Monday, March 21, 2011

The Evidence for Joseph - Genesis 37:3

"Now Israel (Jacob) loved Joseph more than all his sons, because he was the son of his old age, and he made him a coat of many colors." Genesis 37:3

Over a dozen years ago I was introduced to an amazing book, Pharaoh of the Kings, by Keith Small, a fellow graduate of Dallas Seminary, and an evangelical scholar in regard to the Quran. The book was actually written by a British Egyptologist named David Rohl. Rohl discovered that the accepted scholarly chronology for Egyptian history was fatally flawed. He figured out, quite unintentionally, that the biblical record of Egyptian history was complete accurate, and the conventional dating of Egyptian history was seriously wrong. This is not the first time that the Bible has been vindicated by archeology and unbiased historical research, and it won't be the last. But Rohl's story of how he discovered the truth and found the Bible to be entirely true is breathtaking. I have read the account more than once, and every time I do, I lapse into praise for God's sovereign preservation of the truth through His Word. But what I want to focus on in this post is how the person of Joseph is confirmed by Rohl's research.

A lot of scholars and researchers in the last couple of centuries have doubted the existence of biblical figures like Abraham, David and Joseph. The discovery of the Ebla tablets confirmed the life of Abraham. Several years ago a royal artifact was found in Israel referring to the "house of David", and then Rohl comes along to discover the tomb of Joseph in exactly the area of Egypt we would expect it to be.

The Bible tells us that Joseph was initially buried in Egypt (Genesis 50:25-26), but his bones were carried to the Promised Land per his instructions (Exodus 13:19). So, if the tomb of Joseph was found, it should not contain any bodies or coffins, but it should give evidence of his life and success, and that is exactly what Rohl found.

Rohl discovered a tomb with a statue of a man sitting on a regal perch with a non-Egyptian haircut, a "throw stick" in his hand (a symbol that he was a foreigner), skin color different from Egyptians, and best of all, a coat of many colors. The statue had been vandalized, not surprisingly, but all the evidence points decisively to it being the tomb of Joseph.

I am not doing justice to the overwhelming body of evidence that Rohl uncovers and lays out in his book. But suffice it to say, there is no doubt that Joseph lived and was as wildly successful as the Bible says. There is also no doubt that once again we should trust the Bible no matter what men propose or say differently. God's Word is truly magnificent in its accuracy, even in the details of a man's garment. The lesson is this, don't doubt God's Word! As Paul says, "...let God be found true, though every man be found a liar..." (Romans 3:4). Amen!

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