miércoles, abril 29

Joseph's coat


The book of Genesis ends narrating us the story of Joseph, son of Jacob and Rachel. Love, hate, revenge and forgiveness, rove equally in this pearl of world literature, in which hundreds of generations have been reflected their experiences with other humans and with God. As they have always raised voices appropriating the correct and true reading, forcing the rest to get in their skin and in their eyes, instead of themselves. Many have fallen into this hoax and believed in them, forgetting that God can speak to them through that handsome young Joseph, whom his brothers despised.

I do not know if Joseph knew he was different before, but the gift that made his father at age 17, made it clear that it was not like the rest of his brothers. A coat of many colors uncovered that his father had a deep love for him. All those tones that thereafter adorned his body, showed a striking way to the rest of world that Jacob was Joseph's side. There was no hide the nuances of red, green, pink or black that adorned his tunic. That would have been unacceptable contempt for whom with that piece of cloth wanted to tell his son that he loved him.

Joseph had dreams, he was able to look to the future, but at first he did not believe authorized to interpret it alone. So he shared it with his closest, with his father and brothers. Maybe he was too young to notice that not everybody has dreams, and than his, reversed the order established in the family for the most ancestral traditions. Joseph was not the father, nor the older brother, therefore he had to bow to them. But Joseph's dreams did not originate in the socially established, but in the freedom of choice that God gives. Yahweh had chosen him, and finally write righteously, the lines that his brothers tried to twist.

Inside the pit there was no water, that saved Joseph from drowning instantly however, therein, the death was a constantly threat. His brothers had launched him into the pit to hide him, within that dark the colors of his tunic were indistinguishable. He was alone in those almost demonic depths, thinking maybe it was logical that Benjamin would not have dared to defend him. There were ten to one, he was in the minority, and it was the least of all. And although in any moment he doubted of the love of his brother, he knew that Benjamin had lacked faith; if he had entrusted in God more than in his strategy, he had been prepared as Joseph, to witness God's salvation.

While he walked away from his family and his world, Joseph will miss the tunic torn off by his brothers before selling to the Ishmaelites. With they, who long time before had been banished for not respecting the laws of the family that placed as legal heir Isaac rather than Ishmael, was heading the day of fulfilling their dreams. Probably chained, and thinking of his father, came to Egypt. There, he no longer requested other interpretation of his dreams, but he dared to put them words, to him and to other. Thanks to that, and the divine will, he dressed again with another coat of fine linen to express the world what was the identity to which God had called him.

His brothers used the blood of a goat to hide their hatred for him, it was the perfect excuse to hide their deepest insecurities, with that blood justified their cruel action. They thought staining the colorful coat with the sacrificial blood could sleep peacefully, the lie protect them of the wrath of his father. But this was not, however hard they tried. Each day they watched in the eyes of his father Jacob heard the voice of God within them asking, "Where is Joseph your brother?" And although they responded that they did not know, a strong voice saying to them, "the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground "(1).

With this fear, which for years they hid inside, they found Joseph years later. But if there was something he had learned Joseph, was that he was not one to seek revenge. So he preferred to enjoy with they of the new opportunity that God gave them, instead of keeping the hatred that would eventually finish them all. He just wanted to know: “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, a it is this day…” (2) So he was carried away by his feelings, so when he saw his brother Benjamin fell on him, hugged him and cried. And so perhaps this is a guess of mine when Jacob revived to meet his son, he handed the colorful coat stained with the blood of the sacrifice of a goat, which for years had saved.


Carlos Osma



(1) Gn 4, 9-10
(2) Gn 50, 20

Translation: E. Prieto

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