"My Gray Hairs to Sheol"
Joseph, sold into slavery in Egypt, was under Divine supervision. His
trials and difficulties worked for his development and faith. God
ultimately honored him in Egypt with a position second only to Pharaoh. In
harmony with his dream, there were seven years of plenty, and then seven
years of drought and famine. Acting under the guidance of his dream, as
the king's agent, Joseph stored up wheat enough in the first seven years
to carry the people over the famine. Thus Joseph was their
Joseph was a type of Jesus who, rejected by His brethren, the Jewish
nation, was exalted by the Heavenly Father to be next to Himself in glory
and power. Joseph was the life- preserver, bread-giver, to the Egyptians.
Jesus is yet to be the life-preserver of the world of mankind during His
reign, giving the willing and obedient the Bread of everlasting life.
The famine affected Jacob's family. The ten sons went to Egypt to buy
wheat, and knew not Joseph as Pharaoh's prince. Joseph asked if they were
not spies, and inquired about their family matters. Then he gave them
wheat, telling them that the famine would continue, and they would need
more wheat, but that if they came again, and hoped to receive it, their
younger brother Benjamin must come with them to prove their story.
Benjamin was Joseph's full brother.
When the time came to journey to Egypt for more wheat, Jacob refused to
let Benjamin go, until the others refused to go without him. He then said,
Take the lad; but if you do not bring him back to me alive, it will mean
my death; it will bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to Sheol--the
This is the second occurrence in the Bible of the word Sheol, which
really signifies the tomb, but is mistranslated hell thirty-one times in
our Common Version. It is the only word rendered hell in the Bible for
4,150 years after Adam's fall. Hades is the New Testament equivalent for
Sheol. See St. Peter's quotation of Psalm 16:10 in Acts 2:27.
Jacob Blessing Joseph's Sons