Then God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her and opened her womb. And she conceived and bore a son, and said, “God has taken away my reproach.” So she called his name Joseph, and said, “The Lord shall add to me another son.” (Genesis 30:22-24)
The name Joseph (יוסף Yosef in Hebrew) has a double meaning. It referred to the fact that God was “taking away” her reproach and then “adding to” her another son — in other words, Benjamin. She acknowledged what God had done for her and she believed God for what He would do in the future. Thinking prophetically, Joseph’s story reminds us of what He has done for Israel in the past and hints at what He will do for God’s people in the future
The root word from which the name Joseph springs means “to add” as well as “to gather and assemble.” Considering that Joseph was used by God to be in the right place at the right time, that Israel might be saved, hints at the future restoration of the kingdom of Israel. This was weighing heavily upon the minds of Yeshua’s disciples as He was about to ascend into heaven (Acts 1:6) and rightfully so. This is something that is prophesied over and over in the Scripture.
How does this concern you and me? When we were born again we were grafted into and became part of the family called Israel. We are “no longer foreigners and strangers but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19). As such we look forward to the day when the Messiah — the one who has taken away our reproach — will add us to the number that is gathered unto Him when He returns. When will that be? We can’t know for sure but, like Rachel, we believe God for this promise and should live our lives as if the promise may come to pass any day.
Blessings and Shalom,