From Jacob to Joseph (The Covenant & the Cross #59)

Today’s passage of Scripture is Genesis 37:3-5 which reads: “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. 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. And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.”

Today’s quote about the Bible is from Isaac Newton. He said: “There are more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in any profane history.”

Our topic for today is titled “From Jacob to Joseph” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.

After giving the account of Isaac’s death, the author turns to Jacob’s brother. Esau had a number of sons who became leaders of the Edomites. For the Israelites at Mount Sinai, this information would be important for several reasons. Edom would eventually be a neighbor, one they would dominate (as indicated in the “blessing” Isaac gave Jacob). There would be animosity between the two nations, and the toledot sections of Isaac and Esau explain why. Moreover, although the Israelites did not yet know it, those under the age of twenty and their children would have to go around Edom to get into the Promised Land, and they would not be allowed to interact with the Edomites during the journey.

The last toledot section in the book of Genesis is that of Jacob, even though we have been told about him for a number of chapters. Further, as soon as we read in Genesis 37:2, “This is the account of Jacob,” the text focuses attention on his son Joseph. Clearly, Joseph was critical to what happened to Jacob.

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