The Joseph narrative that ends the book of beginnings (Genesis 37-50) gathers together some of the main narratives from the earlier part of the book.

Joseph v. his brothers is a replay of Cain v. Abel and Esau v. Jacob.

Joseph’s sojourn in Egypt links to Abraham’s journey to Egypt. Though afflicted and attacked, both prosper in exile.

Joseph treats his visiting brothers meanly, much as Laban treats Jacob during his sojourn in Haran. For Joseph, it is a test and an act.

The death and resurrection of the Aqedah is repeated at several levels.

Joseph threatens to kill his brother when the divining cup is found in Benjamin’s sack. Benjamin is threatened with death and restored, as Isaac was on Moriah. Killing Benjamin would kill Jacob, and so Joseph is also threatening his father in an inverted Aquedah . But Joseph relents regarding Benjamin, and so brings his father as well as his brother new life. Joseph himself is “raised” to life in the consciousness of his brothers, who cannot believe that their brother is alive.

And the turning point for all of these literal and figurative near-deaths is Judah’s willingness to offer himself as substitute for his brother. He is the ram in the thicket who is willing to go to the altar in place of Benjamin. In the end, he too is “raised” when Joseph reveals himself.