After the record of Joseph’s birth in Genesis 30:23-24, very little is said of him until he was 17
years of age. Genesis 37 begins the detailed record of his life.
In addition to the children of Bilhah and Zilpah, the children of Leah were also Joseph’s early
companions. The half brothers of Joseph were unfit companions for spiritual encouragement.
They had naturally been affected by the life they had witnessed in Haran and the conflict they had
seen between their father, Jacob, and Laban.
They were also affected by the jealousies they saw in their homes among their mothers. These
children were older than Joseph and had received their early impressions from the old Jacob—the
Jacob before Peniel. These impressions came before their father was mellowed in spiritual things.
Perhaps you say, “Yes, but couldn’t they have learned differently after Jacob became Israel and
had his experience with God and began to really walk with God?” This might seem logical, but
indelible impressions had already been made on their lives.
Regrettably, we cannot go back and change the past, but this shows us the importance of training
children in their formative years. Those who know Christ as Saviour and have children in this
stage of life should be sure that they are doing their best for the Lord and their children.
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it (Prov.