Scriptural Analysis- Genesis 30:22-24

22 And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb.

23 And she conceived, and bare a son; and said, God hath taken away my reproach:

24 And she called his name Joseph; and said, The Lord shall add to me another son.

At long last the Lord saw fit for Rachel to conceive a child of her very own. After watching her sister and the two handmaids be able to what she could not, miraculously her womb was opened, and she gave birth to a son.

And Joseph is to become a mighty man, the greatest of all his brethren. Of course, it will be a long road before he realizes that, and first his brethren will despise and betray him. And it has occurred to me that Joseph might have always been the odd-one out because of his unique heritage. There were six sons born of Leah, two of Zilpah, and two of Bilhah. Thus, every one of the boys had at least one blood brother, except for Joseph.

Joseph would be the one and only son of Rachel until many years later. And having been born after all the other ten, he was surely much younger than the first ones. And that’s not all, there is also the fact that he was the favorite son, born of the favorite wife. Thus, there were many factors to isolate Joseph and make him despised of by his brethren, and it is little wonder that he ended up in such a complicated situation with them later on.

Scriptural Analysis- Genesis 27:41-42

41 And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.

42 And these words of Esau her elder son were told to Rebekah: and she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said unto him, Behold, thy brother Esau, as touching thee, doth comfort himself, purposing to kill thee.

The idea of feuding brothers seems to be a recurring theme in the Old Testament. First Cain and Abel, then Ishmael and Isaac, now Jacob and Esau. And in each of these cases either one of the brothers had to leave to preserve the peace, or else a death occurred.

Soon we will also have Joseph’s brothers contemplating murdering him and selling him into Egypt. It seems that Jesus was also rejected by his own brothers. In the Book of Mormon Nephi is conspired against by his brothers Laman and Lemuel. And multiple times we will hear of princes that slay their brethren to take the throne for themselves.

The feuding of brothers is representative of the struggle between all mankind. There is a natural competition within us. Perhaps every child is born equal, but quickly we become aware of all the things that we do not have, and we strive for the advantage over each other.

Even Jesus’s disciples had a competitive spirit, wondering which of them would be greatest in their master’s kingdom, and Jesus had to curtail that rivalry. He reproved them and also assured them with the words “In my Father’s house are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2). Which to me is a message of how Heaven is not like earth. Its resources and inheritances are infinite, so competition has no purpose. In Heaven there is room enough for us all.