This, then, is the line of Jacob: At seventeen years of age, Joseph tended the flocks with his brothers, as a helper to the sons of his father’s wives Bilhah and Zilpah. And Joseph brought bad reports of them to their father.
The listing of Yaakov’s children should have begun with Reuven. The reason it begins with Yosef is due to the many similarities between Yaakov and Yosef.
1. Both were born circumcised
2. Both their mothers were sterile
3. Both their mothers gave birth to 2 children
4. Both were the firstborn
5. Both their mothers had a difficult childbirth
6. Both had brothers who hated them
7. Both had brothers who tried to kill them
8. Both were shepherds.
9. Both were hated
10. Both were blessed with wealth
11. Both left Eretz Yisrael
12. Both married women from outside of Eretz Yisrael
13. Both had children outside of Eretz Yisrael
14. Both associated with kings
15. Both were successful after having dreams
16. Both their in-laws houses were blessed in their merit
17. Both went down to Egypt
18. Both stopped a famine
19. Both fed people
20. Both had power
21. Both died in Egypt
22. Both were embalmed
23. Both were taken from Egypt to Eretz Yisrael for burial
(Bereshit Rabbah 84:6, Targum Yonathan, Zohar on Vayechi)
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Dedicated Today L'iluy Ratza Bat Baruch
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