“Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh and left his presence.”
After Joseph presents five of his brothers to Pharaoh, he then introduces his father Jacob to Pharaoh.
What happens next is both interesting and odd.
Jacob blesses Pharaoh.
Now this may seem strange.
Shouldn’t it be the other way around?
Isn’t this a reversal of the principle “the greater always blesses the lesser?“
Well, like so many things in Scripture, there is a duality between how things appear on the surface and the underlying spiritual reality we need to recognize.
First, on a surface level, although it would seem way out of place that a simple shepherd like Jacob would bless such a great man as Pharaoh, this scene is simply a reflection of the respect and reverence paid to the aged in that day.
The truth is Jacob was probably one of the oldest men in Egypt at the time and probably one of the oldest men Pharaoh had ever met.
Ancient Egyptian records show that the average Egyptian life span was not as long as the Hebrews.
Second, it could also be said that Jacob isn’t actually putting himself above Pharaoh here.
He’s simply and humbly expressing his gratitude for the gracious treatment that Pharaoh has extended to his beloved son Joseph.
So these I believe are the valid cultural reasons that explain why Jacob blessed Pharaoh.
However, when this scene is viewed from its proper spiritual perspective, the implications are much more profound.
Spiritually speaking, Jacob is blessing Pharaoh in accordance with God’s promise that all the nations of the world, including Egypt, will be blessed because of Israel.
Think about this.
Wasn’t Jacob’s son Joseph a blessing to Pharaoh and all of Egypt?
The truth be told, Pharaoh owes his life to Joseph.
There’s one final point I need to make before I close.
Note that it is through the son Joseph that Pharaoh received the blessing from the father Jacob.
It is because Pharaoh accepted the Son that he received the blessing from the Father.
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
“Yeshua answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.“