Highlights of Genesis 47 ‒ 50

Highlights From Bible Reading ‒ Genesis 47 ‒ 50

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GENESIS 47 ‒ 50

*** w07 10/1 p. 11 Distressed Sisters Who “Built the House of Israel” *** In old age Jacob admitted that his life—including his domestic affairs—had been distressing. (Genesis 47:9) Doubtless, life had been distressing for Leah and Rachel as well. Their experiences highlight the sad consequences of polygamy and illustrate why Jehovah established that a man should have one wife. (Matthew 19:4-8; 1 Timothy 3:2, 12) Jealousy results when the romantic or sexual interests of a husband or a wife are not limited to one person—his or her spouse. That is one reason why God prohibits fornication and adultery.— 1 Corinthians 6:18; Hebrews 13:4.

*** w04 5/15 pp. 16-17 pars. 7-8 Caring for the Elderly—A Christian Responsibility *** 7 Jacob’s devotion to Jehovah remained strong to the end of his life. (Hebrews 11:21) Because of his faith in divine promises, Jacob asked that his remains be buried in Canaan. Joseph honored his father by complying with this request, despite the considerable cost and effort involved.—Genesis 47:29-31; 50:7-14.
8 What motivated Joseph to care for his father? While love and a sense of indebtedness to the one who had given him life and who had nurtured him were factors, Joseph no doubt also felt a keen desire to please Jehovah. So should we. Paul wrote: “If any widow has children or grandchildren, let these learn first to practice godly devotion in their own household and to keep paying a due compensation to their parents and grandparents, for this is acceptable in God’s sight.” (1 Timothy 5:4) Indeed, love for Jehovah and reverential fear of him will move us to care for aging parents, no matter what challenges doing so may involve.

*** w05 6/1 p. 31 Questions From Readers *** Jesus’ disciples knew that throughout history, angels rendered personal assistance to God’s people. For example, Jacob spoke of “the angel who has been recovering me from all calamity.” (Genesis 48:16) And regarding a young child in their midst, Jesus told his followers: “See to it that you men do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that their angels in heaven always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.”—Matthew 18:10.
Interestingly, Young’s Literal Translation of the Holy Bible renders the word ag′ge•los (“angel”) as “messenger.” It appears that there was a belief among some Jews that each servant of God had his own angel—in effect, a “guardian angel.” Of course, this view is not directly taught in God’s Word. Still, it is possible that when the disciples said, “It is his angel,” they were assuming that an angelic messenger representing Peter stood at the gate.

*** w04 5/15 p. 17 par. 9 Caring for the Elderly—A Christian Responsibility *** 9 Near the end of his long life, Jacob referred to Jehovah as “the true God who has been shepherding me during all my existence until this day.” (Genesis 48:15) Today, Jehovah shepherds his earthly servants by means of Christian overseers, or elders, under the direction of his Son, Jesus Christ, “the chief shepherd.” (1 Peter 5:2-4)

TMS REVIEW *** w12 1/1 p. 29 She Acted Wisely, Bravely, and Selflessly *** A Prophecy Fulfilled In fighting for God’s people, Esther and Mordecai fulfilled another Bible prophecy. Over a dozen centuries earlier, Jehovah inspired the patriarch Jacob to foretell regarding one of his sons: “Benjamin will keep on tearing like a wolf. In the morning he will eat the animal seized and at evening he will divide spoil.” (Genesis 49:27) In the “morning” of Israel’s kingly history, Benjamin’s descendants included King Saul and other mighty warriors for Jehovah’s people. In the “evening” of that royal history, after the sun had set on Israel’s kingly line, Esther and Mordecai, both of the tribe of Benjamin, warred effectively against Jehovah’s enemies. In a sense, they also divided spoil, in that Haman’s vast estate went to them.

*** w04 1/15 p. 29 par. 3 Highlights From the Book of Genesis—II *** 49:10—What is the meaning of “the scepter” and “the commander’s staff”? A scepter is a baton carried by a ruler as a symbol of royal authority. The commander’s staff is a long rod denoting his power to command. Jacob’s reference to these indicated that significant authority and power would reside with the tribe of Judah until the coming of Shiloh. This descendant of Judah is Jesus Christ, the one upon whom Jehovah has bestowed heavenly rulership. Christ holds royal authority and possesses the power to command.—Psalm 2:8, 9; Isaiah 55:4; Daniel 7:13, 14.

*** w10 6/15 pp. 16-17 par. 8 “Keep Conquering the Evil” by Controlling Anger *** 8 Dinah’s tragic experience must have grieved Jacob deeply; yet, he condemned his sons’ vengeful course. Simeon and Levi still tried to justify their actions, saying: “Ought anyone to treat our sister like a prostitute?” (Gen. 34:31) But that was not the end of the matter, for Jehovah was displeased. Many years later, Jacob foretold that because of the violent, angry acts of Simeon and Levi, their descendants would be scattered among the tribes of Israel. (Read Genesis 49:5-7.) Yes, their uncontrolled anger brought disfavor both from God and from their father.

*** w11 8/15 pp. 26-27 pars. 17-19 Jehovah—“The God Who Gives Peace” *** 17 After the death of their father, Jacob, Joseph’s brothers thought that Joseph might take vengeance on them. As they expressed their fears to him, Joseph “burst into tears” and replied: “Do not be afraid. I myself shall keep supplying you and your little children with food.” Peace-loving Joseph “comforted them and spoke reassuringly to them.”—Gen. 50:15-21.
18 “All the things that were written aforetime were written for our instruction,” wrote Paul, “that through our endurance and through the comfort from the Scriptures we might have hope.” (Rom. 15:4) 19 Does not appreciatively reflecting on what Jehovah has done to heal the damaged relationship between him and sinful mankind move us to do all we can to pursue peace with others?

*** w09 2/15 pp. 30-31 Christian Funerals—Dignified, Modest, and Pleasing to God *** When a person has put in writing his personal instructions regarding his funeral arrangements, it is much easier to reason with non-Witness family members, since they are likely to respect the wishes of the deceased.
How the funeral should be conducted, where it should take place, and who should have the sole authority to organize and hold it are important details that need to be put in writing. (Gen. 50:5) Most effective is a document that is signed and witnessed. Those who look ahead with insight and wisdom based on Bible principles know that they need not wait until they are very old or terminally ill before they consider taking this step.—Prov. 22:3; Eccl. 9:12.

References consulted in Watchtower Online Library

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