Friday, October 7, 2011

Three Patriarchs, Three Matriarchs, and a Favorite Son

Once Abraham shows up at the end of Genesis 11, the rest of the 50 chapters cover his life and the lives of the other patriarchs and matriarchs of the Jewish people including his wife Sarah, their son Isaac and his wife Rebecca, and their troublesome twins, Jacob and Esau. Jacob, with minimal and non-exclusive, help from his wife Rachel, fathers the twelve heads of the tribes of Israel including Joseph whose story occupies the last 16 chapters. It’s a great story, recounted briefly by Stephen, the first Christian martyr, in Acts 7 just before being killed by stoning.

The exhibit below is a guide to reading and remembering the stories with references given for major events in the lives of all these chosen people. They are worth remembering because six times in the New Testament, God is described as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and we are told by Jesus in Matthew 8:11 that “…many will come from east and west and sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob at the feast in the kingdom of Heaven.”

This story ends with favorite son Joseph in a position of prominence and authority in Egypt when “there came to power in Egypt a new king who had never heard of Joseph.” (Exodus 1:8)  That is a preface to drama.

Click on the exhibit for a high resolution view.

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