Now [Jacob] loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. Genesis 37:3
Modern blended families can present new challenges. New siblings, different parenting styles, and new living arrangements require the utmost patience. While many men in patriarchal cultures had numerous children and wives, few worked as hard to keep them together as a family as Jacob did—albeit not quite successfully.
Jacob had twelve sons by four wives: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun were born to Leah; Joseph and Benjamin were born to Rachel, Jacob’s true love (and Leah’s sister). Dan and Naphtali were born to Rachel’s maidservant; Bilhah; Gad and Asher were born to Leah’s maidservant, Zilpah. Of the twelve sons, Jacob favored Joseph and Benjamin because they were the sons of the love of his life, Rachel. And of those two sons, Jacob favored Joseph even more because he was Rachel’s firstborn. It’s one thing to have a favorite son; it’s another to let the other children know about it. Jacob’s obvious favoritism toward Joseph provoked murderous jealousy among the other sons (Genesis 37:4).
When love is unconditional, it can have no favorites. Thanks be to God that we are loved equally in His sight!
Red and yellow, black and white, all are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world. Clarence H. Woolston
Loved and Favored