More About Joseph and Forgiveness

Today I’ve been asking the Lord, why? What about Joseph that made him so different from his brothers? How could his heart be so pure that he would forgive, resist the advances of the egyptian woman, rule in wisdom, etc…? His brothers were steeped in sin, murder, jealousy, sexual immorality, violence, vengence. His father also had an inferiority complex because he was not daddy’s favorite, so he swindled his brother, lived a life of striving, deceit, and fear.

I was thinking, perhaps it was Jacob, perhaps Jacob changed from the time that Reuben was born, until the time that Joseph was born, so Joseph had a different family environment.

One website’s estimations of the ages of Jacob’s sons when they sold Joseph into slavery:
1723 BC
Joseph was 17 years old when his brothers sold him into slavery in Egypt. [Gen 37:1]
Isaac 168 / Israel & Esau 108 / Reuben 23 / Simeon 22 / Levi 21 / Judah & Dan 20/ Naphtali, Issachar & Gad 19 / Asher & Zebulun 18

Another source had similar ages listed, and used various date clues in the text so it seems accurate:

So there was only around 6 years between all the brothers. They all grew up in similar family environment.

Joseph’s mother was loved, and he was loved. He was favored, that was the only difference. But it makes such a huge difference.

It says that Joseph was tending the flock with his brothers (could be translated Joseph was tending his brothers with the flocks… seems to say he was already being pruned for family leadership). Later it shows that although teh brothers were sent away to tend the flocks, Joseph was with his father at home, shows special treatment, more time with father, perhaps training.

Genesis 37
3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made a richly ornamented [a] robe for him. 4 When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.

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2 thoughts on “More About Joseph and Forgiveness”

  1. when i first read this, i didn’t want to believe jacob’s favor could be such a deciding factor, but when i think about joseph growing up with such a sense of security in his dad’s love for him… it’s hard to argue.

    it’s also interesting that reuben seems more honorable than the other older brothers. he’s the firstborn and probably also would have received some favor because of that.

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