The Written Account
of the Generations of Jacob

37:2 to 50:26

After the section on the written account of the generations of Esau from 36:1 to 37:1, we have the eleventh toldot, the written account of the generations of Jacob. The previous toldot told us how the descendants of Esau became the great nation of Edom, and then the dispensing of that non-seed line. Therefore, what this eleventh family document tells us, is what became of Jacob. And what became of Jacob was Joseph. So the story of Joseph completes the story of Ya’akov.

Joseph went from the pit to the palace, and Joseph’s story is your story. Everything that Yosef experienced, you will experience in your lifetime. In the journey of life you will experience rejection. You will experience betrayal. You are going to experience false accusation, sexual temptation, bitterness, and a burning desire for revenge for people who have hurt you deeply. You will experience the agony of being forgotten by those who you have helped the most. You will experience depression, when year after year things go wrong. Satan will sit on your bed at night and he will have this discussion with you. He will say, “You couldn’t love ADONAI and be this messed up.” But when you walk out of the prison into the palace to be with the King, all depression vanishes.

Joseph will teach us how to move from tragedy to triumph, from bitterness to blessing and get past the pain and onto the promises of God.

The first eleven chapters of Genesis span 2,000 years. Four men dominate the last thirty-nine chapters: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. The last fourteen chapters of Genesis are devoted to Joseph, which is the same number of chapters that was devoted to Abraham. There are probably more details about Joseph’s personal life than any other biblical character except for Christ Himself. There are three shifts in emphasis within the fourteen chapters. It begins with Yosef, it then shifts to the brothers, then shifts again to Jacob. Although the line of the Messiah would come through Judah, it was Joseph who would save the family and the nation of Isra’el.

While not identified as a type in the New Covenant, Yosef prepares us for, or foreshadows, the life of Christ. There are eighty ways that the life of Yosef would prepare the Jews for the coming of Jesus Christ. There are just too many of these to be unintended and ignored. These will be numbered as we study the life of Joseph.551

Though it’s not a pretty picture, ADONAI was working out His plan. All twelve sons were in the line of blessing through Ya’akov. They became known as the sons of Isra'el. In time, their descendants were known as Israelites. As the human key to fulfilling His plans, God chose Yosef. We find that through his story of pain and loss, God was working for Joseph’s good and for the good of all Israelites, and ultimately for the entire world.

The entire account of Joseph follows a chiastic or an antithetical structure in Chapters 37-50. There is a parallelism, where the first letter is antithetical to the second letter, and so on, with the letter E being the turning point. We have seen this chiastic structure in the Flood account with Noah in Chapters 6-8, the Tower of Babel in Chapter 11, and the Covenant of Circumcision in Chapter 17.

A Joseph’s family is fractured (Chapters 37-38)

B Joseph interprets two dreams (Chapters 39-40)

C Joseph organizes Egypt’s economy (Chapter 41)

D Joseph’s brother’s go down to Egypt for the first time (Chapters 42-44)

E Joseph makes himself known to his brothers (Chapter 45)

D Joseph’s brother’s go down to Egypt for the last time (Chapter 46)

C Joseph reforms Egypt’s economy (Chapter 47)

B Joseph’s two sons are blessed (Chapter 48)

A Joseph’s family is reconciled (Chapters 49-50)


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