Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Notes on the Bible January 19-20

Genesis 45-48

These chapters begin the conclusion to the Joseph narrative. Joseph reveals himself to his brothers.Israel and his sons move to Egypt. Joseph establishes full pharaonic control over all Egypt as the people essentially sell all they have, including their souls, for food. [This notice makes me wonder how much Americans are satisfied with increasing government control over their lives as long as their stomachs are full. It seems to be an early case of 'bread and circuses.']

Chapter 48 then gives the account of the blessing of Ephraim and Manasseh. As is the case throughout Genesis, the younger brother is preferred over the elder. This shows that essentially Joseph is treated as the eldest brother, as he receives a double inheritance. The story at this point seems almost to end where it started, with Joseph as clearly the preferred son.

Matthew 13:10-52

The parables of the kingdom, which are found all together here in Matthew. One of the most difficult of these is the parable of the wheat and the tares (parable given in vss 24-30, interpreted in vss 36-43). There is much debate in the commentary literature over whether the field is the world or the church. Jesus words in vs 38 seem to settle the question, "The field is the world." But that creates a problem for some who have difficulty equating the world (vs 38) with the kingdom (vs 24).

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