In Genesis 49 when Jacob blesses his sons it is said of Joseph that the archers bitterly attacked and shot at him

Genesis 49:23 NASB

“The archers bitterly attacked him, And shot at him and harassed him;

In the preceding chapters it is said that Joseph had brought a bad report about the sons of Bilhah and Zilphah and the brothers plotted to kill him.

Genesis 37 NASB

2 These are the records of the generations of Jacob.

Joseph, when seventeen years of age, was pasturing the flock with his brothers while he was still a youth, along with the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives. And Joseph brought back a bad report about them to their father.20 Now then, come and let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits; and we will say, ‘A wild beast devoured him.’ Then let us see what will become of his dreams!”

The brothers are said to have plotted to kill him but their move was thwarted by Reuben who suggested they throw him into the pit and Judah who later suggested they sell him to the Ishmaelites

Could the archers have been specifically the sons of the handmaids?

1 Answer 1


Jacob's blessing on Joseph is full of symbolism. Joseph himself is likened to a fruitful bough of a tree by a spring.

The mention of the archers who bitterly attack him and harass him is a figure of speech; it is an oblique reference to how his brothers, who were jealous of Joseph, plotted to have him disposed of.

But the 'Mighty One of Jacob'protected Joseph and thwarted the evil intentions of his brothers.

Joseph forgave his brothers:

“Do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. . . . It was not you who sent me here, but God” (Genesis 45:5, 8).

Later, Joseph again reassured his brothers, offering forgiveness and saying:

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good” (Genesis 50:20).

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    "The brothers bitterly attacked" Joseph, but as you and the next verse mention, they never harmed him. NASB "But his bow remained firm, And his arms were agile, From the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob" biblehub.com/genesis/49-24.htm Oct 4, 2020 at 18:04

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