Everyday, we who have come to understand more of Yehovah’s eternal and unchanging ways, experience rejection. And the deeper our understandings and the more our actions deviate from those around us, the greater that rejection becomes. Yehovah can harden the hearts of our family members just as he hardened the heart of Pharaoh and the hearts of Joseph’s brothers to accomplish His perfect will in our life. But the most hurtful, the most grievous rejection of all is family rejection.
Today we begin the story of Joseph, a less than perfect man who experienced family rejection in its fulness when his brothers decided to murder him. But he went on to become a man used by Elohim to save his family and many others.
Other than the birth of Joseph in Genesis 30:24, he is not mentioned until he is 17 years old. Joseph was only 14 when his brothers fought the 6 day war with the 7 Amorite cities 3 years before; and he is not mentioned there because he and Benjamin were too young and, I believe, too precious to Jacob to fight.
Yasher 41:5 And Joseph the son of Jacob, and his brother Benjamin, the sons of Rachel, the wife of Jacob, were yet young in those days, and did not go out with their brethren during their battles in all the cities of the Amorites.
6 And when Joseph saw the strength of his brethren, and their greatness, he praised them and extolled them, but he ranked himself greater than them, and extolled himself above them; and Jacob, his father, also loved him more than any of his sons, for he was a son of his old age, and through his love toward him, he made him a coat of many colors.
7 And when Joseph saw that his father loved him more than his brethren, he continued to exalt himself above his brethren, and he brought unto his father evil reports concerning them.
8 And the sons of Jacob seeing the whole of Joseph’s conduct toward them, and that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him all the days.
9 And Joseph was seventeen years old, and he was still magnifying himself above his brethren, and thought of raising himself above them.
0 – Joseph born in Haran (Gen 30:24 & Yasher 31:21)
9 – Rachel dies at 45 & Benjamin is born (Yasher 36:11 & Gen_35:16-18)
14 – Joseph’s 10 older brothers fight the 6 day war with the 7 Amorite cities. (Yasher 37 – 39 & Yasher 41:5-6)
17 – sold in slavery (Gen_37:1 & Yasher 40 -42)
17 – In Potiphar’s house (Gen_39:1 & Yasher 42)
18 – Placed in prison for 12 years. (Jasher 44:77)
27 – Butler and the baker arrive at the prison (Yasher 46:5)
28 – Interprets the butler’s and the baker’s dreams (Yasher 46:19-20, Gen_40:23)
30 – Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s dream (Gen_41:46)
34 – Joseph’s twin sons are born (Yasher 50:15 & Gen_41:50-52)
37 – Famine begins (Genesis 41:54 & Yasher 50:18)
38 – Brothers come to Egypt the 1st time (Genesis 42:1 &Yasher 51:1-6)
39 – Brothers (39 – 45) come 2nd time w/ Benjamin (30) and go back for their father (130) and families (Yasher 53 & Gen_45:1 – Gen_47:9)
56 – Jacob, and then Esau (147) die (Gen_47:28 & Yasher 56:1-2)
71 – Pharaoh dies, and Magron (41) his son reigned in his place – Joseph acts as Magron’s father (Yasher 58:1-2)
71 – Joseph reigned over Egypt for 40 years (Yasher 58:11)
89 – Joseph and the sons of Jacob with 600 men killed 200,000 of 800,000 men sent by Esau. (Yasher 58:17)
110 – Joseph dies (Gen_50:26)
Joseph had dreams which were given to him by Yehovah, and when he shared them with his brothers, they hated him all the more.
Yasher 41:17 And his brethren were jealous of him on account of his words and dreams, and they continued to hate him, and Jacob reserved the dreams in his heart.
The day came that Yehovah was going to begin using Joseph to prepare the way for his family’s survival during the famine and the 1st half of their 210 years in Egypt. Yes, I did say 210 years and not 430 years, but that is a story for another blog.
The family’s rejection of Joseph was part of Yehovah’s perfect will for his future and He even sent a man, a messenger, to see that Joseph found his brothers.
Genesis 37 presents a simple overview of Joseph and has him arriving at Potiphar’s at the end. But Yasher fills in the details.
I see myself in Joseph. He, like me, experienced the worst rejection of all, family rejection. Like Joseph’s brothers, my ex and her “friends” conspired to have me removed from my family, making me a homeless and broken man. You will hear as I read this story that I weep for the loss of my family and to this day that pain is with me. But this is not a new story, it has been going on since Cain and Able.
The righteous perishes, and no man takes it to heart; merciful men are taken away, while no one considers that the righteous is taken away from evil. He shall enter into peace; they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his own uprightness. (Isa 57:1-2)
Listen to Joseph’s cry after his brothers throw him into a pit filled with serpents and scorpions, so they did not have to watch him perish.
Yasher 41:28 And they took him and cast him into a pit, and in the pit there was no water, but serpents and scorpions. And Joseph was afraid of the serpents and scorpions that were in the pit. And Joseph cried out with a loud voice, and Yehovah hid the serpents and scorpions in the sides of the pit, and they did no harm unto Joseph.
29 And Joseph called out from the pit to his brethren, and said unto them, What have I done unto you, and in what have I sinned? Why do you not fear Yehovah concerning me? Am I not of your bones and flesh, and is not Jacob your father, my father? Why do you do this thing unto me this day, and how will you be able to look up to our father Jacob?
30 And he continued to cry out and call unto his brethren from the pit, and he said, O Judah, Simeon, and Levi, my brethren, lift me up from the place of darkness in which you have placed me, and come this day to have compassion on me, ye sons of Yehovah, and sons of Jacob my father. And if I have sinned unto you, are you not the sons of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? If they saw an orphan they had compassion over him, or one that was hungry, they gave him bread to eat, or one that was thirsty, they gave him water to drink, or one that was naked, they covered him with garments!
31 And how then will you withhold your pity from your brother, for I am of your flesh and bones, and if I have sinned unto you, surely you will do this on account of my father!
32 And Joseph spoke these words from the pit, and his brethren could not listen to him, nor incline their ears to the words of Joseph, and Joseph was crying and weeping in the pit.
Well, I think Yehovah hardened the hearts of His brothers just as he hardened the heart of my ex and her “friends.” Joseph had to go ahead of his family for their survival, and so too has Yehovah sent me ahead of my family. For the next 13 years (12 in prison) Joseph will endure hardship as he becomes a man of Elohim. I got off easy, I only went to jail for about 9 months; so far 🙂 . But, now I am grateful for the journey in which Yehovah has led me; I could not have learned and written and become the man I am today if I had not gone through that terrible family rejection.
Today is just the start of Joseph’s journey; he is still in the pit and will be sold 3 times before gets to Potiphar’s house. Oh my – all that Yehovah does for him on his way to Egypt is amazing. But, that will have to wait until next time. Here is today’s lesson.
Joseph And Family Rejection
2G42 Yasher 40.23-42.25
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