Message of the
* 8-13 Prelims Week
* 26 National Heroes Day
* 7-11 Finals Week
Kindly take time to visit this site regularly as notes, readings, illustrations and pointers to exams and quizzes will be placed here soon. Thanks!
- Callum Tabada
|(The article below is for July
29 - August 2 discussion)
Meanwhile, in Egypt Joseph was sonld to Potiphar, the captain of the palace guard (Genesis 37:36; 39:1). In Potiphar's household, Joseph had his moral test: Potiphar's wife attempted to seduce him many times, and many times he revisited successfully. Unfortunately, the wife accused him falsely and Joseph was thrown into prison (Genesis 39:6-20). In all these trials, the narrator tells us that God was with Joseph.
One significant aspect of Joseph's life was his being a master of dreams. He did not only dream: he had the ability to interpret dreams. It was due to his early dreams that his elder brothers hated his so much (Genesis 37:5-11). While he was in Egypt, Joseph became famous for his ability to interpret dreams accurately. It started while he was inside the jail (Genesis 40:1-23) interpreting the dreams of his fellow prisoners. When the Pharaoh had his dreams and no one among the magicians and wisemen of Egypt could explain the dreams (Genesis 41:8, 15), Joseph was summoned from prison to appear before the Pharaoh. True enough, Joseph was able to interpret the meaning of the Pharaoh's dreams. The Pharaoh himself recognized the wisdom of Joseph as "a man who has God's spirit in him" (Genesis 41:38). So Joseph was appointed governor over all Egypt, second in command to the Pharaoh. "I will put you in charge of my country, and all my people will obey your orders. Your authority will be second only to mine" (Genesis 41:40).
As an administrator, Joseph was very successful.
Durign the seven years of plenty, he collected all the
surplus harvest and stored them all over the land
(Genesis 41:47-49). So when the seven years of famine
came, Joseph made available the storehouses and sold
grain to the people. "People came to Egypt from all
over the world to buy grain because the famine was severe
everywhere" (Genesis 41:57).
D. Moral and Religious Beliefs of the Patriarchs
From the perspective of Christian morality, many of the practices of the patriarchs are morally ambiguous and questionable. However, it must be pointed out that our moral norms now should not be used as standards to judge the customs and practices of peoples more than three thousand years ago. Nevertheless, sexual purity as an ideal was accorded highest regards as indicated by the story of how Joseph resisted the seductive advances of Potiphar's wife.
As for the religious beliefs of the patriarchs, we can characterize them in three ways. First, they possessed a firm faith in a personal God who is the sovereign ruler of the universe. Their experience of God was as intimate and as real as their fellowship with their human neighbors. God communicated with them and revelaed himself to them through dreams and other forms of theophany. They engaged in a personal "dialogue" with God. Thus, God was known as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Subsequently, in Moses' time, it was known that God who spoke to his ancestors was the same God who appeared to him.
Seondly, fundamental to the religion of the patriarchs was the covenant idea. A covenant is an agreement or contract between two parties. Religiously speaking, it is a personal relationship and mutual agreement between God and the people. The usual covenant ceremony involved the cutting in half of one or more animals and for both contracting parties to pass through the divided animal sacrifice. The decisive element in the ceremony was the blood which symbolically made both parties "blood brothers."
The Hebrew firmly believed the God made a covenant with them, a covenant which they renewed in various ceremonials all through their history. In the original ceremony with Abraham, God promised to give Abraham an heir, to make a great nation out of his descendants, and to give them the land of Canaan. In return, Abraham and his descendants must be faithful to the terms of the covenant and observe God's laws.
Finally, patriarchal religion was a clan religion wherein the clan was regarded as God's family. Each patriarch performed the religious ceremonies and led worship for his family at certain shrines where sacrifices might be offered. Closely related with this was the common practice of the patriarchs to pronounce blessings or curses. It was held that when blessings or curses were pronounced by a godly man, they would take effect. They are like arorws, once released there would be no way to stop them or divert them. Blessings (or curses) were ways to express concern for one another within the covenant community.
God's Liberating Acts, by Melanio Aoanan, pp.20-23
UNIVERSITY, DUMAGUETE CITY, PHILIPPINES FIRST SEMESTER,
SCHOOL YEAR 2002-2003
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or you can ask me directly in class during class hours :)
Last updated: Saturday, July 27, 2002