JOSEPH, FATHER of JESUS
NT Bible Story - Part 1
Dr. Ben Carson received a lot of unfavorable publicity early in his campaign to become President of the United States because of his stated belief that the Biblical story of Joseph son of Jacob was true, that there was indeed a 7-year famine in Egypt in the days of Joseph, and that one or several pyramids was connected in some way with the storage of grain supervised by Joseph.
In this part of the discussion of the life of the Biblical JOSEPH I will show how MATTHEW, one of the GOSPEL AUTHORS of the New Testament tries to create in our minds a picture of the Biblical Joseph son of Jacob of the Old Testament as Joseph father of Jesus Christ of the New Testament. He attempts to do this by parallelism, hints, and allusions, but not outright. Both Matthew and Joseph the father of Jesus Christ and also Jesus Christ himself were all Essenes, and the Essenes were very good at this sort of thing.
Genesis 37:2 "These are the generations of Jacob.
"Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren, and the lad was with with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives; and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report."
3 "Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colors."
4 "And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him."
In the story of the Old Testament Joseph, his jealous brothers -- whose names and histories are given in Genesis 29 and 30 --
--are sheep-herders, watching the flocks of their father Jacob in a place called Dothan --
---they throw Joseph into a pit, because Reuben, intending to save Joseph from the wrath of his other brothers, talks them out of killing him right away when Joseph shows up to check on them while they are tending sheep.
---While Reuben is elsewhere, the other brothers sell Joseph to a group of Midianite merchantmen in a caravan, for 20 pieces of silver, who take him to Egypt as a slave.
To cover up what they have done, they dip Joseph's coat of many colors in the blood of the kid of a goat, and show it to Jacob, saying they found it in their grazing area.
Genesis 37:33 "And he knew it, and said, It is my son's coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces."
In the New Testament, all the gospels end with Jesus Christ, the son of "Joseph" being crucified, and his blood is "shown" to all of us, and in Paul's version of this Gospel we are all asked to believe that Christ's blood covers all our sins, because Christ's Father, Jehovah, accepts this blood, which was shed in our behalf.
Although Joseph did not die, Jacob thought he had died, and that becomes the important part of this analogy.
Also, in the gospel analogies of the Joseph story replayed in the life and crucifixion of Jesus, Judas Iscariot is paid 30 pieces of silver to betray Jesus (in place of the 20 pieces of silver Joseph's brothers received for betraying him to the Midianite merchant men).
Genesis 37:28 "Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt."
IF THE NEW TESTAMENT ANALOGY
IS TO CONTINUE, JOSEPH THE FATHER
OF JESUS MUST ALSO GO INTO EGYPT!
This painting by Tissot shows Joseph, Mary, and the baby Jesus
(passing a camel skeleton) on their way to Egypt.
Only Matthew of all the Gospel Writers records that
Joseph, Mary, or Jesus ever spent any time in Egypt.
Matthew couples this story with the story of the Star of
Bethlehem and the Wise Men of the East, also unique
to Matthew. No one else tells these stories either!
Matthew 2:1 "Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, --"
These Wise Men are often pictured as KINGS (three of
them) although no where in the Bible are they described this way.
2 "Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him."
3 "When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him."
4 "And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he determined, he demanded of them where Christ should be born."
5 "And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, --
6 "And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel."
7 "Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared."
8 "And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child and when you have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also."
9 "When they had heard the king, they departed: and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was,"
10 "When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy."
11 "And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh."
12 "And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way."
13 "And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the yoiung child to destroy him."
14 "When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt;
15 "And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son."
16 "Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and went forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men."
17 "Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying,---"
18 "In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, because they are not."
Here's a map of the supposed route of Joseph, Mary, and Jesus's flight to and from Egypt, supposedly starting to and from Nazareth in Galilee, and returning to Nazareth in Galilee. However, those who take the Essene "bait" are being led astray.
Notice that in the Matthew story, the WISE MEN come to Jerusalem, not Nazareth in Galilee, and Herod sends them to Bethlehem, because Hosea says that's where they should look. The star leads them to Bethlehem, not Nazareth in Galilee, and after worshipping the "young child" (no longer a baby) they go home without consulting Herod. Herod kills children in Bethlehem, not Nazareth of Galilee. So, if Joseph, Mary, and Jesus even started on a trip to Egypt, they started from Bethlehem!
Bethlehem borders on the Wilderness of Judea, in which is the Qumran Monastery, and the caves in which were found the Dead Sea Scrolls (now carefully ignored by virtually all Christian theologians). The EGYPT to which Joseph fled from Bethlehem was the EGYPT to which he had fled many times before -- it was QUMRAN! And there he stayed until Herod the Great was no longer a threat to his first-born child JESUS.
Many artists show the "Star of Bethlehem" still shining in the night sky as the "Holy Family" are fleeing to Egypt. Indeed, this may have been true, for this star, a planetary conjunction that occurred 3 times in 7 BC, was the one that Babylonian Magi were circulating cuneiform letters around among astrologers in other lands as being a "sign" that a deliverer from their oppressive Roman overlords was indeed to be born in that year (7 BC).
Jesus was clearly old enough to be carried on Mary's shoulders, as this picture suggests, after Herod died in 4 BC, and the family could "return from Egypt" as Matthew suggests in his gospel. However, since Qumran and a 6 Kilometer stretch of caves and a fresh-water artesian well and other sites (designated as "Egypt" by the Essenes) was only a 7 mile walk from Bethlehem, then it was not nearly as difficult a journey, nor as long, as tradition has made it. The Coptics, of course, have traditions of lots of miracles that Jesus, as an infant and 3 year old child, performed in their country, the real Egypt.
Drawing of the Essenes at the Qumran monastery ready to eat a meal. The scrolls found hidden in the caves by the Dead Sea give their regulations and doctrines and rituals. Mary and Jesus could not, of course, live in this monastery, for it was only for celibate men. But they could live in any one of hundreds of caves in this area, and not be found by either Herod the Great or his soldiers.
If any babies "two years old or under" were actually killed in Bethlehem (which is highly unlikely) Jesus was not among them because he was spending his infancy in a hidden cave seven miles away, with his mother, and (sometimes) his father "Joseph". Joseph son of Jacob-Israel lived a large part of his life in the Real Egypt. Joseph father of Jesus Christ lived most of 3 years at Qumran-Egypt hiding from Herod the Great.
What probably did NOT happen!
So What's Matthew UP TO, anyway?
Answer: He's stretching allusion past what we might consider to be appropriate, a common trait of the Essenes.
Since to the Essenes, part of their territory was "Egypt" (the part where Mary and Jesus were living) then Herod (as "Pharaoh") was entitled to slay some babies, as an Egyptian Pharaoh in the days of Moses had done. And Jesus, as the new "Moses" of Matthew's era, will then escape (by hiding in a cave) as the original Moses had escaped by hiding in a woven reed ark hidden in the Nile River in the bulrushes. To be found and saved by Pharaoh's daughter.
Exodus 1:22 "And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.
Exodus 2:1 "And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi."
2 "And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months."
3 "And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river's brink."
As the "New Moses", Matthew pictures Jesus as obtaining from God a new set of "Commandments" more relevant to his age or era. Matthew 5:1 "And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain (not Sinai but Qumran): and when he was set, his disciples (12, like Joseph and his 11 brothers) came unto him:
2 "And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,--"
3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit: (the Essenes called themselves "the Poor"), for their's is the kingdom of heaven."
There's a certain correspondence here between this part of the "New Testament Joseph" story and what has happened in 2015 in Dr. Ben Carson's run for President. Surely a man who dreams of being President of the United States is dreaming of a position in which all his "brethren" would see him as "reigning over them". And that not only his Republican rivals, but quite predictably most of the Democrats would envy him if he achieved marked success in the polls. Which was indeed the case, and this does indeed create quite a bit of hostility in the LGBT community and others who do not see Christian beliefs as being compatible with being president.