dreamed at all. Every now and again I will think on my dreams and try to ascertain some reason for its existence in the overnight hours. Invariably, though, I have no luck at all. Since only God can properly interpret, it is a matter of good judgment for man to leave it there; however this good judgment has not prevented man from offering interpretations just the same. Even if one might properly interpret dreams, certainty of meaning (if any) belongs exclusively to God. Another point of application might be worth considering: it would have been easy, and perhaps it was actually occurring at the time, for Joseph to be in despair. For no wrong that he committed, he was in prison. He was in prison because of the evil of man (female). How should he approach his existence? One of two ways, I suppose. He could reply with despair and defeat or as Paul and Silas (Acts 16:25). Admittedly, it is much easier to say what should be done when sitting in the comforts of an office. However, is it not true just the same?

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Genesis 39

1. The Holy Spirit resumes with the occasion that brought Joseph to Egypt. Joseph was sold into slavery and, by the Lord’s direction he was bought by a high ranking Egyptian official (39:1). All indications in this chapter (and the following ones) are that Joseph was a virtuous man caught in a bad circumstance that originated from his own doing, at least with respect to his dream. It is reasonable that Joseph would do the necessary reflection that brought all this on him. In the house of Potiphar Joseph was a favored man (39:4-5).

2. This is important to note because some doubt this: from the Midrash there is this interpretation: “Joseph became preoccupied with his appearance and began to curl his hair. God said, [consequently] ‘Your father is mourning and you curl you hair! I will incite the bear [Potiphar’s wife] against you’” (Chumash, p. 215). A striking interpretation, wouldn’t you say?! To muddy this even further, they regard her as having pure motives in this scenario! (p. 213). Nothing in the chapter allows for one to interpret Joseph’s actions like this.

3. In any event, Joseph goes about his business and, ultimately, Potiphar’s wife propositions him. Joseph fled the situation and eventually was thrown into prison. Why was he not killed by Potiphar? No way to know; perhaps it had to do with Potiphar wavering on the legitimacy of the story since he favored Joseph so much (cf. John Gill); on the other hand, at the very least, we can say for certain that he was not killed because the Lord did not allow it.

4. Application: What attracts one person to another? In the case of Joseph there are two things. First, he was an attractive young man (39:6) and, second, he was honorable. He was not honorable in material wealth, but he was honorable in honesty, virtue, and he served the Almighty (39:9). There is great emphasis placed on outward appearances in society, but outward appearance only covers what is on the inside. What is it that people see in you? Do they see the “inward” Joseph or do they see the outward appearance that time alters?

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Genesis 38

1. This chapter does not present itself, in obvious form, to be related to what has come before and what shall come after. Though it may not be obvious in one respect, there is a unity associated with this chapter and the others, especially of chapters 24, 27, and 34. Jewish theologians show a connection to chapter 37 by saying that the brothers blamed Judah for their father’s grief, thus Judah moved away and suffered punishment from God in the loss of two of his sons (Chumash, p. 208). This sounds interesting, but there is nothing in the biblical text to support it, not even the word “departed”.

2. Reflecting on the chapters mentioned there is a unity in relation to marriage and children. Abraham did not allow for Isaac to be married to a Canaanite; Isaac did not allow for Jacob to marry a Canaanite, and now we read of Judah doing so (38:2). With the marrying of a Canaanite problems arose that were of a different nature than that which arose with Rebekah, Leah, or Rachael.

3. There is another point of unity in this chapter: “Judah and Tamar: The roots of the Messiah and the Israelite monarchy” (Chumash, subtitle to section, p. 208). Two sons of Judah were punished (killed) by the Lord; the third son of Judah was prevented from siring. No sons of Judah, no Messiah, and through Perez our Lord came.

4. Application: From this chapter it seems that one might have difficulty gleaning a practical application. Though it may seem that way, I think there is an important lesson to be learned. From our vantage point what Judah did toward his daughter-in-law (withholding his son, Sheleh) was, at best, unfortunate. We can understand the fear he might have had, but perhaps he failed to take note of the failings of his other sons. On this I want to develop a thought. My wife is a teacher and it is remarkable how many parents look upon their children has having done nothing wrong when they get in trouble at school. Not all parents think and act this way, but many do. When the wrong is made clear, some parents refuse to see or hear anything about it. What does the child then learn?

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Genesis 37

1. In this last section of Genesis, the largest section (fourteen chapters pertaining to Abraham), we have the story of Joseph. That is what many think. In fact, we have the continuing story of Jacob, with Joseph now playing a significant role. Joseph was a “lad” (NKJV), though the NET reads “youngster”, “being but a boy” (Darby, similar to ESV), one definition of the word “lad” is “boy, from the age of infancy to adolescence” (E-sword). I find this interesting because Joseph was seventeen years old.

2. In any event, Joseph had a habit (in the chapter) of building a “wall of separation” between him and others. This “wall of separation” might have come easily to his brothers because Jacob loved Joseph more than all his other sons (37:3). As occasion saw to it, the brothers had an opportunity to get back at Joseph; they tired of him, his dreams, and how they came out in submissive roles in the dreams. A plan had been set in motion when Joseph arrived, and there was a conspiracy “to kill him” (37:18); Reuben, however, was able to thwart that in order to rescue him later (37:22).

3. Joseph arrives (Rueben not present) and the brothers decided to throw him into a pit, a cistern where, it appears, he would have been until he died (or Reuben arrived). Having changed their mind, the brothers sell him to the Ishmaelites (also known as Midianites, Judges 6:3; 8:24; “these were near neighbours, so they might join together in merchandise, and travel in company for greater safety, and are sometimes called the one, and sometimes the other, as well as they might mix together in their habitations and marriages,” John Gill, E-sword). Reuben arrives and when he learns what took place a deception plan is prepared for their father, Jacob. Jacob is overcome and refused to be comforted in his grief.

4. Application: Unbeknownst to Jacob, Joseph, and his brothers, the Lord gave an indication of the future. While it was “as occasion saw to it” it was really the providence of the Lord in action. It is amazing to look back at our own history and take note of what we each of us interpret, occasionally, as the providence of the Lord. There is another application in this chapter for us, one that is quite practical in child-rearing: favorites produce much heartache. The Jews used this event as an opportunity to instruct; “…the Sages use this incident as an example for their dictum that a father should not single out one child among his others” (Chumash, p. 199). We can see good reason for this.

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Genesis 36

1. I have decided to take the introductory remarks of James Coffman on this chapter because I can offer nothing better.

2. “Roehrs referred to this chapter as a “list of meaningless names,” suggesting that it is an act of penance merely to read it! Despite such a view, however, there remains an eternal significance in what is here written. (1) This chapter shows that God continued to be interested in all people, not merely the covenant family, and that His ultimate purpose was the blessing of “all the families of the earth,” even as mentioned to Abraham (Gen. 12:1ff). (2) It was just as necessary to register the generations of Esau as it was to register those of Jacob, “in order to show that the Messiah did not spring from the former, but from the latter.” (3) Esau’s intermarriage with the Canaanites resulted in the amalgamation with them, demonstrating the reason why God refused to the Israelites any foreign marriages. (4) The adoption on the part of Esau and his posterity of the monarchical system of government, resulting in anarchy and the degeneration of his whole race, provided for Israel an object lesson which they should have heeded, but did not. (5) Another purpose of the chapter was that of showing “fairness to Esau.” Here we learn that it was Esau who voluntarily left Canaan and dwelt in Seir in order to avoid conflict with his brother Jacob.

3. The divisions of the chapter are: Esau’s wives and children (Genesis 36:1-8). Esau’s sons and grandsons, as fathers of tribes (Genesis 36:9-14). Tribe-princes who descended from Esau (Genesis 36:15-19). Pre-Edomite peoples, descendents of Seir the Horite (Genesis 36:20-30). The kings of the land of Edom (Genesis 36:31-39). Seats of the tribe-princes of Esau (Genesis 36:40-43).

4. Application: It is almost a truism that when an assembly of people grow larger that “God has blessed them.” I say it is almost a truism, but thoughtful people will recognize this is not always the case. With Esau, it is the case, however, that God had blessed his posterity; they grew into a great nation (17:6). In our small struggling works, let us take encouragement that when we do the Lord’s work – and we need to make sure it is the Lord’s work – when we do the Lord’s work, the Lord blesses us and that work.

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