One of the mistakes of parenting among some of the early biblical characters was of showing favoritism among their children. Joseph being the first-born of Jacob’s late favorite wife, Rachel was Jacob’s favorite son. His early life was one of pride and arrogance.
Joseph’s dreams purporting him to be superior to his family members and the gift from his father of the coat of many colors depicting royalty fueled the flames of jealousy and envy among his brothers.
At the age of seventeen, Joseph was sent by his father to check on the welfare of his brothers who were tending the flocks more than fifty miles from home. Through a series of events brought on by their envy, Joseph’s brothers sold him to a caravan of Ishmaelite/Midianite traders. They deceived their father into thinking that Joseph had been killed by a wild animal.
During this period of time, levirate marriage was practiced. If a man died without leaving seed to carry his name, his brother or nearest male kinsman was required to marry his widow.
Judah’s firstborn son, Er was a wicked man and God took his life before he had a son. Through a series of events and a failed promise, Tamar, Er’s widow dressed as a harlot and enticed Judah. Through this union, twin sons were born. The firstborn was Perez and he eventually figured in the earthly lineage of Jesus.
We shall see in succeeding studies how God’s providence worked through these events and through the sale of Joseph into the Egyptian household of Potiphar, an officer of King Pharaoh. Joseph would indeed save Israel and his children from starvation.