259 – JOSEPH AND THE DEEP
As we have already seen in the leaflet 178, the earth is the deep, and it was formed before the creation of men (Prov. 8:26-27; Ps. 104:5-6). Because this world where we live was a terrible deep, covered with darkness, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters” (Gen. 1:1-2). The house prepared by that god for the man he was going to create was a dark deep; a total chaos. The notion that this place was a nice place before Adam sinned is totally wrong. Jehovah affirmed that this chaos began with sin, in Genesis 3:17-19, what is not true. Nowadays science proves that the primitive men, who lived hundreds of millions of years before Adam, lived in an adverse world, fighting beasts and the fury of storms. With time, they found out which were the plants and the poisonous fruit, as they died from them. They were mown down by plagues, and had to invent the ax of stone and sharp spearheads, for they lived in the middle of true hell. Speaking of hell, we find Bible texts revealing that hell, and deep (abyss, pit) are the same thing. David said, “O Jehovah, Thou hast brought up my soul from Sheol; Thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit” (Ps. 30:3). In the passage about Nebuchadnezzar in which he is the picture of Satan (according to Theology), we read: “You said in your heart, “I will ascend into heaven! I will exalt my throne above the stars of God! I will sit on the mountain of assembly, in the far north! I will ascend above the heights of the clouds! I will make myself like the Most High! Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the depths of the pit” (Is. 14:13-15). If “pit, deep, abyss” is also hell, the angel and king of the deep, that is, hell, is Abadon, which means “destroyer”(Rev. 9:11). When Jehovah declares to Pharaoh that the pit has exalted him, he is saying that the evil power of hell has exalted him (Ezek. 31:1-4). The pit is such a fearful and infernal thing, that 2,000 demons cast out of the Gadarene pleaded with Jesus that he did not send them there (Luke 8:26-31).Well, in the Old Testament we read that Joseph, son of Jacob, received the blessings of the deep, that is, from hell. Could it be possible? When Jacob, before his death, gathered his sons and blessed them, when Joseph’s turn came, he said, “…from the God of your father who helps you, and by the Almighty who blesses you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies beneath” (Gen. 49:22-25). And he repeats it in Deut. 33:13. In the same way as the heavens are above and hell is below (Prov. 15:24), the heavens are above and the deep is below. But the question that assaults our thoughts is: Which were these blessings of the deep given to Joseph? That is simple. They were the blessings of Pharaoh. Let us consider the story: Jacob loved Joseph, son of Rachel, more than all his brothers, which were eleven in all. These, full of envy and hatred, sold him to some Ishmaelites (Gen. 37:27). The Ishmaelites, in turn, sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, Pharaoh’s eunuch(Gen. 39:1). Potiphar had his business multiplied because the blessing of Jehovah was upon Joseph, and Jehovah is the god of silver and gold (Gen. 39:1-5). Joseph was handsome, so Potiphar’s wife set her eyes on him, and tried to seduce him. Joseph escaped, but left his garments in her hands. Feeling that Joseph had despised her, she accused him to Potiphar, as revenge (Gen. 39:6-15). Potiphar sent Joseph to prison, where other prisoners were: the cupbearer and the baker of the king (Gen. 39:20; 40:1). These men told Joseph their dreams, and he interpreted them through the revelation of Jehovah. Not that Jehovah knew the future, but he manipulated all things and also the behavior of people. This was how the doctrine of predestination developed, which, if true, would make it useless for the condemned person to change their ways; and the saved person could sin as much as they wished, if they repented at the last minute. We can call this the pigpen of the Lord. The truth is that, according to the dreams of the king’s cupbearer, he was delivered in three days, and the baker was hung (Gen. 40:1-23).
It happened that the Pharaoh had a terrible dream two years after that. He dreamt that he was standing on the banks of the river, and seven cows came from it. They were fat, beautiful animals that grazed in a meadow. From the river, seven ugly thin cows came up after them. The seven thin cows ate the seven fat cows. Then Pharaoh dreamt again, and in his dream there were seven ears full and good coming up on a single stalk. Seven ears withered and scorched by the east wind sprouted after them. The thin ears swallowed the good ears. Pharaoh woke up the next morning and was very disturbed. He sent for all his magicians, but they could not explain it to him. The cupbearer saw the distress of his master and remembered of Joseph in the prison, and told Pharaoh how he had interpreted his dream. Pharaoh brought Joseph from the dungeon, and when Joseph heard his dreams, he interpreted them from Jehovah: The two dreams are one and only, and god has notified Pharaoh what he is going to do. The seven thin cows are seven years of abundance, and the seven thin cows are another seven years, but of famine. The same picture repeats itself in the seven good ears and the seven thin ears. There will be seven years of abundance, and seven years of famine. Pharaoh was told to be prudent and to exact the fifth part of all the produce of the land of the entire Egypt for seven years, in order to face the next seven years of famine. The spirit of Pharaoh calmed down and he told Joseph, “‘You shall be over my house, and according to your word will all my people be ruled. Only in the throne I will be greater than you.’ Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘Behold, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.’ Pharaoh took off his signet ring from his hand, and put it on Joseph’s hand, and arrayed him in robes of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck, and he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had. They cried before him, ‘Bow the knee!’ He set him over all the land of Egypt. Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘I am Pharaoh, and without you shall no man lift up his hand or his foot in all the land of Egypt’” (Gen. 41:40-44). These are blessings from the deep, prophesied by Jacob inGen. 49:25, and by Moses in Deut. 33:13. Did Joseph receive the blessings from hell? If deep and hell is the same thing, this is exactly what he received. Jacob, also, for Joseph brought him into Egypt, with all his family. But who was Pharaoh to give blessings from hell? Pharaoh is the dragon. The prophet Ezekiel says, “Speak and say, ‘Thus says the Lord Yahweh: “Behold, I am against you, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great monster that lies in the midst of his rivers”’” (Ezek. 29:3). And who was the dragon? “The great dragon was thrown down, the old serpent, he who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world” (Rev. 12:9). Now the devil is the dragon; Pharaoh is the picture of Satan, and the blessing of the deep that Joseph received, which came from below, was given by Satan, the prince of this world. Can a righteous, pure, faithful, and holy man, such as Joseph was, be handed over to Satan by Jehovah? Of course he can! Did not Jehovah hand Job in the hands of Satan, agreeing that Job would blaspheme against God in his suffering? Why would he not deliver Joseph also? He tested one through misery and anguish, and the other through power and glory. In the case of Joseph, there is a detail to consider. Jacob declared that the one who gave Joseph the blessings of the deep, that is, hell, was Jehovah, the almighty (Gen. 49:25). Which are the blessings of hell? They are riches, power and glory, secular power, political power—all the things that jeopardize the souls of men.
Joseph, nevertheless, declares: This was all planed and executed by Jehovah (Gen. 45:4-8). And whatdid he plan? He planned the captivity in Egypt and the corruption of his people, for Ezekiel says, “Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother: and they played the prostitute in Egypt; they played the prostitute in their youth; there were their breasts pressed, and there was handled the bosom of their virginity” (Ezek. 23:2-3). It is obvious that the Almighty could have prevented all this, for he said, “I am the potter, and you are the clay” (Jer. 18:6).
by Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira