Ancient Secrets Revealed. The Bible as you have never heard it! What really Happened?
Abraham begat Isaac who begat Jacob who was renamed Israel. Israel had 12 sons who became the ancestors of the 12 Tribes of Israel. These 12 sons were the offspiring of different mothers.
From Leah Jacob begat Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Yehudah (Judah), Issachar and Zebulon.
From Rachel (sister of leah) came Joseph and Binyamin.
From Bilhah (handmaiden of Rachel) were born Dan and Naphtali.
From Zilpah (handmaiden of Leah) came Gad and Asher.
Joseph was the favorite son. His father gave him a coat of colored stripes probably of tartan design. The significance of this coat was that it denoted denoted rank and royalty as if Joseph was being promoted above his brothers.
See: The Scottish Tartan Cloak of Joseph https://www.britam.org/tartanContents.html
The Bible tells us how Joseph dreamt dreams indicating that he was destined to rule over his brothers. Joseph had also brought a bad report concerning his brothers to their father.
Genesis (ESV) 37:
1 Jacob lived in the land of his father's sojournings, in the land of Canaan.
2 These are the generations of Jacob.
Joseph, being seventeen years old, was pasturing the flock with his brothers. He was a boy with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father's wives. And Joseph brought a bad report of them to their father.
This is read as if to say:
# Joseph, being seventeen years old, was shepherding his brothers with the flock with his brothers. He was a youth with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah his father's wives [separate from his brothers the sons of Leah], And Joseph brought a bad report of them [of the sons of Leah] to their father.
Jacob had two main wives, Leah and Rachel, who were sisters. Each wife had a maidservant, Zilpah and Bilhah. The sons of Leah stuck together. Joseph was the son of Rachel. He had a brother, Benjamin, who at that time was still young and stayed with their father.
The word translated as "flock" in Hebrew is "Tson" and originally could mean either sheep, goats, or cattle.
"was pasturing the flock with his brothers." In Hebrew this can be read as saying that Joseph was shepherding his brothers with the flock. "HaKetav ve-Habalah" (Rabbi Yaakov Tzvi Mecklenburg, 1785-1865) understands this to mean that Joseph had become an expert in looking after the flocks and he would instruct his brothers in how to do it. Since he was younger than them this may well have rankled with them.
The words translated as "a bad report of them" in Hebrew are "dibatam rah" connoting a false unsubstantiated matter (see Rabbi Shimson Rafael Hirsch). The Sages say that Joseph genuinely suspected his brothers of various transgressions but he was mistaken. The accusations were liable to involve penalties possibly involving dispossession or worse. The brothers all had families and responsibilities. It was as if their lives and at least their livelihoods were at stake.
"a bad report of them," this means a bad report of those brothers who were the sons of Leah (Talmud Yerushalmi, Peah 1:1).
Genesis (ESV) 37:
3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his sons, because he was the son of his old age. And he made him a robe of many colors. 4 But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peacefully to him.
The brothers held a counsel and judged Joseph to be a "Pursuer" i.e. an adversary with homicidal intentions. They decided to kill him. The eldest brother, Reuben, was against this decision but did not want to come out openly and say so. He suggested that instead of killing Joseph straight out they throw him in a pit and leave him there to die. The suggestion was accepted. Joseph was placed in the hole. Reuben left intending to return later and draw Joseph up and return him to their father. The brothers sat down to eat when a caravan of Midianites carrying spices to Egypt appeared. Judah then proposed that instead of leaving Joseph to die they sell him instead as a slave to the Midianites. Joseph was taken to Egypt by Ishmaelites who apparently acquired him from the Midianites. He was bought by Potiphar, a senior official. Joseph became the virtual manager of the estate of Potiphar. The wife of Potiphar tried to seduce him. Joseph refused. The woman then accused him of attempted rape. He was placed in prison. Here too, though technically a prisoner, he came to run the place (Genesis 39:23). Due to his ability to interpret dreams Joseph was eventually freed and made the second-in-command over the Kingdom of Egypt.
Joseph had foreseen the coming of a famine. He prepared granaries and stored up grain. When the famine came it affected not only Egypt but also the lands round about. Meanwhile the brothers had dipped the coat of Joseph in the blood of a kid goat and told their father that a wild beast must have devoured him (Genesis 37:31-33). Even tually, they too suffered from a shorage of food and needed to go down to Egypt and buy grain. Jacob sent ten of the sons to Egypt but kept Benjamin with him. Benjamin was the younger brother of Joseph. Their mother Rachel had died in childbirth when Benjamin was born. Joseph received word of their arrival and arranged to meet them. He recognized them but they did not recognize him. Joseph interrogated them. They said they had originally been 12 sons but one of them had disappeared and another remained with their father. Joseph then accused them of being spies. He gave them grain for their families but incarcerated Simeon as surety for their return with Benjamin. Simeon who Joseph had retained with him evidently had been the primary instigator in the plot of the brothers to do away with Joseph.
Genesis (ESV) 42:
14 But Joseph said to them, "It is as I said to you. You are spies. 15 By this you shall be tested: by the life of Pharaoh, you shall not go from this place unless your youngest brother comes here. 16 Send one of you, and let him bring your brother, while you remain confined, that your words may be tested, whether there is truth in you. Or else, by the life of Pharaoh, surely you are spies." 17 And he put them all together in custody for three days.
18 On the third day Joseph said to them, "Do this and you will live, for I fear God: 19 if you are honest men, let one of your brothers remain confined where you are in custody, and let the rest go and carry grain for the famine of your households, 20 and bring your youngest brother to me. So your words will be verified, and you shall not die." And they did so. 21 Then they said to one another, "In truth we are guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the distress of his soul, when he begged us and we did not listen. That is why this distress has come upon us." 22 And Reuben answered them, "Did I not tell you not to sin against the boy? But you did not listen. So now there comes a reckoning for his blood."
The brothers returned to the Land of Canaan and related to their father what had happened. Jacob did not want to let the brothers return even though Reuben offered his two sons as surety. After a while, the grain they had brought was eaten up. Judah then asked Jacob to send them back with Benjamin.
Genesis (ESV) 43:
8 And Judah said to Israel his father, "Send the boy with me, and we will arise and go, that we may live and not die, both we and you and also our little ones. 9 I will be a pledge of his safety. From my hand you shall require him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame forever. 10 If we had not delayed, we would now have returned twice."
So they returned with Benjamin. Joseph met them, released Simeon, and took them all to his palace and feasted with them. After that they were sent away with their sacks of grain. The personal chalice of Joseph had been hidden at his command in the sack of Benjamin.
Genesis (ESV) 44:
3 As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away with their donkeys. 4 They had gone only a short distance from the city. Now Joseph said to his steward, "Up, follow after the men, and when you overtake them, say to them, 'Why have you repaid evil for good? 5 Is it not from this that my lord drinks, and by this that he practices divination? You have done evil in doing this.'"
6 When he overtook them, he spoke to them these words. 7 They said to him, "Why does my lord speak such words as these? Far be it from your servants to do such a thing! 8 Behold, the money that we found in the mouths of our sacks we brought back to you from the land of Canaan. How then could we steal silver or gold from your lord's house? 9 Whichever of your servants is found with it shall die, and we also will be my lord's servants." 10 He said, "Let it be as you say: he who is found with it shall be my servant, and the rest of you shall be innocent." 11 Then each man quickly lowered his sack to the ground, and each man opened his sack. 12 And he searched, beginning with the eldest and ending with the youngest. And the cup was found in Benjamin's sack. 13 Then they tore their clothes, and every man loaded his donkey, and they returned to the city.
Joseph told the brothers that they were free to go but Benjamin would have to remain as his slave.
Continued in Part 2.