The Typology of Joseph and His Resources

Bible Book: Genesis  45
Subject: Joseph; Christ-Type; Suffering and Glory

In the account of Joseph we see the life of suffering and glory. Here faith, son-ship, and service are blended in something deeper and grander, emerging in complete rule over the world and the flesh. Here Egypt, which is a classic type of the world and the sense life, and which had been a snare to both Abraham and Isaac, is completely ruled by Joseph. In Joseph is both “the fellowship of his sufferings and the power of his resurrection.” Herein is the character of the regenerate man made “perfect through sufferings.” Here is suffering and reigning with Christ, and being glorified together with Him!

J. Vernon McGee said...

More chapters are devoted to Joseph than to Abraham or Isaac or to anyone else. More chapters are devoted to Joseph than to the first whole period from Genesis 1–11. This should cause the thoughtful student to pause and ask why Joseph should be given such prominence in Scripture.

There are probably several reasons. One is that the life of Joseph is a good and honorable life. He is the living example of the verse: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Phil. 4:8). God wants us to have whatever is good, virtuous, and great before us, and Joseph’s life is just that.

There is a second reason, and it is a great one. There is no one in Scripture who is more like Christ in his person and experiences than Joseph. Yet nowhere in the New Testament is Joseph given to us as a type of Christ. However, the parallel cannot be accidental. J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers) 2000, c1981.

I. Joseph’s Relationships Reveal Jesus

(A.) The Birth Relationship

In Genesis 30:22-23, God opened a void womb and Rachel bare Joseph. In Luke 1 and 2, God opened a virgin womb and Mary bare Jesus.

(B.) The Beloved Relationship

In Genesis 37:3, Jacob “loved Joseph more than all his children.” In Matthew 3:17, God said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

(C.) The Brotherly Relationship

In Genesis 37:12-19, Joseph is sent to his brethren and he seeks his brethren and he is scorned by his brethren. And in John 1:11, Jesus “came unto his own, and his own received him not.”

In (Genesis 37:5-8) … Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more. {6} And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: {7} For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf. {8} 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.

In (Luke 19:12-14) Jesus told the following story that described the response of His own Jewish brethren and of the world as a whole. He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. {13} And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. {14} But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.

II. Joseph’s Rejection Reveals Jesus

They took counsel to kill Joseph, and we are told they took counsel to plot the death of the Lord Jesus.

Joseph’s coat dripping with blood was returned to his father. They took the coat of the Lord Jesus and gambled for it. (McGee)

(A.) Notice Joseph And The Trip To Egypt

In Genesis 37:28, Joseph was “brought... into Egypt.” In Matthew 2:14-15, another Joseph “took the young child (Jesus) and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.”

(B.) Notice Joseph And The Temptation

In Genesis 39, Joseph was tempted by Potiphar’s wife to sin. In Matthew 4, Jesus was tempted by Satan.

(After these scenes of temptation, both Joseph and Jesus were thirty years old when they came into the limelight.)

(Genesis 41:46) And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt.

(Luke 3:23) And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,

(Luke 4:1) And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,

(Luke 4:14) And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.

(C.) Notice Joseph And The Torture

The Bible says that 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” (Psalm 105:17-18).

Jesus also said in Matthew 20:18-19, “Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him.”

(D.) Notice Joseph And The Transgressors

Joseph was numbered with the transgressors. He was a blessing to the butler, and he was judgment for the baker. The Lord Jesus was crucified between two thieves. One was judged and the other was blessed. (McGee)

III. Joseph’s Rescue Reveals Jesus

(A.) This Time Of Salvation Involved Joseph And The Bread

In the Old Testament... (Genesis 41:55) “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.”

In the New Testament... (John 6:35) “Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”

(B.) This Time Of Salvation Involved Joseph And The Bride

(Genesis 41:45) And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnathpaaneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.

Notice Where Joseph Gets His Bride (From Among The Gentiles)

Notice What Joseph Gives His Bride Genesis 41:50-52 Manasseh – Forgetful (Amnesia)

Ephraim – Fruitful (Ambrosia)

(C.) This Time Of Salvation Involved Joseph And The Bowing It says of Joseph …

(Genesis 42:6) 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 it says of Jesus …

(Philippians 2:9-10) Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: {10} That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

IV. Joseph’s Resurrection Hope Reveals Jesus

(A.) Consider The Departure Of Joseph From His Tomb

Joseph said that he was not going to remain in an Egyptian grave... (Genesis 50:25) And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence.

(B.) Consider The Departure Of Jesus From His Tomb

Jesus said that He was not going to remain in a borrowed tomb... (Matthew 20:18-19) Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, {19} And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.

As we consider these comparisons, it becomes increasingly clear that the Lord Jesus is our Heavenly Joseph!

I found a book recently by Pat Williams called “How To Be Like Jesus.” Well Joseph didn’t have to think about it. He just was like Jesus.

Tonight I want us to consider the fact that Joseph's Resources Reveal Jesus

I. Let’s Notice The Resources Of God Exhibited In This Chapter

(Genesis 45:16-20)

As amazing as it sounds, Pharaoh seems to present a type of God the Father who is well pleased (vs. 16) about those who come to Joseph, so pleased in fact that he wants to share the fullness of what he has with Joseph’s brethren.

A. Consider The Invitation To God’s Full Resources vs. 17- 18a

(Genesis 45:17-18) And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Say unto thy brethren, This do ye; lade your beasts, and go, get you unto the land of Canaan; {18} And take your father and your households, and come unto me: and I will give you the good of the land of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the land.

B. Consider The Inclusions Of God’s Full Resources vs. 18b-19

(Genesis 45:18-19) And take your father and your households, and come unto me: and I will give you the good of the land of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the land. {19} Now thou art commanded, this do ye; take you wagons out of the land of Egypt for your little ones, and for your wives, and bring your father, and come.

C. Consider The Impressiveness Of God’s Full Resources vs. 20

(Genesis 45:20) Also regard not your stuff; for the good of all the land of Egypt is yours.

II. Let’s Notice The Resources Of Grace Exhibited In This Chapter

(Genesis 45:5-7, 14-15, 21-23)

A. Consider The Attitude Of Grace vs. 5-7

(Genesis 45:5-7) Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life. {6} For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest. {7} And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.

B. Consider The Affection Of Grace vs. 14-15

(Genesis 45:14-15) And he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck. {15} Moreover he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them: and after that his brethren talked with him.

C. Consider The Abundance Of Grace vs. 21-23

(Genesis 45:21-23) And the children of Israel did so: and Joseph gave them wagons, according to the commandment of Pharaoh, and gave them provision for the way. {22} To all of them he gave each man changes of raiment; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver, and five changes of raiment. {23} And to his father he sent after this manner; ten asses laden with the good things of Egypt, and ten she asses laden with corn and bread and meat for his father by the way.

For those closest to the Lord (like Benjamin in verse 22), grace is manifested in a greater way.

raiment – [Hebrew 8071. simlah] perhaps the feminine of H5566 (through the idea of a cover assuming the shape of the object beneath); a dress, espec. a mantle:--apparel, cloth (-es, -ing), garment.

{5566. cemel, from an unused root mean. to resemble; a likeness}

This “raiment” would be “dress clothes which were worn on special occasions and frequently changed.” (Keil & Delitzsch)

He gives them the very thing they took away from him! Jesus gives us life which he laid down for us. (Romans 5:20) Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

III. Let’s Notice The Resources Of Goshen Exhibited In This Chapter

(Genesis 45:9-13)

A. At Goshen They Would Realize Joseph’s Nearness vs. 10

(Genesis 45:10) 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:

“Goshen” means “drawing near,” and Joseph said that in this place they would “be near unto” him.

B. At Goshen They Would Realize Joseph’s Nourishing vs. 11

(Genesis 45:11) 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.

nourish – provide, sustain, feed

C. At Goshen They Would Realize Joseph’s Nature vs. 11- 12

(Genesis 45:11-12) 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. {12} And, behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that it is my mouth that speaketh unto you.

He wants to care for us and make sure that we are not diminished. When Jacob heard about this, he must have said, “Land o’Goshen!”

IV. Let’s Notice The Resource Of Guidance Exhibited In This Chapter

(Genesis 45:24)

(Genesis 45:24) So he sent his brethren away, and they departed: and he said unto them, See that ye fall not out by the way.

A. This Warning Pertains To Their Responsibility

“see that ye”

B. This Warning Pertains To Their Reaction

“fall not out”

fall out – [Hebrew 7264. ragaz] raw-gaz'; a primary root meaning to quiver (with any violent emotion, especially anger or fear): --be afraid, stand in awe, disquiet, , fret, move, provoke, quake, rage, shake, tremble, trouble, be wroth.

1. It May Suggest A Response Of Anger

2. It May Suggest A Response Of Apprehension

C.This Warning Pertains To Their Road

“by the way”

way – [Hebrew 1870. derek], deh'-rek; a road, a way, a path; a journey; a direction; a manner, a habit, a way; used figuratively of the course of life or mode of action; used figuratively of moral character.

1. This Points To The Advancement Of Our Course

2. This Points To The Attitude Of Our Character

V. Let’s Notice The Resources Of The Gospel Exhibited In This Chapter

(Genesis 45:25-28)

A. Look At The Proclamation Of This Good News vs. 26

(Genesis 45:26) And told him, saying, Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt. And Jacob's heart fainted, for he believed them not.

Let me mention just a few brief parallels in the word that his brethren bring back to Jacob in Genesis

45. As one preacher suggested, the brothers say to Jacob that...

  • Joseph Lives Genesis 45:26
  • Joseph Is Lord Genesis 45:9,26
  • Joseph Loves Us Genesis 45: 4-8, 15
  • Joseph Longs For Us Genesis 45:9-11
  • Joseph Is Loaded Genesis 45:13, 27
B. Look At The Product Of This Good News vs. 27

(Genesis 45:27) And they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said unto them: and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived:

spirit... revived – to live again

C. Look At The Prospect Of This Good News vs. 28

(Genesis 45:28) And Israel said, It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die.

There is a little difference here in the sequence of comparison. Because the prospect for us is that we will go see our Heavenly Joseph “after” we die.


Some time ago an elderly man living in New Jersey made an unusual discovery as he leafed through an old family Bible. Many years earlier, his aunt had died and left it to him. Part of her will read: “To my beloved Steven Marsh I bequeath my family Bible and all it contains, along with the

residue of my estate after my funeral expenses and just and lawful debts are paid.” When everything had been settled the nephew got a few hundred dollars plus the old volume mentioned in the will. After the money was used up, his only support was a small pension, and for more than 30 years he lived in poverty. Then one day he cleaned out his attic in preparation for a move to his son’s home where he hoped to spend his old age. There in a trunk was the family Bible he had inherited. Opening it, he was amazed to find bank notes scattered throughout its pages. He counted over $5000 in cash. Within his reach were riches he could have been enjoying all along.

That’s what I think of when I read the record of Joseph. Right here in this account were riches that we can enjoy … treasures of truth that point us to the central personality in the whole book … Christ Himself!