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In the last article we'd taken a look, at the different prophecies that dealt with Jacob's sons: Gad, Asher and Naphtali. I'd also pointed out, that it was this group of sons (along with their brother Dan) who were born unto the handmaidens Bilhah and Zilpah. For these were the two women that were given over to Jacob, by his first two wives Rachel and Leah -- simply for the task, of child-bearing
Now in regards to Gad, Asher, and Naphtali -- let us quickly revisit those prophecies, in which Jacob had spoke, when it came to their futures...
Gad: "Gad, a troop shall tramp upon him, but he shall triumph at last." -- Genesis 49:19
Asher: "Bread from Asher shall be rich, and he shall yield royal dainties" -- Genesis 49:20
Naphtali: "Naphtali is a deer let loose; He uses beautiful words." -- Genesis 49:21
However that may have been, we now move forward... for we now find Jacob prophesying over his two youngest sons: Joseph and Benjamin.
Understand that this particular article, will deal with Jacob's most beloved son Joseph. For we'll cover Jacob's prophecy concerning Benjamin, in the next article. But in the meantime, our focus will be on the prophecy concerning Joseph.
But before we get started... I want you to know, that this particular prophecy, at this point from within this recorded account -- basically deals with, what Jacob had already told Joseph in private, before he had called in his other sons, in regards to them hearing their prophesies. For I want you to know, that it would've been odd at this point, if Jacob had spoken prophecies when it came to the rest of his sons, without including Joseph.
For you must understand, that Jacob's other sons, would have become worried -- and perhaps even questioning their father, when it came to him excluding Joseph from within the prophecy process. For they knew that Joseph was still a very powerful man. And they also knew, that it was because of him, that they were able to escape the "famine of seven years".
And on top this, Joseph also convinced Pharaoh, to allow them to be able to reside, practically in their very own region, from within the Egyptian kingdom that was known as Goshen. For they had also not forgotten, that Joseph didn't seek revenge against them (although he'd thought seriously about it), for their wicked betrayal, that they had enacted upon him, back when he was 17 years of age.
Nonetheless, if Jacob would have told his sons, that he had already blessed Joseph in private (before he'd had blessed them, being that they were older) they would have probably questioned him on that as well. So in order for Jacob to keep dissension at bay, and to also keep everyone one on the same page - Jacob gives Joseph his prophecy again, this time in front of his brethren.
Here's Jacob's prophecy for Joseph:
"Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a well; his branches run over the wall. The archers have bitterly grieved him, Shot at him and hated him. But his bow remained in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob (From there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel)
"By the God of your father who will help you, and by the Almighty who will bless you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies beneath, blessings of the breasts and of the womb.
"The blessings of your father have excelled the blessings of my ancestors, Up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills. They shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him who was separate from his brothers." -- Genesis 49:22-26
Now let's start off, by taking a closer look at the first part of Jacob's prophecy:
"Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a well; his branches run over the wall"
Understand that this basically states, that Joseph was like a young fruitful tree (bough) -- which is a tree that has plenty of nourishment (possibly from a water well) that would've kept him healthy and strong, in spite of the harsh conditions that were swirling around his environment.
I also want to point out, that when Jacob's prophecy speaks about the "branches running over the wall" -- know that this deals with Joseph's two sons: Ephraim and Manasseh. Remember that Jacob had added them earlier unto the twelve tribes. For Jacob reveals, that Ephraim and Manasseh would be eventually blessed -- with the authority and abundance, that will be given unto them, through the many tribes that will in due time, come from their seed.
Jacob's Prophecy continued...
"The archers have bitterly grieved him, shot at him and hated him."
Now personally, I must admit, I like how Jacob stated this. For you must understand, that this particular statement, was based on the bitter history that had taken place between Joseph and his brothers. For I'd like to think, that by Jacob speaking this statement in such a way, he'd somewhat, reminded his sons about the hardship that Joseph had endured at the cause of their hands.
And after they had been reminded of their wicked mindsets, hateful hearts and corrupt actions -- which were the actions that they had displayed towards their brother, a little over twenty years before. And you know what? Honestly, how could Joseph's brothers say anything, when it came to Jacob's prophecy? I mean after all -- no matter how grand, and favorable the prophecy may have been; Joseph's brothers held no ground, when it came to them speaking out against it.
However -- Moving forward...
"But his bow remained in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob (From there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel)"
Understand that this particular part of Jacob's prophecy, speaks about the weapon, that Joseph had used against his enemies. For Jacob refers to this weapon, as a bow. Understand, that when it comes to this bow -- the bow in which Jacob speaks: know that this is simply a representation, that describes Joseph's loyalty and faith, when it came to the Most High God. For it didn't matter what kind of storms that life was constantly throwing at him -- know that Joseph never compromised his position with the God of his ancestors.
This is why we find Jacob saying: "...and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob." For we find Jacob proclaiming, that Joseph's strength, had came from the Heavenly Father that he'd decided to serve. And so therefore, to put it simply, Joseph's hands were made strong, by the favor of the Almighty.
However, let's go deeper...
"By the God of your father who will help you, and by the Almighty who will bless you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies beneath, blessings of the breasts and of the womb."
Notice how Jacob goes a little bit deeper, when it comes to Joseph's prophecy:
1) "By the God of your father who will help you." -- With this statement, Jacob points out, that God will continue to be with him.
2) "And by the Almighty who will bless you with blessings of heaven above." -- Now when Jacob speaks about the "blessings of heaven above" -- know that this deals with the heaven, that responsible for bringing forth the rain and the dew. For it's the rain and the dew, that helps to produce the fruits and the plants of the earth.
3) "Blessings of the deep that lies beneath" -- Know that this particular statement, deals with the seas and oceans, for they are the two major resources, that helps to bring forth: the rivers, misty springs and streams. For these are the resources, that Joseph's lands will eventually be abundantly blessed with.
4) "Blessings of the breasts and of the womb." -- And when it comes to this statement, know that it deals with the area of birth. For this will be the method, that will bring forth a great multiplication from within the lands, in regards to men and beast. Jacob's statement, simply implies, that Joseph's descendants will be numerous.
"The blessings of your father have excelled the blessings of my ancestors, Up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills. They shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him who was separate from his brothers."
Understand that Jacob is basically saying, that his blessing (prophecy) for his son Joseph -- had actually excelled those blessings, that had came from his grandfather Isaac, and his great grandfather Abraham. Know that Jacob makes such a statement, simply because, Abraham couldn't include Ishmael into the blessing of his brother Isaac (although he tried), and Isaac couldn't include Esau into the blessing of his brother Jacob (although he tried as well).
But it's here, we find that Jacob is able to include, not only Joseph, but both his two sons: Ephraim and Manasseh (as if they were his brothers) into the blessing of the Promise Covenant -- which was the covenant that God had personally made with Abraham.
And on top of all this, know that Joseph, would not only inherit the land of Canaan (just like his father Jacob, and grandfather Isaac had done). But Joseph would (later on through Joshua) be a distributor of the land as well, when it came to the distributing of lots, or plots of land, in regards to his brethren.
Jacob wasn't done...
"Up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills."
Now this statement seems to suggest, that Jacob had placed some type of duration or time frame, when it came to how long Joseph's blessing would last? But we should also take notice of the word "everlasting" -- for it seems to state, that this blessing should continue to be, all the way throughout eternity.
Now if this was in reference to the spiritual world that is to come, there would be no doubt, when it comes to the statement's meaning. But this is stated in reference, towards something, that's geared towards in a natural sense.
And if this is the case? What this simply means, is that this blessing will last throughout all the days of the earth. As long as the hills are fruitful, and the mountains are still standing, along with the sun, and the moon of the earth; and as long as the stars are continuing their roles, when it comes to being the great lights, in which they are serving the universe and this planet. Then the blessing will continue to stand.
And finally Jacob ends with...
"They shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him who was separate from his brothers."
Now when it comes to this statement, know that it's basically saying, that the positions that Joseph's sons Ephraim and Manasseh will enjoy in the future -- is simply made possible, by their father, and the position that he held, from within the Egyptian Empire. For Jacob believes, that it was the royal position that Joseph held, that allowed them to escape the seven year famine.
And actually, this is true up to a point. But we must not forget, that God (no matter what) had to keep his word to Abraham. So someway, and somehow, God wasn't going to let the Israel nation perish. Now make no mistake, Joseph would be the one that God would end up using at this point, when it came to helping the Israel nation, while saving them from their severe ordeal. So bottom-line, the way that I see it -- Joseph is basically, being rewarded for his unwavering obedience, and loyalty, when it came to the Most High God. As it should be.
**YOUR CURRENT - BIBLE STUDY ONLINE SERIES - WOULD BE HERE**
114) A Lion In The Making
115) A Tribe of Kings
121) <-CURRENT - BIBLE STUDY ONLINE - PAGE->
123) The Death of Jacob
124) Jacob Goes Home
126) The Death of Joseph
128) Moses the Historian