THE LAST GREAT PATRIARCH
~ JOSEPH OF EGYPT ~

prepared by Don R. Hender


 

     You would think that there would be a lot of various writers who have written and considered the life of the last great patriarchal father, Joseph of Egypt. There was such a fuss made of Joseph's brothers not wanting their younger brother to rule over them. They attempted to murder Joseph but the oldest brother of the family prohibited that. But while it was his turn to watch the herd, it seems that Judah slipped on in and got ridd of Joseph anyway. At least that is what the Bible seems to report (Genesis 37).

Of course from the Jewish perspective they seem to credit Judah for saving brother Joseph from his murderous brothers. You have to wonder why Judah didn't think of protecting Joseph before older brother Reuben let it be known that their was not a unanimous concent to that intent. And just why was it that after big brother Rueben but an end to the plot, was it Judah that quickly found and presented the alternative plot against Joseph. You have to wonder which was worse, or more merciful, to sell a person into slavery of to just take them out?

But when Joseph was found to be the family's great deliver from the famine and that father Jacob confirmed that, that is what Joseph's dreams had been all about, you'd think the brothers would then recognize their brother Joseph, that he had prevailed and had risen to be the caretaker of the family. And when Jacob did die, they all did again come unto Joseph and plead from his forgiveness again in fear that after father Jacob had died, Joseph still being ruler as established by Pharaoh over all of Egpyt, that Joseph would not take it out on them. Brother Joseph did assure them of such and he did take care of the family. He had risen to that family position. Even the Jewish scripture admit that:

    "NOW the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father's bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright. For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler; but the birthright was Joseph's:)" ~ Old Testament | 1 Chronicles 5:1-2

Do you like the little internet smily face :) that the Bible encoders left for you to decode? But a good guestion might be, which will be covered later, is, "Whose genealogy is NOT to be reckoned after the birthright? And why is it a big deal that that genealogy is not to be after Joseph, but to be kept after Judah?" By the time the Jewish Biblical scribes penned this little lead in note the Norther Kingdom of Israel/Ephraim of Joseph had long been scattered and lost. So they wrote Joseph and the birthright out of the book again. That is but for the Samaritans who were a constant reminder to them that 'Joseph and Ephraim' had not totally gone away, neither were the rest of the tribes of the Northern Kingdom. They even hated the Samaritans so much that they accused Jesus of the house of David as being one of them, which Jesus never did deny.  

Now to get to the point, after searching the internet for source information to help build this topic, it was found that there just isn't very much out there on Joseph of Egypt being the last of the Hebrew Patriarchs of whom there is a lot said about. Of Ephraim himself, there is very little written concerning his life of family accomplishments. We have scripture history written about some of his descendnants, primary that being Jehoshua or Joshua who some claim that Jesus was named after. But if one studies a bit, Bishop Eusebius of Caeserea set that straight in his Ecclesiastical Hitory by recording that both Aaron and Oshea were renamed by Moses after the Messiah to come. Aaron got the title of the Anointed, and Oshea, the son of Nun was given the name that the Messiah would be known by in life, Jehoshua or Joshua for short.

So Joshua was really named after Jesus. Can you image the temple workers in the time of Jesus? Since Jerusalem was looking for a Messiah to come and deliver them from the Romans, some of the temple workers, whenever someone would name their son Jesus, were likely of the one opinion of, "Oh no, here comes another Jesus, the Messiah." But faithful Simeon and Anna were spiritually checking them all out. Simeon was even told that he would see the Messiah come before he would die, and he recognized him right away by the spirit and not only by his name that was given to him as Jehoshua, that's Jesus if you are Greek-English by transliteration.

Others would call the Savior by the name of Emmanuel (Immanuel) for he had come down as God among them. Hopefully they were not too lightheartedly just calling 'Brother Jesus' without much remembered reverence as to just who he was and who he is that they were truely dealing with. Much could be said here, but back to the last great Patriarchal Father of the scriptures that we do know quite a bit about, Joseph of Egypt. But we just have not said much about him as holding that position in recogniztion of just we do stand in relationship to him today.  

 

 

What Constitutes the Patriarchal Covenant Birthright?

 

When teaching the Covenant of Abraham, the Abrahamic Covenant, some such chart is given such as illustrated here. 1) There is some type of promised land given to the Patriarch to inherit. For Abraham, Isaac and Jacob it was the land of Canaan. 2) They were promised to be the father of a great posterity, a posterity of nations. 3) They were given the powers of the Patriarchal Priesthood, which was the high priesthood of God. 4) They were given the power and blessings of the ordinances of salvation. 5) And they were given the sacred ordinances, powers and blessings unto exaltation. Some combine the two of salvation and eternal life or eternal increase together though their is a distinction to be made between them.

In the chart above it even lists specific scriptural references to support their list of what the covenant birthright did consist. But they have missed one of the greatest blessings from their list of four or five items. Enoch states that the Lord said, "Blessed is he through whose seed Messiah shall come; ... " (Moses 7:53). And such would seem to be perhaps the greatest blessing to be sought after, certainly those of Israel did seem to seek unto it. But did Abraham, and what is a good scriptural reference for that?

    "It was conferred upon me from the fathers; it came down from the fathers, from the beginning of time, yea, even from the beginning, or before the foundation of the earth, down to the present time, even the right of the firstborn, or the first man, who is Adam, or first father, through the fathers unto me.
    "I sought for mine aappointment unto the Priesthood according to the appointment of God unto the fathers concerning the seed."
    ~ Pearl of Great Price | Abraham 1:3-4

Just Who Is this Seed?

 

Is seems to have been a familiar topic of conversation to the Apostle Paul in speaking to the Galatians. It would even seem that Paul had had some access to such scripture that is not available through the Bible sources to us today. But it does seem quite straight forward to be connect to the seed which the book of Abarham did so also present.

    "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ." ~ New Testament | Galatians 3:16

 

 

 

 

 

LDS Bible Dictionary

  Abraham, Covenant of. Abraham first received the gospel by baptism (which is the covenant of salvation). Then he had conferred upon him the higher priesthood [this deals with the oath and the covenant of the priesthood], and he entered into celestial marriage (which is the covenant of exaltation), gaining assurance thereby that he would have eternal increase. Finally he received a promise that all of these blessings would be offered to all of his mortal posterity (D&C 132:2950; Abr. 2:611). Included in the divine promises to Abraham were the assurances that (1) Christ would come through his lineage, and that (2) Abraham's posterity would receive certain lands as an eternal inheritance (Gen. 17; 22:1518; Gal. 3; Abr. 2). These promises taken together are called the Abrahamic covenant. It was renewed with Isaac (Gen. 26:14, 24) and again with Jacob (Gen. 28; 35:913; 48:34).
~ Bible Dictionary | A Abraham, Covenant of:  

  Jacob. Supplanter. (1) The younger of the twin sons of Isaac (Gen. 25:24 ff.). The two brothers were rivals from their birth, and Esau's descendants, the Edomites, were rivals of the Israelites (Gen. 25:23). The chief events of Jacob's life were the "purchase" of the birthright (25:29 ff.); the dream and vow (ch. 28); his long stay in the house of Laban (chs. 2931); the return to Canaan, the reception at Penuel of the new name of Israel, and the reconciliation with Esau (chs. 3233); his later life with his family at Shechem, Ephrath, and Mamre (Hebron) (chs. 3337); his journey into Egypt, his death there, and his burial in the cave of Machpelah (chs. 4550). It was through Jacob that the covenant of Abraham continued (Gen. 28:14, 1222); it was then passed on to Joseph and Ephraim.
~ Bible Dictionary | J Jacob: