Who were Joseph and His Brothers?
Joseph was the 11th and most loved son of Jacob and first son of his beloved second wife, Rachel. This is the story of Joseph and his older half brothers. Their entire story is found in Genesis 29-50.
Jacobís sons by his first wife Leah (Rachelís older sister):
By Bilhah (Rachelís handmaid -- given in Rachelís barrenness)
By Zilpah (Leahís handmaid -- given because Leah was jealous)
Rachel, who was Jacobís true love, was distraught that she could not give him children. She prayed, pleading with God to bless her with a child. After Leah had also given birth to a daughter named Dinah, God answered Rachelís prayers. She became pregnant and gave birth to her first son, Joseph (Genesis 30:22). Much later, she also gave birth to Josephís only full brother Benjamin, whom Jacob also loved a great deal.
Reuben (meaning He has seen my misery -- because Leah knew she wasnít Jacobís true love)
But all was not well. As Joseph grew older, it did not go unnoticed that Jacob greatly favored young Joseph. Joseph was a confident, Godly young man and didnít hesitate to tell his brothers of a dream that seemed to flaunt his supreme destiny. God revealed in these dreams that someday his brothers would bow to him. This certainly added more resentment to his brothersí increasingly jealousy. This jealousy resulted in the events that placed Joseph into slavery but ended with favor bestowed upon Joseph in Egypt. He was granted a high position by the Pharaoh that would later prove to be the salvation of his own brothers and father.
Joseph and his brothers were the ancestors of the 12 Tribes of Israel. From them and their descendants came the entire nation of Israel. Jacob was Abrahamís grandson. Joseph returned to Canaan, the Promised Land that God proclaimed for all of Abrahamís descendants. We can see in the list below how important this family of sons has been to produce some of the greatest people in the history of Christianity.
The sons are listed first, with the descendants following:
Reuben ----- none
Simeon ----- none
Levi ----- Aaron, Moses, Eli, John the Baptist
Judah ----- David, Jesus
Dan ----- Samson
Naphtali ----- Barak, Elijah were from the land of Naphtali
Gad ----- Jephthah were from the land of Gad
Asher ----- none
Issachar ----- none
Zebulun ----- none
Joseph ----- Joshua, Gideon, Samuel
Benjamin ----- Saul, Esther, Paul
Joseph in the Bible - Learn the Story!
Like this information? Help us by sharing it with others using the social media buttons below.