2. THE MERCY OF EL SHADDAI 11-14 a. Preparation for the journey. After hearing Judah’s pledge Jacob relents and agrees to allow Benjamin to go with them. But they are not to go empty-handed. First, he tells them to take a gift of the choice fruits of the land. They take some balm, honey, which was probably a grape honey which was a syrup made by boiling down grapes, gum, myrrh, pistachio nuts, and almonds. Because of the famine, even a small amount of these trade goods would have been welcome. They were to take extra money this time along with the money that was put back in their bags from the last trip. The reasoning here is that maybe it was an oversight. Someone made a mistake when they put the money in their bags. With all this and their brother, Jacob hoped that this would make his sons’ journey successful. b. The blessing of God’s mercy. But there was one more thing that Jacob did before his sons departed. He spoke a blessing over them. “May God Almighty grant you mercy before the man, and may he send back your brother and Benjamin,” Jacob calls upon the mercy of El Shaddai. Remember that this is the name that God gave to Abraham and Jacob. God the all-powerful one. If their trip is to be successful it is due to the mercy of the one who can do all things. You can see the heart change in Jacob. He was stubbornly holding on to Benjamin even though it meant that Simeon may never come home. He was not willing to entrust the safety of his children to the hand of God Almighty. But, now he is ready. He makes the resolute declaration, “If I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.” This is a statement of the submission of his will to God. It is very reminiscent of Job who said, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”