Dear Associates, Students and Friends:
This months article is “The Writings of Joseph in Egypt.” Dr. Martin originally wrote this expanded article in 1983. It not only deals with writings that may have originated from Joseph, this article also discusses writings that may be about Joseph. Geographically the Bible deals primarily with the territory that after the Exodus became the land of Israel. However, the biblical record does deal with the nations whenever they interact with major characters of the Bible or with Israel.
It is often difficult to see Old Testament events in secular history. However, some biblical events do come through secular texts. One such event is the recognition of the patriarch Joseph, and perhaps even some of his writings, in Egyptian documents that correspond with several occurrences in the life of Joseph, second in command to Pharaoh in Egypt. Joseph was the son of Jacob (who was given the name of Israel by God). For a period of time the children of Israel dwelt in Egypt under the protection of Pharaoh whose Vizier or Prime Minister was Joseph (Genesis chapters 46–50). 1
While there are many cross-correspondences between the annals of the Assyrian kings and the biblical record (particularly when Assyria conquered the kingdom of Israel and threatened the kingdom of Judah), there are few such correspondences between Egyptian history and the Bible. At present those links between the peoples of Egypt and Israel are slowly being rediscovered and understood. 2
It is my firm belief and understanding that major events in the Bible will soon be comprehended as never before, and that confirmation of those events (found in the histories of the world’s ancient empires) will be as described in the Holy Scriptures. I believe this will occur as part of the “restitution of all things” that Peter spoke about in Acts 3:21. Even the “dark sayings” (Psalm 78:2; Proverbs 1:6) will be known.
We have resupplied our stock of Dr. Martin’s last and greatest book, The Essentials of New Testament Doctrine. We created a new cover for the exterior of the book, I have written a short Foreword, and the book has a new ISBN number of 0-945657-84-6. It can be ordered through all major bookstores or through ASK. The book will be “in stock” for a long, long time.
However, I want to make clear that the interior of the text is identical with the last Essentials (some typos were corrected), the pagination is the same, and the book is printed on easy-on-the-eyes paper for clearer reading. All in all the new printing of Essentials is a superior product. Now is the time to purchase Essentials to hand to friends to read and enjoy and discuss with you.
Any chapter would be excellent for family or neighborhood bible study, or to share with a small discussion group. However, Dr. Martin specifically states in his introduction that he wrote the book to be read progressively from the 1st chapter to the end.
We know that many of you meet have groups of 2 or 3 or 4 friends and discuss topics of the day and how they relate to the Bible. This book would make a terrific Bible Study. I hesitate to say it, but I believe it to be true, lives would change for the better, that you would be more free from people and organizations, and more dependent on God by the time you finish this book.
Let me include a portion of the “blurb” (at www.askelm.com/books/book007.htm) by which I describe the book:
“This book explains the New Testament in its simplicity and in its entirety. Understanding The Essentials of New Testament Doctrine will unlock the entire message of the Word of God. As the New Testament is made clear as never before, you will be energized to read the entire Bible as God intended — as a revelation from the mind of God direct to you.”
Yes, the Holy Scriptures (not the book Essentials) come directly from the mind of God to you. How can I say that? I say that because the Scriptures are the Word of God, and those words come from God’s mind, just as yours come from your mind (Isaiah 55:8). The Essentials of New Testament Doctrine opens up and explains the Word of God. The result will be that you will read the Bible more clearly and plainly. Then when you read the chapters in Genesis about Joseph — his ancestors, and descendants — you will better understand how that narrative fits into the entire Plan of God, and why those early chapters are in the Bible.
Hopefully, we will soon begin serialization of Dr. Martin’s terrific book, Restoring the Original Bible (Portland, OR: ASK, 1994). Of course, this book is currently available for purchase (if you did not know) on the ASK website (http://www.askelm.com/books/book002.htm). This book will tell you more about the Bible, its development, and structure, than any other book you will ever read (other than the Bible itself). Dr. Martin shows how the writings composing our present Bible were canonized and what the proper New Testament book arrangement should be, starting from information from within the New Testament itself.
Last month I asked those of you who have never supported us to see if you could support ASK to publish the Gospel of Christ freely to whoever can read it (or be read to). Dr. Martin’s writings are unique in that they open up the Holy Scriptures — not in some magical way, but through the opening of your mind by the work of the Holy Spirit. This is certainly supernatural, in a proper sense, but by working with you and through you, God’s Spirit accomplishes the purpose God the Father desires. Read Isaiah 55:6–12.
We want to thank those of you who will begin supporting ASK, as we continue to be so very thankful to those of you who have supported Dr. Martin and ASK through several decades (in many cases)! Your kindnesses and messages of support serve to reenergize us to keep carrying on this work. Ramona Martin appreciates your personal notes and she forwards every one that lets us know how we are doing. Your understanding, patience, and your love are inspirations to us as we try to improve in some small way what Dr. Martin did so well — teach the Word of God.
On a personal level your prayers are much appreciated, as so many of you express your appreciation for what ASK is doing. We pray for you also with thanksgiving to God, with a deep sense of responsibility and humility for the enormity of the task we are attempting, as we continue to walk in the shadow of one of God’s great teachers, Ernest Martin.
Great population expansion took place during and after the time of Joseph. This resulted in the population of Israel overwhelming the native population of Egypt. The ruling Egyptians and the then-current Pharaoh (“which knew not Joseph,” Exodus 1:8) decided to suppress and subjugate the Israelites under the Egyptian people who were themselves servants of Pharaoh. See the brief explanation of this in “Free Men into Slaves” at http://www.askelm.com/news/n030610.htm. Regarding the population of Israel at the time of the Exodus, see Bible Secret #95 at www.askelm.com/secrets/sec095.htm. Regarding the death of Joseph and chronology, see “Chronology – The Key to Prophetic Understanding – Part 1” at www.askelm.com/prophecy/p900901.htm.
2 As I have written before, a book titled Synchronized Chronology: Rethinking Middle East Antiquity by Roger Henry (New York: Algora Publishing, 2003; http://www.algora.com/Synchonized.htm) goes a long way in correcting Egyptian chronology for the middle and later dynasties, and resolves major historical problems in biblical and Greek archaeology. Mr. Henry understands the history in the Bible to be accurate (as he should). However, this work does not discuss the period of Joseph in Egypt.
David W. Sielaff
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