Genesis Torah Pattern
The Torah is the Jewish word for the first five books of the Bible. We call those books the Pentateuch. Pente is Greek for “five”; teuchos is Greek for “scroll” or “book.”
Brother J. R. Church, a Baptist minister, noted separate themes in each of the books of the Torah. Each of these five books has a distinct theme:
The Torah pattern repeats itself. For example, the Genesis theme, “Beginning and the Sin of Man,” can be found in chapters 1, 6, 11, 16, 21, 26, etc. of each of the books of the Torah. The Exodus theme can be found in chapters 2, 7, 12, 17, 22, 27, etc. of each of the books of the Torah.
- Genesis – Beginning and the Sin of man
- Exodus – Deliverance and Redemption
- Leviticus – Sanctification or Setting Apart
- Numbers – Testing, Focus on Sin
- Deuteronomy - Summation, Judgment, Establishment of the Kingdom
Chapters 37 through 50 of Genesis, which largely describe the life of Joseph, are actually concerned with the preservation of the lineage, or seed, of Abraham. Joseph stated that even though his brothers meant his sale into slavery for evil, the Lord intended it for the saving of many people. Those people were specifically the Children of Israel.
I would like to demonstrate the Torah pattern as found in these fourteen important chapters. This pattern is in all of Genesis, but I will start with chapter 36, which is about Esau marrying pagan women in disregard for the wishes of his parents.
Genesis Chapter with Torah themes noted:
The Torah pattern is found throughout the Bible, both the Old Testament and the New Testament. It assists in understanding the meaning of specific chapters by showing the greater pattern.
- 36 – Sin of man – Esau sinned by rebelling against his parents
- 37 – Deliverance – Joseph was delivered from death by his brother, Reuben
- 38 – Set apart – Tamar is set apart because she preserved the lineage of Judah
- 39 – Testing – The Devil tested Joseph by Potiphar’s wife
- 40 – Judgment – Pharaoh’s butler and the baker are judged as foretold by Joseph
- 41 – Beginning – the beginning of the famine is foretold by Joseph
- 42 – Deliverance – Jacob and his family are delivered from starvation by food from Egypt
- 43 – Set Part – Joseph sets his brother, Benjamin, apart from the other brothers
- 44 – Testing – Joseph tests his brothers to see if they have changed (they had)
- 45 – Summation – Joseph reveals himself to his brothers and explains all that happened
- 46 – Beginning – the children of Israel (Jacob) begin their sojourn in Egypt
- 47 – Deliverance – all of Egypt is delivered from the famine by Joseph
- 48 – Set Apart – Jacob makes the sons of Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim, to be the heads of two tribes, thereby giving Joseph a double blessing over his brothers
- 49 – Focus on Sin – Jacob blesses his sons and recounts many of their sins in the process
- 50 – Summation – the death of Jacob causes the brothers to fear Joseph – Joseph sums it up by explaining that their intent was evil, but the Lord intended it for good
Joseph is a foreshadow of the Lord Jesus. Some scholars have noted fifty or sixty parallels between the lives of Joseph and Jesus while He was here on earth. One of the easiest parallels to see is the fact that Joseph always answered only to the person in charge; his father, Potiphar, the jailer and ultimately Pharaoh. The Lord Jesus only answers to God.
Chapter 50 of Genesis saves the best foreshadow for last. In this chapter Joseph, knowing that they would return to the Promised Land, instructs the Children of Israel to take his bones with them when they leave. It is not in the Bible, but Joseph had to have been given an impressive tomb by Egypt since he was the second most important person in the land, second only to Pharaoh. But Joseph’s tomb is empty!
Praise the Lord for His Holy Word and for all the things that He shows us by His Word!
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