This week, we tie up various loose ends and end the book of Genesis with the deaths of Jacob and Joseph, their instructions to their survivors, and a small amount of foreshadowing. The haftarah, 1 Kings 2:1-12, concerns King David’s death and his instructions to Solomon. David is concise and to the point:
2 “I am going the way of all the earth; be strong and show yourself a man. 3 Keep the charge of the LORD your God, walking in His ways and following His laws, His commandments, His rules, and His admonitions as recorded in the Teaching of Moses, in order that you may succeed in whatever you undertake and wherever you turn.4 Then the LORD will fulfill the promise that He made concerning me: ‘If your descendants are scrupulous in their conduct, and walk before Me faithfully, with all their heart and soul, your line on the throne of Israel shall never end!’”
Then he names specific men who are to be favored or, ahem, dealt with, because they were good to, or wronged, David.
The lives of Jacob and Joseph end with more prophecy than account settling. Jacob and his sons have now lived 17 years in Egypt, still there, even though the famine is over. Recall from last week, 46:4,”I Myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I Myself will also bring you back” so maybe Jacob is waiting for a divine signal before sanctioning a return to Canaan. Now that he is about to die, he instructs that he is to be buried in the ancestral cave in Canaan, blesses and adopts Joseph’s sons Ephraim and Manasseh (blessing the younger over the elder) so that Rachel will be the ancestress of three tribes, and gives each of his sons (where’s Dinah?) a final evaluation, like a performance review, mixing blessing, prophecy, and chastisement. He dies and is embalmed, on Joseph’s orders, to allow time for public Egyptian mourning and the trip to Canaan. Like Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebecca, and Leah – but not Rachel – Jacob is buried in the Cave of Machpelah. The brothers leave their children and flocks in Egypt while they are away, a bit of foreshadowing of the bargaining a later Pharaoh will do with Moses concerning the Hebrews’ requested religious pilgrimage into the desert.
But the brothers still fear Joseph and, thinking they face retribution now that Jacob is gone, offer themselves as slaves. Joseph, bitterly stung by their lack of belief in his forgiveness, again reassures them that all is well, that this was all part of the Lord’s plan. Joseph lives to 110, an ideal lifetime in Egyptian lore. He makes the family swear that they will take his bones with them when the Lord takes them back to Canaan. Again, a bit of foreshadowing: yes, they’ll go back to Canaan, but their situation will be such that they won’t be able to leave on their own. The Lord will have to take them out of the land of Egypt, soon to become a house of bondage.
As They Get Old… (Excerpts)
Old architects never die, they just lose their structures.
Old beekeepers never die, they just buzz off.
Old cashiers never die, they just check out.
Old cleaning people never die, they just kick the bucket.
Old hardware engineers never die, they just cache in their chips.
Old horticulturists never die, they just go to pot.
Old knights in chain mail never die, they just shuffle off their metal coils.
Old laser physicists never die, they just become incoherent.
Old pacifists never die, they just go to peaces.
Old policemen never die, they just cop out.
Old printers never die, they’re just not the type.
Old sculptors never die, they just lose their marbles.
Old seers never die, they just lose their vision.
Old skateboarders never die, they just lose their bearings.
Old Soldiers never die. Young ones do.
Old steelmakers never die, they just lose their temper.
Walt Disney didn’t die. He’s in suspended animation.
Tool used by ancient Egyptians to remove BRAINS discovered in the skull of a 2,400 year old mummy- after it was LEFT INSIDE by bumbling embalmer
PUBLISHED: 08:44 EST, 16 December 2012 | UPDATED: 06:10 EST, 17 December 2012 (abridged)
A brain-removal tool used by ancient Egyptian embalmers was found wedged in the skull of a female mummy after embalmers left it there thousands of years ago. The three-inch object was located in the body of a 40-year-old woman dating back 2,400 years, initially causing bafflement among researchers over what it was. After carrying out CT scans, scientists found the instrument between the left parietal bone and the back of the skull, which had been filled with resin during the mummification. The mistake made thousands of years ago has helped researchers to understand the ancient embalming process. (You can go to the website to see the nauseating details and pictures. IGP) The tool was made from plants in the group Monocotyledon, which includes forms of palm and bamboo, which may have been used instead of metal because it was cheaper. The only other brain-removal stick found inside a mummy’s skull dates back 2,200 years and was made from a similar type of material.
The details emerged in a report recently published by Dr. Mislav Čavka’s team, of the University Hospital Dubrava in Zagreb Croatia, in the journal RSNA RadioGraphics (at http://radiographics.rsna.org/content/32/7/2151.abstract . I haven’t looked at the report, nor do I plan to. IGP). “It is known that mummification was widely practiced throughout ancient Egyptian civilization, but it was a time-consuming and costly practice. Thus, not everyone could afford to perform the same mummification procedure,” the researchers wrote.
Quotes about Forgiveness
The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naïve forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.
– Thomas Szasz
Apologizing does not always mean that you are wrong and the other person is right. It just means that you value your relationship more than your ego.
Always forgive your enemies – Nothing annoys them so much.
– Pamela Daranjo
When you forgive, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the future.
– Bernard Meltzer
Famous last words of a Mafia hitman:
“Who put the violin in the violin case?”
[One of the benefits of my retirement – no more (semi)annual performance appraisals or ratings! IGP]
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