Let’s follow the age of Joseph since Scripture reveals many timing markers.

17 years old – Genesis 37:2

30 years old – Genesis 41:46

+7 years – (Feast) Genesis 41:47

+2 years – (Famine) Genesis 45:6

Here we can add together the timing markers and discover that Joseph is 56 years old. We also learn that Jacob is 130 years old  – Genesis 47:9 – (Therefore Jacob was about 74 when Joseph was born.)

Add 17 years – Genesis 47:28

Joseph is 73 years old and Jacob is 147 years old. At this age Jacob passes away and Joseph lives 37 more years until he is 110.

My intention is not to extrapolate a hidden truth or deep insight from the ages of Joseph and Jacob. I just wanted to record the ages we are given and fill in the rest. The revelation of many character-specific timing markers is infrequent so the ages of Jacob and Joseph must be of great importance. Is there anything in these timing markers that you found intriguing? The only thing that stood out to me is that Joseph, who we understand to be a messianic figure, becomes viceroy over all of Egypt at age 30, which is the same age Yeshua began his ministry. (Lk. 3:23)

In my opinion, the most perplexing passage thus far in the Torah has been the record of Jacob’s blessings and how they relate to the “days to come.” (Gn. 49:1) It is clear that the blessings are poetic and prophetic; however, they are complex.  Benjamin’s blessing, for example, appears unfitting. Joseph treats him better than all of his other brothers and yet he receives a blessing about being a ravenous wolf. (This could be why Joseph gave him 5 times as much food at the banquet but most scholars disagree with this speculation.) It would seem that Benjamin’s blessing is meant for the future and is not a current description.

The blessing for Dan has a unique verse at the end:

“I wait for your salvation, O L-rd.” Genesis 49:18

This verse sounds similar to:

 “Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the G-d of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.” Psalms 25:5

“But as for me, I will look to the L-rd; I will wait for the G-d of my salvation; my G-d will hear me.” Micah 7:7

The placement of the verse is fascinating because it is in the midst of the blessings but it does not seem to be part of the blessing. Also, it is strategically placed in the seventh blessing. We should all know that the number seven is significant. (Think about Shabbat! G-d literally rested on the seventh day!) In this placement we see the verse is between the blessing for Dan and Gad. Where else do we read about the positioning of the tribes? Numbers chapter 2 records the positions of the tribal encampment. In Numbers we see that Dan is encamped to the North and Gad is encamped to the South. The tribe of Judah is encamped to the East, between Dan and Gad! Issachar and Zebulun are also encamped with Judah and of course the encampments to the west would be between North and South but I thought this was interesting nonetheless.

The sages say that when Rachael forfeited a night with Jacob for mandrakes she lost the right to be buried with him. Regardless of the reason, it amazing that Jacob ends up being buried with Leah! For it was through Leah that Messiah, the Lion of Judah, was born! This means that everyone in the cave at Machpelah is an ancestor of Messiah.

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the L-RD’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21

In conclusion, ponder this amazing demonstration of G-d’s faithfulness, grace, and love:

“And Israel said to Joseph, ‘I never expected to see your face; and behold, G-d has let me see your offspring also.’” Genesis 48:11

We may be angry, frustrated, or discontent with our current situation. We may even question His promises, but the verse above is proof that what seems impossible to us is possible for Him. What we feel like we deserve may be significantly less then what G-d wants to give. If you obey, He will bless. That is His promise. (Deut. 30:16) G-d blessed Israel with more than he could have thought or asked (Eph. 3:20) and the same is possible for us if we walk in obedience and faith. (Deut. 11:13-15)