Death of a Prince

Genesis 50: It’s coming – sooner or later

When Israel had breathed his last, Joseph fell upon him and wept. Then collecting himself, he ordered his father to be embalmed, which took forty days to complete. Accompanied by his family and the Pharaoh’s servants, Joseph took his father’s body for burial to the cave in Canaan where …Continue reading Death of a Prince

The Twelve Tribes of Israel

Genesis 48-49: Jacob’s Death

Joseph and his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, came to visit the ailing Israel. Israel repeated the Abrahamic covenant God had said so many times before, and then for some unknown reason, asserted Manasseh and Ephraim to be his own sons, then reminisced about Rachel, who had died giving birth to Joseph’s brother …Continue reading The Twelve Tribes of Israel

Israel goes to Egypt

Genesis 46-47: Serfdom begins

Israel (Jacob) and company packed up all they had and headed towards Egypt. Stopping for a rest, Israel offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac, who appeared to Israel in a dream. God reiterated the Abrahamic covenant about making a great nation, and the next morning, the group continued on their …Continue reading Israel goes to Egypt

Joseph VII

Genesis 44-45: Ta da!

The next morning, Joseph commanded that the brother’s sacks be filled with food, their money be returned, and that an expensive silver cup be stuffed into Benjamin’s sack. The brothers were sent home. Then, feeling particularly malevolent, Joseph commanded his servant to catch up with them and find out who had “stolen” his …Continue reading Joseph VII

Joseph VI

Genesis 43: A Feast

The famine in Canaan persisted, and when all the corn had been eaten up, Jacob again sent his sons to Egypt to buy some food. “Not unless you send Benjamin with us,” said Judah, one of Joseph’s brothers, “The corn guy said we couldn’t return there unless we’d brought our younger brother.”
“Well why’d …Continue reading Joseph VI

Joseph V

Genesis 42: Spies!

When Jacob heard that there was corn in Egypt while the rest of Canaan suffered a famine, he said to his sons, “What are you doing just standing around picking your noses? Get down to Egypt and buy us some corn!”, and so Joseph’s brothers (except Benjamin, lest mischief befall him) went to buy …Continue reading Joseph V

Joseph I

Genesis 37: You already know this story

Of all his sons, Israel (recall: Jacob) liked seventeen year-old Joseph the best. Israel made him a multicoloured coat so Joseph could flaunt his father’s favouritism, and needless to say, his brothers didn’t take kindly to this.

To make matters worse, Joseph was a little insensitive, so when he told his …Continue reading Joseph I


Genesis 35: An obstetrical death

After the massacre of Shalem, God told Jacob to flee to Bethel and build an altar there, so Jacob told his family and followers to get into clean clothes, purify themselves, and abandon their pagan gods. The party left towards Bethel, and although the neighbouring Canaanite towns were furious at Jacob for …Continue reading Benjamin

The Slaughter of Shalem

Genesis 34: Unfair advantage

One day, Dinah, one of Jacob’s daughters was spotted by Shechem, the prince of Shalem, where Jacob and family had settled. They slept together, and in the following pillow-talk, Shechem decided he was in love. Shechem said to his father, Hamor, “Get me this damsel to wife!” because he wanted to marry her.

Hamor …Continue reading The Slaughter of Shalem


Genesis 33: A Glad Reunion (and a rather boring chapter)

Finally Jacob came across Esau and his army and bowed down to him and his army, surely ready to meet his doom. But Esau embraced his brother and his family, and graciously received his brother’s gift of several hundred cattle. After this glad reunion, Esau returned to …Continue reading Reunited