kjv@Genesis:4:1@ And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.
kjv@Genesis:4:2@ And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
kjv@Genesis:4:3@ And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.
kjv@Genesis:4:4@ And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
kjv@Genesis:4:5@ But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
kjv@Genesis:4:6@ And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
kjv@Genesis:4:7@ If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
kjv@Genesis:4:8@ And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
kjv@Genesis:4:9@ And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?
kjv@Genesis:4:10@ And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.
kjv@Genesis:4:11@ And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand;
kjv@Genesis:4:12@ When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.
kjv@Genesis:4:13@ And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
kjv@Genesis:4:14@ Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.
kjv@Genesis:4:15@ And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.
kjv@Genesis:4:16@ And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.
kjv@Genesis:4:17@ And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.
kjv@Genesis:4:18@ And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech.
kjv@Genesis:4:19@ And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.
kjv@Genesis:4:20@ And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle.
kjv@Genesis:4:21@ And his brother's name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.
kjv@Genesis:4:22@ And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah.
kjv@Genesis:4:23@ And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt.
kjv@Genesis:4:24@ If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.
kjv@Genesis:4:25@ And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.
kjv@Genesis:4:26@ And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.
Jewish people today should know that the sceptre and lawgiver literally did depart Judah historically right at the time of Jesus. They have not had this self determining power since throughout the dispersion. Further proof that Jesus is the Shiloh.
Did you notice that Abel and Cain were offering sacrifices, but, men did not call on the name of the Lord until Enos? What men? Were there others? Remember that incest at this time was not forbidden, logically it was the only way for these people to reproduce. Notice that sisters of Cain and Abel and Seth are not recorded, there may have been many (perhaps in modern terms 7 to 1 or more). Seeing how quickly Cain's numbers grew, Abel's could have been just as quick, along with Seth's. Given the either of these brothers could have had any number of other unrecorded brothers the human race could have grown quite quickly. Only later when incest was not needed and began producing genetic flaws was it legalized against.
How does one forget such a one as interpreted his troubling dream? How does one forget a solemn oath? Quite easily it appears. Notice that Joseph believes in his Lord and at the same time is pleading his way with others to be delivered. There may be times when the Lord works His favor through other people blessing ones initiative. This however seems to be a time when it was not yet time for the Lord to fully reveal His favor. In the long run Joseph's initiative sticks but, it should be known that it was not the cause.
Joseph possess two attitudes beneficial to his relationship with God from which he names his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. His first attitude is that He has made him to forget his toil and fathers house. It is not that he has forgotten it whole it is that it has a positive influence on him. Instead of blaming God or that he is entitled to this time, he praises God that all of these experiences have lead him to this moment; he would not be this had he not been through that. And surely the desire to be reunited with his kin (particularly Jacob and Benjamin) is still there but contained in the knowledge that it will be by God's hand in God's time. The second attitude is that God has made him fruitful in the land of his affliction. He is not sugar coating the fact that he has been afflicted, he is acknowledging that God has brought him through affliction into fruitfulness.
The revelation of the dream was toward the years of plenty followed by years of famine, the interpretation is in what best to do. The dream does shows the years of famine surviving on the carcass of the years of plenty, but, does not show a man appointed to gather during the years of plenty. It is one thing to know what is about to happen and quite another to be wise enough from it to know what needs to be done. Both are from God, one a product of divine announcement, one the product of divine preparation and testing.
I have often puzzled over the allowance of Joseph to treat his brothers in this somewhat mean and deceitful manner. Jacob was a trickster in his day and now he is being tricked himself. Not to say that I would have reacted any better (probably worse) given the situation, but, wouldn't you like to hear him discuss his thought process now after the fact?
Others have suggested that Joseph is testing his brothers hearts to see where they stand. After all of these years would they still be of the heart that led to selling a brother into slavery and faking his death? Had they learned anything? Had they changed? We saw that there was remembrance of the event and suspicion that this current problem may be the pay back. We are seeing some effort today by them to do what is right even in the midsts of some oddities beyond their control.
The truth is now pouring out from Judah's mouth. He is expressing concern for his dad, concern for his youngest brother, and a willingness to take the place of Benjamin for any wrong the brothers may have done. Nearly everything is here except an outright confession of the past treatment of Joseph.
This is a solid offer of forgiveness to pattern our own after. First, it does not seek anything further from them to make it or keep it happening. Second, it is based upon God's intentions and not either of the two parties involved. Third, it is concerned for reaction of the guilty towards their own selves.
The reaction of Pharaoh should be noted. We know from previous text that the Hebrews were not looked favorably on by the Egyptians during these days; they were not even to be eaten with. Here we see how differently Joseph was viewed, as a man in whom the spirit of God dwelt. That Joseph had been reunited with his Hebrew kin was a favorably endorsed event by Pharaoh.
We should be mindful as to just how serious famines can be. Within the first year the people of Egypt had sold Joseph their cattle and by the second year had sold all but the priest' land. This is a sanitized way of saying that they were absolutely desperate. The dust bowels of Great Depression are the closest thing we Americans have seen to this, not nearly as devastating but requiring a buy back program from the government for many as well, some had to walk away from everything.