Teacher Notes

Bible Stories for Adults

Jacob Blesses Judah

Genesis 49:8-12

Welcome and Announcements
    Next Week - The Passover (Exodus 12:1-30; Luke 22:7-20)
    Bible Words to Remember:
      It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. Romans 9:16

Opening Prayer

Jesus' Parables (Matthew 13)
    Why did Jesus speak in parables?
      Matthew 13:10-16 = To help the faithful understand, Unfaithful couldn't
    Were the people before Jesus unable to understand God's plan because they weren't faithful enough?
      Matthew 13:17 = No, many righteous people had longed to understand
    How long had people been unable to understand the mysteries of God's plan?
      Matthew 13:34-35 = Since the creation of the world

God's Mystery (Ephesians 3)
    Who believed he was specially chosen to reveal God's mystery to the world?
      Ephesians 3:1-5 = Paul, made known to him by revelation
    Was he chosen for this task because he especially deserved it?
      Ephesians 3:7-9 = No, Paul was chosen by God's grace, less than the least
    What is this mystery?
      Ephesians 3:6 = The whole world shares in the promise given to the Jews
    Was this inclusion of non-Jews an afterthought?
      Ephesians 1:4-5 = No, He chose us even before he created the world

Early Promises of God's Mystery (Genesis 1-12)
    Had God really planned to take the faithful to heaven since the beginning of time?
      Matthew 25:34 = Yes, kingdom of heaven was prepared with the creation of the world
    How long did man wait before first hearing God's promise of saving grace through Christ?
      Genesis 3:15 = First promise of Savior was immediate after judgment of first sin
    How did God reveal the mystery of His grace after condemning Cain for murdering Abel?
      Genesis 4:15 = Promised to protect Cain from vengeance, put a mark on him

    What promise of grace did God give after destroying the wicked earth in a flood?
      Genesis 9:8-11 = Never again would a flood destroy all life
    What mark did God offer to remind mankind of this promise?
      Genesis 9:12-15 = Rainbow is sign of God's covenant with the earth & all creatures

    What did man do next that invoked God's judgment?
      Genesis 11:4, 9 = Tried to build a tower & city to make a name for themselves
    What promise of grace did God give after scattering and confusing vain mankind?
      Genesis 12:1-3 = Called Abram out of grace, promised to bless him & world thru him

The First Generation (Genesis 17:1-14)
    What did God do for Abram the year before Isaac would be born?
      Genesis 17:1-2 = Confirmed His covenant
    What details did God give that explained the promise He had given 24 years earlier?
      Genesis 17:3-8 = Father of nations & kings, Changed name, eternal covenant, Canaan
    What mark did God give as a permanent reminder of His promise?
      Genesis 17:10-11 = Circumcision

The Second Generation (Genesis 17:12-21)
    Who would receive these eternal promises after Abraham?
      Genesis 17:15-16, 19 = Isaac, a miracle child Abraham would have at 100 years old
    Did Abraham agree with God's wisdom? = Isaac means he laughs, Sarah laughed in Gen 18
      Genesis 17:17-18 = No, he wanted his first-born 13-yr old son, Ishmael, to be the one
    Had God forgotten that Ishmael owned Abraham's legal birthright?
      Genesis 17:20-21 = No, human birthright isn't the same as God's covenant birthright
    What did the birthright mean to a firstborn son?
      Genesis 27:29 = Leadership of the tribe and family
      Deuteronomy 21:17 = A double share of the inheritance
      Genesis 27:4 = The blessings of the father
    Aren't all of Abraham's descendants heirs to the promise given to him?
      Romans 9:6-9 = No, only children of the promise; God doesn't have any grandchildren

The Third Generation (Genesis 27)
    Did God intervene in any way with the birth of the next generation?
      Genesis 25:21 = Yes, Rebekah was barren, Isaac prayed, God answered with twins
    Did Isaac allow God to direct the covenant birthright of the next generation?
      Genesis 27:30-33 = No, he tried to give it to Esau, his firstborn
    When Isaac learned of his mistake, did he try to take back God's blessing and give it to Esau?
      Genesis 27:34-35, 39-40 = No, he knew he couldn't change God's plan
    Could Isaac have been more careful and made sure the covenant promise went to Esau?
      Romans 9:10-16 = No, it was God's plan; God had chosen Jacob before birth

The Fourth Generation (Genesis 29:31-30:24)
    Did God intervene in any way with the birth of the next generation?
      Genesis 29:31-35 = God gave Leah 4 sons, kept Rachel barren (Jacob loved her more)
    How did Rachel, the loved wife, try to affect God's plans for the covenant family?
      Genesis 30:1-8 = She had Jacob have 2 sons through her maid Bilhah
    What did Leah think of her sister's tricks?
      Genesis 30:9-13 = She had Jacob have 2 sons through her maid Zilpah
    Did Leah regret doing this when God opened her womb again?
      Genesis 30:17-21 = No, she thought it had pleased God had 2 more sons & a daughter

Rachel's Sons (Genesis 35:16-18)
    What famous son did Rachel bear when she finally became pregnant?
      Genesis 30:22-24 = Joseph
    How did Jacob feel about this son of the wife he loved?
      Genesis 37:3-4 = He loved him more than the others, they hated Joseph for it
    What happened when Rachel had her second son?
      Genesis 35:16-18 = She died in childbirth

Reuben, Jacob's Firstborn (Genesis 49:1-4)
    Did Jacob try to give the covenant birthright to his firstborn, Reuben?
      Genesis 49:1-4 = No, he recognized his human birthright, but said he'd no longer excel
      Note: No judge, prophet or prince came from tribe of Reuben; Territory taken by Moab
    What did Jacob refer to in his condemnation of Reuben?
      Genesis 35:22 = Reuben had slept with Bilhah (40 years earlier)
    Was Reuben irresponsible as an eldest brother?
      Genesis 37:19-22, 29 = No, he tried to protect Joseph; Just wasn't God's chosen

Simeon & Levi (Genesis 49:5-7)
    Did the covenant birthright go to one of the next sons in line?
      Genesis 49:5-7 = No, they were cursed for their violence
    What incident revealed Simeon's and Levi's violent sides? = Revenge for Shechem taking Dinah
      Genesis 34:1-2, 11-15, 24-25 = They deceived a city to be circumcised & slaughtered
    Jacob prophesied that the tribes of Simeon & Levi would be scattered in Israel. Did this happen?
      Joshua 19:1 = Simeon's territory was within Judah's
      Joshua 13:33; 21:3 = Levi was given no inheritance; they had towns within the tribes

Joseph & Benjamin (Genesis 49:22-27)
    Did Jacob give the covenant birthright to his favorite son or his youngest son?
      Genesis 49:22-27 = No, he blessed Joseph and prophesied Benjamin's love for war
      Note: Joseph's fruit included Deborah, Gideon, Jephthah (judges) and Samuel (prophet)

    How did Jacob further bless his favorite son Joseph? = E & M each received territory
      Genesis 48:5, 15-16 = He took Joseph's sons and blessed them as his own
    What did Joseph do when Jacob started to bless Ephraim over Manasseh, the firstborn?
      Genesis 48:14, 17-20 = He tried to stop Jacob, but Jacob said it was right

    How was the tribe of Benjamin later seen as a ravenous wolf? = Ehud & Saul from Benjamin
      Judges 20:12-14, 21 = Benjamites fought rest of Israel rather than discipline Gibeah
    What happened to Benjamin as a result of this battle?
      Judges 20:46-48 = All but 600 men were killed; Jg 21 - Israel helped them get wives

Judah (Genesis 49:8-12)
    How did Jacob pass on the covenant birthright to Judah?
      Genesis 49:8-10 = Messianic prophesy
      your hand will be on the neck of your enemies (Ps 18:40) = Military & political power
      father's sons will bow down to you (2 Samuel 5:1-3) = All tribes recognized David as king
      You are a lion's cub (Rev 5:5) = Lion is king of beasts, Jesus is Lion of Judah
      scepter will not depart ...until Shiloh comes (Luke 2:1) = Judeans ruled Judah until Rome
      Shiloh (Isaiah 9:6) = means man of peace; Jesus is Prince of Peace
      obedience of the nations (Matt 28:18-20) = All nations united into one new Israel

    How does Jacob describe the spiritual blessings and treasures brought by this scepter of Judah?
      Genesis 49:11-12 = So plentiful that today's valuable is in over-abundance
      tether his donkey to a vine = No one would destroy a valuable vine by tying a donkey to it
      wash his garments in wine = wine as plentiful as water
      eyes darker than wine, teeth whiter than milk = great health

Zebulun, Issachar, Dan, Gad, Asher & Naphtali (Genesis 49:13-21)
    What blessings did Jacob have for his six other sons?
      Genesis 49:13 = Zebulun became very active in shipping as far as Sidon
      Genesis 49:14-15 = Issachar was hard working with good land, success brought taxes
      Genesis 49:16-18 = Samson was from Dan and conquered the Philistines
      Genesis 49:19 = Gad gave David brave warriors (1Ch 12:8); raided by Moab & Ammon
      Genesis 49:20 = Asher's coastline led to trading of luxuries
      Genesis 49:21 = Naphtali was known for being friendly and obliging

Closing Prayer

Copyright © 1997 by Kurt Rosenhagen

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