[*From the author’s book: ‘Gleanings in Genesis’, pp. 341-408.]







In the first of our articles upon Jacob we called attention to the fact that each of the great Israelitish patriarchs illustrated some basic spiritual truth and that the chronological order of their lives agrees with the doctrinal order of truth.  In Abraham we have illustrated the doctrine of election, for he was singled out by God from all the heathen and chosen to be the head of the Jewish nation.  In Isaac we have foreshadowed the doctrine of Divine sonship: Abram’s firstborn, Ishmael, represents the man born after the flesh, the old nature; but Isaac, born by the miraculous power of God, tells of the new man, the spiritual nature.  In Jacob we see exemplified the conflict between the two natures in the believer, and also God’s gracious discipline which issued, slowly but surely, in the triumph of the spirit over the flesh. Joseph, typically, speaks to us of heirship preceded by suffering,” and points forward to the time when the sons and heirs shall reign together with Christ.  There is thus a beautiful moral order in the several leading truths illustrated and personified by these men.  And it should be observed that here, as in everything which pertains to God’s Word, its orderliness evidences its Divine Authorship; everything is in its proper place.



Joseph, then, speaks of heirship and, as another has beautifully expressed it, “And consistently with this, in Joseph, we get suffering before glories. * * * For while discipline attaches to us as children, sufferings go before us as heirs; and this gives us the distinction between Jacob and Joseph.  It is discipline we see in Jacob, discipline leading him as a child, under the hand of the Father of his spirit, to a participation of God’s holiness.  It is sufferings, martyr-sufferings, sufferings for righteousness, we see in Joseph, marking his path to glories.  And this is the crowning thing! and thus it comes as the closing thing, in this wondrous book of Genesis - after this manner perfect in its structure, as it is truthful in its records. One moral after another is studied, one secret after another is revealed, in the artless family scenes which constitute its materials, and in them we learn our calling, the sources and the issues of our history, from our election to our inheritance” (Mr. J. G. Bellett).



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 fulness of detail is because almost everything in it typified something in connection with Christ.  But more of this later.



Joseph was the elder son of Rachel (30: 24).  Of his early life nothing is recorded.  He could not have been more than five or six years old when his father left Mesopotamia.  He was therefore the child of Jacob’s later life, and escaped all the sad experiences associated with the earlier years at Haran.  He comes before us in this chapter (Gen. 37) at the age of seventeen.  His companions were his half-brothers, the grown-up sons of Bilhah and Zilpah.  From all that we have hitherto seen of them they must have been utterly unfit companions for such a youth.  Jacob’s elder sons had, naturally, been affected by the life in Haran, by the jealousy at home, and by the scheming between Laban and Jacob.  They had been brought up under the influence of the old Jacob, while Joseph had been the companion of the changed Jacob or ‘Israel.’  There are few people more unfitted for influence over younger brothers than elder brothers of bad character.” (Dr. G. Thomas.)



These are the generations of Jacob.  Joseph being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.  Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours.  And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him” (37: 2-4).




There are perhaps few portions of Holy Writ with which we are more familiar than the one now before us.  From earliest childhood many of us have listened to this beautiful but pathetic narrative.  The aged patriarch, his favourite son, the coat of many colours, Joseph’s dreams, the envious brothers, their wicked conduct - all so true to life - have been indelibly impressed upon our memories since we first learned them on our mother’s knee, or from the lips of our Sunday School teacher.  Many are the lessons which may be drawn, and pointed are the warnings which are found here.  But we shall pass from these to something deeper and even more precious.



As we read thoughtfully the books of the Old Testament 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 Jesus, 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 Christ 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 Christ we may trace fully a hundred points of analogy!  Others before us have written upon this captivating theme, and from their writings we shall draw freely in the course of these papers on the typical significance of Joseph’s history.*


* We take this occasion to acknowledge our indebtedness to Dr. Haldeman and Mr. C. Knapp.



In the verses quoted above from Genesis 37 there are seven points in which Joseph prefigured Christ, each of which is worthy of our attention, namely, the meaning of his name, the nature of his occupation, his opposition to evil, his father’s love, his relation to his father’s age, his coat of many colours, and the hatred of his brethren.  Let us consider each of these in turn:



1. The Meaning of his Name.



It is most significant that our patriarch had two names - Joseph, and Zaphnath-paaneah (41: 45) which the rabbins translate “Revealer of secrets.”  This latter name was given to him by Pharaoh in acknowledgment of the Divine wisdom which was in him.  Thus, Joseph may be said to be his human name and Zaphnath‑paaneah his Divine name.  So, also, the one whom Joseph foreshadowed has a double name – Jesus being His human name, Christ signifying the Anointed of God, or, again, we have his double name in Son of Man which speaks of His humanity, and Son of God which tells of His Deity.  Let us note how the meaning of Joseph’s names were typical in their significance.



Joseph means adding (see 30: 24).  The first Adam was the great subtractor, the last Adam is the great Adder: through the one, men became lost; by the other, all who believe are saved.  Christ is the One who “adds” to Heaven’s inhabitants.  It was to this end that He came to this earth, tabernacled among men for more than thirty years, and then died on the Cross: Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit” (Jno. 12: 24).  The ultimate result of His Death will be much fruit,” and at His return this will be gathered into the Heavenly garner (Jno. 14: 3).



But Joseph’s second name means “Revealer of secrets.”  This was a most appropriate name.  Revealer of secrets Joseph ever was, not merely as an interpreter of dreams, but in every scene of his life, in every relation he sustained - when with his brethren in Potiphar’s household, in prison, or before Pharaoh - his words and his works ever tested those with whom he had to do, making manifest their secret condition. How strikingly this foreshadowed Christ, of whom it was said in the days of His infancy, Behold this Child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against *** that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed” (Lu. 2: 34, 35).



In the incident now before us Joseph is seen as the Revealer of secrets in a double way.  First, he revealed his father’s heart, for he is here seen as the special object on which Jacob’s affections were centered. Second, he revealed the hearts of his brethren by making manifest their wicked hatred.”  In like manner, our blessed Saviour revealed the Father's heart, No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him (Jno. 1: 18). And in like manner, the Lord Jesus also revealed what was in the hearts of men.  One of the most striking and prominent features presented in the four Gospels is the fact that everywhere He went the Lord Jesus exposed all.  He made manifest the secret condition of all with whom He came into contact.  He was truly “the Light of the world,” shining in a dark place - detecting, displaying, uncovering, bringing to light the hidden things of darkness.  Well, then, was Joseph named the one who added, and the one that revealed.



2. By Occupation Joseph was a Shepherd, feeding the flock.”



This is one of the prominent lines which is found running through several of the Old Testament typical personages.  Abel, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, were each of them shepherds,” and a close study of what is recorded of each one in this particular relation will reveal that each pointed forward to some separate and distinctive aspect of our Lord’s Shepherd-hood.  No figure of Christ is more beautiful than this: our favourite Psalm (the twenty-third) presents Him in this character.  One of our earliest conceptions of the Saviour, as children, was as the Good Shepherd.  The figure suggests His watchful care, His unwearied devotion, His tender solicitude, His blessed patience, His protecting grace, His matchless love in giving, His life for the sheep.  Above, Joseph is seen feeding the flock,” pointing to the earthly ministry of Christ who, sent unto the lost sheep of the House of Israel,” spent Himself in tending the needs of others.



3. His Opposition to Evil.



And Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.”  It is truly pathetic to find how this action of Joseph has been made an occasion for debate, some arguing that in doing what he did Joseph acted wrongly; others defending him.  But it is not as a tale bearer that Joseph is here viewed, rather is he seen as the truth-speaker.  Not by - cowardly silence would he be the accomplice of their evil-doing.  And here too we may discern a clear foreshadowing of the Lord Jesus Christ.  We will quote but one verse, but it is sufficient to establish the type: The world cannot hate you; but Me it hateth, because I testify of it that the works thereof are evil (Jno. 7: 7).



4. His Father’s Love.



Israel loved Joseph more than all his brethren.”  This is one of the lines which stands out most distinctly in this lovely Old Testament picture.  How Jacob loved Joseph!  His mark of special esteem in making for him the coat of many colours: his un-consolable grief when he believed that Joseph had been devoured by beasts; -


- his taking of that long journey into Egypt that he might again look upon his favourite son ere death overtook him - all tell out the deep love of Jacob for Joseph.  And how all this speaks to us of the Father's love for His only begotten Son!  Through Solomon the Spirit of prophecy, speaking of the relation which existed between the Father and the Son in a past eternity, said, The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His way before His works of old;” and again, Then I was by Him, as One brought up with Him, and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him” (Prov. 8: 22, 30).  How sweetly was this illustrated by Jacob’s love for Joseph!  Again, when the Son of God became incarnate, and was about to begin His public ministry, the heavens were opened and the Voice of the Father was heard saying, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Mat. 3: 17).  So, also, when His public ministry neared its close, once more the Father’s Voice was heard, upon the Mount of Transfiguration, saying, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him” (Mat. 17: 5).  The Son, too, affirmed the Father’s love for Himself – Therefore doth My Father love me, because I lay down My life, that I might take it again” (Jno. 10: 17).  And when the Son had finished the Work given Him to do, when He had laid down His life and had risen again from the dead, the Father displayed His love by removing Him from the scenes of His sufferings and shame, Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name” (Phil. 2: 9).  And not only did God highly exalt His blessed Son, but He also seated Him upon His own throne (Rev. 3: 21)*, that during these centuries when the Church is being built Christ might be near to the Father!


[* A-Millennialists take note.  The throne which Christ will share with overcomers during the coming “age” (Rev. 3: 21; Luke 20: 35), is not His Father’s throne in heaven where He is presently seated!  The promise of Rev. 3: 21 is to overcomers, whom He will give the right to sit with Him on His throne during the millennium - as He “overcame and sat down” with His Father on His throne in heaven after resurrection; and this event still awaits the time of the resurrection of saints and the return of “the Son of Man” to this earth – (when the time comes for His Father to “make the nationsHis inheritance, the “ends of the earthHis possession) - and He will “rule them (the nations) with an iron sceptre,” and “dash them to pieces like pottery:” (Psalm 2: 8, 9).]



5.  His Relation to his father’s Age.  He was the son of his old age.”



No line in this picture is without its own meaning - how could it be, when none other than the Spirit of God drew it!  Every word here is profoundly significant.  We quote from the words of another: “Old age, translated into spiritual language and applied to God, signifies eternity.’  Jesus Christ was the Son of God’s eternity.  From all eternity He was God’s Son.  He was not derived, He was eternally begotten; He is God of God, very God of very God, equal with, and of the same substance as, the Father.”  As the opening verse of John’s Gospel declares, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”  And again, in His high-priestly prayer the Lord Jesus said, And now, 0 Father, glorify thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was (Jno. 17: 5).  The Lord Jesus Christ is no creature, He is Creator (Jno. 1: 3); He is no mere emanation of Deity, He is the One in whom dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2: 9).  He is far more than a manifestation of God, He is Himself God manifest in the flesh” (1 Tim. 3: 16).  He is not a person who had His beginning in time, but is Eternal in His being; as the true rendering of Micah 5: 2 declares, the One who was born in Bethlehem of Judea was none other than He “whose goings forth have been from of old, from the days of Eternity.”  Christ then was, in the language of our type “the Son of (His Father’s) old age” - the eternal Son of God.



6.  His Coat of Many Colours.



Thus far the interpreting of the type has been simple, but here, we encounter that which is not quite so easy.  How gracious of God for providing us with help on this point!  We are not left to our own imaginations to guess at the meaning of the many coloured coat.  No; guesswork is not only vain, but altogether needless in regard to God’s blessed Word.  Scripture is its own interpreter.  In Judges 5: 30, we read, Have they not sped? have they not divided the prey; to every man a damsel or two; to Sisera a prey of divers colours, a prey of divers colours of needlework, of divers colours on both sides, meet for the necks of them that take the spoil?”  Here we learn that such garments were to be worn as a mark of distinction.  Again in 2 Samuel 13: 18 we read, And she had a garment of divers colours upon her: for with such robes were the King’s daughters that were virgins apparelled.”  Here again we get the same thought: This was the attire of unmarried princesses; it was a mark of honour, singling out the wearer as one of noble birth.  This, no doubt, was Jacob’s object to distinguish Joseph (born of Rachel) from his half brothers (born of the slave-wives).



How appropriate was this as an adumbration of Christ!  He, too, was marked off from all His brethren according to the flesh, marked off as one of noble birth, marked off by outward signs of peculiar distinction and honour.  It is blessed to behold what care and pains God took to manifest this coat of many colours, in connection with His blessed Son.  The virgin’s Babe was distinguished from all others born by the Angelic Song o'er Bethlehem’s plains - none other was ever welcomed thus by the Heavenly hosts!  So, too, the star that appeared to the wise men gave evidence of the Heavenly Origin of the new-born King.  At His baptism we see again the many-coloured coat: multitudes presented themselves to John at the river Jordan and were baptized of him; but when the Christ of God came up out of the waters, the Heavens were opened and the Spirit of God descended upon Him in the form of a dove, thus distinguishing Christ from all others!  Behold again the coat of many colours in John 12.  In John 13 the feet of the disciples (pointing to their walk) are defiled, and need to be washed with water (type of Word); but in the previous chapter (for in all things Christ must have the pre-eminence) we see the feet of our blessed Lord, not washed with water (for there was no defilement in Him), but anointed with precious ointment, the fragrance of which filled the house, telling that the walk of Him (as well as His blessed person) was a sweet smelling savour to the Father.  Thus again was Christ distinguished from and elevated above all others.  So, too, at the Cross, the distinguishing coat of many colours may be seen.  In death, as everywhere, His uniqueness was manifested.  He died as none other ever died or could: He laid down His life.”  And the uniqueness of His death was divinely attested in the supernatural phenomena that accompanied it: the three hours darkness, the quaking of the earth, and the rending of the veil.  The “many colours” of the coat also speak to us of Christ’s varied glories and infinite perfections.



7.  The Hatred of his Brethren.



They hated him and could not speak peaceably to him.”  It was Jacob’s love which brought out the heart’s enmity of these men.  Joseph then, made manifest both his father’s love and his brethren’s hatred.  So when Christ came to the earth He did these two things.  He revealed the Father’s heart and He exposed, man’s enmity.  And one of two things always followed: either men hated Him for exposing them, or they accepted such exposure and took refuge in the Grace which He revealed.  When Christ exposed the hypocrisy of the Pharisees they hated Him; but when He exposed to the woman at the well her sinful life and condition, she welcomed it, and availed herself of God’s grace.  So it is now: those who hear the truth of God faithfully preached, the lost and guilty condition of the natural man fearlessly proclaimed, either they hate it, and seek to hide behind the filthy rags of their own self-righteousness, or they come out into the light, bow to God’s verdict, and casting themselves in the dust before Him as Hell-deserving sinners, believe in the Saviour which the Gospel makes known.  In which class are you found, dear reader?  Are you, like the brethren of Joseph who hated the son of the father’s love, despising and rejecting Christ?  Friend, make no mistake here.  You either love or you hate the Lord Jesus Christ! and it is written, “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ let him be accursed” (1 Cor. 16: 22).  0 heed now this solemn admonition of God, Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and ye perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little.  Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him (Ps. 2: 12).



Before we turn to consider the special subject of this article we must first notice three or four points in the first eleven verses of Genesis 37 which, through lack of space, we omitted from our last.



And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.  And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood around about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.  And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us?  And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words. And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.  And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed?  Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?  And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying” (verses 5-11). 



Continuing our numeration we may note:



8.  Joseph is hated because of his Words.



There are two lines which are, perhaps, made more prominent than others in this first typical picture: the love of Jacob for his son, and the hatred of the brethren.  Three times over within the compass of these few verses reference is made to the hatred of Joseph’s brethren.  In verse 4 we read, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.”  Again, in verse 5 we are told, and they hated him yet the more.”  And again in verse 8: And they hated him yet the more for his dreams and for his words.”  It will be seen from these references there was a twofold occasion for their wicked enmity. First, they hated Joseph’s person, because of Jacob’s special love for him; second, they hated him because of his words.”  They hated him because of what he was, and also because of what he said. Thus it was, too, with the One whom Joseph typified.



As we turn to the four Gospels it will be found that those who were our Lord’s brethren according to the flesh hated Him in this same twofold way.  They hated Him because He was the beloved Son of the Father, and they also hated Him because of His teaching.  As illustrations of the former we may note the following passages: Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill Him, because He not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God” (Jno. 5: 18).  The Jews then murmured at Him, because He said, I am the Bread which came down from heaven” (Jno. 6: 41).  I and My Father are one.  Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him” (Jno. 10: 30, 31).  Such was their wicked hostility against His person.  And it was just the same, too, in regard to His teaching: And all they in the synagogue when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up and thrust Him out of the city, and led Him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast Him down headlong” (Lu. 4: 28, 29).  The world cannot hate you., but Me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil” (Jno. 7: 7).  But now ye seek to kill Me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God (Jno. 8: 40).



9.  Joseph was to enjoy a remarkable future.



These dreams of Joseph intimated that this favoured son of Jacob was the subject of high destinies: they were Divine announcements of his future exaltation.  There can be little doubt that Jacob and his sons perceived that these dreams were prophetic, otherwise the brethren would have regarded them as idle tales,” instead of being angered by them.  Note, too, that his father observed the saying” (verse 11).



So, too, of the Antitype.  A remarkable future was promised to the One who first appeared in lowliness and shame.  Concerning the Child that was to be born unto Israel, the Son given, it was pre-announced: The government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end” (Isa. 9: 6, 7).  To his mother the angel declared, “Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call His name Jesus.  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David; and He shall reign over the House of Jacob for ever: and of His kingdom there shall be no end” (Lu. 1: 31-33).  That Joseph’s Antitype was to enjoy a remarkable future was thus intimated beforehand.



10.  Joseph foretold his future Sovereignty.



It is worthy of notice that the two recorded dreams of Joseph contemplated a double sovereignty: the first dream concerned the field,” which pointed to the earthly dominion of our Lord; but the second dream was occupied with the sun, the moon and the stars, and tells, in type, of the Heavenly dominion of Christ, for all power (or authority) has been given to Him in heaven and on earth.



Joseph’s announcement of his future exaltation only served to fan the fires of enmity, and gave intensity to his brethren’s hatred.  And so it was with the Saviour.  The more our Lord unfolded the glory of His person, the more He spoke of His future exaltation, the more did the Jews - His brethren according to the flesh - hate Him.  The climax of this is to be seen in Matthew 26: 64: Nevertheless, I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.”  Here was the announcement of His future sovereignty, and mark the immediate effects of His words on those that heard Him:  Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy.



11.  Joseph was envied by his brethren.



When his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him” (verse 4).  In these words are found the key to what followed.  That which was the prime cause of the brethren’s hatred was envy: as verse 11 tells us, And his brethren envied him.”  They were jealous of the partiality shown by Jacob to their half-brother.  This is a sin which has characterized human nature all down the ages: the difference between envy and covetousness is this - we envy persons, we covet things.



Here, too the type holds good.  Christ was envied by those who were His brethren, according to the flesh.  This comes out in His parable of the Wicked Husbandman, Having yet therefore one son, His well-beloved, He sent Him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence My Son.  But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the Heir; come, let us kill Him, and the inheritance shall be ours” (Mk. 12: 6, 7).  Again, For this cause the people also met Him, for that they heard that He had done this miracle.  The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? behold, the world is gone after Him (Jno. 12: 18, 19).  How that utterance manifested the jealousy of their hearts!  But even plainer is the testimony of Matthew 27: 17, 18, for there the very word envy is found, Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?  For he knew that for envy they had delivered Him.”  In our next we shall consider, Joseph betrayed by his brethren.



*       *       *









And his brethren went to feed their father’s flock in Shechem.  And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem?  Come, I will send thee unto them.  And he said to him, Here am I” (37: 12, 13).



12.  Joseph sent forth by his father.



The verses just quoted above introduce to us the second of these marvellous typical scenes in which Joseph shadows forth the Lord Jesus.  Here the brethren of Joseph are seen away from their father.  Jacob says to his beloved son, Come, and I will send thee unto them.”  How this reveals the heart of Jacob to us.  He was not indifferent to their welfare.  Absent from the father’s house as they were, Jacob is concerned for the welfare of these brethren of Joseph.  He, therefore, proposes to send his well beloved son on an errand of mercy, seeking their good.  And is it not beautiful to mark the promptness of Joseph’s response!  There was no hesitancy, no unwillingness, no proffering of excuses, but a blessed readiness to do his father’s will, Here am I.”



One cannot read of what passed here between Jacob and Joseph without seeing that behind the historical narrative we are carried back to a point before time began, into the eternal counsels of the Godhead, and that we are permitted to learn something of what passed between the Father and the Son in the remote past.  As the Lord God with Divine omniscience foresaw the fall of man, and the alienation of the race from Himself, out of the marvellous grace of His heart, He proposed that His beloved Son should go forth on a mission of mercy, seeking those who were away from the Father’s House.  Hence we read so often of the Son being sent by the Father, Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 Jno. 4: 10).  And blessed it is to know that the Beloved of the Father came forth on His errand of love, freely, willingly, gladly.  Like Joseph, He, too, promptly responded, “Here am I.”  As it is written of Him in Hebrew 10: 7, “Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of Me) to do Thy will, 0 God.”



13.  Joseph seeks the welfare of his brethren.



And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks, and bring me word again” (37: 14).  Joseph could not have been ignorant of his brethren’s envy; he must have known how they hated him; and in view of this, one had not been surprised to find him unwilling to depart on such a thankless errand.  But with gracious magnanimity and filial fear he stood ready to depart on the proposed mission.



Two things are to be particularly observed here as bringing out the striking accuracy of this type: First, Joseph is sent forth with a definite object before him - to seek his brethren.  When we turn to the Gospels we find the correspondence is perfect.  When the Beloved of the Father visited this world, His earthly mission was restricted to His brethren according to the flesh.  As we read in John 1: 11, “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not: His own here refers to His own people, the Jews.  Again, in Matt. 15: 24, it is recorded that the Lord Jesus Himself expressly declared, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the House of Israel.”  And again, in Rom. 15:  8, we are told, Now I say that Jesus Christ was a Minister of the Circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers.”



In the second place, observe the character of Joseph’s mission: said Jacob, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren.”  He was sent not to censure them, but to inquire after their welfare.  So, again, it was with the Lord Jesus Christ.  As we read in John 3: 17, For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.”



14.  Joseph was sent forth from the vale of Hebron:



So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem” (37: 14).  There is no line in this lovely picture, drawn by the Spirit of God, which is without its own distinctive significance.  We quote here from the well chosen words of Mr. C. Knapp: “Hebron means fellowship or communion. The vale suggests quiet peacefulness and rest.  It was intended, I believe, to point them forward (and point us back) to the fellowship of the Son with the Father in heaven’s eternal calm and peace previous to His entrance, at His incarnation, into this scene of sin and toil and sorrow” (A Fruitful Bough).



The peaceful vale of Hebron, then, was the place where Joseph dwelt in happy fellowship with his father; there he was at home, known, loved, understood.  But from this he was sent to a place characterized by strife and blood-shedding, unto those who appreciated him not, yea, to those who envied and hated him. Faintly but accurately this tells of the love-passing-knowledge which caused the Lord of Glory to leave His Home above and descend to a hostile realm where they hated Him without a cause.



15.  Joseph came to Shechem (37: 14).



The word Shechem means “Shoulder,” being taken from “the position of the place on the ‘saddle’ or ‘shoulder’ of the heights which divide the waters there that flow to the Mediterranean on the west and to the Jordan on the east” (Smith’s Bible Dictionary).  The meaning of this name conforms strictly to the Antitype.  The “shoulder” speaks of burden-bearing and suggests the thought of service and subjection. The moral meaning of the term is Divinely defined for us in this very book of Genesis – and bowed his shoulder to bear and become a servant unto tribute” (49: 15).  How striking it is to read, then, that on leaving his father in the vale of Hebron, Joseph came to Shechem. How marvellously this foreshadowed the place which the Lord of Glory took!  Leaving His peaceful place on high, and coming down to this scene of sin and suffering.  He took the Servant’s place, the place of submission and subjection.  As we read in Phil. 2: 6, 7, Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant.



And again in Gal. 4: 4, When the fulness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law.”  Verily, “Shechem” was the place that the Beloved of the Father came to.



Moreover, is it not significant that Shechem has been mentioned before in the Genesis narrative - see 34: 25-30 - especially when we note what occurred there.  Shechem was the place of sin and sorrow, of evil passions and bloodshedding.  Little wonder that Jacob was anxious about his sons in such a place, and that he sent Joseph to them there to inquire after their welfare.  And how what we read of in Gen. 34 well depicts in terse but solemn summary the history of this earth.  How aptly and how accurately the scene there portrayed exhibited the character of the place into which the Lord Jesus came.  The place which He took was that of the Servant; the scene into which He came was one of sin and strife and suffering.



16.  Joseph now became a Wanderer in the field.



And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field: and the man asked him: saying, What seekest thou?  And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks” (37: 15, 16).  In His interpretation of the Parable of the Tares, the Lord Jesus said, the field is the world(Matt. 13: 38).  Like Joseph, the Beloved of the Father became a Wanderer, a homeless Stranger in this world.  The foxes had holes, and the birds of the air had their nests, but the Son of man had not where to lay his head.” What a touching word is that in John’s Gospel, And every man went unto his own house: Jesus went unto the Mount of Olives” (John 7: 53; 8: 1).  Every other man had his own house to which he could go, but the Lord Jesus, the homeless Wanderer here, must retire to the bleak mountain side.  0 my soul, bow in wonderment before that matchless grace which causes thy Saviour who, though He was rich, yet He for our sakes became poor, that we through His poverty might be rich!



17.  Joseph seeks until he finds his brethren.



And the man said, They are departed hence; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan.  And Joseph went after his brethren and found them in Dotham” (37: 17).  When Joseph arrived at Shechem he found his brethren gone; they were not there.  Now is his chance to return to Hebron if his heart is not wholly in his mission.  Here he has given him a good excuse for turning back and giving up the undertaking. But no; he has no thought of turning back, or giving up the work given him of his father to do” (Mr. K.).  Thus it was with that blessed One whom Joseph foreshadowed.  From start to finish we find Him prompted by unswerving devotion to His Father and unwearied love toward His lost sheep, continuing the painful search until He found them.  No seeming failure in His mission, no lack of appreciation in those to whom He ministered, daunted Him.  Man might despise and reject Him, those nearest might deem Him beside Himself; Peter might cry, Spare Thyself,” yet none of these things turned Him aside from going about His Father’s business!  A work had been given Him to do, and He would not rest till it was finished.”



And Joseph went after his brethren.”  How these words gather up into a brief sentence the whole story recorded in the four Gospels!  As the Redeemer went about from place to place, one end only was in view - He was going after His brethren.  He enters the synagogue and reads from the prophet Isaiah, and with what object? That His brethren might be reached.  He walks by the Sea of Galilee, seeking out those who should walk with Him for a season.  He must needs go through Samaria we read; and why?  Because there were some of His brethren in that place.  Yes, the Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost.  And, my Christian reader, of what do these words remind you, Joseph went after his brethren?”  Ah, how patiently and untiringly that One of whom Joseph was but a type “went after” you!  How many years His unwearied love pursued you; pursued you over the mountains of unbelief and across the precipices of sin!  All praise to His marvellous grace.



And found them in Dothan.”  Dr. Haldeman tells us that “Dothan” signifies “Law or Custom.”  And it was there Jesus found His brethren, dwelling under the bondage of the Law, and slaves to mere religious formalism.” Yes, the Law of Jehovah had degenerated into the “customs” of the Pharisees, Laying aside the commandments of God, ye hold the traditions of men” (Mark 9: 8), was our Lord’s charge against them.



18.  Joseph conspired against.



And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him” (37: 18).  The hatred of the brethren found opportunity in the love that sought them. It is striking to notice how that a conspiracy was formed against Joseph before he drew near unto them.”  How this reminds us of what happened during the days of our Saviour’s infancy.  No sooner was He born into this world than the enmity of the carnal mind against God displayed itself!  A horrible conspiracy was hatched by Herod in the attempt to slay the newly born Saviour.  This was in the days when He was afar off.”  Thirty years before He presented Himself publicly to the Jews.  The same thing is found again and again during the days of His public ministry.  Then the Pharisees went out and held a council against Him, how they might destroy Him” (Matt. 12: 14), may be cited as a sample.



19.  Joseph’s words disbelieved.



And they said one to another, Behold this dreamer cometh.  Come now, therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him; and we shall see what will become of his dreams” (37: 19, 20).



The prophetic announcement of Joseph seemed unto his brethren as idle tales.  They not only hated him, but they refused to believe what he had said.  Their scepticism comes out plainly in the wicked proposal, Let us slay him ... and we shall see what will become of his dreams.”  Thus it was with the Christ of God.  After He had been nailed to the cross, they that passed by reviled Him, wagging their heads, and saying, Thou that destroyed the temple and buildest it in three days, save Thyself.  If Thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.  Likewise, also the chief priests mocking Him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; Himself He cannot save.  If He be the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, And we will believe Him - which was an admission that they did not believe.  The Jews believed Him not.  His teaching was nothing more to them than empty dreams.  So, too, after His death and burial.  The chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while He was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.  Command therefore, that the sepulchre be made sure” (Matt. 27).  When the stone was sealed and the watch was set, the sceptical Pharisees were but saying in effect, We shall see what will become of His dreams.”



And is it any different now in modern Christendom?  How do men and women today treat the words of the Faithful and True Witness?  Do those who listen to the Gospel give credence to what they hear?  Do they set to their seal that God is true?  Do they really believe as true the Lord’s own words, He that believeth not is condemned already” (John 3: 18)?  Ah, unsaved reader, dost thou believe that, that even now the condemnation of a Holy God is resting upon thee?  You do not have to wait until the last great day; you do not have to wait until the judgment of the great white throne.  No; God’s condemnation rest upon thee now.  Unspeakably solemn is this.  And there is but one way of deliverance.  There was but one way of escape for Noah and his family from the flood, and that was to seek refuge in the Ark. And there is but one way of escape from God’s condemnation for you, and that is, to flee to Christ, who was Himself condemned in the stead of all who believe on Him.  Again: He who was truth incarnate declared, He that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3: 36).  0 unsaved friend, if you really believed these words of Him who cannot lie you would not delay another moment.  You would not dare to procrastinate any longer.  Even now, you would cast yourself at His feet, just as you are, as a poor needy and guilty sinner, receiving Him by faith as your own Saviour.  Treat not, we beseech you, these words of the Son of God as idle tales, but believe them to the saving of your soul.



20.  Joseph is insulted.



And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stripped Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him” (37: 23).  How this brings out the wicked hatred of these men for the one who had come seeking only their welfare.  Like beasts of prey they immediately spring upon him.  It was not enough to injure him; they must insult him too.  They put him to an open shame by stripping him of his coat of many colours.  And how solemnly this agrees with the Antitype.  In a similar manner the Lord of Glory was dealt with.  He, too, was insulted, and put to shame: Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto Him the whole band of soldiers.  And they stripped Him” (Matt. 27: 27. 28).  The same horrible ignominy is witnessed again at the Cross: Then the soldiers when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments (John 19: 23).



21.   Joseph is cast into a pit.





And they took him, and cast him into a pit; and the pit was empty, there was no water in it” (37: 24).  We quote now from Dr. Haldeman: “The pit wherein is no water, is another name for Hades, the underworld, the abode of the disembodied dead: of all the dead before the resurrection of Christ.  The pit wherein is no water’ (Zech. 9: 11).  For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly, so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth’ (Matt. 12: 40).  It was here our Lord, as to His Soul, abode between death and resurrection.”



22.  Joseph was taken out of the pit, alive, in his body.



And they lifted up Joseph out of the pit” (37: 28).  The actual order of the occurrence is that Joseph was first cast into the pit and then sold; but the moral order of the type is not deranged by the fact; it is in the light of the Anti-typical history that we make the type to be verified, as well as to verify it.  The lifting out of the pit is one of those Divine anticipations of the resurrection scattered all through the Old Testament from Genesis to Malachi” (Dr. R).



23.  Joseph’s brethren mingle Hypocrisy with their Hatred.



And they sat down to eat bread. ... And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother and conceal his blood?  Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh” (37: 27).  First, notice the opening words of verse 25, And they sat down to eat bread,” and this, while Joseph was helpless in the pit!  How this reminds us of Matt. 27: 35, 36And they crucified Him. ... And sitting down they watched Him there!”



But mark now this hypocrisy: Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him.”  The parallel to this is found in John 18: “Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment; and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled (verse 28).  Such deceptions will men practice upon themselves.  And again, how remarkable, in this connection, are the words found in John 18: 31: Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye Him and judge Him according to your law.  The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death!”



24.  Joseph is sold.



They drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites” (37: 28).  Is it not exceedingly striking to note that from among the twelve sons of Jacob Judah should be the one to make this horrible bargain, just as from the twelve apostles Judas (the Anglecized form of the Greek equivalent) was the one to sell the Lord!



25.  Joseph’s blood-sprinkled coat is presented to his father.



“And they took Joseph’s coat and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood; and they sent the coat of many colours, and they brought it to their father.”  The anticipation of the type is self evident.  The blood of Jesus Christ as the blood of a scapegoat, a sin offering, was presented to the Father” (Dr. K).  In our next, D. V., we shall consider Joseph in Egypt.



*       *       *





GENESIS 39, 40



Genesis 37 closes with an account of Jacob’s sons selling their brother Joseph unto the Midianites, and they, in turn selling him into Egypt.  This speaks, in type, of Christ being rejected by Israel, and delivered unto the Gentiles.  From the time that the Jewish leaders delivered their Messiah into the hands of Pilate they have, as a nation, had no further dealings with Him; and God, too, has turned from them to the Gentiles.  Hence it is that there is an important turn in our type at this stage.  Joseph is now seen in the hands of the Gentiles.  But before we are told what happened to Joseph in Egypt, the Holy Spirit traces for us, in typical outline, the history of the Jews, while the antitypical Joseph is absent from the land. This is found in Gen. 38.



It is remarkable that Gen. 38 records the history of Judah, for long before the Messiah was rejected by the Jews, Israel (the ten tribes) had ceased to have a separate history.  Here, then, Judah foreshadows the history of the Jews since their rejection of Christ.  And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah; and he took her, and went in to her” (Gen. 38: 2).  How striking this is! Canaanite signifies “the merchantman,” and Shuah means “riches.”  How plainly the meaning of these names give us the leading characteristics of the Jews during the centuries from the Cross!  No longer are they the settled husbandmen and quiet shepherds as of old; but, instead, travelling merchants.  And “riches” has been their great pursuit.  Three sons were born to Judah by Shuah, and the “Numerical Bible” suggests as the meaning of their names: “Er”- enmity; “Onan” - iniquity; Shelah” - sprout.  Deeply significant, too, are these names.  Enmity” against Christ is what has marked the Jews alLthrough the centuries of this Christian era.  Iniquity” surely fits this avaricious people, the average merchant of whom is noted for dishonesty, lying and cheating.  While “sprout” well describes the feeble life of this nation, so marvellously preserved by God through innumerable trials and persecutions.  The chapter terminates with the sordid story of Tamar, the closing portions of which obviously foreshadowing the end-time conditions of the Jews.  In the time of her travail twins were in her womb (38: 27).  So in the tribulation period there shall be two companies in Israel.  The first, appropriately named Pharez,” which means “breach,” speaking of the majority of the nation who will break completely with God and receive and worship the Antichrist.  The second, Zerah,” that had the scarlet thread upon his hand (38: 30), pointing to the godly remnant who will be saved, as was Rahab of old by thescarlet cord.”  But we must turn now to Gen. 39.



Genesis 39 is more than a continuation of what has been before us in Gen. 37, being separated, as it is, from that chapter by what is recorded in 38.  Genesis in 39 is really a new beginning in the type, taking us back to the Incarnation, and tracing the experiences of the Lord Jesus from another angle.  Continuing our enumeration (see previous article), we may observe:



26.  Joseph becomes a Servant.



And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, brought him out of the hands of the Ishmaelites, which had brought him down thither” (39: 1).  What a contrast from being the beloved son in his father’s house to the degradation of slavery in Egypt!  But this was as nothing compared with the voluntary self-humiliation of the Lord Jesus.  He who was in the form of God, and thought it not robbery to be equal with God, made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant (Phil. 2: 6, 7).  Bond-slave expresses the force of the original better than servant.”  It is to this the prophetic language of Psalm 40 refers.  There we hear the Lord Jesus saying, Sacrifice and offering Thou didst not desire; Mine ears hast Thou digged; burnt offering and sin offering hast Thou not required.  Then said I, lo, I come; in the volume of the book it is written of Me.  I delight to do Thy will, 0 My God.”  These words carry us back to Exod. 21: 5, 6: And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free.  Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall serve him for ever.”  The Lord Jesus was the Speaker of that prophecy in Psalm 40, and the fulfiller of this type in Exod. 21.  He was the One who took the Servant place, and voluntarily entered into the degradation of slavery.  And it is this which Joseph here so strikingly typified.



27.  Joseph was a Prosperous Servant.



And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man, and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.  And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand” (39: 2, 3).  Observe, particularly, it is here said, the Lord made all that Joseph did to prosper in his hand.”  How these words remind us of two prophetic scriptures which speak of the perfect Servant of Jehovah.  The first is the opening Psalm, which brings before us the “Blessed Man,” the Man who walked not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the seat of the scornful; the Man whose delight was in the Law of the Lord, and in whose Law He did meditate day and night; the Man of whom God said, And He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth His fruit in His Season; His leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever He doeth shall prosper (Psa. 1: 3).  Manifestly, this spoke, specifically, of the Lord Jesus, in whom, alone, the terms of the opening verses of this Psalm were fully realized.  The second scripture is found in that matchless fifty-third of Isaiah (every sentence of which referred to the Son of God incarnate, and to Him, expressly, as Jehovah’s Servant,” see 52: 13), we read, The pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.”  How marvellously accurate the type!  Of Joseph it is recorded,The Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand (Gen. 39: 3).  Of Christ it is said, The pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand(Isa. 53: 10).



28.  Joseph’s master was well pleased with him.



And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand” (39: 4).  How could it be otherwise?  Joseph was entirely different from any other servant that Potiphar ever had.  The fear of God was upon him; the Lord was with him, prospering him; and he served his master faithfully.  So it was with the One whom Joseph foreshadowed.  The Lord Jesus was entirely different from any other servant God ever had.  The fear of the Lord was upon Him (see Isa. 11: 2).  And so faithfully did He serve God, He could say, I do always those things that please Him” (John 8: 29).



29.  Joseph, the servant, was made a blessing to others.



And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was upon all that he had in the house and in the field” (34: 5).  So, too, the Father entrusted to the Son all the interests of the Godhead - the manifestation of the Divine character, the glorifying of God’s name, and the vindication of His throne.  And what has been the outcome of the Beloved of the Father taking the Servant place, and assuming and discharging these onerous responsibilities?  Has not the Lord blessed the antitypical Egyptian’s house,” for the sake of that One whom Joseph foreshadowed?  Clearly, the Egyptian’s house symbolized the world, and how bountifully has the world been blessed for Christ’s sake!



30.  Joseph was a goodly person.



And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured” (39: 6).  How carefully has the Holy Spirit here guarded the type!  We must always distinguish between the person and the place which he occupies. Joseph had entered into the degradation of slavery.  He was no longer at his own disposal, but subject to the will of another.  He was no longer dwelling in his father’s house in Canaan, but instead, was a bond slave in an Egyptian’s house.  Such was his position.  But concerning his person we are told, Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured.”  So, too, the Son of God took a lowly place, the place of humiliation and shame, the place of submission and servitude.  Yet, how zealously did the Father see to it that the glory of His person was guarded!  No sooner was He laid in the manger (the place He took), than God sent the angels to announce to the Bethlehem shepherds that the One born (the person) was none other than Christ, the Lord.”  A little later, the wise men from the East prostrate themselves before the young child in worship.  As soon as He comes forth to enter (the place of) His public ministry - serving others, instead of being served - God causes one to go before Him and testify that he was not worthy to stoop down and unloose the shoe-latchet of the (person) of the Lamb of God.



So, too, on the Cross, where, supremely, God’s Servant was seen in the place of shame, God caused Him to be owned as the Son of God” (Matt. 27: 54)!  Truly, was He a goodly person, and well favoured.”



31.  Joseph was sorely tempted, yet sinned not.



And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me.  But he refused and said unto his master’s wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand.  There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back anything from me but thee, because thou art his wife; how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?  And it came to pass as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her.  And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within.  And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out” (39: 7-12).



It is surely not without design that the Holy Spirit has placed in juxtaposition the account of the un-chastity of Judah in Gen. 38 with the chastity of Joseph here in Gen. 39.  And how significant that the un-faithfulness of the one is placed before the faithfulness of the other!  Joseph’s temptation foreshadowed the temptation of the Lord Jesus, the last Adam, and His faithfulness in refusing the evil solicitations of Satan, which was in marked contrast from the failure of the first Adam, before Him.  The marvellous accuracy of our type may be further seen by observing that Joseph’s temptation is here divided into three distinct parts (as was that of our Lord), see verses 7, 10, 12.  So, again, it should be remarked, that Joseph was tempted not in Canaan, by his brethren, but in Egypt (symbol of the world), by the wife of a captain of Pharaoh’s guard.  And the temptation suffered by the Lord Jesus emanated, not from His brethren according to the flesh, but from Satan, the prince of this world.”



Beautiful is it to mark how Joseph resisted the repeated temptation – How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?”  This is the more striking if we link up this utterance of Joseph’s with Psa. 105: 19, “The Word of the Lord tried him.”  So it was by the same Word that the Saviour repulsed the Enemy.  But notice here one point in contrast: And he (Joseph) left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out” (39: 12).  So, the Apostle Paul, writing to Timothy, enjoined him to Flee youthful lusts” (2 Tim. 2: 22).  How different with the Perfect One!  He said, “Get thee hence, Satan” (Matt. 4: 10), and we read, Then the Devil leaveth Him.”  In all things He has the pre-eminence.



32.  Joseph was falsely accused.



And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came home.  And she spake unto him according to these words, saying, The Hebrew servant, which thou hast brought unto us, came in unto me to mock me. And it came to pass, as I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled out” (39: 16-18).  There was no ground whatever for a true charge to be brought against Joseph, so an unjust one was preferred.  So it was, too, with Him who was holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners.”  His enemies “the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put Him to death.  But found none.”  Yet, at the last, came two false witnesses” (Matt. 16: 59, 60), who bore untruthful testimony against Him.



33.  Joseph attempted no defence.



And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spake unto him, saying, After this manner did thy servant to me: that his wrath was kindled” (39: 19), though notice, it does not add, “against Joseph.”  In Gen. 37, we beheld Joseph’s passive submission to the wrong done him by his heartless brethren.  So here, when falsely and foully accused by this Egyptian woman, he attempts no self-vindication; not a word of appeal is made; nor is there any murmuring against the cruel injustice done him, as he is cast into prison.  There was no recrimination; nothing but a quiet enduring of the wrong.  When Joseph was reviled, like the Saviour, he reviled not again.  And how all this reminds us of what we read in Isa. 53: 7, with its recorded fulfilment in the Gospels, “He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth!”



34.  Joseph was cast into prison.



And Joseph’s master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were bound; and he was there in the prison” (39: 20).



Taking the garment that Joseph had left behind him in his flight, she used it as a proof of his guilt, and first to the servants, and then to her husband.  She made out a case against the Hebrew slave.  The way she spoke of her husband to the servants (verse 14) shows the true character of the woman, and perhaps also the terms of her married life; while the fact that Potiphar only placed Joseph in prison instead of commanding him to be put to death is another indication of the state of affairs.  For appearance’ sake Potiphar must take some action, but the precise action taken tells its own tale.  He evidently did not credit her story” (Dr. G. Thomas).



Just as Joseph, though completely innocent, was unrighteously cast into prison, so our Lord was unjustly sentenced to death by one who owned repeatedly, I find no fault in Him.”  And how striking is the parallel between the acts of Potiphar and Pilate.  It is evident that Potiphar did not believe the accusation which his wife brought against Joseph - had he really done so, as has been pointed out, he would have ordered his Hebrew slave put to death.  But to save appearances he had Joseph cast into prison.  Now mark the close parallel in Pilate.  He, too, it is evident, did not believe in the guilt of our Lord or why have been so reluctant to give his consent for Him to be crucified?  He, too, knew the character of those who accused the Saviour.  But, for the sake of appearances - as an officer of the Roman Empire, against the One who was charged with being a rebel against Caesar, for political expediency - he passed sentence.



35.  Joseph thus suffered at the hands of the Gentiles.



Not only was Joseph envied and hated by his own brethren, and sold by them into the hands of the Gentiles, but he was also treated unfairly by the Gentiles too, and unjustly cast into prison.  So it was with his Antitype, The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against His Christ.  For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom Thou hast anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel were gathered together” (Acts 4: 26, 27).



36.  Joseph, the innocent one, suffered severely.



In Stephen’s speech we find a statement which bears this out.  Said he, And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt,” and then, referring to his experiences after he had become a slave, he adds, but God was with him, and delivered him out of all his afflictions” (Acts 7: 9, 10).  How much, we wonder, is covered by these words!  What indignities, trials and pains, was he called on to suffer?  In Psa. 105 there is another word more specific, He (God) sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant: whose feet they hurt with fetters; he was laid in iron” (verses 17, 18).  How these references remind us of that Blessed One, who was mocked and spat upon, scourged and crowned with thorns, and nailed to the cruel tree!



37.  Joseph won the respect of his jailor.



But the Lord was with Joseph, and showed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison” (39: 21).  Is not the antitype of this found in the fact that the Roman centurion, the one who had charge of the Crucifixion of the Saviour, cried, Certainly this was a Righteous Man” (Luke 23: 47).  Thus did God give His Son favour in the sight of this Roman who corresponded with Joseph’s jailor.



38.  Joseph was numbered with transgressors.



And it came to pass that after these things, that the butler of the king of Egypt, and his baker had offended their lord the king of Egypt.  And Pharaoh was wroth against two of his officers, against the chief of the butlers and against the chief of the bakers.  And he put them in ward in the house of the captain of the guard, into the prison, the place where Joseph was bound” (40: 1-3).   What a marvellous line is this in our typical picture.  Joseph was not alone in the place of shame and suffering.  Nor was the Lord Jesus as He hung on the heights of Calvary.  And just as there were two malefactors crucified with Him, so two offenders were in the prison with Joseph!  But the analogy extends ever further than this.



39.  Joseph was the means of blessing to one, but the pronouncer of judgment on the other.*


[* NOTE. Here we have a judgment before the time of Resurrection.  See Heb. 11: 35b; Luke 20: 35; Luke 14: 14; Phil. 3: 11. cf. Rom. 8: 17b, 23, 24; 2 Tim. 2: 12, 13; 1 Pet. 1: 5, 9-11.]



His fellow prisoners had each of them a dream, and in interpreting them, Joseph declared that the butler should be delivered from prison, but to the baker he said, Within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thy head from off thee, and shall hang thee on a tree, and the birds shall eat thy flesh from off thee” (40: 19). It is not without good reason that the Holy Spirit has seen fit to record the details of these dreams.  Connected with the spared one, the butler, we read of the cup into which the grapes were pressed (49: 10-12), suggesting to us the precious Blood of the Lamb, by which all who believe are delivered.  Connected with the one who was not delivered, the baker, were baskets full of bakemeats (40: 16, 17), suggesting human labours, the works of man’s hands, which are powerless to deliver the sinner, or justify him before God: for all such there is only the Curse,” referred to here by the baker being hanged on a tree” (cf. Gal. 3: 13).  So it was at the Cross: the one thief went to Paradise [i.e., in the underworld of Hades/Sheol, (Luke 23: 43; Matt. 12: 40)]; the other to Perdition.



40.  Joseph evidenced his knowledge of the future.



In interpreting their dreams, Joseph foretold the future destiny of the butler and the baker.  But observe that in doing this he was careful to ascribe the glory to Another, saying, Do not interpretations belong to God?” (40: 8).  So the One whom Joseph foreshadowed, again and again, made known what should come to pass in the future, yet did he say, For I have not spoken of Myself; but the Father which sent Me, He gave Me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak” (John 12: 49).



41.  Joseph’s predictions came true.



And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, that he made a feast unto all his servants; and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants.  And he restored the chief butler unto his butlership again; and he gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand.  But he hanged the chief baker: as Joseph had interpreted to them” (40: 20-22).  Just as Joseph had interpreted so it came to pass.  So shall it be with every word of the Son of God, Heaven and earth shall pass away, but His words shall not pass away.  And 0, unsaved reader, just as the solemn announcement of Joseph concerning the baker was actually fulfilled, so shall these words of the Lord Jesus be found true – he that believeth not shall be damned!”



42.  Joseph desired to be Remembered.



Said Joseph to the butler, But think on me when it shall be well with thee” (40: 14).  So, in connection with the Supper, the Saviour has said, This do in remembrance of Me.”



As we admire these lovely typical pictures, like the queen of Sheba, there is no more strength left in us, and we can only bow our heads and say, How precious are Thy thoughts unto me, 0 God!  How great is the sum of them!”



*       *       *












Our present chapter opens by presenting to us the king of Egypt dreaming two dreams, and awaking with his spirit troubled.  The court magicians and wise men were summoned, and Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was none that could interpret them to Pharaoh.”  Then it was that the chief butler recalled his experience in prison.  He remembers how he had a dream, and that a Hebrew slave had interpreted aright its significance.  He recounts this now to the king, and Pharaoh sends at once for Joseph, who explains to him the meaning of his own dreams.  There are several important truths which here receive a striking exemplification:



First, we are shown that The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of waters.  He turneth it whithersoever He will” (Prov. 21: 1).  It was no accident that Pharaoh dreamed as he did, and when he did.  God’s time had come for Joseph to be delivered from prison and exalted to a position of high honour and responsibility, and these dreams were but the instrument employed by God to accomplish this end.  Similarly, He used, long afterwards, the sleeplessness of another king to lead to the deliverance of Mordecai and his fellows.  This truth has been expressed so forcefully and ably by C. H. M. in his “Notes on Genesis,” we cannot refrain from quoting him:



The most trivial and the most important, the most likely and the most unlikely circumstances are made to minister to the development of God’s purposes.  In chapter 39 Satan uses Potiphar’s wife, and in chapter 40 he uses Pharaoh’s chief butler.  The former he used to put Joseph into the dungeon; and the latter he used to keep him there, through his ungrateful negligence; but all in vain.  God was behind the scenes.  His finger was guiding all the springs of the vast machine of circumstances, and when the due time was come, he brought forth the man of His purpose, and set his feet in a large room.  Now, this is ever God’s prerogative.  He is above all, and can use all for the accomplishment of His grand and unsearchable designs.  It is sweet to be able thus to trace our Father’s hand and counsel in everything. Sweet to know that all sorts of agents are at His sovereign disposal; angels, men and devils - all are under His omnipotent hand, and all are made to carry out His purposes” ,(p. 307: italics are ours).  How rarely one finds such faith-strengthening sentiments such as these set forth, plainly, by writers of today!



Second, we are shown in the early part of Genesis 41 how that the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.  As it is well known, Egypt stands in Scripture as a figure of this world.  In Joseph’s time, the land of the Pharaoh’s was the centre of learning and culture, the proud leader of the ancient civilizations. But the people were idolaters.  They knew not God, and only in His light can we see light.  Apart from Him, all is darkness, morally and spiritually.  So we see it in the chapter before us.  The magicians were impotent, the wise men displayed their ignorance, and Pharaoh was made to feel the powerlessness of all human resources and the worthlessness of all human wisdom.



Third, the man of God was the only one that had true wisdom and light.  How true it is that “the secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him!”  These dreams of Pharaoh had a prophetic significance: They respected the future of Egypt (typically, the [this] world), and no Gentile, as such, had intelligence in the purpose of God respecting the earth.  God was pleased to make known His counsels to a Gentile, as here, a Jew had to be called, each time, as interpreter.  It was thus with Nebuchadnezzar.  The wise men of Chaldea were as helpless as the magicians of Egypt; Daniel, alone, had understanding.  So, too, with Belshazzar and all his companions - the aged prophet had to be called in to decipher the message upon the wall.  Well would it be if leaders of the world today turned to the inspired writings of the Hebrew prophets of the things which must shortly come to pass.



Fourth: That all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose,” is writ large across our lesson.  And well for us if we take this to heart.  But the trouble is, we grow so impatient under the process, while God is taking the tangled threads of our lives and making them work together for good.”  We become so occupied with present circumstances that hope is no longer exercised, and the brighter and better future is blotted from our view.  Let us bear in mind that Scripture declares, Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof” (Ecc. 7: 8).  Be of good cheer, faint heart; sorrow may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.  So it was with Joseph.  For a season he suffered wrongfully, but at the last God vindicated and rewarded him.  Remember Joseph then, troubled reader, and let patience [perseverance] have her perfect work.”  But we must turn from these moralizings and consider the typical bearings of our chapter.  We continue our previous enumeration.



43.  Joseph, in due time, was delivered from prison.



Joseph had been rejected by his brethren, and treated un­justly and cruelly by the Egyptians.  Through no fault of his own he had been cast into prison.  But God did not suffer him to end his days there.  The place of shame and suffering was to be exchanged for one of high dignity and glory.  The throne was to supplant the dungeon.  And now that God’s time for this had arrived, nothing could hinder the accomplishment of His purpose.  So it was with our blessed Lord.  Israel might despise and reject Him, wicked hands might take and crucify Him, the powers of darkness might rage against Him; His lifeless body might be taken down and laid in the tomb, the sepulchre sealed and a watch set, but it was not possible that He should be holden of death” (Acts 2: 24).  No; on the third day, He rose again in triumph o’er the grave, leaving the cerements of death behind Him.  How beautifully this was prefigured in the case of Joseph.  Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon; and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh” (41: 14).  Compare John 20: 6, 7!



44.  Joseph was delivered from prison by the hand of God.



It is evident that, apart from Divine intervention, Joseph had been suffered to languish in the dungeon to the end of his days.  It was only the coming in of God – Pharaoh’s troubled spirit, the failure of the magicians’ to interpret his dream, the butler’s sudden recollection of the Hebrew interpreter - that brought about his release.  Joseph himself recognized this, as is clear from his words to his brethren, at a later date: And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.  So now it was not you who sent me hither, but God: and He hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and Lord of all his house, and ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.  Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt” (45: 7-9).  So it was with the Saviour in being delivered from the prison of [Gk. ‘Hades’/ Heb. ‘Sheol’ (Acts 2: 31), and] the tomb: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death” (Acts 2: 24).  This Jesus hath God raised up (Acts 2: 32).  Him God raised up the third day, and showed Him openly” (Acts 10: 40).*


* There are other Scriptures which show that the Lord Jesus raised Himself (John 2: 19 ; 10. 17. 18, etc.).  But, above, we have quoted those which emphasized the fulfilment of the type.



45.  Joseph is seen now as the Revealer of secrets.



Like the butler and baker before him, Pharaoh now recounted to Joseph the dreams which had so troubled his spirit, and which the wise men were unable to interpret.  It is beautiful to mark the modesty of Joseph on this occasion, And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace” (41: 16).  So, in a much higher sense, the Lord Jesus said, I have given unto them the words which Thou gavest Me” (John 17: 8).  And again, As the Father hath taught Me, I speak these things” (John 8: 28).  Once more, For I have not spoken of Myself: but the Father which sent Me, He gave Me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak” (John 12: 49).



Having listened to the king’s dream, Joseph said, God hath showed Pharaoh what He is about to do” (41. 25), and then he made known the meaning of the dreams.  How close is the parallel between this and what we read of in the opening verse of the Apocalypse!  Just as God made known to the Egyptians, through Joseph, what He was about to do,” so has He now made known to us, through Jesus Christ, the things He will shortly do in this world.  The parallel is perfect: said Joseph, What God is about to do He showeth unto Pharaoh” (41: 28), and the Apocalypse, we are told, is the revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass.”



46.  Joseph warned of a coming danger, and urged his hearers to make suitable provision to meet it.



Joseph was no honied-mouthed “optimist,” who spake only smooth and pleasant things.  He fearlessly told the truth.  He shunned not to declare the whole counsel of God.



He declared that, following the season of Divine blessing and privilege, there would come a time of famine, a famine which should consume the land, and be “very grievous.”  And in view of this, he warned them to make ready and be prepared.  So also was Christ the faithful and true Witness.  He made known the fact that death does not end all, that there is a life to come.  He warned those who trusted in their earthly possessions and who boasted of how they were going to enjoy them, that their soul’s would be requiredof them, and that at short notice.  He lifted the veil which hides the unseen, and gave His hearers a view of the sufferings of the damned in Hell [i.e., Gk. ‘Hades’ - in the underworld of the souls of the dead, (Acts. 2: 27. R.V.; Luke 16: 19-31. cf.  Rev. 6: 9-11)].  He spake often of that place where their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched,* and where there is weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.  He counselled men to make provision against the future.  He bade men to prepare for that which lies ahead of all - a face to face meeting with God.**


[* NOTE. It is a well known fact that there are two words in the Greek Testament which in the English Authorized King James Version of 1611, are rendered ‘Hell’ – (1) ‘Hades= Heb.‘Sheol’ LXX., and (2) ‘Gehenna’.  In the New Testament, our Lord is represented as employing the former of these only three times – in reference to the humiliation of Capernaum (Matt. 11: 23; Luke 10: 15); to the deliverance of the ‘Church’ from its power (Matt. 16: 18); and to the imprisonment of the disembodied souls of Dives, (Luke 16: 23) – albeit in a separate compartment from Lazarus and Abraham.  When He uttered His fearful threatenings concerning the casting of both body and soul into ‘Hell’, into unquenchable fire, the term employed by Him was ‘Gehenna’; see Matt. 5: 22, 29, 30; 10: 28; 18: 9; 23: 15, 33; Mark 9: 43-47; Luke 12: 5.


** Therefore, “the salvation of your souls” (1 Pet. 1: 9, N.I.V.), has to do with “the goal of your faith” (verse 9); and it points forward to the time of Reward and Resurrection - (yet future, see Luke 14: 14; 20: 35. cf. Rev. 6: 9-11) - “when Jesus Christ is revealed” (verse 13). ]



47.  Joseph appeared next as the Wonderful Counsellor.



Having interpreted to Pharaoh the meaning of his dreams, Joseph then undertook to advise the king as to the wisest course to follow in order to meet the approaching emergency, and provide for the future. There were to be seven years of plenty, which was to be followed by seven years of famine.  Joseph, therefore, counselled the king to store up the corn during the time of plenty, against the need which would arise when the season of scarcity should come upon them.  Thus did Joseph manifest the wisdom given to him by God, and display his immeasurable superiority over all the wise men of Egypt.  Again the analogy is perfect.  Christ, too, has been exhibited as the Wonderful Counsellor,” the One sent by God with a message to tell men how to prepare for the future, and make sure their [millennial and] eternal interests.  He is the One in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2: 3).



48.  Joseph’s counsel commended itself to Pharaoh and his officers.



And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of all his servants.  And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?  And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath showed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art” (41: 37-39).  Pharaoh recognized that the wisdom manifested by this Hebrew slave had its source not in occult magic, but in the Spirit of God.  Joseph had spoken with a discretion and wisdom far different from that possessed by the court philosophers, and this was freely owned by the king and his servants.  So, too, the words of the Lord Jesus made a profound impression upon those who heard Him.  And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at His doctrine.  For He taught them as One having authority, and not as the scribes” (Mat. 7: 28, 29).  And when He was come into His own country, He taught them in their synagogues, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom?” (Mat. 13: 54).  Just as Pharaoh and his servants were struck by the wisdom in Joseph.  So here, those who listened to the Lord Jesus marvelled at His wisdom.  And just as Pharaoh confessed, “Can we find such a one as this is? ... there is none so discreet and wise,” so the auditors of Christ acknowledged, Never man spake like this Man” (John 7: 46) !



49.  Joseph is duly exalted, and set over all Egypt.



And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath showed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art.  Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou” (41: 39, 40).  What a blessed change this was: from shame to glory, from the dungeon to the place of rule, from being a slave in fetters to being elevated high above all, Pharaoh alone being excepted.  This was a grand reward for his previous fidelity, and a fitting recognition of his worth.  And how beautifully this speaks to us of the One whom Joseph foreshadowed!  He was here in humiliation and shame, but He is here so no longer. God has highly exalted Him.  He is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto Him (1 Pet. 3: 22).



50.  Joseph was seated on the throne of another.



How marvellously accurate is the type.  Joseph was not seated upon his own throne,- he was not in the place of rule over his brethren.  Though he was placed over Pharaoh’s house, and according to his word was all Egypt to be ruled yet, in the Throne Pharaoh was greater than Joseph.  So we read in Revelation 3: 21, that the ascended Christ has said, to him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My Throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His Throne.”



Today our Lord Jesus Christ shares the throne of the Father as Joseph shared the throne of Pharaoh.  As Joseph ruled over Pharaoh’s house with his word, so today our Lord Jesus Christ rules over the Father’s household, the household of faith, the Church, by and through His Word.  And today, while the Lord Jesus Christ is on the throne of His Father, He is not on His own throne.  Read the passage just quoted in Revelation again, and it will be seen that our Lord Jesus Christ Himself makes a distinction between His own throne and the Father’s throne, and promises reward to the overcomer, not on the Father’s throne, but on His own; and we know, according to the promise of the angel made to Mary, and the covenant made to David, and the title He wears as the King of Israel, ‘the Son of David, the Son of Abraham,’ that His throne is at Jerusalem, ‘the city of the great King.’  On His Father’s throne He sits today as the Rejected Man, the Rejected Jew” (Dr. Haldeman).



51.  Joseph was exalted to the throne because of his personal worth.



All this is typical of the present exaltation of Christ Jesus the Lord.  He who was once the Crucified is now the Glorified.  He whom men once put upon a gibbet, has been placed by God upon His throne. Joseph was given his place of exaltation in Egypt purely on the ground of his personal worth and actual service rendered by him to the country and kingdom of Egypt” (Mr. Knapp).  And what a lovely parallel to this we find in Phil. 2 - yet as far as our Lord excelled Joseph in personal worth and service, so far is His exaltation the higher – Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.  And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him” (Phil. 2: 6-9).



52.  Joseph was invested with such insignia as became his new position.



And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph’s hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck” (40: 42).  And thus we read of the Antitype: Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince, and a Saviour” (Acts 5: 31). And again, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour (Heb. 2: 9).  Compare, too, the description of our glorified Lord as given in Revelation 1.  There we behold Him, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the breasts with a golden girdle” (5: 13).



53.  Joseph’s authority and glory are publicly owned.



And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee; and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt” (41: 43).  On the day of Pentecost, Peter said to the Jews who had condemned and crucified the Saviour, Therefore let all the House of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ (Acts 2: 36).  And it is the part of wisdom, dear reader, to recognize and own this.  Have you recognized the exalted dignity of Christ and by faith seen that the One who died on Calvary’s Cross is now seated on the right hand of the Majesty on high?  Have you submitted to His Lordship, so that you live now only to please Him?  Have you bowed the knee” before Him?  If not, 0, may Divine grace constrain you to do so without further delay, voluntarily and gladly, that you may not be among the great crowd who shall, in the coming Day, be compelled to do so; for God has sworn, that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things in earth and things under the earth” (Phil. 2: 10).



54.  Joseph received from Pharaoh a new name.



And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphnath-paaneah” (41: 45), which signifies, according to its Egyptian meaning, the Saviour of the world.”  So, to quote once more from Phil. 2, we read, Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him - the Name which is above every name ... Jesus (Phil. 2: 9, 10).  This name He bore while on earth, but at that time it was held as pledge and promise, Thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins” (Mat. 1: 21) said the angel.  But He could not save His people from their sins,” until He had borne them in His own body on the tree, until He had risen from the dead, until He returned to heaven and sent forth the Holy Spirit to apply the benefits and virtues of His finished work.  But when He ascended on high He became Saviour in fact.  God exalted Him with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour” (Acts 5: 31), and therefore did God Himself then give to His beloved Son the Name which is above every name, even the Name of Jesus,” which means the Saviour; just as after the period of his shame was over, and Joseph had been exalted by Pharaoh, he, then, received the name which signifies the Saviour of the world!”



Reader, have you an interest, a personal one, in the value and saving efficacy of that Name which is above every name?  If not, receive Him now as your own Saviour.  If by grace, you have, then bow before Him in adoration and praise.



*       *       *








55.  Joseph has a wife given to him.



And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaplinath‑paaneah (the Egyptian meaning of which is ‘Saviour of the world’); and he gave him to wife Asenath, the daughter of Potipharah priest of On” (40: 45).  It is with some hesitation and much reluctance that at this point the writer finds himself differing from other students and commentators.  Many whom we respect highly have regarded Asenath as here prefiguring the Church.  Their principal reason for doing this is because Joseph’s wife was a Gentile.  But while allowing the force of this, we feel that it is more than counterbalanced by another point which makes against it.  Believing that everything in this inspired narrative has a definite meaning and typical value, and that each verse has been put into its present place by the Holy Spirit, we are confronted with what is, to us, an insuperable difficulty if Asenath prefigures the Church, namely, the fact that in the very next verse which follows the mention of Pharaoh giving a wife to Joseph, we are told, “And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt” (41: 46).  Had this statement followed immediately after 41: 14, which records Joseph being brought out of prison to appear before Pharaoh, and after this we had been told Joseph received his wife, we should be obliged to regard Asenath as a type of the Church; but as it is, we believe the typical application must be sought elsewhere, as we shall now proceed to point out.



The Holy Spirit has here (we are assured, with definite design) made mention of Joseph having a wife before his age is referred to, and before his life’s work began.  That the age of Joseph at the time his real work started, pointed to the age of the Lord Jesus when His public ministry commenced, is too obvious to admit of dispute.  The fact, then, that the Holy Spirit speaks of Joseph’s wife before the mention of him being thirty years of age, suggests to the writer that the typical significance of Asenath must be sought at some point of time before the Lord Jesus entered upon His life’s mission.  And that, of course, takes us back to Old Testament times.  And there, we do learn of Jehovah (the Lord Jesus) possessing a wife,” even Israel.  From the various Scriptures which bring this out we select two verses from Jeremiah 3.  There, God’s prophet, when expostulating with His wayward people, said, “Turn, 0 backsliding children, said the Lord; for I am married unto you (verse 14);  Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with Me, 0 house of Israel, saith the Lord” (verse 20).



But against this it will be objected, How could Asenath, the Egyptian, wife of Joseph, typify Israel, the wife of Jehovah?  Formidable as this objection appears at first sight, it is, nevertheless, capable of easy solution. The difficulty disappears if we go back to the time when Israel first became Jehovah’s wife, Upon this point the Scriptures are very explicit.  In Ezekiel 16, where the prophet is outlining the sad history of Israel, and where he says, How weak is thine heart, saith the Lord God, seeing thou doest all these things, the work of an imperious whorish woman; in that thou buildest thine eminent place in the head of every way, and makest thine high place in every street; and hast not been as a harlot, in that thou scornest hire.  But as a wife that committeth adultery, which taketh strangers instead of her husband;” here, at the outset, the prophet declares, Thus saith the Lord God unto Jerusalem, Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother a Hittite” (Ezek. 16: 3).  Here, then, we learn the origin (the moral origin, no doubt) of Israel, and how fittingly did Asenath, the Gentile, prefigure Jehovah’s wife at that time!  It was not until after Israel was redeemed from Egypt’s bondage and corruption that they became separated from all other nations.  If further confirmation be necessary it is found in Jeremiah 2: 2, “Go cry in the ears of Jerusalem, thus saith the Lord; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after Me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown.”  Israel, then, became Jehovah’s in Egypt, when redeemed by blood, and after by power.



The issue from Joseph’s marriage appears to us to fit in with the interpretation suggested above much better than with the common application of the type of Asenath to the Church.  Unto Joseph were born two sons” (41: 50), and does not this correspond with the history of Israel after she became Jehovah’s wife?  Was not the issue of that union the two kingdoms in the days of Rehoboam, and does not the meaning of the names of Joseph’s two sons well describe the two kingdoms which, ultimately, issued from Israel?  Joseph called the name of the first born Manasseh” (41: 51), which signifies “Forgetting,” and was it not that which, peculiarly, characterized the ten-tribed kingdom!  The name of the second called he Ephraim” (41: 52), which means “Fruitful,” and such was Judah, from whom the Lord Jesus came!



56.  Joseph’s marriage was arranged by Pharaoh.



How perfectly this agrees with what we read of in Matthew 22: 2!  The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for His Son.”  The fact that Asenath is mentioned before we are told that Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh and began his life’s work (type of Christ as He began His public ministry), and that the birth and naming of his sons occurred afterward, suggests (as is so often the case, both in types and prophecies) that there is here a double foreshadowment.  This Gentile wife of Joseph points backward, first, to Israel’s condition before Jehovah separated her from all other peoples and took her unto Himself; and, second, the type seems to point forward to the time when the Lord shall resume His dealings with her, see Jeremiah 31: 31-34; Ezekiel 16: 62, 63; Hosea 2: 19-23; Isaiah 54: 5-8*). Then, too, shall the names of Joseph's two sons be found to possess a double significance, for God will “forget Israel’s past, and Israel shall then, as never before, be found “fruitful.”


* The spiritual and dispensational condition of Israel at the moment when God shall resume His dealings with His ancient people, is, again aptly figured by a Gentile, for they are termed by Him now, and until then “Lo-ammi” (Hosea 1: 9), which means “Not My people.”



57.  Joseph was thirty years old when he began his life’s work.



And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt” (41: 46).  Every line in this wondrous picture has its own beauty and value.  There is nothing here without profound significance.  The Holy Spirit has a definite design in telling us what was Joseph’s age when his public service began.  He was thirty years old.  How perfectly does type and antitype correspond!  In Luke 3: 23 we read, “And Jesus Himself began to be about thirty years of age.”  This was the age of the Lord Jesus when He commenced His public ministry, as it was Joseph’s when he began his life’s work.



58.  Joseph went forth on his mission from Pharaoh’s presence.



And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt.  And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh” (41: 46).  In this chapter Pharaoh - as the one who ruled Egypt, who delighted in the excellences of Joseph, who set Joseph over all his house, but who retained the position of supremacy as to the throne - prefigured God the Father.  Viewed in this light, how blessed is the typical force of the last-made quotation.  It was from Pharaoh’s presence Joseph began his life’s work!  How marvellously this corresponds, again, with what we read in Luke 3!  The words which immediately precede the mention of the Lord being thirty years old when His public service began, are the well-known utterance of the Father at the time of His baptism, Thou art My beloved Son; in Thee I am well pleased” (Lu. 3: 22).  So little is told us about the Saviour before His active ministry began. The years spent at Nazareth, save for that one brief statement which covered the period of His boyhood, are passed over in silence.  But as He came up out of the waters of baptism, the Father bore public testimony to the perfect life which His Son had lived here on earth, for, without doubt, the words, In Thee I am well pleased,” not only affirmed the excellency of Christ’s person, but witnessed to the Father’s approval of the thirty years which His incarnate Son had spent in obscurity.  That which we desire to call attention to here is, just as Joseph went forth to his work from Pharaoh’s presence,” so the Lord Jesus started out on His public service from the Father's presence, there manifested at the Jordan!



59.  Joseph’s service was an active and itinerant one.



And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt” (41: 46).  Joseph was no idler.  He did not betray Pharaoh’s confidence in him, but faithfully discharged his duty.  He did not remain in the place of ease and comfort, but went throughout all the land of Egypt.”  How well these words remind us of what we read in the Gospels concerning that One whom Joseph foreshadowed.  Of Him we read, And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness” (Mat. 4: 23).  And again, And Jesus went about all the cities and villages,” (Mat. 9: 35).



60.  Joseph’s exaltation was followed by a season of plenty.



And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls.  And he gathered up all the food of the seven years, which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which was round about every city, laid he up in the same.  And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering; for it was without number” (41: 47-49).  Concerning the typical meaning of these verses we quote from Mr. Knapp: “These seven years of great abundance picture, if they do not typify, the present dispensation of grace in which it is our happy lot to live.  Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation’ (2 Cor. 6: 2). There were seven years, not of plenty merely, but of ‘great plenty.’  And during those years, we read the earth brought forth by handfuls.’  It was a time of extraordinary abundance.  And there was never a day like the one in which we live.  Never before the present dispensation did God send His messengers out into all the world to proclaim to every sinner a free and a full salvation through faith in the name of His own exalted Son.  There never was a time of such abundance,’ such great plenty,’ at any former period of God’s dealings with the earth.  And it is a remarkable fact, which I have not seen previously noted, that of all the distinct dispensations of time referred to in Scripture, the present is by far the longest.  And oh, what a tale of grace this tells!  God is indeed long suffering to usward, not willing that any should perish.’



We doubt not that the saved of this dispensation are far in excess of any previous one.  How few were saved during the centuries which passed from the days of Abel up to the Flood!  How few appear to have been saved during the times of the patriarchs!  How few among Israel, from the days of Joshua onwards, gave evidence of being born again!  How few seem to have been saved during the public ministry of Christ - but a hundred and twenty were found in the upper room waiting for the Holy Spirit.  How evident it is, then, that in contrast from all that has preceded, the earth is now bringing forth “in abundance”! It is the much fruit” (John 12: 24) which our Lord declared should issue from His death.



61.  Joseph’s exaltation was also followed by a period of famine.



And the seven years of plenteousness, that was in the land of Egypt, were ended.  And the seven years of dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said; and the dearth was in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread” (41: 53, 54).  Just as the seven years - a complete period - pointed to the present interval of Grace, during which the great spiritual harvest is being garnered, so the seven years of famine (another complete period) look onward to that which shall follow the present dispensation.  After the going forth of the Gospel of God’s grace has accomplished its Divine purpose, and the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” (Rom. 11: 25), the Holy Spirit will depart out of the world, and there shall come that season which Scripture denominates the great tribulation.”  Many are the passages which refer to that season.  It is termed the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30: 7), for then will be the season of Israel’s darkest hour.  It was to this Daniel referred when he said, There shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time” (Dan. 12: 1).  Concerning this same period the Lord Jesus spake, when He said, For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.  And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved” (Mk. 13: 19, 20).  It will be the time when Satan is cast down to the earth, when the Antichrist shall be here in full power, and when the storm of God’s judgment shall burst upon the world.  Morally and spiritually, it will be a time of famine,” and, like that which typified it in the days of Joseph, it shall be very grievous” (Gen. 41: 31).  Moreover, the sphere encompassed by God’s sore judgments in that day will be no local one, but just as we are told that the dearth of old was not confined to Egypt, but that the famine was over the face of all the earth” (41: 56), so in Revelation 3. 10 we are told, the Hour of Temptation comes upon all the world, to try them which dwell upon the earth.”  It was of this same period that Amos prophesied, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.  And they shall wander, from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east; they shall run to and fro to seek the Word of the Lord, and shall not find it (Amos 8: 11, 12).  At present the world is enjoying the years of plenty, and how little it believes in the coming time of famine,” now so near at hand!  Be warned then, dear reader, and Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near” (Isa. 55: 6); for, if you are left on earth for the coming Day of Wrath, it shall be said, the harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved” (Jer. 8: 20).



62.  Joseph is now seen dispensing bread to a perishing world.



And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do” (41: 55).  It was a wonderful thing that the despised and rejected Jew should be the passport to the favour of Pharaoh; a wonderful thing that the rejected Jew should be exalted into the place of a Saviour for a famine-smitten world; it was a wonderful thing that this rejected Jew should be the only Saviour for that starving world.  Equally true and wonderful is it today that Jesus the rejected Jew is the passport to the favour of God; that He is ‘the Way, the Truth, and the Life,’ and that ‘no man cometh unto the Father but by Him’; wonderful that this rejected Christ should be exalted into a Saviour for a famine-smitten world; wonderful that this rejected Christ is the alone Saviour for a starving world.



Joseph was sent by his father to his brethren that he might be a blessing unto them, and they refused; then God turned their sin so that while it should remain as a judgment to them, it might become a blessing to others.  In sending His Son to fulfil the promises made to the fathers, God would have brought covenant and numberless blessings to Israel; they refused, and God has made use of their blindness and sin to turn salvation to others.  He has made the very sin and blindness of the people to be the occasion of grace and mercy to the whole world.  Through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles’ (Rom. 11:11).” - Dr. H.



63.  Joseph alone dispensed the Bread of Life.



It is beautiful to observe here how Pharaoh directed all who cried to him for bread to go unto Joseph: And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians: Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do” (41: 55).  May we not say this was the Gospel for Egypt, the good news that Joseph was the appointed Saviour, the glad tidings that whosoever was hungry might go to Joseph and obtain relief.  How perfectly this foreshadowed the present Gospel of God’s grace!  When a guilty and convicted sinner, with a great hunger in his soul, cries unto God, what is His response?  Why, does He not refer all such to the person of His blessed Son!  Only in Christ is salvation to be found, for neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other Name under heaven, given among men whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4: 12).  Just as of old Pharaoh said to the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph: what he saith to you, do,” so, upon the Mount of Transfiguration the Father said to the disciples of Christ, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him (Mat. 17: 5), and this is what He is still saying to men.



64.  Joseph became a Saviour to all peoples.



And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands” (41: 57).  Joseph was raised up by God to meet a world-wide need.  The dearth was in all lands” (41: 54).  But God, through Joseph, made ample provision to supply the wants of all. There was nothing provincial about the bounties which Joseph dispensed, he readily gave to each alike, no matter whether it was the Egyptians, his own brothers, or strangers from distant lands, all were fed. And how blessed to know this is equally true of the Antitype!  God;s Saviour for sinners is no provincial one.  He is for both Jew and Gentile, rich and poor, educated and illiterate, old and young, men and women - all, alike, may find in Him that which can satisfy their deepest need, the Gospel is for every creature, and its terms are, Whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”  And just as peoples from all countries came to Joseph,” so those who will sing the new song in heaven shall proclaim, Worthy art Thou to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; for Thou wast slain, and didst purchase unto God with Thy blood men of every tribe, and tongue, and people and nation” (Rev. 5: 9).



65.  Joseph had illimitable resources to meet the need of all.



And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering; for it was without number” (41: 49).  How abundant was God’s provision!  He provided with no niggardly hand.  There was to be amply sufficient for every one that applied for the alleviation of his need.  And how this reminds us of those blessed expressions which we meet with so frequently in the Epistles!  There we read of the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1: 7), yea, the exceeding riches of His grace” (Eph. 2: 7).  There we read of God being rich in mercy” (Eph. 2: 4), and, again, of His abundant mercy” (1 Pet. 1: 3).  There we read of “the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Eph. 3: 8), for in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2: 9).  And again we are told, The same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him” (Rom. 10: 12).



Thank God, the Saviour He has provided for us is possessed of illimitable resources.  There is no shortness or strainness in Him.  There is infinite value in that precious blood which He shed upon the Cross to make an atonement for sin.  There is infinite pity in His heart toward sinners.  There is infinite readiness and willingness on His part to receive all who will come to Him.  There is infinite power in His arm to deliver and keep that which is committed unto Him.  There is no sinner so depraved that Christ’s blood cannot cleanse him.  There is no sinner so bound by the fetters of Satan that Christ cannot free him. There is no sinner so weary and despondent that Christ cannot satisfy him.  The promise of the Saviour Himself is, Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Mat. 11: 28). 0, sin-sick soul, put Him to the test for yourself, and see.  Come to Christ just as you are, in all your wretchedness and need, and He will gladly receive you, blot out all your iniquities, and put a new song into your mouth.  May God, in His grace, cause some despondent ones to prove for themselves the infinite sufficiency of His Son.



*       *       *








Since we left Gen. 37-38 nothing more has been heard of the family of Jacob.  Joseph is the one upon whom the Holy Spirit has concentrated attention.  In Gen. 37 we saw how Joseph was sent by his father on an errand of mercy to his brethren, inquiring after their welfare; that Joseph came unto them and they received him not; that, instead, they envied and hated him, and sold him into the hands of the Gentiles. Then, we have followed his career in Egypt, and have seen how that the Egyptians, too, treated him badly, casting him into the place of shame and humiliation.  Also, we have seen how God vindicated His faithful servant, bringing him out of prison-house and making him governor of all Egypt.  Finally, we have learned how that Joseph’s exaltation was followed by a season of plenty, when the earth brought forth abundantly, and how this in turn, was followed by a grievous famine, when Joseph came before us as the dispenser of bread to a perishing humanity.  But during all this time the brethren of Joseph faded from view, but now, in the time of famine they come to the front again.



All of this is deeply significant, and perfect in its typical application.  Joseph foreshadowed the Beloved of the Father, sent to His brethren according to the flesh, seeking their welfare.  But they despised and rejected Him.  They sold Him, and delivered Him up to the Gentiles.  The Gentiles unjustly condemned Him to death, and following the crucifixion, His body was placed in the prison of the tomb.  In due time God delivered Him, and exalted Him to His own right hand.  Following the ascension, Christ has been presented as the Saviour of the world, the Bread of Life for a perishing humanity.  During this dispensation the Jew is set aside: it is out from the Gentiles God is now taking a people for His name.  But soon this dispensation shall have run its appointed course and then shall come the tribulation period when, following the removal of the Holy Spirit from the earth, there shall be a grievous time of spiritual famine.  It is during this tribulation period that God shall resume His dealing, with the Jews - the brethren of Christ according to the flesh.  Hence, true to the antitype, Joseph’s brethren figure prominently in the closing chapters of Genesis.  Continuing our previous enumeration we shall now follow the experiences of the brethren from the time they rejected Joseph.



66.  Joseph’s brethren are driven out of their own land.



In Gen. 37 the sons of Jacob are seen delivering up Joseph into the hands of the Gentiles, and nothing more is heard of them till we come to Gen. 42.  And what do we read concerning them there?  This: Now when Jacob saw that there was corn in Egypt, Jacob said unto his sons, Why do ye look one upon another?  And he said, Behold, I have heard that there is corn in Egypt: get you down thither, and buy for us from thence; that we may live, and not die.  And Joseph’s ten brethren went down to buy corn in Egypt.  And the sons of Israel came to buy corn among those that came: for the famine was in the land of Canaan” (42: 1-3, 5).  Canaan was smitten by the scourge of God.  It was eaten up by a famine.  Jacob and his family were in danger of dying, and the pangs of hunger drove the brethren of Joseph out of their land, and compelled them to journey down to Egypt - symbol of the world.  This was a prophecy in action, a prophecy that received its tragic fulfilment two thousand years later.  Just as a few years after his brethren had rejected Joseph, they were forced by a famine (sent from God) to leave their land and go down to Egypt, so a few years after the Jews had rejected Christ and delivered Him up to the Gentiles, God’s judgment descended upon them, and the Romans drove them from their land, and dispersed them throughout the world.



67.  Joseph was unknown and unrecognized by his brethren.



And Joseph was the governor over the land, and he it was that sold to all the people of the land.  And Joseph’s brethren came, and bowed down themselves before him with their faces to the earth.  And Joseph knew his brethren, but they knew not him” (42: 6, 8).  Joseph had been exalted over all the house of Pharaoh, but Jacob knew it not.  All these years he thought that Joseph was dead. And now his family is suffering from the famine, the scourge of God, and his sons, driven out of Canaan by the pangs of hunger, and going down to Egypt, they know not the one who was now governor of the land.  So it has been with Jacob’s descendants ever since the time they rejected their Messiah.  They received not the love of the truth, and for this cause God has sent them strong delusion that they should believe a lie.  They know not that God raised the Lord Jesus: they believe He is dead, and through all the long centuries of the Christian era a veil has been over their hearts, and the beginning of the tribulation period will find them still ignorant of the exaltation and glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.



68.  Joseph, however, saw and knew his brethren.



And Joseph saw his brethren, and he knew them” (42: 7).  Yes, Joseph saw his brethren, his eye was upon them, even though they knew him not.  So the eye of the Lord Jesus has been upon the Jews all through the long night of their rejection.  Hear His words (as Jehovah) through Jeremiah the prophet, For mine eyes are, upon all their ways: they are not hid from My face, neither is their iniquity hid from Mine Eyes’” (16: 17).  So, too, through Hosea, He said, I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hid from Me” (5: 3).



69.  Joseph punished his brethren.



And Joseph saw his brethren, and he knew them, but made himself strange unto them, and spake roughly unto themand he put them all together into ward three days” (42: 7, 17).  We quote here from the impressive words of Dr. Haldeman: “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.  He has been punishing them, making use of their wilfulness and the cupidity of the nations, but, all the same, punishing them.  My God will cast them away, because they do not hearken unto Him: and they shall be wanderers among the nations’ (Hosea 9: 17).  For I say unto you, Ye shall not see Me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.’ (Matt. 23: 38, 39)  That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zecharias, son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.  Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation (nation)’ (Matt. 23: 35, 36).  Nothing can account for the unparalleled suffering of this people, but the judgment and discipline of the Lord.”



70.  Joseph made known to them a way of deliverance through Substitution.



And he put them all together into ward three days.  And Joseph said unto them the third day, this do, and live, for I fear God.  If ye be true men, let one of your brethren be bound in the house of your prison; go ye, carry corn for the famine of your houses. ... And he took from them Simeon, and bound him before their eyes” (42: 17-19, 24).  Once more we quote from Dr. Haldeman’s splendid article on Joseph:-



On the third day he caused Simeon to be bound in the place of his brethren, and declared that by this means they might all be delivered, in the third day era, that is to say, on the resurrection side of the grave. On the day of Pentecost, the apostle Peter presented our Lord Jesus Christ as the risen one whom God had exalted to be a Prince and a Saviour unto Israel, declaring that if the latter should repent of their evil and sin toward Him whom He had sent to be Messiah and King, He would accept His death as the substitution for the judgment due them; that He would save them and send His Son again to be both Messiah and Saviour.”



71.  Joseph made provision for his brethren while they were in a strange land.



Then Joseph commanded to fill their sacks with corn, and to restore every man’s money into his sack, and to give them provision for the way; and thus did he unto them” (42: 25).  Although they knew not Joseph, and although he spoke roughly unto his brethren and punished them by casting them into prison, nevertheless, his judgments were tempered with mercy.  Joseph would not suffer his brethren to perish by the way.  They were here in a strange land, and he ministered unto their need.  So it has been throughout this dispensation.  Side by side with the fact that the Jews have been severely punished by God, so that they have suffered as no other nation, has been their miraculous preservation. God has sustained them during all the long centuries that they have been absent from their own land. God has provided for them by the way, as Joseph did for his erring brethren.  Thus has God fulfilled His promises of old.  For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee; but I will correct thee in measure, and I will not leave thee altogether unpunished” (Jer. 30: 11).  And again; Thus saith the Lord God; although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come” (Ezek. 11: 16).



72.  Joseph was made known to his brethren at the second time.



This was emphasized by Stephen in his parting message to Israel; And at the second time Joseph was made known to his brethren” (Acts 7: 13).  At their first visit, though Joseph knew his brethren, they knew not him.  It was on the occasion of their second visit to Egypt that Joseph revealed himself to them. How marvellously accurate the type!  The first time the Lord Jesus 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.



It is significant that the Holy Spirit has singled out this highly important point, and has repeated it, again and again, in other types.  It was thus with Moses and Israel.  And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens; and he spied an Egyptian smiting a Hebrew, one of his brethren.  And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that, there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand” (Ex. 2: 11, 12).  And how did his brethren appreciate his intervention on their behalf?  They despised him; they said, Who made thee a prince and a judge over us” (Ex. 2: 14).  They said, in effect, as Israel said of Christ, We will not have this Man to reign over us” (Luke 19: 14).  But the second time (after a long interval, during which Moses was hid from them) that he appeared unto them, they accepted him as their Leader.



It was thus with Joshua and Israel.  The first time that Joshua appeared before the Nation was as one of the two spies who brought to them a favourable report of the land, and counselled his brethren to go up and possess it.  But Israel rejected his message (Num. 13).  It was not until long after when Joshua came before the people, publicly, for the second time, that they accepted him as their Leader, and were conducted by him into their inheritance.



The same principle is illustrated, again, in the history of David.  David was sent by his father seeking the welfare of his brethren; And Jesse said unto David his son, take now for thy brethren an ephah of this parched corn, and these ten loaves, and run to the camp to thy brethren.  And carry these ten cheeses unto the captain of their thousand, and look how thy brethren fare, and take their pledge” (1 Sam. 17: 17-18).  But when he reached them, they resented his kindness, and their anger was kindled against David” (See 1 Sam. 17: 28), and it was not until years later that they, together with all Israel, owned him as their King.



Each of these was a type of the Lord Jesus.  The first time He appeared to Israel they received Him not; but at His second advent they shall accept Him as their Leader and King.



73.  Joseph’s brethren confess their Guilt in the sight of God.



And Judah said, What shall we say unto my lord?  What shall we speak? or how shall we clear ourselves?  God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants” (44: 16).  There are several striking verses in the prophets which throw light upon the antitypical significance of this point.  And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for the which I lifted up Mine hand to give it to your fathers.  And there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye have been defiled; and ye shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed” (Ezek. 20: 42, 43).  And again. I will go and return to My place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek My face; in their affliction they will seek me early” (Hosea 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).



74.  Joseph’s brethren were also, at first, troubled in his presence.



And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph; doth my father yet live?  And his brethren could not answer him, for they were troubled at his presence” (45: 3).  How perfectly does antitype correspond with type!  When Israel shall first gaze upon their rejected Messiah, we are told, And they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him as one that is in bitterness for his first born” (Zech. 12: 10).  As Israel shall learn then the awfulness of their sin in rejecting and crucifying their Messiah, they shall be troubled indeed.



75.  Joseph acted toward his brethren in marvellous grace.



And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you.  And they came near, And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.  Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither; for God did send me before you to preserve life.  Moreover he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them, and after that his brethren talked with him” (45: 4, 5, 15).  So shall it be when Israel is reconciled to Christ; In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness” (Zech. 13: 1).  Then shall Christ say to Israel, For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee.  In a little wrath I hid My face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer” (Is. 54: 7, 8).



76.  Joseph was revealed as a Man of Compassion.



And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren, And he wept aloud (45: 1-2).  Seven times over we read of Joseph weeping.  He wept when he listened to his brethren confessing their guilt (42: 24).  He wept when he beheld Benjamin (43: 30).  He wept when he made himself known to his brethren (45: 1-2).  He wept when his brethren were reconciled to him (45: 15).  He wept over his father Jacob (46: 29).  He wept at the death of his father (50: 1).  And he wept when, later, his brethren questioned his love for them (50: 15-17).  How all this reminds us of the tenderheartedness of the Lord Jesus Christ, 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.



77.  Joseph revealed himself to Judah and his brethren, before he was made known to the rest of Jacob’s household.



So, too, we are told in Zech. 12: 7, “The Lord also shall save the tents of Judah first.”



78.  Joseph then sends for Jacob.



In Scripture, Judah stands for Judah and Benjamin considered together.  You will note that it is Judah and Benjamin who are made prominent in the revelation of Joseph.  Jacob in prophetic language signifies the Ten Tribes.  Sending for Jacob and his household, in typical language, is sending for the Ten Tribes of Israel.  Precisely as the type brings Judah before the self -disclosed Joseph, and then Jacob is brought into the land in the presence of Joseph, so the scriptures clearly teach us that after the Lord comes to repentant Judah and is received by them at Jerusalem, He will send for the remaining household of Jacob, for the lost and wandering tribes of Israel, to come into the land to own and greet him.  And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord, out of all nations’ (Is. 66: 20)” - Dr. Haldeman.



79.  Joseph’s brethren go forth to proclaim his glory.



Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt; come down unto me, tarry not. And ye shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt” (45: 9, 13).  In like manner, after Israel has been reconciled to Christ, they shall go forth to tell of the glories of their King: And I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard My fame, neither have seen My glory, and they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles” (Is. 66: 19).  And again: And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the Lord, as the showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man” (Micah. 5: 7).



80.  Joseph makes ready his chariot and goes forth to meet Jacob.



And Joseph made ready his chariot, and went up to meet Jacob his father” (46: 29).  Says Dr. Haldeman, “This is really the epiphany of Joseph.  He reveals himself in splendour and Kingliness to his people.  He meets Judah in Goshen first and then meets his father, the household of Jacob.  This is a representation of the truth as we have already seen it.  It is the coming of Christ in His glory to meet Judah first, and then all Israel.  Our attention is specially drawn to his appearing to the people in chariots of glory.  So of the greater Joseph we read, For, behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with His chariots like a whirlwind’ (Is. 66: 15).”



81.  Joseph settles his brethren in a land of their own.



And Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the country of Goshen; and they had possessions therein, and grew, and multiplied exceedingly” (47: 27).  Goshen was the best part of the land of Egypt (symbol of the world).  As Pharaoh had said, The land of Egypt is before thee, in the best of the land make thy father and brethren to dwell; in the land of Goshen let them dwell” (47: 6).  So Palestine, when restored to its pristine beauty and fertility, shall be the best land in all the earth; and there, in the Millennium, shall Israel have “possessions” and “multiply exceedingly.”



82.  Joseph’s brethren prostrate themselves before him as the Representative of God.



And his brethren also went and fell before his face; and they said, Behold we be thy servants.  And Joseph said unto them, Fear not; for (am) I in the place of God?” (50: 18, 19).  The prophetic dream of Joseph is realized.  The brethren own Joseph’s supremacy, and take the place of servants before him.  So in the coming Day, all Israel shall fall down before the Lord Jesus Christ, and say, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us; this is the Lord; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation” (Is. 25: 9).



We close at the point from which we started. Joseph signifies “Addition,” and Addition is Increase, and increase is the very word used by the Holy Spirit to describe the dominant characteristic of the Kingdom of Him whom Joseph so wondrously foreshadowed.  Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His Kingdom, to order it and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever” (Is. 9: 7).



*       *       *








We have grouped together again the last nine chapters of Genesis, which treat principally of Joseph and his brethren, and have singled out from them the most prominent and significant of their typical teachings.  In our last article, we contemplated the dispensational bearings of the type, and this is, no doubt, its primary application.  But there is also a secondary one, one which we may term the evangelical, and it is this we shall now consider.  Joseph here strikingly prefigures Christ as the Saviour of sinners, while his brethren accurately portray the natural condition of the ungodly, and in the experiences through which they passed as their reconciliation with Joseph was finally effected, we have a lovely Gospel representation of the unsaved being brought from death unto life.  Continuing our previous enumeration, note.



83.  Joseph’s brethren dwelt in a land wherein was no corn.



They dwelt in Canaan, and we are told, the famine was in the land of Canaan” (42: 5).  There was nothing there to sustain them.  To continue where they were meant death, therefore did Jacob bid his sons go down to Egypt and buy from there that we may live, and not die” (42: 2).  Such is the condition which obtains in the place where the ungodly dwell.  Alienated from the life of God, they are living in a world which is smitten with a Spiritual famine, in a world which furnishes no food for the Soul.  The experience of every unregenerate person is that of the Prodigal Son - there is nothing for him but the husks which the swine feed upon.



84.  Joseph’s brethren wished to pay for what they received.



And Joseph’s ten brethren went down to buy corn in Egypt” (42: 3).  It is striking to observe the prominence of this feature here.  The word buy occurs no less than five times in the first ten verses of this chapter.  Clearly, they had no other thought of securing the needed food than by purchasing it.  Such is ever the conception of the natural man.  His own mind never rises to the level of receiving a gift from God.  He supposes that he must earn God’s approval, win God’s favour, and merit God’s acceptance of him.  It was thus with Naaman, when he went to the prophet of God, to be healed of his leprosy.  This was the Prodigal’s conception – “make me as one of thy hired servants,” that is, as one who worked for what he received.  So it was here with Joseph’s brethren.  And so it is still with every natural man.



85.  Joseph’s brethren assume a self-righteous attitude as they come before the lord of Egypt.



When they appeared before Joseph he tested them.  He spoke roughly unto them” (42: 7). He said, Ye are spies; to see the nakedness of the land ye are come” (42: 9).  And what was their response? They answered him, Nay, my lord, but to buy food are thy servants come.  We are all one man’s sons; we are true men; thy servants are no spies” (42: 10, 11).  It is thus when God begins His work with the sinner.  He wounds before He heals, He wounds in order that He may heal.  By His Spirit He speaks roughly.”  He sends forth the arrow of conviction.  He speaks that which condemns the natural man.  And what is the sinner’s first response?  He resents this rough speaking.  He repudiates the accusations brought against him.  He denies that he is totally depraved and dead in trespasses and sins.”  He attempts to vindicate himself.  He is self-righteous.  He boasts that he is a “true man”!



86.  Joseph’s brethren were cast into prison for three days.



And he put them all together into ward three days” (42: 17).  This was not unjust, nor was it harsh treatment.  It was exactly what they deserved.  Joseph was putting these men into their proper place, the place of shame and condemnation.  It is thus God deals with the lost.  The sinner must be made to realize what is his just due.  He must be taught that he deserves nothing but punishment.  He must be shown that the place of condemnation and shame is where he, by right, belongs.  He must be abased before he can be exalted.



87.  Joseph’s brethren were now smitten in their Conscience.



And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us” (42: 21).  Notice they said this one to another,” not yet were their consciences active in the presence of God!  The analogy holds good in the experience of the unregenerate.  As God’s work goes forward in the soul, conscience becomes active, there is deep distress,” and there is an acknowledgment of sin, but at this stage the awakened and troubled one has not yet come to the point where he will take the place of a lost sinner before God.



88.  Joseph makes it known that deliverance is by Grace.



Then Joseph commanded to fill their sacks with corn, and to restore every man’s money into his sack, and to give them provision for the way: and thus did he unto them” (42: 25).  What a lovely touch to the picture is this!  The Bread of Life cannot be purchased.  It must be accepted as a free gift, if it is received at all.  The terms of the Gospel are without money, and without price.”  And how beautifully was this shown forth here, when Joseph, as the type of Christ, orders the money to be restored to those who came to buy the corn.”  Clearly, this was a foreshadowing of the blessed truth, By grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2: 8, 9).



89.  Joseph’s brethren now enjoy a brief respite.



And they laded their asses with the corn, and departed thence” (42: 26).  They had been brought out of prison, the desired corn was obtained, and they were returning home.  Their minds were now at rest, and we may well conclude that their recently disturbed consciences were quiet again.  But not yet had they been brought into their true rest.  Not yet had they been reconciled to Joseph.  Only temporary relief had been obtained after all.  Deeper exercises lie before them.  And how strikingly this prefigures the experiences of the awakened sinner!  After the first season of conviction is over, after one has first learned that salvation is by grace and not by works, there generally follows a season of relief, a temporary and false peace is enjoyed, before the sinner is truly and savingly brought into the presence of Christ.



90.  Joseph’s brethren soon had their superficial peace disturbed.



And as one of them opened his sack to give his ass provender in the inn, he espied his money; for, behold, it was in his sack’s mouth.  And he said unto his brethren, My money is restored, and lo, it is even in my sack: and their heart failed them, and they were afraid, saying one to another, What is this that God hath done unto us?” (42: 27, 28).  How true to life again!  The type is easily interpreted.  God will not allow the awakened soul to rest until it rests upon Christ alone.  And, so, He causes the experiences of the way to dispel the false peace.  What do we read of next?  And the famine was sore in the land.  And it came to pass, when they had eaten up the corn which they had brought out of Egypt, their father said unto them, Go again, buy us a little food” (43: 1, 2). And again, the analogy is easily traced.  The hunger of the Soul becomes more acute in the one with whom the Spirit of God is dealing; the sense of need is deepened; the famineconditions of this poor world are felt more keenly.  And there is no relief to be obtained until, once more, he comes into the presence of the true Governor of Egypt.



91.  Joseph’s brethren continued to manifest a legal spirit.



And their father Israel said unto them, If it must be so now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices and myrrh, nuts and almonds. ... And the men took that present, and they took double money in their hand, and Benjamin, and rose up, and went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph.” (43: 11, 15).  How like the soul that has begun to be exercised before God!  Uneasy in conscience, and discerning more and more the vanity of the world, the sinner redoubles his efforts to please God.  He turns over a new leaf and seeks harder than ever to win God’s approval.  How little these men knew Joseph - what did he, as Governor over all Egypt, want with their presents!  And how little, as yet, the newly awakened soul, knows Christ!  Joseph said, These men shall dine with me at noon” (43: 16).  So, too, Christ is the One who has spread the feast.  The word of the Gospel is, Come for all things are now ready” (Luke 14: 17).  Christ is the Provider; the poor sinner is but the receiver.



92.  Joseph’s brethren are now made happy again.



And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his youth: and the men marvelled one at another.  And he took and sent messes unto them from before him: but Benjamin’s mess was five times so much as any of theirs.  And they drank, and were merry with him” (43: 33, 34).  Ah, what is man!  Not yet had sin been told out.  Not yet had a right relationship been established.  Nevertheless, they could be merry.”  A superficial observer would have concluded that all was now well.  It reminds us of the stony ground in the parable of the Sower - he heareth the Word, and anon with joy receiveth it; yet hath he not root in himself(Matt. 13: 20, 21).  It is greatly to be feared that there are many such to-day.  God’s saving work goes much deeper than producing evanescent emotions.



93.  Joseph is determined to bring his brethren out into the light.



And he commanded the steward of his house, saying, Fill the men’s sacks with food as much as they can carry, and put every man’s money in his sack’s mouth.  And put my cup in the sack’s mouth of the youngest, and his corn money.  And he did according to the word that Joseph had spoken” (44: 1, 2).  There could be no settled or real fellowship between Joseph and his brethren until the wrong had been righted.  There could be no communion of heart until full confession of guilt had been made.  And this is the goal God has in view.  He desires to bring us into fellowship with Himself. But He is holy, and sin must be confessed and put away, before we can be reconciled to Him.



94.  Joseph’s brethren, at last, take their true place before God.



They had been in the presence of Joseph, though they knew him not; they had been merry before him, and they were now going on their way light-heartedly.  Joseph, then, sent his steward after them, saying, Up, follow after the men; and when thou dost overtake them, say unto them, Wherefore have ye rewarded evil for good?” (44: 4).  In like manner, the Lord sends His Holy Spirit to follow up His work in the heart of the awakened soul.  The steward brought back the brethren into the presence of Joseph once more.  Thus, too, does the Holy Spirit bring the convicted sinner back into the presence of God.  And mark the sequel here: And Judah said, What shall we say unto my lord? what shall we speak? or how shall we clear ourselves? GOD hath found out the iniquity of thy servants” (44: 16). How blessed is this!  What a change from their earlier attitude before him, when they affirmed they were true men!  Now, they give up all attempt to clear themselves, and take the place of guilty ones before Joseph, acknowledging that God had “found out” their iniquity.”  This is the goal Joseph has had before him all the way through.  And this is the design of the Spirit’s work in the sinner.  Not till he ceases to vindicate himself, not till he comes out into the light, not till he owns he is guilty, and unable to clear himself,” can he be blest.  Once the sinner acknowledges before God that he is undone, lost, it will not be long till Christ is revealed to him as the One who can fully meet his deep, deep need.  So it was with Joseph and his brethren.



95.  Joseph made himself known to his brethren.



Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him, and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me.  And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren” (45: 1).  How blessed to note the opening word here – Then.”  Now that his brethren had acknowledged their guilt, there was no delay.  That which had hindered Joseph from revealing himself sooner was now gone.



Notice, particularly, that as Joseph made himself known unto his brethren he cried, “Cause every man to go out from me.”  Thus it is when Christ reveals Himself to the self-confessed and needy sinner.  None must come between the needy soul and the Redeemer.  Away, then, ye priests, who pose as mediators. Away, ye ritualists who would interpose your ordinances as conditions of salvation.  Away, all ye human interferers, who would get the poor sinner occupied with any but Christ alone.  Let every man go out.”



96.  Joseph invites his brethren to come near to him.



And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you.  And they came near” (45: 4). Unspeakably blessed is this.  There is no aloofness here.  All distance is done away with.  So, too, in marvellous grace, the Saviour bids the poor trembling sinner Come near unto Himself.  Joseph did more.  He proclaimed in their ears a wondrous message; he said, God hath sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance  (45: 7).



It is a great salvation, mark.  It is not the limited, partial, mean salvation that some men would make it out to be - saving only those who help to save themselves, or saving them for a time, and allowing them to lapse and be lost again.  Oh no, thank God, it is a salvation worthy of Himself, and such a salvation as only could result from that finished, faultless work of Christ on the Cross.  And, what but a great salvation could avail for sinners such as we?  We are all of us great sinners; our guilt was great, our need was great, and nothing but a great salvation could be of any use to us.  I hope you have it, friend.  Don’t neglect it.  How shall we escape,’ the Spirit asks, if we neglect so great salvation?’ (Heb. 2: 3)” (Knapp).



97.  Joseph tells his brethren of full provision made for them.



He said, And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and thy children’s children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast.  And there will I nourish thee; for yet there are five years of famine; lest thou, and thy household, and all that thou hast come to poverty” (45: 10, 11).  How this tells out, in type, what is in the heart of our blessed Saviour!  He desires His redeemed to be near to Himself!  He is to be no Stranger to them now.  Moreover, He promises to sustain them- there will I nourish thee said Joseph, and the promise to all who believe is, My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4: 19).



98.  Joseph gives proof that he is fully reconciled to his brethren.



Moreover, he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them, and after that his brethren talked with him” (45: 15).



The kiss betokened the fact they were forgiven.  It speaks, too, of love.  Thus was the Prodigal greeted after he returned from the far country and owned himself as a sinner.  Notice, it was Joseph who kissed them, and not the brethren who kissed Joseph.  So, also, it was the Father who kissed the Prodigal.  God always takes the initiative, at every point.  How blessed, too, the words which follow, and after that his brethren talked with him.”  Their fears were all gone now.  Reconciled to Joseph, they could now enjoy his fellowship and converse with him.  So it is with the saved sinner and his Saviour.



99.  Joseph’s joy was shared by others.



And the fame thereof, was heard in Pharaoh’s house, saying, Joseph’s brethren are come, and it pleased Pharaoh well, and his servants” (45: 16).  This is the Old Testament fifteenth of Luke. Sinners are received and reconciled; the lost is found; it is, as it were, life from the dead with souls. And there is joy in the presence of God.’  God and the angels, like Pharaoh and his servants, rejoice when sinners are brought to repentance.  There is joy all around.  Joseph rejoices; his brethren rejoice; Pharaoh rejoices; his servants rejoice” (Mr. Knapp).



100.  Joseph’s brethren now go forth seeking others.



Joseph gave to his brethren an honourable commission.  He had said to them, Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt: come down unto me, tarry not. And ye shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that ye have seen; and ye shall haste and bring down my father hither” (45: 9, 13).  So, too, in

marvellous grace, the Lord commissions those whom He saves.  He bids them go forth seeking others who know Him not.  Joseph bade his brethren tell Jacob that he was alive, that God had made him “lord of all Egypt,” and they were to tell of his glory.”  In like manner, believers are sent forth to tell of a Saviour that is alive for evermore; of a Saviour whom God hath made both Lord and Christ; of a Saviour, who has been crowned with glory and honour.”  Notice that twice over Joseph bade his brethren to make haste” in their going forth (vv. 9, 13).  So with us: there is to be no tardiness.  The King’s business requireth haste.”  The time is short, and precious souls are perishing all around.



101.  Joseph gives his brethren a word of admonition as they go forth.



So he sent his brethren away, and they departed and he said unto them, See that ye fall not out by the way(45: 24).  And how much we need this word of exhortation.  The flesh is still in us.  The Devil seeks to stir up a spirit of rivalry and jealousy.  But says the apostle, The servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all” (2 Tim. 2: 24).  If each of us were to heed this, there would be nofalling out by the way”!



We leave the reader to trace out for himself the typical application of the sequel.  Oseph’ brethren were faithful to the commission given them.  hey did not invent a message of their own as they approached Jacob.   They had no need to do so.  Joseph had told them what to say; their business was to repeat the words of Egypt’s governor.”  And God owned their message.  The end for which it was designed was achieved.  Jacob and his household - seventy souls in all - went down to Egypt and were royally received by Joseph.  So, too, we do not have to invent our message.  We are sent forth to preach the Word,” and as we are faithful to our calling, God will reward us, for He has promised that His Word “shall not return unto Him void.”  Let us be encouraged then by this example of the first Old Testament evangelists, and go forth into a famine-stricken world telling of One who is mighty to save, leaving the measure of our success to the sovereign will of Him who alone giveth the increase.  Thus shall we have a share in discharging our honourable commission of giving the Gospel to every creature, thus shall we glorify God, and thus shall we be bringing nearer that glad Day when the One whom Joseph foreshadowed shall return to this earth, and, taking the government upon His shoulder, shall reign in righteousness and peace.