Some of you may have heard this statement: “The ark was built by amateurs, the Titanic was built by professionals.” Of course the ark saved the human race and many kinds of animals from extinction while the Titanic hit an iceberg and sank during its maiden voyage. The meaning of the saying is that those who obey God can accomplish more good than well trained professionals who rely on their own wisdom.
While I agree with the intent of this statement I wonder just how true it is. Was the ark built by amateurs? We are told nothing about how Noah made his living before building the ark. It is possible that he and his sons were professional shipbuilders. If this is so, then the ark and the Titanic were both built by professionals. Read the rest of this entry
Now Joseph had been brought down to Egypt, and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard, an Egyptian, had bought him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him down there.
Joseph’s brothers had sold him to a caravan of Ishmaelites who were on their way to Egypt. When the Ishmaelites reached Egypt they sold Joseph to Potiphar. We are told two things about him: he was the captain of Pharaoh’s guard and he was an Egyptian. Saying he was captain of the guard makes sense. It gives us some information about who Potiphar was. But saying he was an Egyptian seems redundant. He lived in Egypt and was an officer of Pharaoh. What could he be except an Egyptian?
The Bible says nothing about any king named Joseph. The Jews had 23 kings, beginning with Saul and ending with Zedekiah. The ten tribes that broke away had 20 kings, beginning with Jeroboam and ending with Hoshea. Many foreign kings are mentioned by name. None of these kings is named Joseph.
But there is one person in the Bible who had the right to call himself King Joseph.
If you read the Bible regularly you know that much of it consists of genealogies. Many of us find them uninteresting; we skim through them and wonder why they are in the Bible at all. But if we believe the Bible was inspired by God we must also believe that the genealogies are important or God wouldn’t have included them in the Bible in the first place.
We live in a culture which emphasizes individual rights and freedoms. Sometimes we focus so much on individuality that we forget we are also connected to others. The genealogies remind us of one of the most important connections, that of family.