Hebrews 11, the great faith chapter.

This chapter has a special meaning to me since I am an immigrant. Yet I realize I am a pilgrim and heaven is my real home.

We can prove from the laws of physics (the preservation of energy and matter but with a constantly increasing entropy) that we cannot possibly exist apart from creation. Yet creation from God’s command must be accepted by faith.Abel sacrificed the firstfruit of his flock, which pointed forward to Jesus being the lamb of God, giving his life for us.

In the upper hand corner is a piece of the book of Enoch, found among the Dead Sea Scrolls.

 

Abraham’s journey was a two step journey. He went to Haran and dwelt there until his father died.

But Abraham also went to Egypt when famine struck the promised land.

This is what it means to be a pilgrim. The Jews had been scattered all over the earth ever since the fall of Israel. They were looking for a homeland to return to.

In the Balfour Declaration of 1917, the United Kingdom became the first world power to endorse the establishment in Palestine of a “national home for the Jewish people.” The British government confirmed this commitment by accepting the British Mandate for Palestine in 1922 (along with their colonial control of the Pirate Coast, Southern Coast of Persia, Iraq and from 1922 a separate area called Transjordan, all of the Middle-Eastern territory except the French territory). The European powers mandated the creation of a Jewish homeland at the San Remo conference of 19–26 April 1920. In 1948, the State of Israel was established.

And so began the prophetic clock to tick again for the Jewish People.

 

 

She is called Rahab the prostitute. An alternate translation would be Rahab the innkeeper, for she was an independent woman that kept an inn.

Yes, thanks to Jesus death on the cross for our sins, his burial and resurrection we have the privilege to be allowed to enter His rest.

Genesis 47, Jacob and Pharaoh, Israel settles in Goshen, Joseph enslaves the Egyptians.

Jacob is at this time 130 years old. “My years have been few” is an understatement” but Jacob compares it to the pilgrimage of his grandfather Abraham.

Joseph had been granted absolute power to rule over Egypt. Pharaoh continued to reign over Egypt, so Joseph started to do Pharaoh’s bidding.

But, as we see, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Through taxes on grain produced during the good years, Joseph had amassed all the grain supply for the government. He is now selling it back at a far higher price than he bought the excess harvests over and above the taxed harvests during the good years.

These are the steps to gain total control over the people.

  1.  Establish government monopoly over the food supply.

2. Collect all the money and other valuables in exchange for some of the food.

3. Take control over the livestock and other ways of sustenance.

4. Take over the land in exchange for some of the food.

5. Reduce people to servitude and slavery in exchange for some of the food.

6. Once the famine is over, keep the people as sharecroppers to keep the system stable.

 

Genesis 41, Pharaoh’s dreams, Joseph’s interpretation and rise to power.

Here let me interject a story from my childhood. In Sweden at that time we had Christianity as a subject first thing in the morning every day in the lower grades. My younger brother was in first grade, the teacher always started with Genesis, and had come to this passage in the Bible. I was in middle school in town, and his elementary school was local. Anyhow, upon hearing the story he exclaimed “It is the same with my big brother, he eats and eats and is never getting any fatter” The story spread from our village to town, and I got yet another nickname.

It was an early dream of Climate change.

Climate Change is “best” solved by taxation of the abundance, but unlike today that abundance was not to be spent immediately, but be put in storage for the lean, dry years.

The famine is recorded in hieroglyphs, like in the tablet below.

Genesis 40, the dreams of the cup bearer and baker, Joseph’s interpretation and their fate.

Joseph is in prison.

Dreams are prominent in the Old Testament.

 

 

 

In the New Testament the importance of dreams did go away. The reference in Acts is from Joel 2:38 “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.”  

The reference in Jude is a warning not to trust in dreams: Jude 8: In the very same way, on the strength of their dreams these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority and heap abuse on celestial beings.

The importance of visions continues through the New testament.

Trances are mentioned three times, all in Acts.