Genesis 37, Mark 7, Job 3, Romans 7

DateVersionReading Plan
@February 4, 2024ESV (2016)M’Cheyne Plan 2024

Genesis 37

Genesis 37:25, 28 (ESV) 25 Then they sat down to eat. And looking up they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels bearing gum, balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry it down to Egypt. … 28 Then Midianite traders passed by. And they drew Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. They took Joseph to Egypt.

I had never noticed before that there are both Ishmaelites and Midianites involved here. The Faithlife Study Bible notes seem to have a good insight:

This is a problematic phrase since these Ishmaelites are said to sell Joseph to Potiphar (39:1). Elsewhere, it is Midianite traders who take Joseph from his brothers (v. 28) and sell him to Potiphar (v. 36)…This discrepancy could show that two versions of the same story were combined by an editor. It could also be that Joseph changed hands several times, or that the Ishmaelites were the Midianites…Either way, the narrative is pointing out that Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery to his own kin, but to people outside of the covenant promises of their family—the descendants of both Ishmael and Midian ultimately derive from the line of Abraham (Gen 16:15; 25:1–2).

Mark 7

Mark 7:36–37 (ESV) 36 And Jesus charged them to tell no one. But the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. 37 And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

Surely, Jesus’ miraculous works would have fostered incredible amazement among those in attendance. To be told that they were not to speak of it must have been difficult, but they were clearly defying the Lord’s instruction. Disobedience can never be justified, no matter how well-meaning the intention.

Job 3

Job 3:3–4 (ESV) 3  “Let the day perish on which I was born, and the night that said, ‘A man is conceived.’ 4  Let that day be darkness! May God above not seek it, nor light shine upon it.

In the midst of his suffering, Job laments his own birth and desires to undo his own creation. Job introduces the concepts of day and night, a theme that continues throughout the dialogue with the friends. According to the Faithlife Study Bible notes, “Light is a metaphor for life and what is revealed, while darkness is a metaphor for death and what is hidden or mysterious.” By wanting the day to become darkness, Job is not just longing for a complete reversal of his plight but to remove its very possibility.

Romans 7

Romans 7:13 (ESV) 13 Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure.

This chapter is amazing in how Paul speaks of the law in relation to sin and death. The law is good and does not bring death, but rather our sin that produces death within us. By knowing the law, we are exposed to the standard to which we can never keep. This is to drive us to become acutely aware of our inability to save ourselves. As the CSB Notes states: “God used the law to accomplish his purpose to fully expose sin and point the sinner to God’s only remedy for sin.”

Carson on Mark 7

…we make distinctions on the basis of the social effect of traditions, not on the basis of whether or not they are true. But in the New Testament, traditions are praised or criticized not on the basis of their social function but in the light of their conformity to or departure from the Word of God. Here in Mark 7:1-13, the traditions that Jesus condemns are those that allow people to sidestep what the Scripture clearly says.

This was so helpful to see the contrast between how we typically think of tradition versus how the NT speaks about tradition. This becomes all the more relevant in current cultural discourse as many attack tradition for promoting or propagating oppression. As Christians, the tradition we must protect and insist upon keeping is that which is built around the faithful exegesis of God’s Word.