Jacob blesses the Twelve Tribes before breathing his last (Genesis 49:1 – 49:33)

After blessing Joseph and his sons, Jacob called for his other sons and said, “Gather around so I can tell you what will happen to you in the days to come.” “Rueben: The firstborn, excels in honor and power but is turbulent as the waters. He will no longer excel because you went onto your father’s bed and defiled it.” “Simeon and Levi: Their swords are weapons of violence. They have killed men in anger. They will be scattered and dispersed throughout Israel.” “Judah: His brothers praise him. His hand will be on the neck of his enemies. His brothers will bow down to him. Like a lion, who dares rouse him? He will tether his donkey to a vine, his colt to the choicest branch. He will

Jacob blesses Joseph’s sons and places Ephraim before firstborn Manasseh (Genesis 47:28 – 48:22)

Jacob lived in Egypt seventeen years. He lived to be 147 years old. When the time came for Jacob (Israel) to die, he called for his son Joseph and said to him: “If I have found favor in your eyes, put your hand under my thigh and promise that you will show me kindness and faithfulness. Do not bury me in Egypt but when I rest with my fathers, carry me out of Egypt and bury me where they are buried.” “I will do as you say,” Joseph said. Jacob asked Joseph to swear to him. Joseph swore to him and Israel worshipped as he leaned on top of his staff. Sometime later, Joseph was told, “Your father is weakening.” Joseph took his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, to

Israel (Jacob) moves to Egypt to join Joseph – God’s plan in motion (Genesis 46:1 – 47:12)

Israel (Jacob) agreed to his son’s invitation to move to Egypt and began the journey to see Joseph. He and his family took everything they owned. When he reached Beersheba, he offered sacrifices to God. God spoke to Israel in a vision at night and said, “Jacob! Jacob!” “Here I am,” he replied. “I am God, the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt for I will make you into a great nation there. I will go down to Egypt with you and I will surely bring you back again. And Joseph’s own hand will close your eyes.” Israel’s sons took their father Jacob, their children, and their wives in the carts that Pharaoh had given them for their travel. So Jacob and

Joseph reveals his true identity to his brothers – and offers them a home in Egypt (Genesis 45:1 – 45:28)

After Judah plead with Joseph to allow them to return home with their younger brother, Benjamin, Joseph could no longer contain himself and cried out, “Have everyone leave my presence!” Everybody left the room except for Joseph and his brothers. Joseph revealed to them that he was the “lost” brother they had sold into slavery. Joseph wept loudly; so loudly that those outside the room could hear him crying. Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph!" He asked, "Is my father still living?” The brothers were so stunned, they were unable to speak. Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” Joseph told them, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! But now, do not be distressed nor angry with yourselves

Joseph’s brothers go to Egypt to buy grain and are rebuked unless they agree to return the youngest brother, Benjamin, to Egypt (Genesis 42:1 – 43:34)

While the region was in the grip of a great drought. Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt so he told his sons, “Why are you just standing around? There is grain in Egypt. Go there and buy some so we can survive the drought.” Ten of Joseph’s brothers went to Egypt but Jacob did not send Benjamin, the youngest, because he was afraid harm would come to him. Thus, Israel’s sons were among the many who went to buy grain during the famine in the land of Canaan. At the time, Joseph was governor of the land, the person who handled the sale of grain to the people. When Joseph’s brothers arrived, they bowed to him in respect. They did not recognize him (it had

Joseph is thrown into a well then sold into slavery by his brothers (Genesis 37:12 – 37:36)

Joseph’s brothers had gone to Shechem to graze their father’s flocks. Israel (Jacob) said to Joseph, “As you know, your brothers are grazing the flocks near Shechem. I am going to send you to them.” Joseph responded, “Very well.” Jacob told Joseph, “Go and see if all is well with your brothers and the flocks and bring word back to me.” Then Joseph set off from the Valley of Hebron. When Joseph arrived in Shechem, a man found him wandering around in the fields. He asked Joseph, “What are you looking for?” Joseph replied, “I am looking for my brothers. Can you tell me where they are grazing their flocks?” “They have moved on from here,” the man answered. “I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’” So Joseph went after his

Joseph shares his prophetic dreams with his family – prompting resentment between his brothers (Genesis 37:1 – 37:11)

Jacob lived in his father’s land, the land of Canaan. His son, 17-year-old Joseph, helped tend the flocks with his brothers (the sons of Jacob’s wives, Bilhah and Zilpah). One day, Joseph brought a bad report about his brothers to Jacob. Israel (Jacob) loved Joseph more than any of his other sons because he had been born to him in his old age. He made an ornate robe (visually striking, of many colors) for Joseph. When his brothers saw that their father loved Joseph more than any of them, they hated him and would say nothing nice to him. Joseph had a dream and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. Joseph told them, “We were binding sheaves of grain out in

God sends Jacob and his people to Bethel – without their foreign gods (Genesis 35:1 – 35:15)

God appeared to Jacob as he was fleeing from Esau and told him to go to Bethel and settle there. Jacob was instructed to build an altar to God when he arrived. Jacob told his family: “Get rid of your foreign gods, purify yourselves, and change your clothes. Then we will go to Bethel where I will build an altar to God who has been with me wherever I have gone.” The family gave Jacob all the foreign gods and the rings in their ears. Jacob buried them under the oak at Schechem. As they travelled to Bethel, the fear of God fell on the towns around them so that no one pursued them. Jacob and his family arrived in Luz (Bethel) where they build an altar as god

The rape of Dinah – Jacob’s sons rescue their sister and slaughter the Shechemites (Genesis 34:1 – 34:31)

Dinah, the daughter Leah had borne to Jacob, left her city to see the “women of the land”. Shechem, son of Hamor and ruler of the area she was visiting, took Dinah and raped her. Afterward, he fell in love with Dinah. He said to his father, “Get me this girl as my wife.” Jacob received word that his daughter had been “defiled”. His sons were in the fields tending the livestock so he waited for them to return before taking action. Meanwhile, Hamor went to talk to Jacob about the situation. As soon as Jacob’s sons heard what had happened to their sister, they returned home. They were shocked and furious. Hamor told them: “My son Shechem has his heart set on your daughter. Please give her

Jacob reunites with Esau (Genesis 33:1 – 33:20)

After sending gifts ahead to Esau (and a sleepless night wrestling with God), Jacob awoke to see Esau approaching with 400 men. Jacob divided the children between Leah, Rachel, and two female servants. He placed the female servants and their children in front followed by Leah and her children. Rachel and her children brought up the rear. As Esau advanced, Jacob went ahead and bowed seven times to his approaching brother. Esau ran to Jacob and embraced him. Holding him tight he kissed him. Together they cried. Esau looked up and saw the women and children. He asked, “Who are these people with you?” Jacob answered, “They are the children God blessed me with.” The female servants and children approached Esau and bowed. Leah, Rachel, and the other children