Summary of Genesis 37-50:
God saves his family as a foreshadowing of how he will save the world. Forgiveness solves the problem of sin and allows for re-creation.
The book of Genesis is the first book of the Bible and one of the five books of the Pentateuch, traditionally attributed to Moses. It can be divided into two main sections: **Primitive History** (chapters 1-11) and **Patriarchal History** (chapters 12-50).
Primitive History records four major events: the **creation** of the world and humanity (chapters 1-2), the **fall** of humanity into sin and its consequences (chapters 3-5), the **flood** that destroyed the wicked world (chapters 6-9), and the **confusion of languages** at the tower of Babel that dispersed the nations (chapters 10-11).
Patriarchal History narrates the lives of four main patriarchs: **Abraham**, the father of faith and of the chosen people (chapters 12-25), **Isaac**, the son of promise and heir of the covenant (chapters 21-28), **Jacob**, the ancestor of the twelve tribes of Israel (chapters 25-36), and **Joseph**, the favored son who became a ruler in Egypt and saved his family from famine (chapters 37-50).
Some scholars also divide Genesis by using a phrase that occurs ten times in the book: "These are the generations of..." This phrase introduces a new section that traces a genealogy or a history of a person or a family. For example, Genesis 2:4 says "These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created..." and Genesis 5:1 says "This is the book of the generations of Adam."
The number 70 in the Bible, as shown in the examples below, symbolizes fullness, restoration, and an endpoint:
- The post-flood world was repopulated by 70 descendants of Noah, resulting in 70 nations (Genesis 10).
- Terah, the father of Abraham, was 70 years old when Abraham was born (Genesis 11:26).
- The nation of Israel began with 70 Hebrews who migrated to Egypt (Exodus 1:1-5).
- Moses appointed 70 elders to be the governing body of Israel (Numbers 11:16).
- Ancient Israel spent a total of 70 years in captivity in Babylon (Jeremiah 29:10).
- Seventy sevens (490 years) were determined upon Jerusalem for it to complete its transgressions, to make an end for sins and for everlasting righteousness to enter into it (Daniel 9:24).
- Jesus sent out 70 disciples on a training mission to preach the gospel to the surrounding area (Luke 10).
The connection between Joseph and Jesus is that Joseph is a type or a shadow of Jesus, meaning that his life and actions foreshadowed and pointed to the life and actions of Jesus. There are many similarities between Joseph and Jesus, such as:
- Both were the objects of their father's special love.
- Both had promises of divine exaltation.
- Both were mocked by their family.
- Both were sold for pieces of silver.
- Both were stripped of their robe.
- Both were delivered up to the Gentiles.
- Both were falsely accused.
- Both were faithful amid temptation.
- Both were thrown into prison.
- Both stood before rulers.
- Both had their power acknowledged by those in authority.
- Both saved their rebellious brothers from death when they realized who they were.
- Both were exalted after and through humiliation.
- Both embraced God's purpose even though it brought them intense physical harm.
- Both were the instruments God used at the hands of the Gentiles to bless his people.
- Both welcomed Gentiles to be part of their family.
- Both gave hungry people bread.
- Both had people bow their knee before them.
The connection between Joseph and Jesus highlights the continuity between the Old and New Testaments and serves as a testament to God's unchanging love and provision for his people.
Joseph could no longer keep his composure in front of all his attendants, so he called out, “Send everyone away from me!” No one was with him when he revealed his identity to his brothers. But he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard it, and also Pharaoh’s household heard it. Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still living?” But they could not answer him because they were terrified in his presence.
Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Please, come near me,” and they came near. “I am Joseph, your brother,” he said, “the one you sold into Egypt. And now don’t be grieved or angry with yourselves for selling me here, because God sent me ahead of you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there will be five more years without plowing or harvesting. God sent me ahead of you to establish you as a remnant within the land and to keep you alive by a great deliverance. Therefore it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household, and ruler over all the land of Egypt.
“Return quickly to my father and say to him, ‘This is what your son Joseph says: “God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me without delay. You can settle in the land of Goshen and be near me—you, your children, and your grandchildren, your flocks, your herds, and all you have. There I will sustain you, for there will be five more years of famine. Otherwise, you, your household, and everything you have will become destitute.” ’ Look! Your eyes and the eyes of my brother Benjamin can see that I’m the one speaking to you. Tell my father about all my glory in Egypt and about all you have seen. And bring my father here quickly.” Then Joseph threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin wept on his shoulder. Joseph kissed each of his brothers as he wept, and afterward his brothers talked with him.
When the news reached Pharaoh’s palace, “Joseph’s brothers have come,” Pharaoh and his servants were pleased. Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Tell your brothers, ‘Do this: Load your animals and go on back to the land of Canaan. Get your father and your families, and come back to me. I will give you the best of the land of Egypt, and you can eat from the richness of the land.’ You are also commanded to tell them, ‘Do this: Take wagons from the land of Egypt for your dependents and your wives and bring your father here. Do not be concerned about your belongings, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.’ ”
So they went up from Egypt and came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan. They said, “Joseph is still alive, and he is ruler over all the land of Egypt!” Jacob was stunned, for he did not believe them. But when they told Jacob all that Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent to transport him, the spirit of their father Jacob revived. Then Israel said, “Enough! My son Joseph is still alive. I will go to see him before I die.”
Israel set out with all that he had and came to Beer-sheba, and he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. That night God spoke to Israel in a vision: “Jacob, Jacob!” he said. And Jacob replied, “Here I am.”
God said, “I am God, the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there. I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you back. Joseph will close your eyes when you die.”
Jacob left Beer-sheba. The sons of Israel took their father Jacob in the wagons Pharaoh had sent to carry him, along with their dependents and their wives. They also took their cattle and possessions they had acquired in the land of Canaan. Then Jacob and all his offspring with him came to Egypt. His sons and grandsons, his daughters and granddaughters, indeed all his offspring, he brought with him to Egypt.
These are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt—Jacob and his sons: Jacob’s firstborn: Reuben. Reuben’s sons: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi. Simeon’s sons: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul, the son of a Canaanite woman. Levi’s sons: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. Judah’s sons: Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez, and Zerah; but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan. The sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul.
Issachar’s sons: Tola, Puvah, Jashub, and Shimron. Zebulun’s sons: Sered, Elon, and Jahleel. These were Leah’s sons born to Jacob in Paddan-aram, as well as his daughter Dinah. The total number of persons: thirty-three.
Gad’s sons: Ziphion, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi, and Areli. Asher’s sons: Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, Beriah, and their sister Serah. Beriah’s sons were Heber and Malchiel. These were the sons of Zilpah—whom Laban gave to his daughter Leah—that she bore to Jacob: sixteen persons.
The sons of Jacob’s wife Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin. Manasseh and Ephraim were born to Joseph in the land of Egypt. They were born to him by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, a priest at On. Benjamin’s sons: Bela, Becher, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim, and Ard. These were Rachel’s sons who were born to Jacob: fourteen persons.
Dan’s son: Hushim. Naphtali’s sons: Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem. These were the sons of Bilhah, whom Laban gave to his daughter Rachel. She bore to Jacob: seven persons. The total number of persons belonging to Jacob—his direct descendants, not including the wives of Jacob’s sons—who came to Egypt: sixty-six. And Joseph’s sons who were born to him in Egypt: two persons. All those of Jacob’s household who came to Egypt: seventy persons.