“The Cost: A Benjamin” – One Year Bible Reading – January 21

Old Testament:   Genesis 42:18-43:34

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Genesis 42:18-43:34    The Cost:  A Benjamin

Summary:  Joseph get the boys locked up for three days before sending them back on their way.  He kept brother Simeon as an encouragement for them to come back.  Joseph could overhear eldest brother Rueben saying that they were getting what they deserved for mistreating him.  Joseph put grain in their sacks for the trip but the boys thought it was a “set up.”

When they got home, Jacob was distraught.  He thought he had lost another son, Simeon.  The boys said they could retrieve Simeon if they brought little brother, Benjamin, with them when they went back to Egypt.  The boys thought they were in really bad trouble when they found the grain Joseph had stuffed into their sack.  Reuben vowed to bring Benjamin back to Jacob alive but the Dad was really leery, thinking they had messed things up enough already.

Finally, Jacob allowed the brothers to go back down to Egypt.  Jacob thought he could ply the harsh Egyptian taskmaster, Joseph, with double the money for grain and by offering what was in their bags along with nice stuff from the men’s department of the local store and some treats.

Joseph had the boys over for dinner. They bowed down to him just like in Joe’s dreams.  They didn’t recognize him.  The harsh Egyptian official kept asking personal questions about their family which they thought was strange.  Joe was especially glad to see his blood brother, Benjamin, but couldn’t really let on how happy he was.

 

In Chapter 42:18-38, after three days of incarceration, Joseph sent the boys on their way back home but kept Simeon, one of the brothers, just as he said (vv. 18 – 24). He could obviously understand the boys but they didn’t know it since he had an interpreter with him (v. 23). Joseph could hear Reuben saying they were getting what they deserved for allowing him to be “killed” (vv. 22-24). Joseph ordered that they all receive grain for their trip and that they get their money back that they paid. Of course, the boys didn’t know this and were terrified when they came to a rest stop and found their money back in their pouches (vv. 25-28). They thought God was punishing them. Funny thing, conscience.

When the guys got back home, they told Jacob the deal: they were supposed to bring Benjamin back to Joseph and then Simeon would be released (vv. 29-34). They were extra scared (v. 37) because when they got home they found out they all had their money that they brought to Egypt to pay for the grain and figured they were really in big trouble with whoever that really harsh Egyptian guy was (Joseph). Reuben swore he’d bring Benjamin back safely to Jacob (v. 37) but Jacob said they had fouled things up enough and he didn’t want them to take Benjamin (v. 38).

In Chapter 43, after a discussion, Jacob sent the brothers back down to Egypt, Reuben promising to take care of Benjamin. Jacob told them to take double the money plus what was in their bags along with a present of some hand cream, a little honey, some nice smelling gum and a little myrrh, pistachio nuts and almonds. He figured this might soften the harsh Egyptian guy (Joseph) and hoped the money in the bags was just a mistake by somebody (vv. 1-15).

When they got back to Egypt, Joseph had them over for dinner. The boys thought that Joseph thought like they did. They thought he was having them for dinner and to accuse them of stealing the money so he could keep them as slaves (v. 18).

The boys told the house official about the extra money in their pouches (vv. 20-22). He told them not to worry about it that God must’ve been taking care of them (v. 23a). Simeon was released for the banquet (v. 23b). Joseph came in and the boys bowed down to him just like in Joseph’s dreams (v. 28)! He asked about their father and how they all were doing. They gave him the presents they had brought and they bowed down to him again! When he saw his brother Benjamin, he had to go out and weep for a while then splashed some water on face and came back (v. 30).

Joseph couldn’t sit with his family. Egyptian rules, no sitting with Hebrews (v. 32). He seated them in order of their birth which kind of freaked them out (v. 33). And he made sure they had plenty of food and even served them himself, bringing Benjamin five times as much as everyone else (v. 34)!

New Testament:  Matthew 13:47-14:12

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Summary:

Jesus told one further parable about the kingdom of heaven, saying it was like a fisherman who uses a net and pulls up all kinds of fish, good and bad. The bad fish get thrown out like when the angels will sort out the saved from unsaved at the end of time.

He said that the Hebrew religious leaders who believed in Him had a double blessing.

Jesus was a failure in His own hometown.  He said prophets weren’t honored in their hometowns.

King Herod offed John the Baptist by separating his head from the rest of his body while his rotten, little stepdaughter danced.

 

Matthew 13:47-14:12    Dancing With The T’trarchs

Jesus told one more parable about the kingdom of heaven. He said it was like a fisherman who uses a net and pulls up all kinds of fish, good and bad. Then he throws out the bad fish. He said this would be like when the angels will sort out the saved from unsaved at the end of time (vv. 47-50).

He said that the Hebrew religious leaders who accepted Him had a double blessing since they understood the Old Testament as well as the new truths he was teaching (vv. 51-52).

Jesus went back to his hometown and taught and did miracles (vv. 53-54). People were amazed but then some rejected Him to the point He couldn’t do many miracles anymore (vv. 54, 58). That is when Jesus came up with the saying, “a prophet gets honored everywhere except in his own hometown” (v. 57).

Wicked King Herod Antipas the Tetrarch, not to be confused with his more wicked father who slaughtered the innocents in chap. 2 or Herod Archelaus or Herod Philip usually called Herod II, thought John the Baptist had come back to life in Jesus because He was doing so many miracles (vv. 1-2). Herod had John the Baptist imprisoned because he called a spade a spade about Herod marrying his sister-in-law (v. 3). At his birthday party, his step-daughter danced so well he stupidly promised her anything (vv. 6 -7). She asked that John’s head be brought out on a platter (v. 8, ew!). He didn’t really want to but he did it because he didn’t want to be embarrassed in front of his guests (v. 9). John’s disciples took the body and then told Jesus what happened (v. 12).

A tetrarch is technically a ruler over a fourth of kingdom but when Herod the Great (slight exaggeration, he wasn’t even very good) died, Rome divided Israel amongst his three sons.

220px-Palestine_after_Herod

The Division of Herod’s Kingdom (from Wikipedia):

Green: Territory under Herod Archelaus, from 6 Iudaea Province
Purple:  Territory under Herod Antipas  (our boy from today’s blog)
Orange:  Territory under Herod Philip II
Grey: Salome I (not the same “lady” as in our story today, cities of Jabneh, Azotas, Phaesalis)
 Yellow Autonomous cities (Decapolis)

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