The following is based on Genesis 25:19 – 36:43; Matthew 1:1-2; Luke 3:33-37 (Complete Jewish Bible and New International Version)
Keep remembering that the Bible was not meant to be a world history. It is a historical record of what happened in one family line. And though Adam and Eve had many other sons and daughters after they were commanded to leave their perfect home in the Garden of Eden, the only “branch” on the family tree that is traced completely in the Bible is the lineage that runs from Seth to Jesus, son of Mary … Son of God.
So far we’ve seen this much of Adam and Eve’s family tree:
Adam and Eve ==> Seth ==> Noah ==> Shem ==> (Abram & Sarai) ==> Abraham and Sarah ==> Isaac ==> Jacob ==> Judah
And this is where we left off:
TWO VERY IMPORTANT EVENTS:
1. Jacob became the father of 12 sons. (Genesis 29:31 – 30:24 and 35:16-18)
2. Jacob’s name was changed to ISRAEL! (Genesis 32:28)
From that moment on, the descendants of Jacob’s 12 sons would be collectively called the nation of ISRAEL.
From this point, Jacob is primarily called “Israel” in scripture, and his descendants are called “Israelites.” From Jacob and his four wives came twelve sons — the twelve tribes of Israel. The rest of the Old Testament recounts their BROKEN RELATIONSHIP and unfaithfulness toward the Lord God, their Creator.
One of the most blatant “evil doers” of the 12 brothers was Judah. He was next in the family line between Adam and Jesus. His life shows that GOD CAN USE ANYONE HE CHOOSES TO ACCOMPLISH HIS PURPOSE!
But as with Cain (evil) and Abel (good), there is a flip side to Judah — in the person of his little brother JOSEPH. Joseph represented everything GOOD in RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. And we’re going to take a quick side trip in this study to look at Joseph’s life and legacy … NEXT.