A Daily Genesis

Genesis 37:18-20

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 37:18a . .They saw him from afar,[/B]

Just how far isn't said; though it was probably the youngest among Joseph's brothers who saw and recognized him first. A few of the men were getting up in years at this time and were well past young adulthood.

Optical science is relatively recent. For millennia, people got by on just their natural eyesight without the aid of lenses. Prior to the invention of eyeglasses, Solomon rued that one of the curses of old age is failing eyesight. (Ecc 12:1-2)

The first recorded use of a "corrective" lens was by the emperor Nero (ce 37-68) who was known to watch the gladiatorial games through an emerald, presumably to correct for myopia. The gem probably wasn't ground to any specific prescription, nor even any particular shape. Nero probably discovered, like any kid does with a water glass, that the shape of the stone somehow modified light; and as luck would have it, Nero's emerald worked pretty well for him.

The Arabs had some understanding of lenses sometime around ce 1200, and eyeglasses began to come into common use in Italy around ce 1300. Practically all advances in the science of optics have taken place within just the last thousand years, so when the Bible says people like Isaac had "dim" eyes, it probably just means they could have used a pair of glasses.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 37:18b-20 . . and before he came close to them they conspired to kill him. They said to one another: Here comes that dreamer! Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits; and we can say a savage beast devoured him. We shall see what comes of his dreams![/B]

The brothers' display of intended cruelty to their own kid brother Joseph is shocking coming from the sacred patriarchs of the people of Israel.

I seriously doubt the brothers were intent upon ending Joseph's life only so his dreams wouldn't come true. That was just bombastic rhetoric. Truth is: they just hated him; simple as that.

Isn't it odd that when people hate someone they want them dead? How about maybe a beating instead? Why not throw hot coffee or scalding water in their face, or maybe singe their back with a hot steam iron while they're sleeping? Why death? Because death is all that will truly satisfy the human heart's hatred. Maybe nobody reading this will ever actually murder anybody; but that doesn't mean you aren't a murder. Wishing somebody would die, is the wish of a murderer's heart; and that's the plain truth of it.

"Whosoever hates his brother is a murderer" (1John 3:15)

The koiné Greek word for "brother" in that passage is [I]adelphos[/I] (ad-el-fos') which refers to one's kin rather than to one's neighbor.

Hatred for one's kin doesn't make the hater guilty of murder; it's only saying that someone harboring hatred for their kin has the nature of a murderer. For example: if a lion never ate meat even once in it's life, it would still be a carnivore because lions have the nature of a carnivore. In like manner, if kin-haters never get around to killing the objects of their hate; they would still be murderers because they have the nature of a murderer.

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