Keeping track of Biblical names.
At first it’s not easy keeping track of who’s who. Abram became Abraham, Sari became Sarah and Jacob became Israel, but he is still mostly called Jacob. Israel’s sons are called Israel, and their sons too. But not all lived in the house of Israel, some lived in the house of Judah who held the scepter. The birthright went to Joseph and his son Ephraim, whom God called, “My firstborn.” (Jeremiah 31:9) Sometimes this tribe is called Joseph, but not often. The tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh are mentioned, especially Ephraim. When prophets brought words of judgement, or God promising future blessing to the house of Israel, they were often addressed to Ephraim. With Biblical names context determines who’s who. Now that that is clear…… on to Joseph.
A caravan of Ishmaelites happened to come along.
Did Satan know whom God had chosen? Joseph told his brothers about his dream. “Please listen to this dream which I have had, for behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and lo, my sheave rose up and stood erect; and behold, your sheaves gathered around and bowed down to my sheave. Then his brothers said to him, Are you actually going to reign over us? Or are you really going to rule over us? So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.” (Genesis 37:6-8)
So they sold Joseph into slavery. It is ironic that the descendants of Ishmael, the son who was not chosen by God, would be the ones to carry off Joseph, the son who was chosen. Coincidence? What Satan intended for evil God turned to good.
Moses blessed and prophesied.
First, the blessing of the firstborn. And of Joseph he said: Blessed of the LORD is his land, with precious things of heaven, with the dew, And the deep lying beneath, With precious fruits of the sun, With precious produce of the months, With the best things of the ancient mountains, With precious things of the everlasting hills, With precious things of the earth and its fullness, And the favor of Him who dwelt in the (burning) bush. Let the blessing come on the head of Joseph, And the crown of the head of him who was separate from his brothers. (Deuteronomy 33:13-16)
Then came the prophecy. “His glory is like a firstborn bull, And his horns (Ephraim and Manasseh) like the horns of the wild ox; He shall push the peoples to the ends of the earth; They are the ten thousands of Ephraim, And the thousands of Manasseh.” (Deuteronomy 33:17)
God divorced and evicted the house of Israel. Ephraim and Manasseh are lost tribes. The horns did “push the peoples to the ends of the earth.” Remember that Jacob said that Ephraim would become a “multitude of nations?” (Genesis 48:19) Perhaps we will discover which nations they became?
To be continued.