The Best Representative of a Generation

September 9, 2010 at 10:19 am | Posted in Genesis | 4 Comments
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The birth of Benjamin brought rejoicing and sorrow. His mother, Rachel, died right after giving birth. The incident was later invoked as a time of sorrow when Herod killed the babies in Bethlehem near Rachel’s burial place at the time of Jesus’s birth. Famous Benjaminites in the Bible include Saul, the first earthly king of Israel, and Saul of Tarsus who became the Apostle Paul after his conversion.

Back in Genesis 35, Reuben – the mandrake-gatherer – takes up with one of his father’s concubines. This was a way of challenging Jacob as head of the household.

Chapter 36 contains the genealogies of the descendants of Esau. Esau’s family was much bigger than Jacob’s family, but this is pretty much the last you hear of Esau in the Bible. There are numerous references to the Edomites and the Amalekites, but they are usually negative. Jacob is mentioned around 2500 times in the Bible. Esau is only mentioned around 150-200 times.

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.

Genesis 37:2

This is a new “generations” (“toledoth) statement. Jacob is the head of the family and of God’s people now. But the narrative focuses on Joseph.

The story of Joseph is very detailed, and, for many people, very familiar. Joseph is a picture of Christ. Many times the New Testament clarifies the Old Testament.

But when the time of the promise drew nigh, which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt, Till another king arose, which knew not Joseph. The same dealt subtilly with our kindred, and evil entreated our fathers, so that they cast out their young children, to the end they might not live. In which time Moses was born, and was exceeding fair, and nourished up in his father’s house three months:

Acts 7:17-20

This is part of Stephen’s sermon, and he is highlighting the fact that God used Joseph to save His people, and that Joseph was instrumental in getting them into Egypt until the time of Moses.

By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.

Hebrews 11:22

Of all the faith of Joseph, the one testimony to his faith mentioned in the New Testament is his faith in looking ahead to the Messiah.

Here are some comparisons between Jesus and Joseph:
1. Both were the beloved of their fathers.
2. Both were obedient to their fathers’ wills.
3. Both were hated and rejected by their brethren.
4. Both were betrayed into bondage.
5. Both were falsely accused
6. Both were unjustly punished.
7. Both were elevated from suffering to a throne.
8. Both saved their people.

But, in all of these, Christ was a “greater-than” Joseph.

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4 Comments »

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  1. […] all the ways that Joseph reminds us of a type of Christ, here is one of the most poignant. For we, like the baker and the butler, were at one time […]

  2. […] Right Watering Hole The God-Mastered Man The Dangers of Fatherhood The Son of Suffering and Glory The Best Representative of a Generation The Down Side of being the Favorite Son Beware of Fabrics, Frolicking, and Friends Don’t Get […]

  3. […] nickname for mandrakes was “love apples.” Later, Reuben, the collector of mandrakes, would sleep with Bilhah and lose his birthright. (Genesis […]

  4. […] all the great acts of faith of Joseph, Hebrews 11:22 says that he gave commandment concerning his bones, because he knew God […]


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