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Monday, August 26 2013

Genesis 37: Joseph's Coat Of Many Colours

"Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours"

Jacob's return to the land of Canaan (see Genesis 35: The Return To Bethel) marked the continuance of a sojourn that had been begun by Abraham when he arrived from Iraq (see Genesis 12: Abram's Mission; see also The LORD's Seed Covenants With The Two Men Of Iraq), and then Abraham's son Isaac (see Genesis 21: The Birth of Isaac and The Expulsion Of Hagar), who became the father of Jacob (see Genesis 25: The Birth of Jacob and Esau).

"37:1 And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan." (Genesis 37:1 KJV)

The other sons of Abraham and Isaac had received their territories in, or from, their own lifetimes (see Abraham's Seed: From The Nile To The Euphrates). For Abraham, Isaac and Jacob / Israel however, they understood that they would only arrive home when the Messiah had established the Kingdom of God on Earth (see Camped Out In Canaan and The Kingdom Of The LORD God).

"11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. 11:9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 11:10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." (Hebrews 11:8-10 KJV)

Jacob was born in the land of Canaan. As a young man, he fled to Syria, where he remained for a little over twenty years (see Genesis 29: Jacob In Syria). Jacob's return to the land of Canaan was not yet the final stop of Jacob's physical life however. Jacob would yet move to Egypt, where he remained until the day of his death (see also Jacob's Mummy). That sojourn in Egypt was made possible by one of Jacob's sons, Joseph, who was taken to Egypt, first, after being sold by his jealous brothers. Their jealousy was the result of more blatant favoritism, not because of any special qualities or abilities, but simply because "Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age." This naturally caused alienation to Joseph from Jacob's other sons, and Joseph seemed to have little brotherly behavior toward them. While many people today fear that "big brother is watching," their fear was that little brother was watching: "Joseph brought unto his father their evil report" ("he brought a bad report about them to their father" CJB).

Coat Of Many Colours

"37:2 These are the generations of Jacob.

Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.

37:3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours. 37:4 And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him." (Genesis 37:2-4 KJV)

Their tolerance for Joseph ran out when Joseph revealed his dream that his brothers would one day bow before him. The dream was true, and would one day happen, but for his brothers it was too much.

"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.

37:8 And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.

37:9 And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.

37:10 And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father 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? 37:11 And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying." (Genesis 37:5-11 KJV)

The incident began when Jacob sent Joseph after his brothers to gather information about how they were doing and return with a report. While it was reasonable to stay in communication and know how everyone was doing, the other sons of Jacob, from experience, by then viewed Joseph as more of a "snitch" than a messenger. "And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him."

"37:12 And his brethren went to feed their father's flock in Shechem. 37:13 And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? come, and I will send thee unto them.

And he said to him, Here am I.

37:14 And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again.

So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem. 37:15 And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field: and the man asked him, saying, What seekest thou?

37:16 And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks.

37:17 And the man said, They are departed hence; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan.

And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan.

37:18 And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him." (Genesis 37:12-18 KJV)

Joseph's dream prophecy was also a deep resentment for them, "Behold, this dreamer cometh." The oldest brother, Reuben, although likely having as much resentment, no longer had the adolescent personality that was about to turn jealousy into murder (whether Reuben realized it or not, they were of the same mind that Cain was just before he murdered his brother Abel).

Joseph's Coat

"37:19 And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh. 37:20 Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.

37:21 And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him. 37:22 And Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him; that he might rid him out of their hands, to deliver him to his father again." (Genesis 37:19-22 KJV)

Joseph was thrown into a pit and held there while his brothers decided what to do with him. When Midianite (the Midianites originated from Midian, a son of Abraham's later wife Keturah) merchantmen happened to pass by, "they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt" (the "Ishmeelites" were descendants of Isaac's brother Ishmael).

"37:23 And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript 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.

37:25 And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt.

37:26 And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood? 37:27 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. And his brethren were content.

37:28 Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt." (Genesis 37:23-28 KJV)

Once again, Jacob's family was torn apart by deception. They would all be reunited eventually, but for then "Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days."

"37:29 And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes. 37:30 And he returned unto his brethren, and said, The child is not; and I, whither shall I go?

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.

37:33 And he knew it, and said, It is my son's coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.

37:34 And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days. 37:35 And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him." (Genesis 37:29-35 KJV)

So it was that Joseph entered Egypt where he would rise from a dungeon prisoner to the Prime Minister of Egypt, second only to the Pharaoh.

"37:36 And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh's, and captain of the guard." (Genesis 37:36 KJV)

Fact Finder: Did Abraham know about the Israelite Exodus from Egypt, centuries before it happened, before any Israelites even existed?
See Genesis 15: The Exodus Prophecy


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This Day In History, August 26

55 BC: Roman forces under Julius Caesar (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars) invaded Britain ("Britain" originated from the Latin/Roman word Britannia, as did London, from the Latin/Roman word Londinium). The Roman Empire occupied Britain at the same time that it occupied Judea (from about 40 BC to 400 AD; see also A History Of Jerusalem: Hadrian and Simon bar Kokhba), including when the Messiah was crucified (see Does Rome Have Christ's Birth Certificate? and Israel In History and Prophecy: Roman Judea; see also Legions Of Men And Angels).

1071: Seljuk Turks defeated the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert.

1278: Rudolf I (a Hapsburg) defeated Ottocar II, king of Bohemia, at the Battle of Marchfeld Plain, north of Vienna. The victory was a turning point in the history of Central Europe in that it established the Hapsburgs as rulers in the region, from 1278 to 1918, 640 years.

1346: An outnumbered English army of 10,000 under Edward III defeated Philip VI's French forces in the Battle of Crecy. It was one of the first major "missile" battles - English longbows verses French crossbows, with the English having the advantage of greater range.

1498: Michelangelo was commissioned to carve the Pieta for the Church of Rome.

1541: Suleiman I of Turkey captured Buda and annexed Hungary after his dispute with Archduke Ferdinand over claims to the kingdom.

1768: English explorer James Cook set sail from England on the HMS Endeavour.

HMS Endeavour

1789: The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was approved by the National Constituent Assembly of France.

1824: Karl Marx, at age 6, was baptized to "Christianity" in Trier, Prussia (not to be confused with Russia; Prussia is in Germany). He came from long line of rabbis and Jewish scholars, but without his "conversion" he would not have had the political freedom to publish his communist manifesto.

1883: An extremely powerful eruption of a volcano on the island of Krakatoa in the Sundra Strait between Java and Sumatra began. The two-day eruption and associated tidal waves killed some 36,000 people and destroyed two-thirds of the island.

1901: The New Testament of the ASV (American Standard Version) Bible was first published. That U.S. edition of the 1881 English Revised Version (ERV) comprised the first major U.S. Bible translation. The Revised Standard Version (RSV) of 1952 is an update of the American Standard Version of 1901.

1920: The 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution permitted U.S. women to vote.

1936: The Anglo-Egyptian Treaty established Egypt as a sovereign state after 50 years of British administration (listen to our Sermon The Balfour Declaration).

1978: Cardinal Albino Luciani of Venice was elected as Pope John Paul I. He served only 33 days before dying of an apparent heart attack on September 28.

2008: Russia recognized the independence of the former U.S.S.R. republics Abkhazia and South Ossetia.



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