Is Genesis 38 In The Wrong Place?: Story Of Joseph Part 2.

Genesis 38

1 “It came to pass at that time that Judah departed from his brothers, and visited a certain Adullamite whose name was Hirah…..”

Reading Hebrew scroll

So begins a chapter in the Bible that has baffled scholars for centuries, Genesis 38. What is it that so confused them? Let’s find out!

Joseph’s Early Years.

The previous chapter begins well enough, detailing the story of Joseph’s early years.  It tells us he was 17 years old, the beloved son of his father, and that Jacob gave him a wonderful coat.  He was the youngest son which, in Jewish culture, meant he was the one who cared for his father’s sheep.  You see, shepherding was not considered the most glamorous of jobs, kinda like today.  In fact, it pretty much meant you were low man on the totem pole.

Nevertheless, Joseph was quite obviously his father’s favorite and, as a result, was the object of no little jealousy and hatred by his brothers. That coat, which was no ordinary item (as you saw in Part 1), was the last straw!
Chapter 37 ends with Joseph being completely rejected by his brothers, thrown into a pit, and sold for 20 pieces of silver to some passing traders. They took him away as their captive to Egypt and sold him into slavery.  The very last verse of the chapter goes like this:  “Now the Midianites had sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and captain of the guard.”
(Joseph in Egypt.)
Well…..So far, so good with Joseph’s life story.  Then we come to chapter 38, verse 1 of which is the opening scripture. Are you scratching your head yet? 🤔 For some in explicable reason, the Holy Spirit, instead of continuing on with Joseph’s story, totally jumps the tracks and starts discussing a part of Judah’s life story.  Then, in the very next chapter, He casually picks up where He left off at the end of chapter 37 with the rest of Joseph’s story, as if there was nothing odd about His seeming digression. 🤯😳 Why did He do that?
Bet you’d like to know!
As usual, the Holy Spirit has great purpose in everything He does! 😉  Well, today is your lucky day.  You’re about to find out EXACTLY what He was up to when He stuck chapter 38 right smack in the middle of Joseph’s story. Let’s begin.

Unlocking The Mystery.

Genesis 38:1-5
1 “It came to pass at that time that Judah departed from his brothers, and visited a certain Adullamite whose name was Hirah.
2 And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua, and he married her and went in to her.
3 So she conceived and bore a son, and he called his name Er.
4 She conceived again and bore a son, and she called his name Onan.
5 And she conceived yet again and bore a son, and called his name ShelahHe was at Chezib when she bore him.”
(Tamar dressed as a prostitute.)

So what. Judah went to visit “a certain Adullamite.”  BIG DEAL.   Why interrupt Joseph’s story to talk about that?  Here’s another question:  Why was Judah, in particular, singled out and discussed and not one of the other brothers?  There were 11 of them after all.  Why not Asher, Ephraim, or Naphtali?  

Again, there is method to the Holy Spirit’s “madness!”  Are you beginning to see why scholars have been scratching their heads?   Anyway, the whole chapter ends with the story of Judah’s daughter-in-law, Tamar, who tricked him into having sex with her.  As a result, she gave birth to twin boys named “Perez and Zerah.” Pay particular attention the the names in bold print. They hold part of the key to this seemingly mysterious chapter.

Types And Shadows.
The Holy Spirit has a message for us in this most divergent of chapters. You see, of all the Old Testament types and shadows, Joseph’s life story is the clearest depiction of the life of our Lord Jesus. This chapter was placed here because this young man’s story is a timeline of Jesus’ life story, not to mention a chronicle of events that would happen to the children of Israel from Bible times right up to the present and beyond.
(Joseph sold for 20 pieces of silver.)

At the end of chapter 37, Joseph was rejected by his brothers and sold into slavery for 20 pieces of silver.  His brothers, however, reported back to their father, lied right to his face, and told him that Joseph was dead, having been killed by an animal.   They had bloodied his beautiful coat with an animal’s blood to convince him of their lie.  Since they had no DNA testing in those days, Jacob, of course, believed his sons.
Joseph In Egypt.
Meanwhile down in Egypt, Joseph was sold into slavery, bought by Potiphar, thrown in prison for three years, and rose to prominence as Viceroy, second only to Pharoah in power over all Egypt.
When severe famine hit the entire region, his brothers came down to Egypt on their first trip to buy grain.  They, of course, didn’t recognize their brother with all his “Jonny Depp” make-up on and dressed like royalty.  He would go on to reveal his identity to them at a later meeting.

Pictures Of Jesus.

Just like Joseph, Jesus (the greater Joseph) was betrayed (sold out) for 30 pieces of silver by his Hebrew brethren, Natural Israel.  He was taken away in chains, died on the cross and rose the third day, depicted by Joseph’s 3-year imprisonment.  Joseph was Pharoah’s right hand man just as Jesus, Who ascended to sit on His Father’s throne and is seated at His right hand.

Sadly, He was rejected by the entire Jewish nation.  He was their Messiah; the One for Whom they had waited for centuries. They didn’t recognize Him and so missed their visitation.  Just like Jacob, who believed the report of Joseph’s death, many Jews to this day believe the fabricated story that Jesus is dead, that His disciples stole His body, and spread a false report that He rose from the dead.

When He returns to earth one day soon, however, I assure you THEY WILL MOST CERTAINLY RECOGNIZE HIM!  Every eye will see Him!  

40 years after Jesus ascended back to His Father, God allowed the Romans under Emperor Titus to destroy their temple in 70AD, effectively putting an end to all animal sacrifices.  The Father did not want to allow them to offer any more as His beloved Son, Jesus, was the FINAL, and ONLY ACCEPTABLE, sacrifice for sins.
(Temple destroyed in 70A.D. and Jewish people scattered.)

Jewish Dispersion.

What happened next was the diaspora.  The Jewish people were scattered, dispersed among every nation of the world.  They remained among them for 2,000 years. Then, in an unprecedented decision by the U.N. in 1948, they took possession of their ancient land once again, and the nation of Israel was reborn!

Many have returned to their land but not all have come back; not by a long shot.  They were renewed just like the Eagle:  Old mind but new body!


Secrets In The Hebrew Language.

So how does all that reconcile the problem of chapter 38?  The mystery, in part, is found in the meanings of the names of the major players in bold blue print.  The rest of it has to do with something the Holy Spirit is very fond of doing:  Hiding timelines of what He is doing in the world and, in particular, with the nation of Israel. They are His prophetic timepiece!
When Judah left his brothers, he married a Canaanite woman; a Gentile, whose father was named Shua.  Shua was a Canaanite; a Gentile, whose name in Hebrew means “Wealth. “Judah,” who typifies the Jewish people, left his “brothers” and went to visit his “Canaanite (Gentile)” friend.  It’s a picture of the Jewish people rejecting Jesus, being scattered amongst the Canaanites–the Gentiles of the world–and intermingling with Shua: wealth.

The Blessing Of Abraham.

Ever wonder why many Jewish people seem to have a disproportionate ability to be influential in the world today for both good and evil and become extremely wealthy?  It’s because of the blessing of Abraham.  They came to be called “Jews” because of the name “Judah.”
Jesus came into this world through the tribe of Judah, His choice mind you, which is the largest of all the tribes.  Upon the dispersion of the Jewish people, they would chase after wealth wherever they went in the world among the nations. Because of God’s promise to Abraham, they would prosper financially, which they most certainly have!
Due to their rejection of their Messiah however, they don’t have the full blessing like we do, which is salvation. Salvation is the greatest blessing by far!  What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, yet loses his own soul?  Nevertheless, they have truly blessed the whole world with what they do have!  No other nation on earth has contributed wonderful inventions and innovations for the betterment of mankind than the Jewish people.
The Money In Their Sacks.

Joseph’s brothers, you recall, found the money in their sacks with which they had bought grain. They didn’t know who had put it back into their sacks of grain but they certainly found it there.

In the same way, Abraham’s descendants today don’t really know why they have such a talent for financial gain and for blessing the whole world with their inventions, discoveries, and insights.  Many don’t even believe in the God of their fathers. But make no mistake: Jesus, the greater Joseph, put the money in their sacks!

Disproportionately Influential.
Below is a list of some of the most recognizable billionaires, ALL JEWISH:

Michael Dell: Dell Computers

Benjamin Rosen: Compaq

Andrew Grove: Intel

Larry Ellison: Oracle

Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook.

Regardless of your opinion of him, Mark Zuckerberg is one of the youngest billionaire IN THE WORLD!  Is it simply due to brain power?  Talent?  Hard work?  No.  It’s the blessing of Abraham. 🤷‍♀️
They have disproportionate ability to influence for both good and, sadly, for evil as well.  George Soros would be an example of the “Evil” influence part, though certainly not the only one.  As incredible as it may seem, most of the “Un-illuminated” 😉(let the reader understand) who think they’re smarter that anyone in the world, 🙄are descendants of Abraham.  Sad but true.
(Mark Zukerberg.)

The list of the accomplishments of the Jewish people goes on and on and on and on:  Movie stars, actors and actresses, musicians, doctors, researchers, scientists, authors, nobel prize winners, mathematicians… get the idea.

You see, even though many aren’t devout Jews by any stretch of the imagination, God continues to keep His promise to them.  He has remained faithful to them, even if it isn’t reciprocal. The promise He made to Abraham was to bless him and his seed, even if they don’t even recognize or serve Him.  Many actually even hate God!  But His love and tender heart toward His chosen people has not abated AND IT NEVER WILL. HE IS A COVENANT-KEEPING GOD!

A Better Covenant.
If God is like that to those who aren’t even IN the fold, how much more will He love and bless those of us who are?  And you were worried that He would turn His back on you just because you stumbled and fell!  AS IF!!! 🥰  No.  You and I, Church, have an even better covenant with Abba than the Jewish people!!!  In addition to being heirs to all the promises of Abraham, WE HAVE JESUS!  WE HAVE THE FULL BLESSING! ♥️ 

Now you see why Judah’s story is placed here by the Holy Spirit:  To serve as a snapshot of Jesus’ lineage.  How do we know that?  Because the chapter ends with Perez who is listed in His genealogy. The whole chapter outlines what was going to happen to Jesus’ natural family in their far-distant future…..happening right NOW.
Joseph reunited with his brothers
(Joseph reunited with his brothers.)

They didn’t recognize Him in “Egypt” at their first encounter, Egypt being a typology of the world.  But Jesus will one day unveil Himself to them and they’ll be reunited with Him at last at His second coming.  The entire nation will be saved in one day!  He will restore to them the kingdom and their former glory as well as their relationship and position…..fully!

So now you know the. Truth, Church:  That Chapter 38 is DEFINITELY NOT in the wrong place!

You may follow the link below to Part 3 to continue the story of Joseph. We’ll be discussing the very interesting name he was given by the Egyptians. As you might expect, we will learn that his name has a very interesting meaning:

Zaphnath-Paaneah: The Story Of Joseph Part 3

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