“Joseph is the last of the saints which occupies a prominent position in Genesis. In all there are seven—Adam, Abel, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph. More space is devoted to the last of these seven than to any of the others. There are several reasons for this which appear on the surface. In the first place, the history of Joseph is the chief link which connects Exodus with Genesis; the earlier chapters of Exodus being unintelligible without the last ten chapters of Genesis. It is Joseph’s life which explains the remarkable development of the Hebrews from a mere handful of wandering shepherds to a numerous and settled colony in Egypt. But no doubt the chief reason why the life of Joseph is described with such fullness of detail is because almost everything in it typified something in connection with [Messiah].”
“As we read thoughtfully the books of the [Hebrew Scriptures] our study of them is but superficial if they fail to show us that in divers ways and by various means God was preparing the way for the coming of His Son. The central purpose in the Divine Incarnation, the great outstanding object in the life and death of the Lord Yeshua, were prefigured beforehand, and ought to have been rendered familiar to the minds of men. Among the means thus used of God was the history of different persons through whom the life and character of [Messiah] were to a remarkable degree made manifest beforehand. Thus Adam represented His Headship, Abel His Death, Noah His Work in providing a refuge for His people, Melchizedek pointed to Him as priest, Moses as prophet, David as King. But the fullest and most striking of all these typical personage was Joseph, for between his history and that of [Messiah] we may trace fully a hundred points of analogy!”
Genesis Chapters 37 thru 44
- Joseph was a shepherd (37:2); Yeshua is the Great Shepherd (John 10).
- Joseph was loved by the his father (37:3-4); Yeshua was beloved by the Father.(Matt. 3:17; 17:5; John 10:17; Phil. 2:9)
- Joseph was hated by his brothers (37:4); Yeshua was hated by His brothers (John 1:11; Luke 19:14).
- Joseph foretold of his future sovereignty (37:7-12); Yeshua did the same. (Matt. 26:64)
- Joseph was sent by his father to his brothers (37:13); Yeshua was sent to the ‘lost sheep of Israel,’ by His father (John 4:34; 5:30; 6:38-40; 12:48-50; 17:21)
- Joseph was conspired against (37:18); Yeshua was also conspired against. (Matt. 12:14)
- Joseph was stripped of his coat (37:23); Yeshua was stripped of His coat. (Matt. 27:27, 28; John 19:23)
- Joseph was cast into a pit (37:24); Yeshua was thrown into a grave.
- Joseph is sold for the price of a slave(37:38); Yeshua was sold for thirty pieces of silver (the price of a slave).
- Judah suggested the idea of selling his brother (37:26-28); the Greek name for Judah is Judas (Matt. 1:2-3).
- Joseph was sorely tempted and did not sin(39:7-12); Yeshua was tempted and did not sin (Matt. 4:1-11; Heb. 2:18; 4:15)
- Joseph was cast into prison, though he was innocent (39:20); Yeshua is sentenced to death though Pilate found no fault in Him (John 19:4, 6).
- Joseph thus suffered at the hands of the Gentiles (first by his brethren then by the Gentiles; Yeshua was sold by His brethren then suffered at the hands of the Romans (Gentiles).
- Joseph was numbered with transgressors (40:1-3); as it was prophesied about Yeshua (Isaiah 53:12) and as it was (Mark 15:28).
- Joseph is exalted, and set over all Egypt (41:39-40); as God highly exalted Yeshua (1 Pet. 3:22; Phil. 2:5-11).
- Joseph was thirty years old when he began his ministry (41:46); as Yeshua was thirty when He began His public ministry (Luke 3:23).
- Joseph became a Saviour to all peoples (41:57; 54); as Yeshua is the Saviour to all peoples (John 3:16; Rev. 5:9).
- Joseph’s family is driven out of their own land (42:1-3, 5); this is in fulfilment of God’s prophecy in Genesis 15:13. And so, a few years after Joseph’s brothers rejected him they are forced out of their country as were the Jews after a few years after rejecting [Messiah] were scattered into the world by the Romans.
- Joseph was unknown and unrecognized by his brethren (42:6, 8); as Yeshua today is not recognized by the Jews. Joseph was exalted over all the house of Pharaoh, but Jacob knew it not. All these years he thought (assumed) that Joseph was dead! Today, Jews ‘believe’ Yeshua to be dead and do not know that He has been exalted as LORD over all the world.
- Joseph, however, saw and knew his brethren (42:7); so too, Yeshua’ eye is on the Jews even today (Jer. 16:17; Hos. 5:3).
- Joseph punished his brethren (42:7, 17); as God (Yeshua) is dealing harshly with the Jews today (Hos. 9:17; Matt. 23:35-36, 38-39. “Joseph was the cause of their troubles now. Joseph was punishing them for their past dealing with himself. The secret of all Judah’s suffering during the past centuries is to be found in the fact that the rejected Messiah has been dealing ‘roughly’ with them.”
- Joseph was made known to his brethren at the second time (43:26-34). Acts 7:13 The first time the Lord Yeshua was seen by His brethren after the flesh, they knew Him not, but when they see Him the second time He shall be known by them.
- Joseph’s brethren confess their Guilt in the sight of God (44:18-34). Eze. 20:42, 43, Hos. 5:15. So it was with Joseph; he did not reveal himself to his brethren until they had acknowledged their “iniquity.” And so will Israel have to turn to God in real and deep penitence before He sends His Son back to them (see Acts 3:19, 20).
- Joseph’s brethren were also, at first, troubled in his presence (Gen. 45:3). Zech. 12:10 As Israel shall learn then the awfulness of their sin in rejecting and crucifying their Messiah, they shall be “troubled” indeed.
- Joseph acted toward his brethren in marvellous grace (Gen. 45:4, 5, 15). So shall it be when Israel is reconciled to Messiah; Zech. 13:1, Isa. 54:7, 8.
- Joseph was revealed as a Man of Compassion (42:24, 43:30, 45:1-2, 45:15, 46:29, 50:1, 50:15-17). How all this reminds us of the tender-heartedness of the Lord Yeshua the Messiah, of whom we read so often, He was “moved with compassion,” and twice that He “wept”—once at the graveside of Lazarus, and later over Jerusalem.
- Joseph’s brethren go forth to proclaim his glory (Gen. 45:9, 13). In like manner, after Israel has been reconciled to Messiah, they shall go forth to tell of the glories of their King (Isa. 66:19, Mic. 5:7).
From Gleanings in Genesis by A. W. Pink.
This entire book can be found on line at: http://www.pbministries.org/books/pink/Gleanings_Genesis/genesis.htm