Genesis 37 begins with these words. “Now Jacob dwelt in the land where his Father was a stranger.” Yet, Joseph’s road to Egypt began with the words of Israel.
And Israel said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers feeding the flock in Shechem? Come, I will send you to them.” So he said to him, “Here I am.” (Gen 37:13)
Also I heard the voice of my Master, saying: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me!” (Isa 6:8)
Why was it Israel and not Jacob who sent Joseph to his brothers? I think it is because this journey is of Yehovah and today we will see His hand in every step in Joseph’s road to Egypt.
We saw last time in “Joseph and family rejection” that Yehovah even sent a messenger to Joseph at Shechem to get Joseph to his brothers. Genesis calls him “a certain man,” but Yasher calls him an angel of Yehovah, His messenger (a man).
Today we will see that the brothers saw the Ishmaelites coming from the north and decided to sell Joseph to them; but before they arrived some Midianite (מדינים – mid-ya-Nim) traders coming from the south rescued Joseph and planned on keeping him. But when the brothers saw that Joseph was safe, they threatened the Midianites, who called them on their lies, with violence. The sons of Jacob are scary guys.
Yasher 42:12 And behold Simeon rose up from his seat against them, and sprang upon the ground and drew his sword and approached the Midianites and he gave a terrible shout before them, so that his shouting was heard at a distance, and the earth shook at Simeon’s shouting.
13 And the Midianites were terrified on account of Simeon and the noise of his shouting, and they fell upon their faces, and were excessively alarmed.
Joseph is sold the 1st time on his road to Egypt
But the Midianites still wanted Joseph and they bought him from his brothers.
Yasher 4217 Surely you have said that the young man is your servant, and that he rebelled against you, and therefore you placed him in the pit; what then will you do with a servant who rebels against his master? Now therefore sell him unto us, and we will give you all that you require for him; and Yehovah was pleased to do this in order that the sons of Jacob should not slay their brother. …
19 And the sons of Jacob hearkened to the Midianites and they sold their brother Joseph to them for twenty pieces of silver, and Reuben their brother was not with them, and the Midianites took Joseph and continued their journey to Gilead.
Again Yehovah’s hand and will is in Joseph’s road to Egypt. But these Midianites, as they continued north, feared that Joseph had been stolen and that they would be caught with him. So when they came across the Ishmaelites, whom the brothers had seen coming, they sold Joseph to them for the same price.
Joseph is sold the 2nd time on his road to Egypt
Yasher 42:23 And whilst they were thus discoursing together, they looked, and behold the company of Ishmaelites which was coming at first, and which the sons of Jacob saw, was advancing toward the Midianites, and the Midianites said to each other, Come let us sell this youth to the company of Ishmaelites who are coming toward us, and we will take for him the little that we gave for him, and we will be delivered from his evil.
24 And they did so, and they reached the Ishmaelites, and the Midianites sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver which they had given for him to his brethren.
While with them Joseph wept, and wept and wept; much like I did after losing my family. And to stop the weeping they began to beat Joseph. But Yehovah’s hand was in this also.
Yasher 42:27 And one of the Ishmaelites rose up and smote Joseph upon the cheek, and still he continued to weep; and Joseph was fatigued in the road, and was unable to proceed on account of the bitterness of his soul, and they all smote him and afflicted him in the road, and they terrified him in order that he might cease from weeping.
28 And Yehovah saw the distress of Joseph and his trouble, and Yehovah brought down upon those men darkness and confusion, and the hand of every one that smote him became withered.
29 And they said to each other, What is this thing that Elohim has done to us in the road? And they knew not that this befell them on account of Joseph. And the men proceeded on the road, and they passed along the road of Ephrath where Rachel was buried.
When Joseph saw his mother’s grave he ran and fell on it and pleaded to her for help in great despair. I think Yehovah sent him a vision to comfort him at this time.
Yasher 42:37 And Joseph heard a voice speaking to him from beneath the ground, which answered him with bitterness of heart, and with a voice of weeping and praying in these words:
38 My son, my son Joseph, I have heard the voice of thy weeping and the voice of thy lamentation; I have seen thy tears; I know thy troubles, my son, and it grieves me for thy sake, and abundant grief is added to my grief.
39 Now therefore my son, Joseph my son, hope in Yehovah, and wait for him and do not fear, for Yehovah is with thee, he will deliver thee from all trouble.
40 Rise my son, go down unto Egypt with thy masters, and do not fear, for Yehovah is with thee, my son. And she continued to speak like unto these words unto Joseph, and she was still.
When the Ishmaelites realized that Joseph had left them and was weeping over a grave they began to beat him again.
Yasher 42:44 And Yehovah saw Joseph’s affliction, and Yehovah again smote these men, and chastised them, and Yehovah caused darkness to envelope them upon the earth, and the lightning flashed and the thunder roared, and the earth shook at the voice of the thunder and of the mighty wind, and the men were terrified and knew not where they should go.
45 And the beasts and camels stood still, and they led them, but they would not go, they smote them, and they crouched upon the ground; and the men said to each other, What is this that Elohim (THE lawmaker and judge) has done to us? What are our transgressions, and what are our sins that this thing has thus befallen us?
Now they had more respect for Joseph and asked for his forgiveness. After that Joseph’s road to Egypt with them was eased.
Joseph is sold the 3rd time on his road to Egypt
At the border of Egypt, the Ishmaelites sell Joseph to 4 sons of Medan (מדנים – the me-da-Nim) for what they paid for him.
Yasher 44:1 And the sons of Ishmael who had bought Joseph from the Midianites (מדינים – mid-ya-Nim), who had bought him from his brethren, went to Egypt with Joseph, and they came upon the borders of Egypt, and when they came near unto Egypt, they met four men of the sons of Medan the son of Abraham, who had gone forth from the land of Egypt on their journey.
2 And the Ishmaelites said unto them, Do you desire to purchase this slave from us? and they said, Deliver him over to us, and they delivered Joseph over to them, and they beheld him, that he was a very comely youth and they purchased him for twenty shekels.
The Midianites and the Medanim are both sons of Abraham through Keturah.
Abraham again took a wife, and her name was Keturah. And she bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. (Gen 25:1-2)
The similarity between the names of the two brothers and some “erroneous assumptions” made by many translator has confused this story greatly in Torah, but we sort it out nicely today.
Joseph is sold the 4th time on his road to Egypt
Finally Joseph, by the hand of Yehovah, comes safely to Egypt and is sold to Potiphar for the whopping sum of 400 shekels.
Yasher 44:7 And the Medanim went and brought Joseph and placed him before Potiphar, and he saw him, and he pleased him exceedingly, and Potiphar said unto them, Tell me what you require for this youth?
8 And they said, Four hundred pieces of silver we desire for him, and Potiphar said, I will give it you if you bring me the record of his sale to you, and will tell me his history, for perhaps he may be stolen, for this youth is neither a slave, nor the son of a slave, but I observe in him the appearance of a goodly and handsome person.
9 And the Medanim went and brought unto him the Ishmaelites who had sold him to them, and they told him, saying, He is a slave and we sold him to them.
This is an amazing story and a delight to hear how Yehovah guided His sent one and prepared him for the future. Was this preparation fun for Joseph? Hardly! But Yehovah’s hand is clearly seen in every step of the way.
In Yasher 43 Joseph’s brothers devise a plan to explain to Jacob what happened to Joseph, and they make a death pact between themselves in case any of them should ever speak of what they did to their younger brother again.
Listen to the story now or download it and save it for later.
Joseph’s – Road To Egypt
2G43 Genesis 37 and Yasher 42.26-44.10
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