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Wednesday, November 14 2012
A Biography Of Jacob: A Coat Of Many Colors
The Exodus is one of the most famous events recorded in the Holy Bible (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Exodus). It was not however merely a happenstance event, or something that the LORD decided to do after the Israelites moved to Egypt. The LORD told Abraham that the Exodus would happen, before the LORD renamed his grandson Jacob as Israel (see A Biography Of Jacob: When Jacob Became Israel), and moreover before the Israelites entered Egypt to begin their four centuries' stay there. To Abraham, the Exodus was a prophecy.
"15:13 And he said unto Abram [see Who Is The LORD? and What Did Jesus Christ Say About Abraham?], Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs [see Abraham's Seed: From The Nile To The Euphrates], and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; 15:14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance." (Genesis 15:13-14 KJV)
Why did the Israelites go to Egypt?
Jacob had been the "favorite" of their mother Rebekah, while his twin brother Esau had been the "favorite" of their father Isaac ("25:28 And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob" Genesis 25:28 KJV; see also A Biography Of Jacob: The Birthright), with disastrous results. Nevertheless, Jacob blatantly "loved Joseph more than all his children," making for him a constant reminder of the discrimination in the eyes of his brothers - "a coat of many colours." The inevitable result? "When his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him."
"37:1 And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan [see A Biography Of Jacob: The Return To Canaan].
Joseph then began having dreams of supremacy. He may have already been inclined to have such a dream over his less-favored brothers, but when his dreams included having his parents bowing before him too, Jacob "rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?"
"37:5 And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more. 37:6 And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: 37:7 For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.
One day, Joseph's brothers conspired to do away with their brother Joseph, at first by murder, but then, at the behest of Judah who reasoned "What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood? Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh."
"37:23 And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stripped Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him; 37:24 And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.
The brothers then had Joseph's "coat of many colors" dipped in goat blood and inflicted the false story that Joseph had been killed, and eaten, since all that was left of him was his coat, upon their father Jacob, who "rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days." The grief almost killed Jacob: "I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning."
"37:31 And they took Joseph's coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood; 37:32 And they sent the coat of many colours, and they brought it to their father; and said, This have we found: know now whether it be thy son's coat or no.
As it happened, Jews began their specific ancestry from a separate incident during that time. The sons of Jacob / Israel had no Israelites to marry. Judah married a Canaanite woman, who gave birth to the first sons of Judah, abbreviated as "Jews" (see Who Were The First Jews?).
"38:1 And it came to pass at that time, that Judah went down from his brethren, and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah. 38:2 And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah; and he took her, and went in unto her. 38:3 And she conceived, and bare a son; and he called his name Er. 38:4 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and she called his name Onan. 38:5 And she yet again conceived, and bare a son; and called his name Shelah: and he was at Chezib, when she bare him." (Genesis 38:1-5 KJV)
In the meantime, Joseph, with the help of the LORD, had risen from a slave and dungeon prisoner (see Was Her Name Zuleikha?) to the Prime Minister of Egypt, second only to the Pharaoh himself (see Joseph, Prime Minister Of Egypt).
"41:41 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. 41:42 And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck; 41:43 And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt.
A great famine then struck the land, as a result of drought. The rich Nile Delta region of "Goshen" was able to prosper during the first years of the drought because of the flow of the Nile and the water retention of the delta area (as can still be seen today, as shown in the satellite photograph below). While the lack of rain did eventually affect the Nile River too, as written in the verses above, the LORD told Joseph to prepare for the hard years in the plenteous years.
"41:50 And unto Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, which Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On bare unto him. 41:51 And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house. 41:52 And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction [see Jacob's Blessing Of Ephraim And Manasseh].
When Jacob heard that there was food for sale in Egypt, he sent ten of his sons there to buy food - unknown to him, the sons who sold their brother Joseph away to Egypt.
"42:1 Now when Jacob saw that there was corn in Egypt, Jacob said unto his sons, Why do ye look one upon another? 42:2 And he said, Behold, I have heard that there is corn in Egypt: get you down thither, and buy for us from thence; that we may live, and not die.
Joseph was able to recognize his brothers, while they didn't recognize him. After giving them a brief treatment of what they had done to him, Joseph revealed himself to them. They were terrified when they found out that it was the brother that they had brutally betrayed, but Joseph told them that it was the LORD's doing, "God did send me before you to preserve life."
"45:4 And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. 45:5 Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life. 45:6 For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest." (Genesis 45:4-6 KJV)
The brothers then returned to Jacob in the land of Canaan, with the news that Joseph was not only alive, but he was the Prime Minister of Egypt. "And Israel said, It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die."
"45:25 And they went up out of Egypt, and came into the land of Canaan unto Jacob their father, 45:26 And told him, saying, Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt. And Jacob's heart fainted, for he believed them not. 45:27 And they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said unto them: and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived: 45:28 And Israel said, It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die." (Genesis 45:25-28 KJV)
Fact Finder: Was the Sinai part of Egypt, or was it part of Arabia?
This Day In History, November 14
565: Roman emperor Justinian died at age 81. The "Imperial Restoration" temporarily occurred during his reign, but it was too late; the "Roman" empire had already moved north, into Germany (see The Holy Roman Empire and Ein Volk! Ein Reich! Ein Euro!).
1501: Arthur Tudor and Katherine of Aragon were married.
1533: Spanish "Conquistadors" under the leadership of Francisco Pizarro arrived in Cajamarca of the Incas.
1666: Samuel Pepys reported on the first blood transfusion (between dogs).
1792: Captain George Vancouver and his crew became the first Englishmen to enter San Francisco Bay.
1851: Moby Dick by Herman Melville was published.
1908: Albert Einstein published the quantum theory of light (see also Parabolic Prophecies).
1922: The BBC began daily radio broadcasts from Marconi House.
1940: During the Second World War, Coventry, England was severely damaged by German bombers in the "blitz." It was the worst single-day bombing of Britain of the war; over 1,000 were killed (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars; see also Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).
1951: French paratroopers captured Hoabinh, Vietnam, thereby involving France in the Vietnam civil war for most of the 1950s. The U.S. replaced France in that intervention for most of the 1960s and early 1970s. When the U.S. withdrew, the Vietnamese of the north defeated the Vietnamese of the south and made Vietnam into a single country again, as it had been before foreigners divided Vietnam into north and south.
1964: The U.S. Army entered the Vietnam civil war.
1969: 250,000 people marched in Washington to protest the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam civil war.
1983: The first U.S. cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads arrived at Greenham Common airbase in England amid protests from British people who didn't want foreign weapons of mass destruction in Britain (Britain itself has a large nuclear arsenal of doomsday weapons; see also 'Weapons Of Mass Destruction' Found!).
1994: The first fare-paying passengers on the new rail service traveled through the Channel Tunnel linking England and France.