Joseph Feeds His Brothers

The sons of Israel were jealous of their youngest brother because their father seemed to like him best. So they took him captive one day and sold him into slavery. He was promptly carried away to Egypt. There, Joseph secured Pharaohs favor and became one of the highest officials in the royal court. He was put in charge of Pharaoh's graineries -- the food supply of all Egypt. When a famine arose, his skill in managing this supply found Egypt safely stocked with a huge supply of grain.

The famine stretched throughout the Middle East. Starving, Israel (Jacob) and his ten sons heard that there were large food supplies in Egypt and promptly set off for the land of the Nile. They did not recognize Joseph when they first asked him for food, but he recognized them. Forgiving them for the evil they did to him, he rescued them from the famine. In gratitude, Israel (Jacob) granted Joseph's two sons status with his other ten, and raised Joseph onto a plateau with himself -- i.e., a patriarch of all twelve tribes.

The story of Joseph is one of the Bible's most powerful allegories. It portrays the mission and plan of Christ. The story revolves around food -- large stores of it during a great famine. The food of God, of course is the word of Christ. When Jesus was born he was born in a manger (a food trough), and in Bethlehem, a name which means 'house of bread'.

When he went to Jerusalem, Jesus was the Testimony of God returning to the empty Temple. But the caretakers of that building refused to allow him in. They would not relinquish their custody of the Holy of Holies to God and, instead, cast him out and in the end sold him to the Romans for 30 pieces of silver.

That sale sent the Testimony to Babylon where it quickly grew to dominate the Roman grainery. Because He had been sold to Babylon, anyone who wanted to eat the food of God had to go to Babylon to get it.

"To Babylon you must go and there you will be rescued; there God will ransom you out of the power of your enemies." (Micah 4:10).

A spiritual famine encompassed the rest of the world, but in Babylon the bread of life was stocked in overflowing graineries. By the power of God all of Jesus' brothers were brought to Babylon, just as famine earlier had brought all of Joseph's brothers to Egypt.

See Also:

A Brief History of Israel

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