Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Have you ever seen the show, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat? I have once, while in college. My wife was played/danced in it - I think she was Zebulon's wife. Great show. I bought the soundtrack for my wife several years ago for Christmas - and my daughter "swiped" it and ended up listening and dancing to it all the time - great music. If you don't have the soundtrack - get it; if you've not seen the play, see it. And if you're like me, you've not read the story in Genesis for too long - what'd you think? Who could make up that kind of story?
Remember that one of the functions of this story is to provide historical background to how the Israelites ended up in Egypt. Moses (the supposed author) is writing this story (either while a student in Egypt or the leader in the wilderness) for his people. They've kept the oral tradition alive (who couldn't keep telling these stories!), and know he's putting it down on papyrus. People need to remember their past - where they've been, where they've come from, what they used to be, who they used to be... so that you can understand who you are becoming, where you are going, what you are doing. Joseph is what is best about Israel. Compared to the faults of Levi, Simeon, Reuben and Judah (do you remember what they're faults were? Do you know what the significance of Levi and Judah will be in the future?), Joseph is a saint. Notice that Joseph had the hand of God on him - for such a time as this (like Esther).
Do you know how Joseph proved who he was to his brothers? He lifted his skirt to show he was circumcised. (No wonder he told his attendents to leave the room!).
The phrase in chapter 37 "but his father kept the saying in mind" sounds a lot like Mary and her response to Jesus at the Temple (did you find any parallels between Jesus and Joseph...do you think Jesus annoyed anybody by being so brilliant...surely somebody got jealous!)
I found it interesting that Judah is interceeding on behalf of another, offering his life for the life of Benjamin (Judah is the ancestor of Jesus...not Joseph...how interesting!).
Joesph's name means "may he add" - how did Joseph live up to his name?
Judah's name means "praise" how did Judah not live up to his name?
Did you notice that Joseph told his brothers not to fight with each other while on their way home...what was that all about - he sounds like their father getting them ready for a long car ride.
What about Joseph's interpretation of God's reason for why Joseph is in captivity? Does that give you hope for your situation?