A recent news posting online caught my eye – ‘A canal built by Joseph in Ancient Egypt produces some of the most lush orchards in Africa to this day’. (Israel 365 News) The article explains ‘the Bahr Yussef (waterway of Joseph) is a canal that connects the Nile River with the ancient city of Fayyum in Egypt.’ Quoting from Bill Cooper’s ‘The Authenticity of the Book of Genesis’ the article continues “It is a lush and fertile area, famed for its ‘gardens, oranges, mandarines, peaches, olives, pomegranates and grapes’. It has been like this for well over 3,000 years, and owes its lush fertility to a 200 mile-long canal which still conveys to it the waters of the Nile in a constant year-round flow… The people of Egypt are perfectly happy to tell you that it was built by the Joseph of the Bible who once was Pharaoh’s ‘Grand Vizier’”. It is not clear when Joseph may have built this canal (or if he did) but our thoughts are directed back to scripture and a lovely link that gives us hope. Joseph was a ‘saviour’ for the family of Israel (as well as many Egyptians at the time!) When revealing himself to his brothers Joseph says ‘I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! …it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you…to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.’ (Genesis 45:4-7 NIV) Joseph was a ‘pattern’ or ‘type’ of someone else who would come later, not just to save the Israelites, but to be a saviour for all who will come to him – Jesus. Now Jesus did not build any physical waterways, but he explained to a woman at a well, ‘everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’ (John 4:13-14) Joseph may have built a watercourse to provide lush pastures for fruit to grow and keep his family and the Egyptians alive. Jesus calls us to ‘produce fruit in keeping with repentance’ (Luke 3:8), to develop the fruit of the spirit (Gal 5:22-23) and to take in that living water – his and his Father’s teaching in scripture - that we might be blessed with eternal life in his Kingdom. pershore.bible pershore-christadelphians.org

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