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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Parallels in the lives of Jacob and Joseph.

There are many similarities between Jacob the son of Isaac and Rebekah and Joseph the son of Jacob and Rachel. (Everything in Italics is from Louis Ginzberg's - Legends of the Jews - Volume 2. - I don't recommend it)
1.   As the mother of Jacob remained childless for a long time after her marriage, so also the mother of Joseph.

a.   Rebekah and Isaac had to wait twenty years before having their twin boys Jacob and Esau

b.   In the first place Rachel had to wait 14 years to even marry Jacob because Uncle Laban had tricked Jacob into marrying Leah. Then Everyone was having children but Rachel who eventually died giving birth to Benjamin.

2.   As Jacob's mother bore two sons, so also Joseph's mother.

a.   Rebekah bore two sons, Jacob and Esau.

b.   Rachel bore two sons, Joseph and Benjamin.

3.   Like the father, the son appropriated his older brother's birthright.

a.   Jacob received the birthright from Esau because Esau sold it to him for a bowl of soup.

b.   Joseph received the birthright for a few reasons.

                                                 i.    The first is the Reuben the firstborn son, tried to take over the family in an incestuous way and fell out of his fathers favor.

                                                ii.    The second was that Rachel was Jacobs favorite wife and therefore her children were his favorite children, Joseph being the eldest.

4.   The father was hated by his brother, and the son was hated by his brethren.

a.   Jacob was hated by his brother Esau because not only had Esau lost the birthright for a bowl of soup, but he lost the blessing from his father Isaac because Jacob tricked Isaac into giving it to him.

b.   Joseph was hated by his brothers because he was clearly the favorite of his father and he kept having these dreams that his brothers would one day bow down to him, and he told his brothers the dreams.

5.   The father was the favorite son as compared with his brother, so was the son as compared with his brethren.

a.   Isaac actually favored Esau for a while because he was a hunter cooked food just like Isaac wanted. After he lost the blessing and birthright though, he married some pagan women just to spite his parents.

b.   Joseph was the favorite because he was from the favorite wife, as stated earlier.

6.   Both the father and the son lived in the land of the stranger.

a.   Jacob lived in Haran

b.   Joseph lived in Egypt

7.   The father became a servant to a master, also the son.

a.   Jacob was a servant to Uncle Laban for at least 14 years trying to get permission to marry Rachel.

b.   Joseph was a servant in Egypt.

8.   The master whom the father served was blessed by God, so was the master whom the son served.

a.   While Jacob was in the service of Laban, God blessed the house of Laban.

b.   While Joseph served Potiphar and Pharaoh in Egypt, both were blessed by his presence.

9.   The father and the son were both blessed with wealth.

10.       Great things were announced to the father in a dream, so also to the son.

11.       As the father went to Egypt and put an end to famine, so the son.

12.       As the father exacted the promise from his sons to bury him in the Holy Land, so also the son.

13.       The father died in Egypt, there died also the son.

14.       As the father's remains were carried to the Holy Land for interment, so also the remains of the son.

The significance of these parallels.

As we have seen in other bible tidbits Joseph is a type of Christ figure. And as such I think that it is saying he is so like his father that they do the same things, just like Joseph and Jacob do the same things.

But if we can step back even further we see parallels between Abraham and Isaac. Both bear two children, one blessed, one not so blessed. They both have a hard time conceiving and there are more.

I think in a spiritual interpretation Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph all tell the story of salvation.

Abraham is a type for God the Father who offers his son Isaac as a sacrifice.

Isaac as a type of Christ gives birth to Jacob who is a types of the church with the twelve sons.

The sons of Israel (meaning the church) are sent to the nations to feed them, spiritually and physically.


bill bannon said...

Joseph like Christ is handed over to the Gentiles by his brothers where Joseph is falsely accused and descends into prison from which he rises to the right hand of pharoah just as Christ descends into hades and rises to the right hand of the Father. From the right hand of pharoah, Joseph feeds a starving world with grain from the grainaries whereas from the right hand of the Father, Christ feeds a world starving to be good ...with the Eucharist which is Himself from the grainaries which are the dioceses. Joseph wore a multi colored cloak but Christ wore a seamless garment. Joseph's brothers stand for the Jews whom Joseph/ Christ loves but as they speak to Him...Joseph disguises his identity for now but in the end will talk to them undisguised as Christ.

Author Prayatna said...

The story of the prophets in the Quran is for Mahamati Prannath.

औलाद याकूब कहया इसहाक , इनों का कबीला है पाक |
"Jacob (or Imam Mahdi Mahamati Prannath) was the (godly) son of Issac (or Devchandra Mehta) whose tribe of followers has been said holy."