I have been re-reading the story of Joseph in Genesis 37f lately, and some things that never really hit me before have struck me. I have read the story, heard it preached, listened to it through audiobook, discussed it, referenced it in my own teachings, etc., but the Holy Scripture is God breathed, living, and active. The spirit illuminates my mind differently based upon my needs and the context of my reading.
In Genesis 37, Moses calls Joseph a young man and he was his father’s favorite because he had him in old age. There are two issues here.
First, Joseph is a young man at seventeen. He is a middle manager for his father, checking up on his older brothers. We call people young men today, but the phrase does not hold much meaning. In his book The Myth of Adolescence, David Black writes that a boy becomes a man at puberty (when he is able to reproduce by siring a child). Boys naturally become men at age 12-14. Why do we allow our society to let men be boys until they are in their thirties? It is like we are extending childhood past puberty into one’s twenties. This limbo age is called adolescence and it is castrating our society of men. Men feel enabled to play video games, use women, and eek out an existence when they could be adding value to society.
Second, why did Jacob choose a favorite son? The reasoning does not seem good enough. We know from scripture that Joseph is Jacob’s eldest son from Rachel (his favorite wife), but Jacob’s final son was Benjamin. Why did he not get the honor? He was actually the child born to Jacob in his oldest age. We invite calamity when we choose favorites—especially in family matters. Jacob was the eldest son to the favorite wife. He was given supervisory duties and a special coat. No wonder his brothers resented him.
I am not sure what my main point is, thanks for reading some of my thoughts.