Joseph works for Potiphar, from Genesis 39:1-6 commented by ASV and questions

Midianites, Egypt and Potiphar

Israel raised Joseph and Benjamin differently from the rest of his brothers, they were sons of his loving wife, Rachel, and they knew and believed in his father’s God. Joseph, now in Egypt relied on YaHaWaH, in everything he did and patiently waited on God to act. Joseph like Mary the mother of Jesus was highly favored. Joseph was highly favored when in the pit, when sold as a slave to the Midianites, when sold to Potiphar the Egyptian and when prosperous working for him.

Heavenly precision

As Joseph, you are also highly favored when believing in Jesus, even in trouble, when lacking money, when people slander you, when facing injustice, you are highly favored, don’t bother repaying the bad done to you; God will handle it with heavenly precision.  God’s blessing surrounding Joseph was so obvious and his integrity so prominent in what he did, that Potiphar left everything in Joseph’s hands except the food he ate.


  1. Is God’s way your way?
  2. Are you highly favored?

Judah went to sheep sharing at Timna, Tamar acts as a prostitute, Tamar gets pregnant and gives birth to Zerah and Perez. From Genesis 38:13-30 commented by ASV and questions

Executed by burning

After the mourning for the death of his wife, Judah went to the sheep sharing at Timna, Tamar heard of it and knew that Judah had to pass through where she lived. She dressed like a Temple prostitute with a veil. When Judah came, he saw “the Temple prostitute” and went into to Tamar not recognising her. Tamar conceived and three-month pregnant Judah heard of it and ordered her to be executed by burning, as was the custom at that time for wives being unfaithful.

Heavenly knock out

However, Judah had promised “the temple prostitute” a goat as payment for sleeping with her and had to give his seal, cord, and his staff as pledge to assure the payment. When Tamar is being brought out to be burned she sent the pledge she had been given to Judah her father in law with a message saying: “I am with child by the man to whom these articles belong to, Please examine and see to whom these things belong, the seal and the cord and staff.” This message from his nice daughter in law must have hit him as a heavenly knock out that opened his eyes and heart. In addition, he in a twinkle of an eye, saw clearly, his mistake leaving his father and his people, and he said, “She has been more righteous than I, because I did not give her to my son Shelah.”

According to the custom

As a child of YaHaWaH Judah knew that deceiving people was against Gods law, he had deceived Tamar promising her his son Shelah, now Judah admitted it by saying, “She has been more righteous than I” Judah was back on track with his awesome God, he was a changed person. Tamar having a son with her father in Law was also according to the custom at that time, giving the father in law the responsibility to carry the family line on.


Tamar had twins, Perez and Zerah, Zerah was the first-born, Perez however became the one to carry the seed line on to Christ.


  1. Are young people smarter than older people?
  2. Did women have any rights in the times of The Old Testament?

Judah leaves and meets Hirah, marries Bat Shua and has Er, Onan and Shelah with her. From Genesis 38:1-12 commented by ASV and questions

God’s protection

Israel the father of Judah lived a moral life according to the standards of YaHaWaH, his awesome God that had protected him through difficult times at Haran in the hands of Laban the manipulator, through the meeting with his brother and his 400 soldiers. God Also held His hand over him when Simeon and Levi killed the entire male citizens in Shechem and made the surrounding tribes Israel’s enemies.

Pleasing the body

To live their lives like Israel demanded was in strict contrast to the life of the Canaanites surrounding them. Israel’s life with his God was based on the love of YaHaWaH influenced from His Holy Spirit and didn’t satisfy the five senses of the body as the Canaanites did. The spiritual life is always fighting against pleasing your body, your senses.

Bat Shua and her three children

One day Judah, the son of Israel and Leah had enough of it, he just left North West, stopped in the town of Adullam, and found a friend there, Hirah the Adullamite. After a while, he took a Canaanite wife, the daughter of Shua, Bat Shua, and had three children with her, Er, Onan and Shelah. Judah a Sheppard worked all day to keep the flock and herd as was normal. This left his three children in the hands of his Canaanite wife, she raised them and thought them how to live their lives and what to believe in, she of course thought them of the Canaanite culture.

The teaching of Er, Onan and Shelah

What did Er, Onan and Shelah learn? The Canaanites believed in many gods and every one of these gods, demons, was violent and did grotesque things to each other and to their family. These gods were in constant fight and war, molesting and doing things so terrible, that hearing of it makes you sick. These stories are being influenced of the devil, involving killing, stealing and destroying.

The Canaanites

The Canaanites wanted to please their gods and live like them, this was the teaching given of Judah’s wife and her family to his three boys. They grew up becoming evil as the rest of the Canaanites. The Canaanite people were an extremely violent people involved in and promoting idolatry, gang rape, bestiality, child sacrifice, temple prostitution and many other evil and grotesque practices.

God killed him

When Er was ready to marry, Judah piqued a wife for him, a nice girl named Tamar. When Judah married Bat Shuah, no one piqued her for him, he did it himself, may be being helped by his friend Hirah a Canaanite. It was obviously a mistake, and Judah learned from it and this time he didn’t leave it to Er to find a wife for himself. Er was an extremely evil person and seen from Tamar’s point of view the marriage was a disaster. Er was Judah’s first born and selected to be a part of God’s people, however his evil behaviour sent a terrible signal to the outside world and God just killed him.


Now the custom was that the next in line should marry the widow and have child in the name of Er the deceased. Onan, the next in line went into Hagar and slept with her, but spilled the semen on the ground, Onan didn’t want a child with Tamar, the question is why. When Er lived, as the first borne he had the right to a double portion of the inheritance; they were three sons, so the inheritance was divided in four, two fourth for Er and one fourth for the two others.

He killed him too

When Er had died, suddenly Onan was the firstborn and entitled to a double portion, this time the inheritance being divided in three parts, 2 third to Onan and one third to Shelah. If Onan had a child with Tamar, the son would take Er’s place and be entitled to a double portion and then Onan would drop down to one fourth as he had before, it is a huge difference from 2 third and one fourth. It was simple math and Onan didn’t want to lose all that value. Onan thought he was smart, but God didn’t like it and killed him too. Now Judah had only one son left, Shelah, but at that time he was too young to marry, and Judah told Tamar to go to her family and live there until Shelah was old enough.

Married between 12 and 15

Now Bat Shuah died also. At that time the custom was to marry young, the girls could have between 12 and 15, and Bat shuah could have been about 35 when she died.


  1. Do you see the love of God in this text?
  2. Are the parents responsible for what their children learn or is it the society?
  3. Is it difficult to raise children today?
  4. Do we need God’s help in raising children?

Joseph is sold to the Midianites who take him to Egypt where he is bought by Potiphar. From Genesis 37:29-36 commented by ASV and questions

Ruben’s concern

When Joseph’s brothers sold him to the Midianites, Ruben the first-born was not present, and when he came back to the pit, his brothers had left, and the pit was empty. He tore his cloths in despair, what should he now say to his father, Rueben’s concern was not Joseph; his concern was himself, and what to tell his father.

The lie

Then Rueben went after his brothers, he found them and said, “The boy is not there; as for me, where shall I go” Rueben had just lost his brother and the only thoughts he had was about himself. However, his brothers helped him with constructing the lie he could present to his father. “Then they took Joseph’s tunic, slaughtered a male goat and dipped the tunic in the blood; and they brought the multicolored tunic to their father, saying, “We have found this; please examine it and decide whether or not it is your son’s tunic


Israel concluded, that Joseph was dead, and he wept for his son, the one he had in mind as leader for the dawning nation of Israel. In verse 35 his sons and daughters attempted to comfort him, this is the second time Moses is mentioning Jacob’s daughters, the first time it happened was in Hamor’s speech to his people in Shechem. Israel had more than one daughter, probably as many as he had sons; however, Moses didn’t notice them by name or numbered them.

Did his best

Meanwhile the events followed God’s plan, God is never the problem, the difficulties and troubles are come by us. Potiphar the captain of Pharos guard bought Joseph on the slave market. Joseph accepted his position as slave, started to labor for Potiphar, and did his best and God made it even better. Joseph could have messed it all up by trying to escape or Sabotaging his work, however believing in God he flourished in His blessings.


  1. Do we understand God’s plan by what happens in our life?
  2. How do you enter God’s plan?
  3. Are we born liars?
  4. What do we need to learn, to lie or how not to lie?

Joseph’s brothers plan to kill him, His brothers sell Joseph to the Midianites, from Genesis 37:18-28 commented by ASV and questions

Intense hate

When the brothers saw Joseph, they planned to kill him, one of them or some of them said, “Look, here comes this dreamer. Now then, come and let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits, then we will say ‘A wild animal killed and devoured him’; and we shall see what will become of his dreams”. Who said this, or who started this idea of killing him, probably the concubine sons, Dan, Naphtali, Gad and Asher? Those four sons hated Joseph with an intense hate because he brought bad reports about them.

Already killed

Rueben was the responsible first born and wanted to save Joseph, because he had to answer to his father for Joseph’s safety. Judah too, agrees getting rid of Joseph, but will not be a part of killing his own brother, his own flesh and blood. Simeon and Levi had already killed and would probably be on the concubine brother’s side agreeing to kill their brother Joseph.

Into the hands of God

However, who was behind all this hate and the intend to kill Joseph, yes of cause the Devil, the master of deception he wanted to stop Gods plan of making Israel a people leading to the birth of Christ. Again, the devil plays his game strait into the hand of God who turns all the devil does into fulfilling His heavenly plan. The devil is smart and crafty; however, God knows and oversees it all.

Judah saved Joseph

After his brothers had striped Joseph of his multicolored tunic and thrown him into a pit they sat down to eat. The fact that Joseph was to die didn’t bother them a bit; they had their meal in peace in assurance of getting rid of their brother finally. Then they looked up and saw a caravan coming from Gilead on their way to Egypt, this gave Judah his chance to save Joseph from death.  “Judah said to his brothers, “What do we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? Come, let us sell him to these Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him, because he is our brother and our flesh.” So his brothers listened to him and agreed

God’s plan

Judah called these people coming towards them with their camels for Ishmaelites; they were far off when he said that, he didn’t notice that they were descendants of Ishmael the son of Abraham with Hagar. Ishmaelites were just a common name for the tribes living in the dessert area. When they came closer, they noticed they were Midianites, descendants of Abraham’s son Midian with his last wife Keturah. The Midianites bought Joseph for 20 shekel of silver and took him to Egypt to sell him there along with the rest of their cargo, God’s plan was about to be fulfilled.

From the pit to the palace

Our lives go in the same manner as the life of Joseph, the short version is “from the pit to another pit, we can decide to stay in the pit area or let Jesus take us to the palace.


  1. Are we evil from our birth?
  2. How many children did Abraham have?
  3. How many wives did Abraham have?
  4. How many times have you been in the “pit”?

Jacob tells his son Joseph to go and see how his brothers were doing, Joseph journeys to find his brothers, From Genesis 37:12-17 commented by ASV and questions

You are looked after

Joseph was young, only seventeen, but he was not afraid to set out for a journey from Kiriath-arba to Shechem a two to three days travel and back, looking for his brothers. Coming there, he didn’t find them, and roamed around looking for them. There a man found him and asked what he was looking for, “I am looking for my brothers. Please tell me where they are pasturing” this was most certainly from God, a man given the information or an angel; he said, “They have moved on from this place. I heard them say, ‘Let us go to Dothan

An order to completion

God had given him dreams, Joseph believed in his God and knew that this help was from Him, and then he continued another two days travel towards Dothan further north. Joseph was compulsory and obedient, because here he had an opportunity to turn around and travel back to his father saying, “Sorry I didn’t find them”. Nevertheless, that was not in Joseph’s mind, his father gave him an assignment and Joseph was determined to complete it.


  1. Do you give up when struggle and obstacles come your way?
  2. Do you believe God is with you in every step you take?
  3. Is God’s way the easy way?

Joseph brings bad reports about his brothers, Joseph has two dreams, from Genesis 37:1-11 commented by ASV and questions


Joseph being seventeen pastured sheep together with four of his half-brothers, Dan, Naphtali, Gad and Asher. Dan and Naphtali were the sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s maid and Gad and Asher were sons of Zilpah. Bilhah and Zilpah were slaves and now Israel’s concubines, they were treated as inferior and so were their children. Now Rachel had died, and the concubines felt higher in status and their sons too.

Bad report

Israel lacked authority, but he demanded the camp to live by the rules of God.  Moses writes that Joseph brought bad reports about the four concubine children; this seems like Joseph, in spite of being the younger had the leader role when out in the field and he probably tried to rebuke his half-brothers, but they hated Joseph and didn’t respect him as leader and Joseph brought back to his father bad report about them.

Two dreams

Joseph had two dreams, and became so excited, that he could not keep them to himself; he had to share them with his brothers, his father and the concubine wives. Israel had told his family about the dreams from God he had, and Joseph most certainly believed those dreams of his were from God.

Hate makes murderes

Israel treated Joseph differently from his brothers; Israel loved Joseph more than the rest. Joseph’s brothers hated him and when he told them about his dreams, they hated him even more, the hate affected them to the point that they wished him dead. Of this, we can learn that hate makes murderers.

Persecution, blessing and glory

God gave Joseph two dreams about his future; he could have kept them to himself and the future events would probably not have taken place. When we receive from God, spoken words will make what God tells us come true, but also persecution, mockery and slander. There is a price to pay here on earth, however God’s blessing will follow and later, glory in heaven.


The Bible is not always chronological, in verse 10 Israel says, “Shall I and your mother and your brothers actually come to bow down to the ground before you” it is possible that Joseph’s dreams occurred before Rachel’s death. But must likely Rachel had died and What Israel is saying in his rebuke to Joseph is that this dream is impossible to be fulfilled, because your mother is dead, shall she raise from the dead and bow down to you?


  1. Do we respect people differently?
  2. What makes us respect people?
  3. Is the context in the Bible important?
  4. What does produce hate?

Esau moves to Seir, Esau has three wives and five sons from Genesis 36:1-46 commented by ASV and questions

Too many animals for the land of Kiriath-arba

When Israel came from Haran in Paddan-aram Esau lived in Seir or Edom, a mountain area close to the valley south east of the death sea, however when Israel came with his huge camp to Kiriath-arba Esau also moved back there, but the land couldn’t provide for them both, their animals were to many.

Esau moves to Seir in Edom

It is normal to think that Israel and Esau discussed the matter and Esau probably accepted that his brother had the right to the land that God had promised Abraham, Isaac and now Israel. This resulting in that Esau with his huge flock moved to Seir, the mountain area of Edom.

Esau’s wives

Esau had three wives, Adah the daughter of the Hittite Elon, Oholibamah daughter of another Hittite, Anah. The third wife was the daughter of Ishmael, Basemath. Adah had a son, Eliphaz, who could have been the same Eliphaz that came to comfort Job in his misery. Oholibamah had three sons, Jeush, Jalam and Korah. Basemath became the mother of Esau’s youngest son, Reuel.

Israel’s enemies, Edom and Amalek

Altogether Esau had five sons, Eliphaz, Jeush, Jalam, Korah and Reuel. Esau’s descendants became the people of Edom, later to be Israel’s enemies and to cause great problems. Timna was a concubine of Eliphaz, Esau’s son; and she bore Amalek to Eliphaz, this Amalek became a nation and a notorious enemy of the Israeli people.


  1. Do we need enemies?
  2. Do you know your worst enemy?
  3. What should you do to your enemies?

Jacob’s 12 sons, Esau and Jacob buries their Father Isaac, from Genesis 35:23-29 commented by ASV and questions

11 sons in Paddan-aram

In Paddan-aram in the city, Haran when working for Laban Israel had 11 sons, first four sons with Leah, Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah. Then Rachel gives her maid Bilhah to Jacob who gives birth to two sons, Dan and Naphtali. Then Leah gives her maid Zilpah to Jacob and she bears him two sons, Gad and Asher. Then Leah has two more sons, Issachar, and Zebulun. After that, Rachel has her first son, Joseph and then when she dies, she gives birth to Benjamin the twelfth and last son of Jacob.

The twelve sons

The twelve sons of Jacob ranked by their age, Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, Benjamin.

A nice time

Isaac, Israel’s father now lived in Kiriath-arba with his camp; this site is close to where the city of Hebron is today. Israel with his huge caravan came to his father and presented all his family to him, Isaac was old, blind, and close to dyeing. I suppose they had a nice time there and a lot to talk about, Israel finally had reached his home after being away for about 37 years.

Machpelah and alters

Then Isaac died and Israel and Esau buried him together, they were still friends. They buried their father in the cave of Machpelah were Abraham, Sarah and Rebekah also were buried. This burial place, the cave of Machpelah along with the Alters and pillars being erected in the land of Canaan, were signs that this land would later belong to the descendants of Israel.


  1. Can family give us peace and friendship?
  2. Where the children of Jacob nice people?
  3. What does burial places mean to you?

Some distance from Ephrath Rachel gives birth to Benjamin and dies, Ruben sleeps with Bilhah, from Genesis 35:13-22, commented by ASV and questions

Rachel dies

When all this happened with Shechem and Dinah, Simeon and Levi killing every male in the city of Shechem, looting the city and taking all the people left there with them. When they run away from the tribes of Canaan in fear, Rachel was pregnant, and this havoc could of course have affected her pregnancy. The huge caravan passed the cite where later Jerusalem would be built and when approaching Ephrath, that is Bethlehem, Rachel gives birth to a son after having a hard labor and she names him Ben-oni, meaning son of my sorrow, then she dies.

Ben-oni is renamed Benjamin

Israel renames his newborn son, Benjamin, the son of my right hand, and on Rachel’s grave; he sets up a pillar of stone. In Bethel Israel built an Alter, and where God met him there, he set a pillar and once again named it Bethel, the house of God. Now when Rachel dies, Israel sets up another pillar. Israel is marking the land his descendants later will conquer.

Ruben sleeps with Jacobs concubine Bilhah

Israel camped outside Ephrath for a while, and there Ruben slept with Israel’s concubine Bilhah, Rachel’s maid, and all which the Bible is commenting is that Israel heard about it. However, we can sense a problem here, Israel’s oldest sons were adults, grown up men ready to marry, however they could not marry pagans with their belief in foreign gods and foreign rites. Israel as we have seen didn’t rule his family as he should, he didn’t look after Dinah properly and he probably didn’t handle his grown-up sons with authority either, causing that Ruben slept with his concubine Bilhah.


  1. Are you depending on the blessings from God?
  2. Are you blessed, in what “room” are you Blessed?
  3. Where in the Bible do you find Gods promise about your blessing?