Joseph in the Snake Pit
Rabbis are unanimous on the fact that the recorded history of Joseph in the Bible serves as a metaphor for the abandoning of Yosef by his brothers and the subsequent reconciliation of the 12 brothers – depicting the abandoning by Judah of 10-Israel (Joseph) and the subsequent future Reconciliation and Restoration of the 12-Tribed Kingdom of Israel. While the Rabbis today are still relatively unaware of the reality of the ‘Return of Joseph’ – viz. the reawakening of millions of Christians to their Hebrew Roots the world over as they return to Torah observance in stages – they (the Rabbis) present never ending enlightening commentaries on the Bible Readings (Parashot) from Joseph’s story in Genesis.
The following revelationary insight was derived at from the concepts presented in one such a Rabbinic commentary regarding Joseph in the Snake Pit – simply by applying the age-old Rabbinic insights into the Torah records to our existing insights into the True Gospel (as above).
Joseph’s brothers intended to kill him, but his brother Reuben wanted to save his life and suggested to his brothers:
Genesis 37:22, “Why should we shed any blood? Let’s just throw him (Joseph) into this empty cistern here in the wilderness. Then he’ll die without our laying a hand on him.” Reuben wassecretly planning to rescue Joseph and return (restore / save / deliver) him to his father.
Though the pit was empty, The Jewish Sage, Rashi, contemplates that the pit was full of snakes and scorpions. Now – why would Reuben knowingly attempt to save Joseph by throwing him into a snake pit? Because he knew that Joseph’s chances of survival would be so hopeless that only God could save him. He knew that, even though he was the firstborn, the birthright went to Joseph who, long after Reuben’s birth, was the first born of Rachel, Jacob’s beloved wife who had been barren until then. Reuben believed that God would therefore hear Joseph’s cries and save him.
We learn from Jewish Halacha how final this act of landing in a snake and scorpion pit really is. It defines that a woman may not remarry unless it is proven beyond any doubt that her husband (while she was married to him) had died. But, it gets complicated where the husband is “presumed dead.” Halacha in that case defines that, if her man was thrown in a lions den and no trace was found of him after, it does not prove beyond doubt that he was indeed killed by the lions. The lions may not have been hungry and would have allowed him to escape after which he went missing but may still be alive. But – if he was thrown into a snake and scorpion pit, she would be allowed to remarry as no one can escape alive out of such a situation. Only direct intervention by God could save such a soul.
Joseph depicts 10-Israel in exile (in spiritual Egypt) – with NO Hope of survival but being redeemed by God Himself! If he was thrown into a snake pit, there would be no reason for doubt. ONLY God Himself could rescue 10-Israel from this snake pit. ONLY if it was God HIMSELF Who died (in His Humanity as YAHU’SHUAH – while His Spirit Being lives on eternally – and as Kinsman Redeemer mandated to marry the widow). With some reapplication of this metaphor – and little doubt that it was intended as such – the Snake Pit symbolic applied to the Husband (in this case Yosef, representing the Lost House of Israel), also allows the widow to to remarry on basis of the assumed ‘proof’ of Death of her husband.