Abram was the first in scripture to be called 'Hebrew'. Why? What does it mean? Is it only referring to the lineage that Abram descended from? Or, is there an understanding of this discriptive term that also applies to us, as Believers In Christ? This writing explores this concept.
The Sons of Jacob / Israel
Joseph; All For One, and One For All.
As We now try to continue with the on-going saga of Jacob/Israel, and the continued accumulation of sons brought forth from the union of Jacob with Leah, and the two hand-maidens that were gifts from Laban, the father of Leah and Rachel. For it is Rachel, the one ‘true love’ that got Jacob entangled into this circus of activity, and Rachel has yet to conceive, and bear a son to validate the union of Jacob and Rachel. And Rachel is still under intense personal pressure, from herself, to produce a son, and heir, for her husband. Her sister, Leah, has not only produced six sons, potential heirs of the family birthright, but she has also produced a daughter, Dinah, as if to emphasize to Rachel, that Rachel not only has not produced a son, but she also hasn’t even produced a daughter. All of the women with which Rachel has had to ‘share’ her husband have produced sons for Jacob, but the most legitimate object of Jacob’s love and affection, Rachel, is still barren.
KJV Genesis 30:22 And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb.
The apparent pregnancy and pending birth for Rachel must have caused quite the commotion and scurry of excitement in Jacobville, that community of wives and offspring that all found their identity and sustenance in union with Jacob, ‘son of Isaac’. All of these people lived in the geography overseen by Laban the Syrian of Padan-Aram. So the news of a pending birth to Jacob, husband to Rachel, would also be noteworthy to the household of Laban.
KJV Genesis 30:23 And she conceived, and bore a son; and said, “God hath taken away (asaph) my reproach.”
This verse unveils a remarkable bit of information that has been scarcely, if at all, discussed in circles of Bible students. For in this very statement uttered by Rachel, “God has taken away (asaph) my reproach”, is revealed in the name of her first-born son Joseph; or, ‘Yoseph”. We will discuss this further, but first we must consider, or at least acknowledge the verse that most in Bible study circles have considered to be the revealing of why Rachel declared the name of her firstborn to be Joseph.
KJV Genesis 30:24 and she called his name Joseph; and said, “The LORD shall add (yoseph) to me another son.”
We have endeavored to discover the Spiritual value revealed in the names of these first ten sons of Jacob. Some of these names have yielded some quite valuable bits of Spiritual insight. And if all of these previous sons of Jacob were given names that were valuable to communicate to us Spiritual information that proves to be of importance in this portion of this God pageant of the scriptures, and continues to be of importance later on in the scriptures as we pursue our journey from ‘adam’ to Christ, of how much more value could the name of ‘Joseph’ (Yo-seph as pronounced in the Hebrew vernacular) prove to be in expanding our Spiritual understanding and appreciation of this magnificent pageant which Our Father, the Holy Spirit of Truth in Love, has laid out and orchestrated for our behalf?
All Hebrew words/names we investigate are derived from action/verbs that are composed of three letters. These ‘three-letter’ action verbs describe activity, and when we can discern, by Holy Spirit Revelation, the motive or motivation that is the impetus that reveals the purpose which is the driving force to impose or impart a particular, or specific verb/activity, we are drawing much closer to ‘seeing’ the Heart of God, and we can grasp the intent and purpose that this verb activity is attempting to bring about, and reveal to us.
I know of no better description of the name ‘Yoseph’, “Joseph”, which I can share than to include a writing that I did on this subject/name a few years back. So, I will plagiarize myself from a previous article that I believe communicates, more effectively, this idea surrounding the name Joseph “Yoseph”.
What could possibly be the connection between Joseph, Asaph, doors, thresholds, gates, reeds and the Red Sea? Only religion could so confuse the simplicity of God’s Word to us that we could spend two thousand years (2 days?) wandering in the wilderness of misunderstanding, and be so blinded from such a simple truth. When Yashua appeared as Messiah his ‘assignment’ was to reveal to us the plain and uncomplicated reality of the Kingdom of God within. And according to John, chapter 17, he did exactly as Our Father had asked him to do. He manifested Father before us, severing us from the stronghold of satanic carnality. Even so, religion still had a role to play in keeping us in a 2-day pageant (two thousand years?) until it was time for us to see (sea?), for ourselves, the foolishness that religion has perpetrated on humanity. The timing of God’s Pageant is flawless, and cannot be improved upon. We have currently entered into the Third Day (as I am able to understand it), and it is now time for us to move on, and to move up. Come with me as we ascend in our heavenly understanding of who, and whose, we are. “Come up here!” [Rev. 4:1”]
Joseph, the 11th son of Jacob, has a very unique role to play in our journey from Adam to Christ. The name ‘Joseph’, in Hebrew, is ‘yo-seyph’, and is referenced in Strong’s Concordance as #3130. The name ‘yo-seyph’ (Joseph) is derived from the primary root ‘sa-phaph’, and for you researchers, is Strong’s #5605. ‘sa-phaph’, as a primary root, is only used one time in the Old Testament. That singular use of ‘sa-phaph’ is in Psalm 84:10 where it is translated as “doorkeeper”. If I am able to communicate this concept accurately, hopefully we can discover that the root ‘sa-phaph’ is not a reference to an actual doorkeeper, but something much more revealing and personal to us individually. Can it be that the use of the word ‘doorkeeper’, was referring to the opportunity, or assignment, to guard, so as to keep safe and to make available (to whom so ever will) access the ‘doorway’ to the House of God? Not a physical door or gate or threshold of a physical structure, but access to the Spiritual Threshold and gate and Door to the Spirit Kingdom of God within, which is of course “the House of God”, and to keep that ‘Way’ available and safe and open to as many as will be “Asaph” ‘Yoseph’, or ‘added’ to the House of God?! That just makes a lot more sense to me.
The Hebrew word ‘sa-phaph’, and all of the words that are derived from this primary root, infer and refer to a container that contains an experience or understanding of dearest value, and/or the doorways and thresholds and gates that are the access points of that valued experience, or understanding. The inference of the words derived from ‘sa-phaph’ is not the importance of the containers, or even the access points, but rather to the valuable substance or experience or understanding that is contained in or made accessible via these doors and gates and thresholds, etc. I meditated and mused on this concept while studying this word ‘asaph’, ‘yasaph’, ‘yoseph’, and Joseph, for all of these words are derived from the same root concept. How much meaning and purpose now I can see in the old custom of a Bridegroom sweeping up his Bride into his arms, and carrying her across the threshold (asaph) into their new home together as Bride and Bridegroom have now become One. Hope that makes sense to you.
Maybe the most effective notation for describing the use of the word ‘sa-phaph’ is to say that this word is referring to a location or containment of a valuable substance, or understanding or experience. To be “gathered together”, in one collective or locale or condition or mentality, is what the word ‘Asaph’ is describing. And Asaph is also a very important prophetic character in the Old Testament.
The first use of the word ‘sa-phaph’ I can find is in Gen. 6:21 where the simpler form ‘asaph’ is translated as “…thou shalt gather”. This word is also used in Gen. 49:1 where Jacob, (not Israel), called for his sons to “Gather yourselves together…”. Jacob told them literally to ‘asaph’. This word ‘sa-phaph’ is used many, many times throughout the Old Testament, and in many forms. And in all of these uses of this Hebrew verb, the idea of gathering together, a common interest or value is conveyed. But the word is also translated as ‘threshold’, ‘basin’, ‘door’, ‘posts’ (as doorposts), and ‘cup’. The word is obviously not describing all of these different objects, but that which is desirable that is contained in these objects, or made accessible through or beyond these objects.
Joseph, the 11th son of Jacob, was destined to ascend beyond all of the previous sons of Jacob; in importance, and in results. Joseph was sold into slavery to Ishmaelites by his older brother Judah. And Judah, with the help of Reuben, did so in effort to get rid of Joseph (Yo-seyph) without bringing murder onto the heads of the sons of Jacob. So Joseph (yo-seyph) was sold for 20 pieces of silver. It is worthy to note here that the word ‘silver’ is also from this primary root ‘sa-phaph’. Silver, ‘keh-seph’ in Hebrew (Strong’s #3701) is also referring to a recognized value; and many recognize that ‘keh-seph’, or ‘silver’, is symbolic of Redemption. ‘Yo-seyph’ was sold for ‘keh-seph’ (silver), just as the Messiah would later be sold for silver. As we all know, Joseph ascended to the throne of Pharaoh, essentially becoming king in all of Egypt. Joseph (yo-seyph) was the vehicle employed to ‘add’ (asaph) the family of Jacob to those that would survive the coming apocalypse of famines. That also sounds like ‘Redemption’ to me. For God, Our Father, knows the end of the story before the story begins.
A valuable mystery to investigate at this time is the correlation between ‘sa-phaph’ and the Red Sea. The Hebrew word for ‘red’ in ‘Red Sea’ is ‘suf’ (soof), and is Strong’s #5488 for the Bereans in our midst. Red Sea in Hebrew is ‘yahm suf’, or literally “Sea of Suph”. The Hebrew word ‘suph’, referenced as Strong’s #s 5486, 5488 and 5489, according to Gesenius’ Hebrew Dictionary/Lexicon, is best recognized as an opportunity, to ‘’cut off, or separate, or to be snatched away from one experience so that another experience may begin, or be accessed. That is my paraphrase (‘Alan’), but I trust it implicitly. And how ironic that most of the Spiritual goals we strive for, are first accessed by the confession of the words of our mouth, originating in our hearts. Seems to fit for me.
From this concept it is reasonable to realize that the ‘sea of suph’ was a basin in which to be drowned, or baptized into, or to pass through, depending on whatever your assignment, or to that which you were qualified. One in our midst has often referred to the Red Sea as a sea of red ink. How appropriate.
How Wright that description is. The various forms of the verb ‘sa-phaph’ have been used to refer to being gathered together into a common identity, or experience or reality or value; or to being consumed and/or to being cut off and/or finding escape from certain experiences or destinations. What a versatile word. It is also used to refer to the location or access points (doors, gates, basins, or thresholds) at which those experiences can be obtained. But the most interesting aspect of this word ‘sa-phaph’, at least to me, is the idea that all the different forms of this word end with the letter ‘pey’. ‘Pey’, the seventeenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, is symbolized by the mouth, and indicative of the importance of the words that we speak. Words that begin with, or end with, pey are usually emphasizing how we are affected or influenced by what words come out of our mouth. And we know from scripture that the words that we speak are because of the abundance of what is in our heart (Matt. 12:34)
The word ‘sea’ therefore can be referring to a mindset or mentality of humanity that is easily agitated and fomented by whatever wind (spirit) of doctrine or confusion is available to churn up our waters. The ‘sea’ of humanity is frantic and emotionally distraught because of the abundance of their/our hearts, which eventually comes out of the mouths. Only one Spirit, the Wholly Spirit of Truth in Love, which Yashua referred to as “My Father”, has the ability and assignment to still the storms which rage in our ‘sea of humanity’. How appropriate that Yashua illustrated for us the ability to “walk above” the furor and restlessness of the ‘sea of humanity’. Can we learn from this illustration? I think so. Yashua, our Redeemer, has baptized us all into His death to the ‘Suf Sea’ of humanity, cutting us off from the legitimate claim that satanic carnality has upon us, and Yashua has brought us resurrected out from the death of the ‘sea of humanity’, and placed us safely on the other side on dry ground, and gathered us (asaph) into One Spirit, and introduced us to His Father, and Our Father. And Our Father is inviting us to accept this ‘gathering together’ via the confession of faith from our own mouths.
I hope this stirs your imagination and understanding of Who, and Whose, we are in Christ. And how we appropriate and gain that benefit.
I might sum up this description of the Spiritual value revealed in Yoseph in that we all, ultimately, impact or influence our own Spiritual journeys by the words of our mouths, coming from the abundance of our hearts. And likewise, Yoseph (our own confessions) becomes the most critical reality ‘identity’ on our journey from ‘adam’ to ‘Christ’, and is only followed and superseded by Benjamin (Ben Yamin), which is quite literally, the right (Wright?) to be the Son. Does God, Our Father have a ‘right’ hand, versus a ‘left’ hand? Is the ‘left hand’ of God inferior to the ‘right hand’ of God? Translating the Wholly Spirit Truth of the scriptures into western religion ideas sure has caused a lot of confusion and turmoil in our existence. May the carnality of ‘religion’ lose its grip on the mind of man that the Wholly Spirit of Truth in Love man now bring us all into the ‘asaph’ of Our Heavenly Father. Amen, and Amen!