45:1 Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried out, “Send everyone away from me.” So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers.
45:2 And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it.
45:3 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, so dismayed were they at his presence.
45:4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come closer to me.” And they came closer. He said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt.
45:5 And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.
45:6 For the famine has been in the land these two years; and there are five more years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest.
45:7 God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors.
45:8 So it was not you who sent me here, but God; he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt.
45:9 Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not delay.
45:10 You shall settle in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children, as well as your flocks, your herds, and all that you have.
45:11 I will provide for you there–since there are five more years of famine to come–so that you and your household, and all that you have, will not come to poverty.
45:12 And now your eyes and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see that it is my own mouth that speaks to you.
45:13 You must tell my father how greatly I am honored in Egypt, and all that you have seen. Hurry and bring my father down here.”
45:14 Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, while Benjamin wept upon his neck.
45:15 And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them; and after that his brothers talked with him.
This is a beautiful picture of redemption, forgiveness and grace. Joseph had every right to be angry with his brothers and even more so, was in a position to take revenge on them. He held the power and authority to do to them what he willed. Instead, upon seeing his brothers, he showed compassion and was filled with nothing but love towards them. His family ties to them were stronger then the position he held and it was his genuine love for God that drove him to reveal who he was and not show any malice or resentment towards them.
Joseph makes a very profound point when he addresses his brothers. Not only does he forgive them for what they did but he tells them that in the end, it was God who sent him, not them. He puts God’s glory and providence on display and it is here when we read how God took what was evil, and used it for good. If Joseph had not been placed in the position he was in, they may have never known about the famine and they may not have had been able to get food to provide for their family. God foreknowing the future, set this all up so that in the years to come when famine struck his family and the land of Egypt, there would be a way to survive.
It is so hard to see what the big picture is when we are going through a tough situation. We struggle with understanding why God is doing this and what purpose this plays in our lives. Joseph was completely stripped for his home, life and family. He was thrown into a place that had completely new and unfamiliar customs, traditions and rules. Through it all, God lead, protected and guided him. There was not one moment when we don’t see God’s hand working through all the hardships that Joseph faced.
Genuine trust and faith in God’s hand is what motivated Joseph to keep going. Our fait is often tested through the hardest of times and even if you are experiencing something hard for the first time or have already experienced various trials, read this story and trace God’s hand throughout the life of Joseph and in your own life. God is always on the move, working to bring about the very best for our lives.
The word “type” when referring to the Bible usually means a model for a future person. It can also be used to describe foreshadowing of a future person. Joseph is often though of as a type of Jesus. A helpful chart put together by JewsforJesus.com shows the comparisons. I will post that chart at the bottom of the post.
So, what is the importance of this model we find in Joseph? God’s story of redemption is not a one-time thing. When we read about the children of God before Jesus, we see that God had saved them from their own doom many times. God never allowed them to be completely wiped out. But as Joseph mentioned, God used this evil deed to save a remnant (Gen 45:7). Jesus was not the first time God had bailed out His people…. Jesus was the LAST time he would rescue humanity. This final time, God forgave all the world’s sins just as Joseph forgave the sins of his brothers.
|BELOVED OF HIS FATHER||Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children (Gen. 37:3a).||This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased (Matt. 3:17b).|
|ENVIED AND HATED WITHOUT A CAUSE||And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more they…hated him… (Gen 37:4).||…the chief priests had delivered him for envy (Mark 15:10).They hated me without a cause (John 15:25b).|
|A ROOT OUT OF DRY GROUND||…he was the son of his [Jacob’s] old age (Gen. 37:3b).||…he [Messiah] shall grow up before him…like a root out of a dry ground (Isa. 53:2a).|
|HE FORETOLD THAT ONE DAY HE WOULD RULE||… your sheaves stood…and made obeisance to my sheaf (Gen. 37:7).||…ye [shall] seethe Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven (Matt. 26:64b).|
|ACCUSED OF BEING A DREAMER (beside himself, deluded)||And they said to one another, Behold, this dreamer cometh (Gen. 37:19).||…they said, He is beside himself (Mark 3:21b).|
|SENT BY THE FATHER TO SEEK THE BROTHERS’ WELFARE||Go…see whether it be well with thy brethren (Gen. 37:14a).||I will send my beloved son… (Luke 20:13b).|
|WENT WILLINGLY AND SOUGHT TILL HE FOUND THEM||And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them… (Gen. 37:17b).||…Lo, I come, to do thy will, O God (Heb. 10:9b).He came unto his own… (John 1:11a).|
|REJECTED AND CONDEMNED TO DIE||they conspired against him to slay him (Gen. 37:18b).||We will not have this man to reign over us (Luke 19:14b).But they cried, saying, Crucify him! Crucify him! (Luke 23:21).|
|STRIPPED OF HIS CLOTHING||…they stripped Joseph out of his coat…that was on him (Gen 37:23b).||And they stripped him (Matt. 27:28a).|
|THROWN INTO A PIT (alone, forsaken)||And they took him, and cast him into a pit (Gen. 37:24a).||so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth (Matt. 12:40b).|
|SOLD FOR SILVER INTO THE HANDS OF GENTILES||…they sold Joseph to the lshmaelites twenty pieces of silver; and they brought Joseph into Egypt (Gen. 37:28b).||and they bargained with him [Judas] for thirty pieces of silver (Matt. 26:15b).|
|RAISED FROM THE PIT||…and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit (Gen. 37:28a).||…he rose again the third day according to the scriptures (1 Cor. 15:4b).|
|BECAME A SERVANT||And Joseph was brought down to Egypt…and he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian (Gen. 39:1-2).||I am among you as he that serveth (Luke 22:27b).…took upon him the form of a servant (Phil. 2:7b).|
|EVERYTHING HE DID PROSPERED||And…the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand (Gen. 39:3b).||and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand (Isaiah 53:10b).|
|RESISTED TEMPTATION||The temptation by Potiphar’s wife (Read Gen. 39:7-12).||For such an high priest was fitting…who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners…(Heb. 7:26).…[he) was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin (Heb. 4:15b).|
|FALSELY ACCUSED||The Hebrew servant, whom thou hast brought unto us, came in unto me to mock me (Gen. 39:17-18).||At the last came two false witnesses, And said… (Matt. 26:60b, 61a).|
|NUMBERED WITH TRANSGRESSORS||And Joseph’s master…put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were bound (Gen. 39:20a).||…there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left (Luke 23:33).|
|PROMISED DELIVERANCE TO A CONDEMNED MAN||Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thine head, and restore thee… (Gen. 40:13).||Today shalt thou be with me in paradise (Luke 23:43b).|
|FORETOLD THE FUTURE ACCURATELY||And it came to pass, as he interpreted to us (Gen. 41:13a).||Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he (John 13:19).|
|PROVED TO BE A GREAT COUNSELLOR||…Forasmuch as God hath shown thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art (Gen. 41:39).||and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor… (Isa. 9:6b).|
|PROMOTED TO HONOR AND GLORY AND GIVEN A NEW NAME||And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See I have set thee over all the land of Egypt (Gen. 41:41). (See also Gen. 41:45a.)||…God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a new name which is above every name (Phil. 2:9).|
|ALL PEOPLE COMMANDED TO BOW TO HIM||and they cried before him, Bow the knee (Gen. 41:43b).||That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow (Phil. 2:10a).|
|PROVIDED FOR ALL IN NEED||And all the countries came…to Joseph to buy grain (Gen. 41:57a).||…I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger (John 6:35a).|
|HIS PEOPLE DID NOT RECOGNIZE HIM||And Joseph knew his brethren, but they knew not him (Gen. 42:8).||…Have I been such a long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me…? (John 14:9a).But their minds were blinded (2 Cor. 3:14a).|
|HIS BROTHERS WERE TROUBLED WHEN THEY MET HIM||…be not grieved nor angry with yourselves (Gen. 45:5a).v||They shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn…and shall be in bitterness… (Zech. 12:10b).|
|ALLOWED HIS BROTHERS TO SUFFER A PERIOD OF TRIBULATION||Read Gen. 42:6-44:34.||it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7b).For then shall be great tribulation (Matt. 24:21a).|
|REVELATION AND RECONCILIATION||I am Joseph…whom ye sold…God hath made me lord of all…come…unto me… (Gen. 45:3b-9).||And so all Israel shall be saved;…as it is written…and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob (Rom. 11:26).|
[Featured image from 1518 titled, Joseph with Jacob in Egypt by, Pontormo]