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Week 10 Day 2 Genesis 49 Luke 2

15 April, 2015

49 And Jacob called for his sons and said, Gather yourselves together [around me], that I may tell you what shall befall you [a]in the latter or last days.

Gather yourselves together and hear, you sons of Jacob; and hearken to Israel your father. The time has come for the living will to be made.  The family gather. I wonder what they will hear?

Reuben, you are my [b]firstborn, my might, the beginning (the firstfruits) of my manly strength and vigor; [your birthright gave you] the preeminence in dignity and the preeminence in power.

But unstable and boiling over like water, you shall [c]not excel and have the preeminence [of the firstborn], because you went to your father’s bed; you defiled it—he went to my couch! Israel (Jacob) seems to start off nice, building his eldest boy up and then he hits him with some cold hard truth.

Simeon and Levi are brothers [equally headstrong, deceitful, vindictive, and cruel]; their swords are weapons of violence.

O my soul, come not into their secret council; unto their assembly let not my honor be united [for I knew nothing of their plot], because in their anger they slew men [an honored man, Shechem, and the Shechemites], and in their self-will they disabled oxen.

Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce, and their wrath, for it was cruel. I will divide them in Jacob and [d]scatter them in Israel. Things seem to be exceedingly grim for the brothers – maybe they are twins to be looked on so tight knit.

Judah, you are the one whom your brothers shall praise; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons shall bow down to you.

Judah, a lion’s cub! With the prey, my son, you have gone high up [the mountain]. He stooped down, he crouched like a lion, and like a lioness—who dares provoke and rouse him?

10 The scepter or leadership shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until Shiloh [the Messiah, the Peaceful One] comes to Whom it belongs, and to Him shall be the obedience of the people.

11 Binding His foal to the vine and His donkey’s colt to the choice vine, He washes His garments in wine and His clothes in the blood of grapes.

12 His eyes are darker and more sparkling than wine, and His teeth whiter than milk. Through Judah the line of Jesus comes as Jacob now prophecies.

13 Zebulun shall live toward the seashore, and he shall be a haven and a landing place for ships; and his border shall be toward Sidon. The shipping merchant of the family.

14 Issachar is a strong-boned donkey crouching down between the sheepfolds.

15 And he saw that rest was good and that the land was pleasant; and he bowed his shoulder to bear [his burdens] and became a servant to tribute [subjected to forced labor]. A farmer but one who might do so unwillingly.

16 Dan shall judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel.

17 Dan shall be a serpent by the way, a horned snake in the path, that bites at the horse’s heels, so that his rider falls backward.

18 I wait for Your salvation, O Lord. The judges come from the tribe of Dan – the law makers and settlers of arguments.

19 Gad—a raiding troop shall raid him, but he shall raid at their heels and assault them [victoriously].

20 Asher’s food [supply] shall be rich and fat, and he shall yield and deliver royal delights. Feeding the kings

21 Naphtali is a hind let loose which yields lovely fawns. This makes me think that Naphtali is a girl – a hind is a girl deer.  She is to have children.

22 Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a well (spring or fountain), whose branches run over the wall.

23 Skilled archers have bitterly attacked and sorely worried him; they have shot at him and persecuted him.

24 But his bow remained strong and steady and rested in the Strength that does not fail him, for the arms of his hands were made strong and active by the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob, by the name of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,

25 By the God of your father, Who will help you, and by the Almighty, Who will bless you with blessings of the heavens above, blessings lying in the deep beneath, blessings of the breasts and of the womb.

26 The blessings of your father [on you] are greater than the blessings of my forefathers [Abraham and Isaac on me] and are as lasting as the bounties of the eternal hills; they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him who was the consecrated one and the one separated from his brethren and [the one who] is prince among them. There is obviously a fondness towards this very lucky son of his.  Joseph has done well in what he has done.

27 Benjamin is a [e]ravenous wolf, in the morning devouring the prey and at night dividing the spoil. That doesn’t appear to be a blessing of any kind.

28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them as he blessed them, blessing each one according to the blessing suited to him. Then Israel (Jacob) died and was buried with Abraham

Luke 2

In those days it occurred that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole[a]Roman empire should be registered.

This was the first enrollment, and it was made when Quirinius was governor of Syria.

And all the people were going to be registered, each to his own city or town.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the town of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David,

To be enrolled with Mary, his espoused ([b]married) wife, who was about to become a mother.

And while they were there, the time came for her delivery, The census, whereas now the census is done where people are on the night, this ordered that the people go to their tribal towns.  How and where the line started or stopped I don’t know.  How would they choose that Bethlehem – the town of David was the point that would be chosen – why not Joseph? Why not some other ancestor?

Either way this was to complete more of the prophecy of where the messiah was to come from.  And Caesar Augustus might have thought it was an unrelated and inconvenient thing he was choosing to do.  The moving crowds would have been massive as families travelled in from out of town.

The distance between Nazareth and Bethlehem is 111km/80 miles.  At a fast pace that would still take a number of days but with a wife mid pregnancy and families travelling together it was likely to have taken longer.

And she gave birth to her Son, her Firstborn; and she wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room or place for them in the inn.

And in that vicinity there were shepherds living [out under the open sky] in the field, watching [in shifts] over their flock by night. Due to the crowds in the small town it was likely that the family stayed where there was space and this would appear to be slightly more rural – on the outer edges of town if there were sheep grazing nearby.

And behold, an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord flashed and shone all about them, and they were terribly frightened.

10 But the angel said to them, Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people.

11 For to you is born this day in the town of David a Savior, Who is Christ (the Messiah) the Lord!

12 And this will be a sign for you [by which you will recognize Him]: you will find [[c]after searching] a Baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. Why would the announcement of a baby warrant an angel telling shepherds? Why shepherds?  What was deemed to be so significant that someone so ordinary would have been the ones to be told? It strikes me that Jesus’ birth was never meant to be grand, royal or set apart in a more fancy way – making this simple act of telling shepherds – secluded men who tended the animals, who wouldn’t be in the centre of the attention of people – even more significant and beautiful.

13 Then suddenly there appeared with the angel an army of the troops of heaven ([d]a heavenly knighthood), praising God and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest [heaven], and on earth peace among men with whom He is well pleased [[e]men of goodwill, of His favour].

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing ([f]saying) that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.

16 So they went with haste and [[g]by searching] found Mary and Joseph, and the Baby lying in a manger.

17 And when they saw it, they made known what had been told them concerning this Child,

18 And all who heard it were astounded and marvelled at what the shepherds told them. Even finding this baby they were told about wouldn’t have been easy.  For a start there would have been a number of babies born at this time (how many people share the same birthday), so they were given specific instructions to narrow down their search.

19 But Mary was keeping [h]within herself all these things ([i]sayings), weighing and pondering them in her heart.

20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, just as it had been told them. But remember Mary and Joseph were in on the secret that God had ordained this.  The shepherds arriving after searching for the baby would just have further confirmed the importance of this event.

21 And at the end of eight days, when [the Baby] was to be circumcised, He was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.

22 And when the time for their purification [the mother’s purification and the Baby’s dedication] came according to the Law of Moses, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord—

23 As it is written in the Law of the Lord, Every [firstborn] male that opens the womb shall be set apart and dedicated and called holy to the Lord—

24 And [they came also] to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord: a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout [cautiously and carefully observing the divine Law], and looking for the Consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him.

26 And it had been divinely revealed (communicated) to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

27 And prompted by the [Holy] Spirit, he came into the temple [[j]enclosure]; and when the parents brought in the little child Jesus to do for Him what was customary according to the Law,

28 [Simeon] took Him up in his arms and praised and thanked God and said,

29 And now, Lord, You are releasing Your servant to depart (leave this world) in peace, according to Your word.

30 For with my [own] eyes I have seen Your Salvation,

31 Which You have ordained and prepared before (in the presence of) all peoples,

32 A Light for [k]revelation to the Gentiles [to disclose what was before unknown] and [to bring] praise and honor and glory to Your people Israel. I can’t imagine the feeling of knowing that Simeon had when he saw Jesus and knew He was the one – this young child, the potential in the vulnerable youngster.  And also knowing that your time to die was close – wouldn’t you go with a smile on your face knowing what you knew?

39 And when they had done everything according to the Law of the Lord, they went back into Galilee to their own town, Nazareth.

40 And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace (favor and spiritual blessing) of God was upon Him. This is a strong heritage Jesus was brought into – not flippant Jews but faithful followers.

Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year to the Passover Feast.

42 And when He was twelve years [old], they went up, as was their custom.

43 And when the Feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem. Now His parents did not know this,

44 But, supposing Him to be in the caravan, they traveled on a day’s journey; and [then] they sought Him [diligently, looking up and down for Him] among their kinsfolk and acquaintances.

45 And when they failed to find Him, they went back to Jerusalem, looking for Him [up and down] all the way.

46 After three days they found Him [came upon Him] in the [m][court of the] temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. No longer a little toddler Jesus would have been running around with cousins and siblings no doubt and trusted to be somewhere among the travellers.  Then they had to back track…

47 And all who heard Him were astonished and overwhelmed with bewildered wonder at His intelligence and understanding and His replies.

48 And when they [Joseph and Mary] saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, Child, why have You treated us like this? Here Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You [distressed and tormented].

49 And He said to them, How is it that you had to look for Me? Did you not see and know that it is necessary [as a duty] for Me [n]to be in My Father’s house and [occupied] about My Father’s business?

50 But they did not comprehend what He was saying to them.

It’s almost as if the family had become complacent in having Jesus live with them everyday.  It says that Jesus was without sin but some might say that this act of remaining in the city while the family left was disrespectful and dishonouring.

51 And He went down with them and came to Nazareth and was [habitually] obedient to them; and his mother kept and closely and persistently guarded all these things in her heart52 And Jesus increased in wisdom (in broad and full understanding) and in stature and years, and in favor with God and man.

Selah

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