Watchman's Teaching Letter #35 March 2001
This is my thirty-fifth monthly teaching letter and continues my third year of publication. These lessons take many hours of investigative study and are designed as research publications. Sometimes, I spend up to three hours or more on one paragraph. By digesting these short presentations, you have the advantage of having laid out before you the tools needed to expand your own study on these subjects. In the last lesson, we continued Israel’s step-by-step walk through Egyptian history. We investigated the subject of the Shepherd Kings; who they were and were not. We scrutinized the writings of Manetho, the Egyptian priest, as presented by Josephus. Then a narration of the life story of Joseph was presented up until the time Joseph sent his brothers, less Simeon, home with the provisions they had gone to Egypt to obtain. We will be picking up the story in this lesson where we left off in the last.
WALKING STEP BY STEP THROUGH ISRAEL’S SOJOURN IN EGYPT
FROM JOSEPH UNTIL JOSHUA
There are two objectives of this series of studies: to set the historical stage so we can better understand the foundation of the subject, and to place Egyptian and Biblical history side by side for comparison. I have already addressed much of this Egyptian evidence in recent letters, but I will be presenting more Egyptian confirmation in the future. You may want to get some of my past lessons to help you to better understand the present one under consideration. If you will remember, I was preparing the background for a study on Esau when I got sidetracked on Egypt. As we have no particular time schedule, we will continue on Egypt however long it may take to cover it. This study of Egypt is greater than I ever anticipated, and I am not about to pass over it lightly.
THE LIFE OF JOSEPH
(Continued from lesson 34)
We had just gotten into Joseph’s story when his brothers had come to Egypt to buy grain, and how he recognized his brothers, but his brothers didn’t recognize him; how he accused them of being spies; how he kept them under guard for three days; how he released them to return home with the wanted provisions; how each man’s money was placed in his sack, and how he kept Simeon as hostage until they returned again with Benjamin.
When we read the story of Joseph, without knowing that we the White peoples of the western Europe are the true Israelites, it is a very poignant and touching story which happened to some remote family who lived back in ancient times. But, once the blinders have been removed from our eyes, that, in fact, we are the true Israelites, it becomes a very enrapturing story of our own hereditary family tree. Therefore, our personal interests are increased a thousand-fold. Don’t you feel sorry for the many White Israelites who do not understand this?
While keeping Simeon as surety, Joseph permitted his brothers to return to their father, for the need was great in Canaan. Jacob had many flocks along with silver and gold, but his fields gave him no grain, and the cattle had little green pasture. The threat of starvation was very real and imposing. Joseph had no alternative but to keep one of the brothers as hostage, for, if he had not, he may have never had the opportunity to see his family again. While returning to Canaan, the brothers didn’t know that Joseph had understood what they were saying, when in his presence, they discussed their selling him into slavery. The brothers spoke in their own language, not knowing Joseph understood, that this whole thing had come upon them because of the wrong they had done to their brother Joseph approximately twenty-three years previously. The reason they didn’t recognize Joseph was because he had grown up to be a man, was dressed as an Egyptian prince and was seated on a throne. Joseph was now nearly forty years old. Joseph, upon seeing his brothers for the first time in almost twenty-three years, was curious whether or not the brothers still carried their old hatred for him. How his heart was moved to tears when he overheard the brother’s conversation lamenting their former behavior. However, Joseph resolved to be very sharp and stern with them; not because he didn’t love them, but because he remembered their former selfish, cruel and wicked ways, and he needed to see how much their attitude may have changed, if at all. How impressed Joseph must have been when he saw his brothers humbly bowed before him. Surely, Joseph must have remembered the dream he had had when still a boy wherein his brothers’ sheaves bent down toward his own. In returning to their father in Canaan, how uneasy the brothers must have been leaving Simeon behind and knowing they were being forced to return again with Benjamin, (the second son born by Jacob’s favorite wife, Rachel). They surely must have realized how grieved their father would be over the prospect of possibly losing the only remaining son born by Rachel.
Adding to the brother’s anxieties, they discovered while stopping along the way to eat, rest and feed their donkeys, one of the men’s money had been restored to his sack. Finding the money, the brothers were afraid to return to the very stern ruler they had met in Egypt, and as well face their father over the matter. To complicate the situation, upon arriving home, they found every man’s money had been returned in their sacks. Arriving at home, being fearful, the brothers had to face their father Jacob with all these things. The brothers spoke of returning again to Egypt and taking Benjamin, but Jacob replied, Genesis 42:36:
“... Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me.”
Whereupon Reuben replied: “Here are my own two sons. If I do not return with Benjamin, you may kill them if you wish.” But Jacob replied to Reuben, Genesis 42:38:
“... My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he is left alone: if mischief befall him by the way in which ye go, then shall ye bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.”
THE FAMINE CONTINUES
The food which the brothers had brought from Egypt was soon used up, for Jacob had a large family. By this time each of his sons had married and, along with their wives, there were many grandchildren; making a total of sixty-six, not including the servants which waited on them plus the men who cared for the flocks. You can see there was quite a camp around Jacob’s tent. It was not long before the food supply they had gotten from Egypt became dangerously low, and Jacob had no alternative but to send the brothers back once again to purchase more.
At this point, Judah, the one who years before had urged the brothers to sell Joseph to the Ishmaelites, reminded Jacob it would be of little use in going back to Egypt without Benjamin, for the man who ruled there said that upon their return without him, they will not be able to gain his audience. On this proposal, Jacob chided Judah for even mentioning to the Egyptian ruler they had a younger brother. However, the brothers responded to Jacob that the questions were asked in such a precise way the answers couldn’t be avoided. How could they have known he would command that they return with Benjamin, their brother? Judah then told Jacob, if he would allow him to take Benjamin with them, he would bring him home safely, and if he didn’t return him as he said, to let him bear the guilt forever. Judah then reminded Jacob that it was imperative that they return to Egypt with Benjamin, or the whole family would die of starvation. In fact, Judah and his brothers told Jacob: if they were permitted take Benjamin along, they would go, but if they couldn’t take Benjamin, they would not go. Finally, with much misgiving, Jacob agreed to let Benjamin go with the brothers to Egypt to buy more food.
Reluctantly, Jacob agreed that they must go, and suggested they bring the Egyptian ruler a quantity of their choicest fruit; some honey; some spices; some myrrh, some nuts and almonds. And while they are at it, take the man double the money for the last food in case he might think we possibly may have stolen it. Then Genesis 43:15 says:
“And the men took that present, and they took double money in their hand, and Benjamin; and rose up, and went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph.”
And when the ten brothers of Joseph went down to Egypt a second time, Benjamin going in Simeon’s place, they came to the place where Joseph was selling grain to the people; where they stood before their brother and bowed before him. When Joseph saw that Benjamin was with them, as he had required of them the trip before, he called the chief steward over his house to kill the best animal and make ready a banquet. The brothers were then ushered into Joseph’s house for the meal. Upon arriving at the entrance of Joseph’s house they became very fearful, thinking they were going to be deemed guilty of stealing, and taken into slavery. But Joseph’s chief steward, the one in charge of his house, treated the brothers very graciously, and when they spoke of the money, he would not receive it from them for he said his records showed they had paid in full for the grain, and he suggested the money must have come from the Almighty. The steward then brought them into Joseph’s house where he gave them water to wash their feet. When Joseph arrived about noon, the brothers along with Benjamin, presented the present which Jacob had sent while they bowed to the ground before him.
Joseph, in dealing with his brothers, had no idea of what might have transpired since he was last present at home with them. Had the brothers mistreated Benjamin as they had done to him? How had his father fared in twenty-three years since then? Were Joseph’s brothers still harboring their hatred toward him? Upon the arrival of Benjamin, there immediately came a natural change in Joseph’s conduct, for Jacob was safe and Benjamin was safe. At the sight of Benjamin, Joseph’s heart melted. Joseph’s heart was so overwhelmed by the presence of his family he could no longer keep back the tears. In haste he went to his private room and wept. Washing his face he reentered their presence and ordered the servants to set the table for dinner. Joseph was served at a table by himself. The Egyptian officers were seated by themselves and the eleven brothers were served separately by themselves, for Simeon had been released from prison to join his brothers. Joseph himself had arranged the order of the seating of the brothers. The brothers were astonishingly amazed, for they could not imagine how the Egyptian ruler could know the order of their age from the firstborn to the youngest. To test his brothers, Joseph sent special dishes of delicacies from his table to the others with Benjamin’s portion being five times greater than the rest. Unaffected by this, the brothers continued banqueting in joy, and Joseph could see there was no jealousy remaining among them.
THE SILVER CUP & JUDAH’S PLEA
After the banquet, Joseph commanded his chief steward to fill every man’s sack with grain, as much as they could possibly handle; again placing each man’s money in his sack. Then Joseph instructed that his silver cup be put into the sack of the youngest. In order to determine just how loyal his brothers were to their father, Joseph devised a plan which would reveal to what extent the brothers would go to restore Benjamin to the safety of his father. In the cool of the morning, the brothers took their leave to return to their father in Canaan. Before the brothers had gone very far beyond the limits of the city, Joseph instructed his steward to follow and overtake them; inquiring why they had committed an evil against their gracious host. The steward inquired why they had taken the silver cup which his master used for drinking and divining. Upon this accusation, the brothers replied that Yahweh should forbid that they would do such a dastardly thing. The brothers reminded the steward of their honesty in returning the money they had found in their sacks after their first trip, and why should they now steal gold or silver from the master’s house? The brothers were so sure no one of them had taken the cup, they pronounced death upon the person who might do such a thing, plus all the rest of them would volunteer to become his master’s bondsmen. Whereupon, the steward agreed that with whomsoever the silver cup be found, he shall become his master’s servant, and the rest shall be blameless. To this all the brothers agreed and invited the steward to search their belongings. Then each of the brothers unlashed their sacks to the ground to be opened and searched. There they found each man’s money, for the second time, as they searched from the eldest to the youngest. Having taken down the sacks from off the asses, and searching through the first ten sacks, they found only the money; but when they came to Benjamin’s sack, they found the ruler’s cup. Upon finding the cup in Benjamin’s possession, the brothers were greatly distressed and returned dejected with the steward to Joseph’s house where they again bowed to the ground before Joseph.
Being brought before Joseph, he asked them why they had committed such an evil deed, and didn’t they know he could divine such things? Then Judah spoke up, showing his natural ability to lead and taking upon himself the responsibility for all that had happened. Judah said to Joseph, “My Master, what is it that we can say to you for we are at a loss for words? How can we clear ourselves for the Almighty has found out our iniquity? For this we must now become your slaves; both that are older and the youngest in whose sack the cup was found.” Joseph replied to Judah, “Only the one that was guilty; the one who had taken the cup; he will be kept as my slave. As for the rest of you, return home to your father.” Joseph was testing the brothers to see whether they were still selfish, and were willing to let Benjamin suffer while they could escape. Would they purchase their own liberty by the surrender of Benjamin?
Then Judah came humbly forward, the very one who had conspired with his brothers to sell Joseph as a slave, and made a frantic plea while falling at Joseph’s feet. Judah said to Joseph, “Oh my master, let thy lowly servant beg of thee to speak a word in my master’s ear; let not thine anger burn against thy servant, for thou are as great as Pharaoh.” “Remember,” said Judah to Joseph, “how you asked us if we had a father or a brother? And we replied unto you, my master, We have at home a father, an old man, and a child of his old age, a young one, and the child’s brother who is dead. And the child is the only one left of his mother, and his father has a special love for him. Remember my master, you said, ‘Bring him down unto me that I may take a look at him?’ And we answered you, ‘The lad cannot leave his father, for if he should lose him as he did our deceased brother, he would surely die of grief.’ Remember, master, you said to us, ‘Unless your youngest brother come down with you, I will not give you audience.’ And when we arrived at our home, we conveyed your commands to our father. As our supplies ran low, our father told us to go again and buy more food. Then my father reminded me that Rachel had borne him two sons and one was torn in pieces by a wild animal. And then he said, ‘If you also take Benjamin and mischief befall him, ye shall bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.’ Therefore, if we return to our father and upon seeing the lad is not with us, inasmuch as his entire affection is bound up in him, he will surely die of grief and all of us shall have brought our father’s sorrow down to his grave. I pledged to my father, I would become surety for the lad; I promised to bear the blame if the boy was not returned home safely. If our youngest brother does not return with us, it will likely kill our dear old father who grieved so greatly over the loss of his favorite son. Now, let my youngest brother return home to his father and I will stay in his place as a slave for you. How can I return and face my father lest he be with me? I cannot bear to see what this would do to him.”
Joseph now recognized what he was longing to know; his brothers’ old malice was gone. By seeing Judah willing to suffer so his brother might be spared, Joseph could no longer contain his innermost-conscious emotions. His spirit was so overwhelmingly exploding within himself, he could no longer hide his identity from them, for his heart longed so for his brothers; he could not restrain from weeping again with tears of love and joy. Immediately, he sent all of his Egyptian servants from the room so the brothers were there alone with him when he announced to them, without an interpreter: “I am Joseph; is my father really still alive?” Startled to hear the Egyptian ruler speaking to them in their own language, for the first time they discerned this stern man who had their lives in his hand was their very own brother whom they had wronged. Weeping joyfully aloud, even though Joseph had dismissed his servants, they and the house of Pharaoh still overheard.
Again Joseph said to his brothers: “Come near to me that I may speak with you. I am Joseph your brother whom ye sold into Egypt. Be not troubled in your heart for all that which you have done; be not angry with yourselves for selling me hither, for Yahweh sent me before you to preserve a posterity (race) in the earth and save our family (tree) alive. It was not you that sent me to this place, but Yahweh; He has made me a father to Pharaoh, an overseer of his house; and ruler throughout Egypt. Two years of the famine are past and there are five years remaining with no earing or harvest. Go now in haste and bring hither my father and all his family with him. Tell him, thus saith thy son Joseph, Yahweh hath made me master of all Egypt; come down to me and tarry not.”
Joseph then put his arms around Benjamin’s neck, kissed him and wept over him. In turn, Benjamin wept on his neck. Joseph then kissed each of his brothers in turn to show them he had fully forgiven them. Upon this, the brothers began to lose their fear of him and talked with him more freely.
After this, Joseph sent his brothers back to Canaan with all this impelling news, rich gifts and food in abundance. This time the brothers didn’t return leading or riding their asses, but Joseph also sent wagons in which Jacob, his wives and little ones of his family were to ride from Canaan back to Egypt. Above all, Joseph’s brothers returned home much happier than they had been for many years. Joseph had given instructions to his brothers to tell their father Jacob: “There are still five years of very oppressive famine left. Come to Egypt as our father Abraham did, and here will I nourish thee and all your household lest your household and all of your possessions come to poverty. And ye shall tell our father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that ye have seen; and ye shall haste and bring down my father hither.” To all his brothers Joseph gave each man changes of raiment, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and five changes of raiment.
JACOB GOES DOWN TO EGYPT
Each day Jacob would look out across the country to see if he could see any sign of the brothers returning from Egypt, for rations were getting low. One day he sighted a caravan of wagons and many burden-bearing animals, but it couldn’t be the brothers for they had no wagons and there were entirely too many asses for it to be them. And Jacob said to himself, “Maybe tomorrow.” Somewhat later, Jacob noticed the caravan was coming his way, and he wondered why they were headed in his direction. Finally, as they came near, he became aware it was the brothers, but why all the array?
Upon arriving, the brothers broke the news to Jacob that Joseph was still alive. Genesis 45:26-28:
“26 And told him, saying, Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt. And Jacob’s heart fainted, for he believed them not. 27 And they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said unto them: and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived: 28 And Israel said, it is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die.”
OUT OF A LAND OF FAMINE INTO A LAND OF PLENTY
So Joseph’s eleven brothers returned to their home in Canaan, carrying with them the good news to their father that Joseph was still alive. With this joyful message Jacob fainted, but soon after, came to his senses again. Hearing that Joseph was still in the land of the living, Jacob determined to go see him while there was still time. Seeing the wagons that Joseph had sent, Jacob gathered up all the members of his family and possessions, for he had many, and took their journey into Egypt. We can just imagine them going on their sojourn with their wives and children along with their many servants, sheep and cattle, as a very large company. Accordingly, Jacob and all his family members numbered threescore and ten souls, and by the express efforts of Joseph were allowed to settle in a district known as Goshen. Joseph met Pharaoh and told him his father and brethren, flocks, herds and all that they had were coming out of the land of Canaan and arriving in Goshen. Joseph, meeting this large caravan of his people along with all their possessions in Goshen, spied out Jacob, his father; embraced him kissing and weeping a good long while. There in Goshen, Joseph nourished his father, brethren and all their household with bread, according to their family needs. On the way to Egypt, Jacob stopped at Beersheba, the former home of Isaac and Abraham to make offerings to Yahweh. While there, he was given a night vision that his descendants would become a nation while in Egypt, and Yahweh would cause them to return to Canaan.
And Joseph took five of his brothers and presented them before Pharaoh where he asked of their occupation. The brothers informed Pharaoh, they and their forefathers before them had always been shepherds and were come into his land because the pasturesfont-family: /span/spansans-serif/p in Canaan had failed them on account of the famine, and they were in need of an area to graze their cattle. Afterward, Joseph presented his father to Pharaoh where he told him he was 130 years old, but not nearly as old as his forefathers before him, whereupon he blessed Pharaoh. It is important to notice this blessing of Pharaoh by Jacob, for it was not permitted by our people to bless a ruler who is not of our own racial stock (Ex. 26:13; Pr. 5:10). As before stated, this particular Pharaoh must have been of the line of Shem.
The famine was not only in Egypt, but throughout Canaan and adjacent areas. The famine was simply pauperizing Egypt, and the inhabitants found their money exhausted and their cattle and substance completely depleted in order to purchase food from the public granaries, until at length, they had nothing to give in exchange for food but to sell themselves to Pharaoh as bondsmen. From all this, it appears that both Joseph and the Pharaoh were of the line of Shem while the common Egyptians were of other stock, for under Hebrew Law it would otherwise be illegal to do this. In the process, Joseph gathered up all the Egyptians’ money along with their land and purchased them as bondsmen giving all this to the Pharaoh. So did Joseph deal with all the people from other lands that came to buy food, with the exception of his own family. So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh, and the land became Pharaoh’s. The people too, “Joseph removed to cities from one end of the borders of the land to the other.” It also appears the priesthood may have been of the line of Shem, for Joseph made them exempt. We can be sure the priests of On were Shemites. The land which previously belonged to the Egyptians, was now leased back to them as tenants at a rent of one-fifth of the produce (possibly one tenth for Pharaoh to operate his government and one tenth for the priesthood).
JACOB BLESSES JOSEPH’S TWO SONS
Jacob lived to the age of almost a hundred and fifty years. Knowing his death was near, he called Joseph and his sons to him to bless them. He said to Joseph, “When I die, don’t bury me here in this land of Egypt, but return my body to our home land of Canaan, and bury me there in the cave at Hebron, with our fathers, Abraham and Isaac.” Joseph then brought his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim to his father’s bedside. Due to his advanced age and failing eyesight, it was difficult for Jacob to see the two young lads. Upon their entering, Jacob inquiringly exclaimed, “Who are these?” Joseph then said to Jacob, “These are my two sons, whom Yahweh has given me in this land.” “Bring them to my side”, replied Jacob, “and I shall bless them here before I die.” Kissing and embracing them in his arms, Jacob declared: “The thought never occurred in my mind that I should ever see your face, my son; Yahweh has now let me see both you and your sons also.” Jacob then placed his right hand upon the younger Ephraim’s head and his left hand on Manasseh, the older. Joseph then tried to guide Jacob’s right hand from Ephraim to Manasseh, for Manasseh was his firstborn, but Jacob, his father, refused, saying, “Joseph, I know it, my son, I know it, for Manasseh thy elder son shall become a great people also, but Ephraim thy younger son shall be greater than he, for Ephraim shall become a multitude of nations.”
For those whose eyes Yahweh has opened, America is already recognized as Manasseh and Great Britain as Ephraim. There is no other nation in all of history which became a “multitude of nations” other than Great Britain. Yes, there were many great empires who ruled over other nations, but Great Britain gained its possessions mainly by colonization, not entirely by military adventure. I challenge anyone who resists the Israel message and has some knowledge of world history to name any other nation that fits this criteria; there simply isn’t any! To resist this fact is to refute the Almighty’s Word, and call Yahweh a liar.
DEATH OF JOSEPH
For the death of Joseph, I will quote from The Popular And Critical Bible Encyclopædia And Scriptural Dictionary, volume 2, page 985:
“Death of Joseph. Joseph lived an hundred and ten years, kind and gentle in his affections to the last; for we are told, ‘The children of Machir, the son of Manasseh were brought up upon Joseph’s knees’ (Genesis 50:23). And so having obtained a promise from his brethren that when the time came, as he assured them it would come, that God (Yahweh) should visit them, and ‘bring them unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob’, they would carry his bones out of Egypt, Joseph at length ‘died, and they embalmed him and he was put in a coffin’ (Genesis 50:26). This promise was religiously fulfilled. His descendants, after carrying the corpse about with them in their wanderings, at length put in its final resting place in Shechem, in a parcel of ground that Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor, which became the inheritance of the children of Joseph (Joshua 24:32).
“By his Egyptian (Shemitic) wife Asenath, daughter of the high priest of Heliopolis (On; Beth Shemesh, or house of Shem), Joseph had two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim (Genesis 41:50), whom Jacob adopted (Genesis 48:5), and who accordingly took their place among the heads of the twelve tribes of Israel.”
APARTHEID IN EGYPT FOR ISRAEL
We are told by many, the people of Egypt were the same white stock of people as the Israelites. This is not entirely true. This is why it was so necessary for the Israelites to settle in an area where the two peoples wouldn’t mix. Even the standard Bible commentaries are aware of this. This from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, page 43, commenting on Genesis 46:31-34:
“Before Joseph presented his family to Pharaoh, he gave them specific directions about how to reply to the ruler’s questions. When asked about their calling, they were to represent themselves as shepherds. Then Pharaoh would likely assign them the land of Goshen as their dwelling place. Goshen would provide excellent grazing for their flocks and herds. They would be together, and therefore well protected from mixing with other peoples.”
In the Believer’s Bible Commentary by William MacDonald, page 79, we have further confirmation that this was indeed the reason for the Israelites settling in a place where they could be isolated to themselves:
“It was agreed that they would tell Pharaoh that they were shepherds. Since shepherds were despised by the Egyptians, Pharaoh would let them live in the land of Goshen, far away from the royal palace. There in Goshen they were isolated from social intercourse with the Egyptians, first because of their nationality (Gen. 43:32) and then because of their occupation. God (Yahweh) left them in this incubator until they were a strong nation, able to possess the land that He promised to their forefathers.”
The Hyksos had invaded Egypt from Arabia, Syria and Ethiopia and made a bad name for shepherds. The Hyksos were not at all like the former Shepherd Kings that came into Egypt some five hundred years earlier who were Shemites. These Hyksos were a horde of marauders who invaded Egypt and ruled by tyranny. To separate themselves from the Egyptians, Joseph and his brothers requested the land of Goshen to live in. Wherever the land of Goshen was, it had to be a place the Egyptians were not already occupying in order for the Israelites to be dwelling separately by themselves. The Delta area does not fit this criteria. If the Israelites were to have settled in the Delta area, there would have been all kinds of people moving in and out from time to time. Goshen had to be a place of seclusion and the Faiyûm area fits this very nicely.