Hebrew History – Joseph

Joseph

The story of Yosef (Joseph) is the story of the Jew! He arrives with nothing by the skin of his teeth, works hard despite hard trials and has to swim against the current all the while, rises to the top only to be knocked down again and persecuted! Leaves the country with nothing and starts all over again.

If Ya’acov would have been allowed to marry his true love – Rachel – as he had intended – Yosef would have been his first born son. As number 11, he still managed to be number one! G-d has His ways!

He instantly became the favorite at birth. Jacob (Ya’acov) gives him a special coat – one having more to do with the sleeves than the colors. It represented authority – and was much resented by his brothers.

Joseph has a gift for interpreting dreams and isn’t shy about sharing. I don’t really see him as ‘showing off’ in the telling of these dreams to his family. I see him as just a young kid, out alone by himself, trying to figure out what’s going on and in the telling, he is not exactly enduring himself to his brothers. They are already jealous because of his status as favorite son and then to hear they will “bow down to him”! They think not. They have seen the black sheep of the family – Ishmael and then Esau – and now is Joseph to be next? They plot to get rid of him. Only Reuven, the eldest son, carrying all the usual responsibilities of being eldest, tries to figure out a way to save his little brother and save face at the same time. It doesn’t work and when he is off somewhere, they sell Joseph to a caravan of Ishmaelites going to Mitzraim (Egypt) where he is sold as a slave to the nobleman, Potiphar.

Egypt, one of the greatest civilizations in the world, centered around the Nile River. Only about 3% of the rest of the country was inhabitable. The Nile was the life of the country and worshipped as a god. Only three times in 3,000 years was Egypt invaded. The Hyksos (believed to have provided the Pharoah who “didn’t know Joseph”) the Assyrians and finally Alexander, the Great. It was very difficult to successfully invade the country as it was totally isolated and self-sufficient. That makes a country resistant to change. Look how little Egypt has changed in the past 3,000 years. After the exodus, she was broke economically and spiritually. Egypt has never again returned to her former glory – and she never will, because of the way she treated Israel. Any country will suffer the same fate.

Look at England, the once proud empire who proclaimed “The sun never sets on the Union Jack!” That was the name of their flag which flew over many colonies the world over. Look how she treated Israel in the 30’s and 40’s when the Jews were so desperately trying to get ‘home’. I’m afraid for America…. Look what we are demanding of Israel! Give up of all their land back to the borders of 1948? I don’t think so. Our president wants Israel to commit suicide. What will G-d do about this? It isn’t going to be pretty. I’m so glad, as a Believer, I can expect Him to take me through the coming days. May Messiah come quickly and in our lifetime.

More next Shabbat;
Shabbat Shalom, Sharaka
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