A Daily Genesis

Genesis 47:14-20

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 47:14 . . Joseph gathered in all the money that was to be found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, as payment for the rations that were being procured, and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh's palace.[/B]

Some people accuse Joseph of profiteering; of exploiting the people's hardship. But they fail to realize that he wasn't acting on his own. Joseph answered to a higher authority: to Mr. Pharaoh. If Joseph had gone behind Pharaoh's back and gave the Egyptians grain for free, then Joseph himself would have been arrested and either put right back in prison or, worse, gibbeted. Then who would his clan look to for representation with Pharaoh?

"it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful." (1Cor 4:2)

The New Testament Greek word for "faithful" is [I]pistos[/I] (pis-tos') which means: trustworthy. Webster's defines "trustworthy" as worthy of confidence; viz: dependable.

To be dependable implies looking out for your boss' best interests rather than either your own or anybody else's. (cf. Luke 11:12-27)

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†. [/COLOR]Gen 47:15-17 . .When the money of the people of Egypt and Canaan was gone, all Egypt came to Joseph and said: Give us food. Why should we die before your eyes? Our money is used up. Then bring your livestock; said Joseph. I will sell you grain in exchange for your livestock, since your money is gone.

. . . So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and he gave them grain in exchange for their horses, their sheep and goats, their cattle and donkeys. And he brought them through that year with grain in exchange for all their livestock.
This is the very first mention of a horse in the Bible.

[FONT=Garamond][B]NOTE[/B][/FONT][B]:[/B] Most Native Americans had never seen a horse until the Spanish brought them here sometime around 1540. It's believed the Pueblo people were the first to make good use of the horse; but not by choice. It was as slaves and laborers on Spanish ranchos that they learned how. After the Pueblo revolted, they became prosperous horse traders; and by that means the Plains Indians obtained horses; which greatly improved their nomadic way of life; and their tactics in warfare too.

The Old Testament Hebrew words for "horse" are [I]cuwc[/I] (soos) and [I]cuc[/I] (soos); which means not only a horse (as leaping), but also a swallow (from its flight style). Both swallows and horses are quite nimble; and of the two, I'd say the swallows are more so. They can flit like bats when in pursuit of winged insects.

Horses were the animal of choice for pulling chariots in ancient Egypt. (e.g. Ex 14:9)

Putting horses on the list of saleable livestock indicates that even relatively prosperous breeders were falling on hard times too, so that no matter whether the Egyptians were rich or poor, the famine was effecting them all-- the rich have to eat too, just like everybody else; and money alone makes poor nourishment.

Here in America, when the last bit of arable land is finally bulldozed for residential housing, and paved over for shopping centers, office buildings, super highways, cemeteries, malls, light rails, factory sites and warehouses: that's when we'll finally catch on that money isn't everything.

Only after the last tree is cut down,
The last of the water poisoned,
The last animal destroyed:
Only then will some realize
They cannot eat money.
[FONT=Garamond][B] — Cree Indian Prophecy — [/B][/FONT]
[COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 47:18-19a . .The next year they came again and said: Our money is gone, and our livestock are yours. We have nothing left but our bodies and land. Why should we die right in front of you? Buy us and our land in exchange for food; we will then become servants to Pharaoh.[/B]

Joseph's plan had no intention of shackling the Egyptians in grinding poverty and humiliation like the African slaves of America's pre civil war days. Though they became Pharaoh's slaves, they also become share-croppers; which is a very tolerable arrangement in comparison to slaves who are permitted to keep none of the fruits of their labors. In effect then, the Egyptians would actually be afforded the dignity of working for compensation; and it was pretty generous too.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 47:18-19b . . Just give us grain so that our lives may be spared and so the land will not become empty and desolate.[/B]

They not only needed grain for food, but also enough to sow their fields in anticipation of next season's crop. Whether the Egyptian populace at large was aware of the famine's predicted duration can't be known for certain, but farmers often sow even in famine years because who can tell if the weather is going to change for the better or not. Joseph, of course, was privy to knowledge of the famine's end, and I would think that he would surely share that information with the delegations that negotiated with him in this matter.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 47:20 . . So Joseph gained possession of all the farm land of Egypt for Pharaoh, every Egyptian having sold his field because the famine was too much for them; thus the land passed over to Pharaoh.[/B]

It's reasonable to assume that Pharaoh's only interest would be what's known as Egypt's so called "black" land; which is primarily the arable soil located adjacent to the Nile's river banks and was at one time subject to seasonal flooding; which replenished the soil with fresh deposits of silt each year.

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