Allegorical Reflection on Genesis 46:1-4

Genesis 46:1-4

 “And Israel taking his journey, with all that he had, came to the well of the oath, and killing victims there to the God of his father Isaac, He heard him by a vision in the night calling him, and saying to him: Jacob, Jacob. And he answered him: Lo, here I am. God said to him: I am the most mighty God of thy father: fear not, go down into Egypt, for I will make a great nation of thee there. I will go down with thee thither, and will bring thee back again from thence: Joseph also shall put his hands upon thy eyes.”

Literal Sense: Jacob was commanded by God in a vision to go to the land of Egypt in order to become a great nation and after a period of time he will return to the Promised Land.

Allegorical Sense: As Jacob is the founder of the nation of Israel, Jesus is the founder of Christians. Jacob was called by the Father to leave the Promised Land, a type of heaven, and go to Egypt, a type of the world. In like manner, Jesus was called by the Father to leave heaven and enter into this world and as Jacob was told he would be brought back to the Promised Land after living in Egypt, Jesus returned to heaven after his exile on earth.

Notice how the Scripture notes Jacob’s readiness to respond to God’s call as he says “Lo, here I am”. Is it not the same with the Lord Jesus Christ, when he was called to enter into earthly service for the Father, Who declared: “[t]hen said I: Behold, I come to do thy will, O God” (Hebrews 10:9)?

This Scripture is also careful to note that Joseph, the offspring of Jacob will put his hands upon his eyes, undoubtedly a privilege for a son who did not know if he would see his father again. This was fitting since the Apostles, the offspring of Jesus, were privileged to touch the Lord Jesus in his earthly ministry as the Apostle John says: “[t]hat which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the word of life” (1 John 1:1).

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