Class Notes on Sacred History
Volume I: The Pentateuch, Joshua, Judges, Ruth and Job.
J. W. McGarvey (1893)
Table of Contents
JOSEPH AND HIS BRETHREN.
xxxvii. 1-l. 26.
§ I. JOSEPH IS SOLD AS A SLAVE. xxxvii. 1-36.
1. Beginning of His Troubles. xxxvii. 1-11.
- Why the term "sojourning"? 1.
- How is "generations" here used? 2.
- Names of the brothers with whom he was laboring. 2.
- What three causes of hatred?
- How could his mother bow down? 10.
2. His Brothers Attempt To Kill Him. 12-24.
- Why the flocks led back to Shechem? 12.
- What the distance? 14.
- Why was Joseph sent alone?
- How much farther was Dothan, and what kind of country? Lands of the Bible, 296.
- What kind of pit? and why no water in it? 24.
3. They Sell Him, and He Is Taken to Egypt. 25-36.
- Was Dothan on the way from Gilead to Egypt?
- Why the merchants called both Ishmaelites and Midianites? 25, 28, 36.
- Origin of these two tribes? xxv. 1-4, 12.
- What traits here exhibited by Reuben and Judah? 21, 22, 26, 27. 
§ II. THE FAMILY OF JUDAH. xxxviii. 1-30.
1. His First Two Sons and Their Fate. xxxviii. 1-11.
- What suggested this section at this place? See xxxvii. 26-29.
- Where was Adullam? 1. Lands of the Bible, 222.
- Meaning of "raise up seed to thy brother"? 8.
- Why in her father's house while waiting? 11.
2. Tamar Commits Incest. 12-23.
- What was her motive, and why so base? 14.
- What the signet and the cord? 18.
- Why say there had been no harlot there? 21.
3. Tamar Is Exposed and Twins Are Born to Her. 24-30.
- Why so severe on her and so forgetful of his own sin? 24.
- Purpose of Moses in writing this section? [The great tribe of Judah descended principally from these two sons of Tamar.]
- What divine purpose in this record? See Ruth iv. 18-22; Matt. i. 3.
- What light does it throw upon Canaanite society?
§ III. JOSEPH BECOMES GOVERNOR OF EGYPT. xxxix. 1-xli. 57.
1. His Prosperity under Potiphar. xxxix. 1-6.
- Causes of his promotion. 3, 4, 5.
2. He Is falsely Accused and Imprisoned. 7-20.
- Grounds of his refusal? 8, 9.
- Contrast with Reuben and Judah? xxxv. 22; xxxviii. 15, 16.
- Why a woman of her rank so base?
- Why was Joseph not killed?
- Nature of his imprisonment? Ps. cv. 18.
3. He Is Promoted in Prison. 21-23. 
- How did the Lord give him favor? 21-23.
- What rule in life is illustrated by Joseph's repeated promotion?
4. He Interprets Dreams. xl. 1-23.
- What the duties of chief butler and chief baker?
- Did Potiphar still have confidence in Joseph? 4.
- How could he say he was stolen? 15.
- Why hang the baker after beheading him? 19.
- What was the probable charge against him and the butler?
5. Pharaoh Has a Dream and Joseph Is Remembered. xli. 1-14.
- What kind of corn? 5.
- Why say, "with the east wind"? 6.
- Why send for magicians? 8.
- Why did they fail to give some interpretation? 8.
- To what faults does the butler allude? 9.
- Why did Joseph shave himself? 14.
6. The Dream Stated and Interpreted. 15-36.
- How did Joseph know that God would give an answer? 16.
- Why did the cows come out of the river? and what river? 22, 30.
- Why would one-fifth be enough to save? 34.
- Why not leave the matter to the people?
7. Joseph Is Made Governor. 37-46.
- Did this Pharaoh know the true God? 38.
- Meaning of the word Pharaoh?
- Personal name and history of this one? See Rawlinson, Ancient Egypt, vol. II, 110, 111.
- Why give Joseph his signet ring? 42.
- Meaning of the name given Joseph? 45.
- Why a priest's daughter for his wife? 45.
8. His Administration and His Family. 47-57. 
- Meaning of "by handfuls"? 47.
- Why lay up the food in cities? 48.
- Why thankful for forgetting his father's house? and what meant by it? 51.
- Why had he not gone to see his father?
- What meant by "all the face of the earth"? and "all countries"? 56, 57.
- Probable cause of the famine?
§ IV. VISITS OF JOSEPH'S BROTHERS. xlii. 1-xlv. 28.
1. They Come and Are Imprisoned. xlii. 1-17.
- Significance of looking one upon another? 1.
- Why remember the dreams? 9, cf. 6.
- Why not recognize Joseph? 7, 8, 23.
- Why demand that Benjamin be brought? 15.
- Would bringing him prove that they were not spies? 16.
- Why then, make this the ground of the demand?
2. Simeon Is Retained and the Others Released. 18-24.
- Explain the use of "three days" and "third day." 17, 18.
- Why say, "for I fear God"? 18.
- What did Joseph learn from Reuben's remark? 22.
- Why bind the next to the oldest?
- What do we here learn of Joseph's deportment when sold? 21.
3. Their Return and Their Report to Jacob. 25-38.
- Why the money put in the sacks? 25.
- Why have to feed the ass with some of the wheat? 27, cf. 25.
- What kind of inn?
- Why afraid, and why think God had done it? 28, 35.
- Why so careful of Benjamin? 38.
4. The Brother Are Sent Again. xliii. 1-14.
- What assurance of Benjamin's return? 9.
- What fruits yet in the land? 11.
- Why send a present of these?
- Who suggested the return of the money? 12. 
5. They Are Brought to Joseph's House, and Simeon Is Released. 15-25.
- Why their fear? 18.
- What did they learn from the steward's answer? 23.
6. They Dine with Joseph. 26-34.
- Why the weeping? 29, 30.
- Why not eat with Hebrews? 32, cf. xlvi. 34.
- Why did the men marvel? 33.
7. The Device of the Cup. xliv. 1-17.
- Force of their argument? 8, 9.
- Meaning of divine? 5, 15.
- What the purpose of the dining?
- Meaning of, "God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants"? 16.
- What was Joseph's purpose, and how near to being accomplished? 17.
8. Judah's Speech and Proposal. 18-34.
- Why say, "let not thine anger burn," etc.? 18.
- Why call Benjamin "a child," "a little one," "a lad"? 20, 30, cf. xlvi. 21.
- What did Joseph learn from this speech? 28, 33, 34.
- Why Judah speak?
- What the feeling of Judah now? 33, 34.
9. Joseph Makes Himself Known. xlv. 1-15.
- What overcame Joseph's feelings and his purpose?
- Why say, "it was not you that sent me hither, but God"? 8.
- How had God sent him?
- When did Joseph discover this?
- Why should Jacob move to Egypt? 11.
- How long had Joseph now been in Egypt? 6; xli. 46; xxxvii. 2. 
10. Joseph Sends for the Family. 16-28.
- Why was Pharaoh so well pleased? 16.
- What kind of wagons were then used? 19.
- Why say, "fall not by the way"? 24.
- How was the fact that Joseph was alive explained to Jacob? 26, 28.
§ V. THE MIGRATION INTO EGYPT. xlvi. 1-xlvii. 26.
1. The Departure from Canaan. xlvi. 1-7.
- What religious change since he first left Canaan? 1-4, cf. xxviii. 16, 17.
- Why select Beer-sheba as the place?
- Why say, "fear not to go down into Egypt"? 3.
2. Jacob's Offspring by Leah. 8-15.
- How many sons, grandsons and great grandsons?
- Why are they called "sons"? 15.
- In what sense did she "bear" them? and how in Paddan-aram? 15. See also, 18, 25.
- As the sons named are thirty-three, how is it said, "all the souls of his sons and his daughters were thirty and three"? 15.
- Why was Dinah not counted?
- What grandsons had Judah by Perez? 12.
- At what time does Judah appear to have married? xxxvii. 36, cf. xxxviii. 1-3.
- If he married at the time of Joseph's sale, how long had he been married when Perez appears (verse 12) with two sons?
- How old would this allow Perez to be when his two sons were born, and how old could Er have been when he died? [Note.--Estimate the time necessary for the other events in chapter xxxviii., subtract the sum from twenty-two, and divide the  remainder between Er and Perez.]
- Does the expression, "at that time" (xxxviii. 1) admit of an earlier date for the marriage than the sale of Joseph? Cf. the expression "in those days" Matt. iii. 1, with ii. 20-23, to see the vagueness of such expressions in Hebrew writers.
- Can we date the marriage earlier than the return from Laban to Canaan? xxxviii. 1, 2.
- If we place it this early, how many more years have we to divide between Er and Perez? xxx. 25-32; xxxi. 41; xxxvii. 2.
- Does the result, fourteen and a half years, as the age of each, come within the bounds of probability? [Note.--Boys are frequently married at from fourteen to fifteen years of age in Palestine at the present day.]
- Had Jacob been only twenty years with Laban, how old would Judah have been at this supposed date of his marriage? xxix. 20-23, 32-35.
- If there forty years, how old could he have been?
3. Offspring by Zilpah. 16-18.
- Is the daughter Serah counted?
- Why she and not Dinah?
4. Offspring by Rachel. 19-22.
- How long before the sale of Joseph was Benjamin born? xxxv. 16, 17, cf. xxxvii. 14.
- How old then was he at the time of the migration?
- How could he at such an age have ten sons?
5. Offspring of Bilhah. 23-25.
6. The Whole Number of Children. 26, 27.
- How the number seventy made up? See 15, 18, 22, 25.
- Who omitted, to make the sixty-six? 27, 12.
- What the distinction,  then, between the two aggregates?
- How many years had now passed since the birth of Isaac? xxv. 26; xlvii. 9.
- How many living persons in Jacob's family?
- At this rate of increase would the promise to Abraham and Jacob (xv. 13, 14; xlvi. 3) have been fulfilled?
- Should we be surprised, then, that early marriages and births had commenced in the family?
7. Joseph Comes to Meet His Father. 28-34.
- Where was the land of Goshen? 28.
- Why say, "Now let me die"? 30, cf. Luke, ii. 29.
- Why desire the land of Goshen? and how would this answer secure it?
8. He Introduces His Brothers and His Father to Pharaoh. xlvii. 1-12.
- Why only five of his brothers? 2.
- Why call Goshen "the best of the land"? 6.
- Why the figure of a pilgrimage? 9, cf. Heb. xi. 13-16.
- Why the title, "land of Rameses"? 11, cf. Ex. i. 11; xii. 37.
9. The Other Years of the Famine. 13-27.
- Why move the people into the cities? 21.
- Why exempt the lands of the priests? 22.
- Was the one-fifth to be tribute, or rent? 26, cf. 20.
- What the comparative increase of Israel? 27.
§ VI. THE LAST DAYS OF JACOB AND OF JOSEPH. xlvii. 28-l. 26.
1. Jacob's Age and His Last Request. xlvii. 28-51.
- Why the request?
- What was his age when Isaac died?  28, 9, cf. xxv. 26; xxxv. 28.
- What, when Joseph was sold?
- How long, then, did Isaac live after the sale of Joseph?
- Why was his death mentioned before the sale of Joseph? xxxv. 29, cf. xxxvii. 2.
- Jacob's age at the birth of Joseph?
- On leaving Laban?
- On going to Laban?
- When he was married?
- Into what three great periods was his life divided? and how many years in each?
- What were his chief experiences in each?
- What changes for the better in his character? and how were these brought about?
- What improvement had Esau made?
- Can you now see a reason for the choice made before they were born? xxv. 23; Rom. ix. 10-13; Mal i. 2, 3.
2. Jacob Adopts the Sons of Joseph. xlviii. 1-7.
- Meaning of "strengthened himself"? 2.
- Connection of the promise with the adoption? 4, 5.
- Effect of the arrangement on the two and their younger brothers? 5, 6.
- Why this favor?
- Why mention the burial place of Rachel? 7.
3. He Blesses Ephraim and Manasseh. 8-22.
- Why did he not recognize them? 8, cf. 10.
- Significance of the right hand and why? 14, 17, 20.
- What belief is reflected in the blessing? 15, 16.
- Meaning of the name being named on them? 16.
- Why say, "which I took," etc.? 22.
- Was Ephraim "before" Manasseh in the subsequent history? 20.
4. Jacob Predicts the Future of His Sons. xlix. 1-28.
- What characteristic of Reuben does he mention? 3, 4.
- Was  this fulfilled?
- What the predicted fate of Simeon and Levi? 5-7.
- How were they scattered and divided? I. Chron. iv. 24-43.
- What predicted of Judah? 8, 10.
- What meant by, "until Shiloh come"?
- Has the sceptre ever departed from Judah except when Israel was under foreign dominion?
- What the predicted location of Zebulon? 13.
- What the fulfillment of the prediction concerning Issachar? 14, 15.
- Can we trace any striking fulfillment of the words concerning Dan, Gad, Asher, Naphtali?
- Is much of their history given in the later books?
- What the prophecy concerning Joseph, and its fulfillment? 22.
- What that of Benjamin and its fulfillment? 27.
5. He Repeats His Last Request, and Dies. 29-33.
- Why so minute a description of the cave?
- Why so strong when so near death?
6. Jacob Is Embalmed and Buried. l. 1-14.
- The time for the process of embalming? 3.
- What is now known of the process?
- How was the art lost?
- Why so many days of mourning? 3.
- In what sense had he dug a grave for himself? 5.
- Comparative size of the funeral procession? 7, 9.
- Why the chariots and horsemen? 9.
- In what sense was the threshing-floor "beyond Jordan"? 10, 11.
7. Joseph Comforts His Brethren. 15-21.
- Why their fear after so long a time? 15.
- How had Jacob learned the story of their transgression? 17.
- Why propose to be  his servants? 18.
- Why ask, "am I in the place of God"? 19, cf. Rom. xii. 19.
- What purpose had God accomplished, besides saving life? 26, cf. xv. 13.
- Trace backward the chain of causes by which Israel was brought into Egypt.
- Which are good? and which are bad?
- What foresight on God's part here discovered?
8. The Close of Joseph's Career. 22-26.
- Length of a generation in Ephraim's family? 22, 23, cf. xli. 45, 46; I. Chron. vii. 20.
- What rate of increase implied?
- Was his body carried to Canaan? 25, cf. Ex. xiii. 19: Josh. xxiv. 32.
- What the most prominent traits in Joseph's character? 
- State the subject and extent of this Part.
- Give the subjects of the sections.
- What the general distinction between the work of "the beginning," and that of the six days?
- What was created, and what only changed in the six days?
- Was the earth created in any one of them?
- What does the author mean by his statements respecting light? i. 3, 14.
- Does this account imply that there had never been light, or vegetation, or animal life, before the six days?
- What was the condition of the man, physical, intellectual and spiritual, at first?
- What duty was imposed on him? and what restriction? and why? 3.
- How did he obtain the power of speech, and the proper application of words? 3.
- Trace the process of the temptation and the fall. 4.
- Does the fact that the serpent spoke prove this to be a fable?
- Does this section bear marks of allegory?
- What penalties were pronounced? 5.
- Why was the serpent degraded?
- Why did God clothe the pair, instead of leaving it to them?
- How was the penalty on the man executed? 6.
- What, then, brought spiritual death? and what physical death?
- In what sense did man come to  know good and evil?
- How long was the way of the tree of life guarded?
- What became of it, and of the garden?
- How many sons and daughters had Adam? 1, 4, 5.
- Why was Abel's offering respected, and not Cain's 1.
- Was this the beginning of animal sacrifice?
- When did sacrifice probably begin?
- Could man have originated it?
- State the elements of Cain's punishment? 2.
- Was he a complete apostate from God?
- Who built the first city, and why? 3.
- What inventions were made by descendants of Cain?
- Why and when was his country called Nod?
- Whose family register was chapter v? and when made out? 5.
- Why the figures given in it?
- Can we suppose that any names in the line are omitted?
- What natural cause for the longevity of that period?
- What was the state of corruption which occasioned the flood? 1, 2.
- What connection between this and the intermarriages mentioned? 1.
- What effort had God made to prevent it, and how? 1.
- What the dimensions of the ark? and who were to be saved in it? 3, 4.
- What were the sources of the flood, its extent and its duration? 5, 6, 8.
- What did Noah do on leaving the ark? and why? 8.
- What new privileges and laws given after the flood? 1.
- Are these laws still binding? Cf. Acts xv. 20.
- What effect has the organization of society on the law concerning murder?
- Describe the covenant made with Noah. 2.
- What was the need  of it?
- How account for the fact that Noah was intoxicated? 3.
- Quote and explain his remarks about his sons.
- Where did the three branches of the race first settle? 1, 2, 3.
- Describe the career of Nimrod. 2.
- Describe the confusion of tongues. 4.
- When did this apparently occur?
- Was Noah still living?
- Did any of the people remain at Babel?
- Subject and extent of this Part?
- Subjects of the several sections?
- From which son of Noah was Abraham descended? § I.
- In what year of the world was he born? 3.
- Give the account of his father's family. 2.
- Where was Abraham born? and where did he die? 2; § VI. 7.
- What is known of the first seventy-five years of his life? § I. 2, 3.
- What three great journeys did he make? and what was his final home? § I. 2, 3, 4; § II. 2.
- Trace the career of Lot:
(1.) His parentage. § I. 2.
(2.) His connection with Abram. § I. 3, 4; § II. 2.
(3.) His capture and rescue. § II. 3.
(4.) His rescue from the fate of Sodom. § IV. 3, 4, 5.
- Trace Abraham's dealings with neighboring kings and princes.
(1.) With the King of Egypt. § I. 4.
(2.) With the invaders from the east. § II. 3.
(3.) With the King of Salem and the king of Sodom. § II. 4.
(4.) With the King of the Philistines.  § V. 1, 2, 5.
(5.) With the Hittite Princess. § II. 3, 4; § VI. 1, 2.
- Why was he more intimate with the Hittites than with others?
- Why unwilling that Isaac should take a wife of any of these nations?
- Trace chronologically the promise to Abraham, and their fulfillment so far as seen by him? § I. 3; § II. 2; § III. 1, 2, 3, 5; § IV. 1; § V. 3; § VI. 7.
- When did he first learn where the promised land was? § I. 3.
- When did he learn how long it would be before his seed should possess the land? § III. 2.
- What were his first expectations concerning Ishmael? § III. 5.
- What became of Ishmael? § V. 4; § VI. 8.
- When was circumcision instituted? and what were the regulations concerning it? § III. 4.
- Did it apply to all, or only to a part of Abraham's posterity?
- What provision was made for a wife of Isaac? and why? § VI. 2.
- Describe the death and burial of Sarah. § VI. 1.
- Quote the comments on Abraham's faith in Heb. xi. 8-19, and state the facts on which each is based.
- On account of his faith what was he called? Rom. iv. 11; Jas. ii. 23. 
PARTS THIRD AND FOURTH.
- How old was Isaac when his father died? xxi. 5; xxv. 7.
- How long had he then been married? xxv. 20.
- How old were his two sons? Cf. xxv. 26.
- What was to him the most solemn event in his father's life?
- On what occasion were the promises of Abraham extended to Isaac? Part III. § I. 3.
- What was the interval between his dealings with Abimelech, and those of his father? Part III. § I. 4.
- What was his motive in aiming to confer the blessing on Esau? Part III. § II. 1.
- What was his feeling when he discovered his mistake? 3.
- When did he pray for "the blessing of Abraham" to come on Jacob? 4.
- How old was he at this time? xxv. 26, cf. Part IV. § VI. 1, and see the age of Jacob when he went to Laban.
- How much longer did he live? Part III. § V. 6.
- What physical change, then, did he experience after bestowing the blessing? xxvii. 1.
- Was he still alive when Jacob was mourning for Joseph? Part IV. § VI. 1.
- What were his chief experiences in life?
- What seems to have been his character?
- What were Esau's early habits? Part III. § I. 1.
- What trait of character did he exhibit in the sale of his birthright? 2.
- What, in his selection of wives? 6.
- How old was he then?
- What, in regard to the blessing? Part III. § II. 3, 4.
- Quote and explain Paul's comment on his conduct. Heb. xii. 16, 17.
- Who was his third wife? and why did he take her? 5.
- What confusion in a  later passage about the names of his wives? and to whom should we ascribe it? Part III. § V. 7.
- To what place did he move while Jacob was gone? and why? Part III. § IV. 5; xxxvi. 6-8.
- When he learned that Jacob was returning, with what purpose did he go to meet him? and how was his purpose changed? Part III. § IV. 5, 9.
- How do we account for his presence at his father's burial? Part III. § V. 6.
- How many successive kings are named among his descendants? Part III. § V. 7.
- Did they all reign before the time of Moses?
- What bearing on the authorship of Genesis, has the remark made concerning these kings? Part III. § V. 7.
- How old was Jacob when he obtained the blessing and fled? Part IV. § VI. 1.
- What were the elements of his character in this period? and how were they exhibited? Part III. § I. 1, 2; § II. 2, 6.
- What were his chief experiences in Paddan-aram? and what improvements are seen in his character? Part III. § III. 2, 7; § IV. 1, 3, 4, 6, 7.
- What had taught him to think of God, and to pray?
- What had made him less selfish?
- How many years did he live in Canaan after his return? Part IV. § VI. 1.
- What were his chief experiences in this period of his life? Part III. § V. 2, 5; Part IV. § I. 3; § IV. 1.
- While he was mourning for Joseph, why did his sons not tell him the truth?
- What need of this discipline of sorrow?
- What altars did he build in Canaan? xxxiii. 18-20; xxxv. 7; xlvi. 1.
- Did he have one in Paddan-aram? 
- With how many living descendants did Jacob migrate into Egypt? Part IV. § V. 6.
- What was remarkable in the families of Judah and Benjamin? Part IV. § V. 2, 4.
- What need was there for a change in regard to marriage and births? 6.
- How many years did Jacob live in Egypt? Part IV. § VI. 1.
- Quote his most notable religious utterances. Part IV. § V. 7; § VI. 3.
- What predictions did he make in his dying hour? Part IV. § VI. 4.
- What kind of burial was accorded him? 6.
- What was his character in the last period of his life?
- Why did God choose him in preference to Esau before they were born?
- Trace all the causes which led to the sale of Joseph. Part IV. § I.
- Trace those which led him from Potiphar's house to the governorship. Part IV. § III.
- Which of these causes were good, which bad, and which divine?
- State the method in which he gathered up the grain, and the terms on which he sold it. Part IV. § III. 8; § V. 9.
- What state of feeling did Joseph reach in regard to his father's house? Part IV. § III. 8.
- State the reflections which led him to it.
- When his brethren came for grain, what purpose did he form? and what steps did he take to accomplish it? Part IV. § IV. 1, 2.
- When they brought Benjamin what device did Joseph employ to retain him and get rid of them. 6, 7.
- What thwarted his purpose, and how? Part IV. § IV. 8, 9.
- What did Joseph then  discover and announce as to the purpose of God? Part IV. § IV. 9.
- What was God's purpose in bringing Israel into Egypt?
- What sons had Joseph? and what favor was bestowed on them for his sake? Part IV. § VI. 2, 3.
- Describe the death and burial of Joseph. 8.
- What are his most prominent traits of character?
- State the general design of the book as indicated by its four Parts.
- What connection has Part First with the other Parts?
- Why is it so brief?
- How much time is covered by the whole book? Part I. § IV. 5; Part II. § I. 3; § V. 3; Part III. § I. 1; Part IV. § VI. 1, 8.
- Does any other authentic history reach into this period?
- What is the evidence that Moses was the author of the book?