By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.(Hebrews 11:22)
And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence. So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.(Genesis 50:24-26)
Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for he had made the sons of Israel solemnly swear, saying, “God will surely take care of you, and you shall carry my bones from here with you.”(Exodus 13:19)
On several notable occasions over the past few years, Palestinian terrorists have desecrated the tomb of Joseph. Yes , that Joseph, He who wore the coat of many colors. His tomb, is located in Samaria, (the West Bank) near the town now known as Nablus, but biblically it is known as Shechem, and is considered one of the holiest sites in Judaism. Known to Israel as Kefer Yosef, it is believed to be the burial site not only of Joseph, but of his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh.
When Nablus was captured in the 1967 war the Jews built a military outpost, a Yeshiva and a Synagogue at the revered site. The Orthodox would come and worship at the site.
But the site was handed over to the Palestinian National Authority in 1995, as a result of the Oslo accords. Supposedly there was a provision for the site to always be available for Jewish worshippers to visit and pray. But the PNA did not protect worshippers who came there from harassment and even murder, and there were several notable bloody clashes at the site, notably in 1996, and October of 2000.
In the 1996 clash, six Israeli soldiers were killed in a riot by Palestinians, and in 2000, as an aspect of the Al Aqsa initfada, Palestinians besieged the compound. In the ensueing clash, 18 Palestinians were killed, and a Jewish reservist was shot in the neck. The Israelis stood by and helplessly watched as the reservist bled to death because the PNA blocked access to evacuate the wounded.
The Israeli Government ordered the army to vacate the tomb after the incident. The Palestinians then burned the synagogue, a Torah scroll, and set about attempting to refurbish the site into a mosque. Since that time there has been much back and forth haggling between the Israeli Government and he Palestinian Authority over control of Joseph’s tomb.
Under the control of Palestinians, the tomb has had garbage left around and in it, Tires burnt in it, the dome of it has been painted green (the color of Islam), repainted white, and had graffiti including swastikas painted upon it.
As of late as this article indicates, Palestinian Arabs Set Fire to Joseph’s Tomb there is a constant impulse to desecrate this site by Muslims.
Why is this site so significant to the forces of evil? I believe there are several reasons;
* Muslims always seem to want to denigrate other people’s sacred sites. This is the easiest answer. Islam , ever seeking to reinforce its own superiority, usually builds shrines upon the ruins of churches, synagogues, and temples as a testament to Islam’s conquest.Remember that the battle cry “Allah Akbar” doesn’t mean “God is Great”, but “God is greater…”, this is a religion of insecurity and comparison.
For example, the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site , the location of the first and second temple, is now the site of the “Dome of the Rock” and “the Mosque of Omar”. The church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople was turned into a Mosque. The site of the greatest mass murder in the USA, is slated to become the site of a mosque to commemorate the “victory”over the infidels. Ancient statues of Buddha were recently dynamited by Muslims, this is what they do all over the world.
* What Joseph’s Tomb is a witness to, Israel’s possession of the land. – We are clearly told in scripture that Joseph’s tomb was bought and paid for. Joseph’s bones are a powerful witness to Israel’s ownership of the Holy Land. This is what the Arabs are contesting these days, the fact the Holy Land belongs to Israel.
And the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, buried they in Shechem, in a parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for an hundred pieces of silver: and it became the inheritance of the children of Joseph.(Joshua 24:32)
This is one of those instances wherein the actual real estate transaction is recorded in scripture, almost as if to anticipate that there would be a controversy about it someday( and there is!). Currently the “Palestinians”, are arguing that the land God gave to Abraham,Isaac and Jacob, was never Israeli. Joseph’s bones testify against this lie.
* Joseph’s bones also testify to us of the Rapture and the Age to come…Egypt is a type of this world, and like Israel of old, true believers in Jesus Christ are going to make an Exodus out of this world. Cleansed by the blood of the lamb, Christ is our passover. Our Pharoah, is Satan, but he can’t stop what is going to happen.
As Joseph died in faith, and made provision for the removal of his bones, many believers who knew and awaited the rapture, died in faith. They will not be disappointed, for as Joseph’s bones were removed, even so the “dead in Christ shall rise” and precede us…
The preservation of those bones was a witness in Egypt to the Exodus that would come, and to this day, to the Exodus out of this world that is coming, the rapture of the church. Like Joseph we are leaving this place, either dead or alive. Paul tells us that
…the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.(I Thess 4:16-18)
This is why Satan hates Joseph’s tomb.