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

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

Judah’s Children

Genesis 38: Every sperm is sacred

Judah (recall: Israel’s fourth son) came upon a Canaanite woman named Shuah, and as per local custom, immediately proceeded to have sex with her. Shuah had three sons – Er, Onan, and Shelah.

When they were adults, Judah found a wife Er, whose name was Tamar. But God didn’t like Er, so …Continue reading Judah’s Children

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

Jacob’s Wives

Genesis 29: The FIFO policy

Jacob continued on his journey until he stopped at a well to ask for directions. “Do you know where Laban is?” he asked. “Of course! And behold, here comes his hot daughter Rachel! ” replied the shepherds at the well.
“By the way,” mused Jacob, “why don’t you uncover that well there and …Continue reading Jacob’s Wives