Friday, October 8, 2010

Genesis 46-50: Joseph - SUPER cut throat businessman

So, Jacob et al head to Egypt. On the way God appears to Jacob in a dream, saying basically, "I know I said to stay in Canaan, but don't worry about going to Egypt, because I will be with you." Well that's just grand, God. God also says, "I will make you into a great nation there." Yeah, we'll see how that works out.

Then it lists out all of Jacob's descendants who are going with him to Egypt. Snore.

So they get to Goshen, which is the area of Egypt that Joseph told them to go to. Apparently Goshen is some of the best land in Egypt. Though I'm not sure why it matters, nothing is supposed to be growing anywhere because of this famine.

Joseph meets them there, and says he's going to go tell the Pharaoh that they arrived. He says they should all tell the Pharaoh that they are shepherds, so they will be allowed to settle in Goshen. Aside from being some of the best land, Goshen is apparently also where the Egyptians dump all the shepherds that they don't like. Hmm, great plan Joseph.

So Joseph and 5 of his brothers go see the Pharaoh, and he lets them live in Goshen. He also says that if any of them are super awesome shepherds, that they should watch the Pharaoh's animals. Fantastic. We never learn whether any of them become the royal shepherd though.

Then Joseph brings in Jacob. Jacob blesses the Pharaoh, then the Pharaoh asks Jacob how old he is (130), then Jacob blesses him again (I guess being 130, maybe he forgot that he did that already).

So the famine goes on, and eventually people run out of money to buy their own food back from Joseph. They say, "Oh, come on, just give us some food! Or would you rather we died, you prick?" Joseph, being a total prick, tells them that he will accept their livestock in exchange for food.

Then everyone runs out of livestock, and Joseph gives them food in exchange for their land and "bodies" (so they're all slaves now?). Apparently every single person in Egypt had to give up all their land to Joseph, except for the priests, who somehow had their own supply of food.

So, Joseph and the Pharaoh now owns all the money, all the food, all the livestock, all the land, and all the people in Egypt. Seriously, WTF? Also, does this mean that Hebrew slavery in Egypt is Joseph's fault? That would be freaking hilarious.

So now that he owns everything, Joseph gives people seeds to plant. But because it's the Pharaoh's land, 1/5 of anything grown belongs to the Pharaoh. But, Joseph was already taking 1/5 of everything even back when the Pharaoh didn't own everything, so I'm not sure what difference this is supposed to make.

Suddenly it's 17 years later, and Jacob is on the verge of death. He makes Joseph swear to bury him in that cave where Abraham and Isaac are buried. It's another appearance of "put your hand under my thigh!" Genesis 47:29.

So I guess at some point in this chapter the famine was over.

Chapter 48, Jacob is still dying. Joseph brings his 2 sons to see Jacob. Jacob claims the 2 kids as his own (WTF???) and says any more kids Joseph has can be Joseph's. He also rambles on for a while about how God appeared to him, and how Rachel died in Canaan.

Then Jacob seems to suddenly notice Joseph's (now Jacob's?) 2 kids (I'm my own uncle! I'm learning all about "traditional families," as defined by the bible). He put his right hand on the younger kid's head, and his left hand on the older kid's head, and blessed them. Apparently this was backward and Joseph was upset about it. But Jacob says, "Yeah, yeah, I know. The younger one will be greater, that's why I'm doing it this way."

Then Jacob promised Joseph "the ridge of land I took from the Amorites with my sword and my bow." Fantastic.

Then Jacob got all of his 12 sons together and defined them as the 12 tribes of Israel, and "gave each the blessing appropriate to him." Yeah, yeah. "Joseph is a fruitful vine...prince among his brothers." The rest of them get blessings like: "Simeon and Levi...cursed be their anger...I will scatter them in Jacob." or "Issachar is a rawboned donkey...he will bend his shoulder...and submit to forced labor." Yeah, Jacob fucking hates all of his children, except for Joseph, so he blessed them "appropriately."

Then, finally, Jacob dies. He gets embalmed and mourned for 70 days by the Egyptians. Then Joseph gets permission from the Pharaoh to go bury Jacob. So he goes, with his brothers and a bunch of the Pharaoh's officials. They get to the cave, they mourn for 7 more days, then the bury him.

Joseph's brothers are scared Joseph will try to exact his revenge, now that Jacob is dead. But Joseph is like, "No way. God made it happen so I could save people from the famine. Also, you should fear God instead of me." Hmm.

Joseph stayed in Egypt. In his old age, he told his brothers that surely God would take them back to the land that He promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And when that time comes, they are to dig up his (Joseph's) corpse and take it with them. WTF??? Yeah crazy man, I'm sure your decaying remains will have a jolly old time in the promised land.

Then he died at 110 and was buried in Egypt.

And that's how Genesis ends...charming.

1 comment:

  1. At 130? But, didn't God cap life out at 120 awhile back? In the same chapter?