Joseph’s Inventive Genius
“Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel – he was indeed the firstborn, but because he defiled his father’s bed, his birthright was given to the sons of Joseph, the son of Israel, so that genealogy is not listed according to the birthright; yet Judah prevailed over his brothers, and from him came a ruler, although the birthright was Joseph’s.”
(1 Chronicles 5:1-2 NKJV)
The Bible makes it plain that the “Birthright” blessing would not go to Judah, as the patriarch Jacob passed this blessing on to the two sons of Joseph. (Genesis 48:5 & 14-20). It was the descendants of those two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, who later became identified as the House of Israel. Their descendants were to become the primary inheritors of the Birthright blessing, which was to manifest itself in the latter days. The other tribes descended from Jacob were also to benefit, but the primary blessing went to Joseph. The Jewish people therefore do not fit the prophetic “Birthright” element of the covenants G-d made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Ask any religiously observant Jew, which of Jacob’s twelve sons received the blessing of the ‘birthright,’ and they will tell you it was Joseph. Therefore, if we want to identify the modern-day ‘birthright’ people of Israel, it really is no good looking for them amongst the Jews, who in any case are of the tribe of Judah. So, where do we find those mysterious sons of Joseph?
What is a Birthright?
First of all we need to clarify the term ‘birthright.’ A birthright, as the word itself indicates, is that which comes by right of one’s birth. A birthright is inherited. The term applies to the inheritance of material blessings that are passed from father to son. The firstborn son in Hebrew society of the Bible was given a double portion, as well as a special status which meant he would be considered the head of the household when the father was absent from the home. According to the Mosaic Law the father must acknowledge his firstborn son by giving him a double portion of the inheritance. His firstborn son according to the same law must at birth be formally dedicated to G-d. The right of the firstborn is to serve as the priest for the entire family, and act as the family ruler upon the death of the father. In the case of Joseph, we are speaking of the divine birthright blessings which G-d, by an unconditional and everlasting covenant, promised to the descendants of Abraham through his son Isaac. In the book of Genesis we are shown how Isaac passed this same blessing on to Jacob, (Genesis 27:27-29), and how Jacob in turn passed it on to Ephraim and Manasseh, the two sons of Joseph. (Genesis 48:5 & 11-22).
If we want to identify where these ‘birthright’ descendants of Joseph are today, then, according to the words of the patriarch Jacob, we need ‘in these last days’ to look for a ‘Company’ or (Commonwealth) of nations, and a ‘Great People’ or nation. When we examine the last few centuries of world history, does this not sound somewhat familiar?
Jacob, whilst on his deathbed called all his twelve sons to gather around his bed, so that he might give them his final blessing. We find this historic account in Genesis 49:1…
“And Jacob called his sons and said, ‘Gather together, that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last days.’ ”
Upon reading the whole of Chapter 49 of Genesis you will notice that both Judah and Joseph are singled out by Jacob for special mention. Whilst most of his sons merit just two or at the most three verses in the account, both Judah and Joseph on the other hand each merit five verses. Jacob starts his prophetic blessing to Joseph by saying:
“Joseph is a fruitful bough.”
This term “fruitful bough” clearly indicates that the descendants of Joseph ‘in the last days’ are going to be an enormously productive people. Fruitfulness implies productivity, and productivity requires a highly inventive mind. A key ingredient of the ‘Birthright’ blessing passed on by Jacob to the sons of Joseph is the gift of a most inventive mind. This providential gift has imparted in a small measure the creativity of G-d himself into the descendants of Joseph. It is a gift so extraordinarily generous in its proportions that it has really put its recipients in a class altogether of their own. Therefore, if we are to find the modern-day descendants of the birthright sons of the patriarch Joseph, we need to look for the most creative and inventive people in the world.
Britain can easily be classified as the most inventive individual nation on the face of the earth! This was certainly true in the early days of the British Empire, as British inventors opened the doors to whole new dimensions of industrial development. For instance in the years from 1701 to 1815, of all the major new patented inventions recorded in the world, a staggering 65% were British in origin. This must surely rank as an all-time world record for an individual nation to hold. Not only this, but to hold the record for well over a century is a truly mind-boggling occurrence.
Just think what this means! The little island nation for over a century was responsible for nearly two-thirds of all the major new inventions prior to the industrial revolution. If we count in America’s patented inventions for the same period, the percentage of Anglo-Saxon inventive dominance rises to a staggering 73%. It is almost as if the rest of the world did not count! If we bring these figures more or less to our day and measure all of the world’s major patented inventions from 1701 to 1995, we find that these two sons of Joseph, Great Britain and America, between them are responsible for no less than 66% of all new inventions in the world. Let us pause and consider the implications of this for a moment: – over the last 300 years Great Britain and America clocked up between them two-thirds of all of the world’s major new inventions! What a record to hold – and that over 300 years! This is truly a staggering feat. Surely this cannot be a mere accident of history! It is totally unprecedented and surely yet another amazing proof of the Birthright blessing that has come to these Israelite brother nations.
The inventive pendulum swings to America
It is interesting to note that the British had the lion’s share of the world’s inventions in the early period of their Empire, whereas today the roles are reversed. From 1701 to 1885 the British had more inventive patents to their name than any other nation on earth, and America, while lagging well behind her, still managed to come second. However, from 1885 onwards we see exactly the opposite development, with America leading the way and Britain following in second place. To give an example of this, between 1932 and 1995 the United States and Great Britain between them were credited with 77% of all the world’s major patented inventions. Britain’s share of the total was a mere 22%, whereas the USA invented the remaining 55%.
The Patriarch Jacob raised Ephraim, the younger son of Joseph above Manasseh, who actually was the firstborn son. Joseph, thinking his father had made a mistake said:
“Not so my father; for this is the firstborn; put thy right Hand on his head. Jacob refused, and said: ‘I know it, my son; he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great; but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.’ ”
(Genesis 48:18-20 KJV)
Is it not fascinating to see the pattern of the Birthright blessing worked out in these two brother nations even in the realm of their inventiveness? Ephraim, alias Britain, achieves her prominence and excellence first, and then Manasseh, alias America, follows in Britain’s glorious footsteps and takes over the supremacy. Once again, what a wonderful confirmation of prophecy this is!
From the Age of Steam to the Space Age
The inventive record of the British is truly astonishing. If we just look at the subject of engines alone, it becomes almost a question of: Which engine did they not invent? They are credited with inventing the steam engine, the closed-circuit hot air engine, the electric engine, the water-cooled engine, the two-stroke internal engine, the rocket engine, the turbo-jet engine as well as the turbo-fan engine, just to mention a few.
Alexander Graham Bell, an Edinburgh-born Scotsman, who later immigrated to the USA, invented both the telephone and the gramophone. Another Scot, Sir Alexander Fleming, discovered penicillin in 1928. Isambard Kingdom Brunel built the first trans-Atlantic steamship in 1843. Sir Isaac Newton invented the telescope in 1672.
In the realm of transport, the British invented the first locomotive, the first railway, the first steamboat, the first motorised bus, and the first tram and built the first underground railway. They also invented the aeroplane, the hovercraft, the Rover safety bicycle as well as pneumatic tyres. The computer and the computer programme are both British inventions, and so is television. Tim Berners-Lee, an Englishman, whilst working on a project in Geneva, invented the World Wide Web. Yes, even the Internet was a British invention! Think of all the huge industries that have sprung from these inventions alone and what incredible prosperity they have created in the world today. For a modern day example, just look at the phenomenal growth of the computer industry! It has become a veritable global economic colossus, which, with the relatively recent advent of the Internet, is experiencing further explosive growth.
Sir Isaac Newton, as early as 1665, explained the interaction of mass, gravity and acceleration. He also suggested that light was made of tiny particles. A New Zealander by the name of Ernest Rutherford working at Cambridge University is recognised as the father of nuclear physics, best known for demonstrating that atoms are made up of smaller particles called neutrons, electrons and protons. His research assistant from Eastbourne, England, Sir Frederic Soddy, came to explain the phenomenon of radioactive decay of atomic nuclei, thus paving the way for the development of nuclear energy. Ernest Rutherford, assisted by his German assistant Hans Geiger, also invented the Geiger counter for measuring levels of radioactivity.
The British through their God-given inventive genius have given the world ‘The Age of Steam,’ closely followed by ‘The Age of Rail,’ followed by ‘The Age of Motorised Travel,’ followed by ‘The Age of Air Travel,’ followed by ‘The Atomic Age,’ followed by ‘The Age of Telecommunication’ and, through her invention of the computer, finally ‘The Electronic Age.’ The Americans, with some help from the Russians, have since then catapulted the world into ‘The Space Age.’
What an astonishing achievement! It is a unique record never matched by any other nations. The British and the Americans have their G-d-given Birthright to thank for this most amazing blessing that has given them such an edge over other nations. It is through this divinely ordained gift of inventiveness that they have been able to walk in the footsteps of Joseph in bringing great prosperity to the world. Thus even in this unique area of invention we are able to witness a wonderful fulfilment of a most ancient prophecy. Namely, God’s promise, that through Abraham’s seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed. Having looked at their remarkable record of invention we can say that, at least in the physical realm, this divine promise has been fulfilled by those British and American descendants of Abraham.
(Statistical conclusion compiled from: (The Harwin Chronology of Inventions Innovations Discoveries – from pre-history to the present day, & Inventions & Discoveries by Valerie Anne Giscard d’Estaign – MacDonald Queen Anne Press, 1990).
Stephen J. Spykerman
Extract from: “A GAME CHANGING REVELATION” – The Hidden Ancestry of America and Great Britain, Legends Library Publishing, Inc.