Joseph a type of the Lord Yahoshua Anointed
'...he shall grow up before him as a tender plant' (Isa 53: 2)
2 These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being 17 years old, was feeding the flock ...
Joseph, the remarkable type of the Lord Yahshua, and of whom no sin is recorded. GEM
'Christ ... Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth' (1 Pet 2: 21,22)
3 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.
Joseph enjoyed a sunny youth at home till he was seventeen.
"Jacob loved him more than all his children."
But this sunny youth was not unclouded. The ill-feeling of his brothers was a shadow in the sky. This existed without any cause from Joseph-at least without a cause for which he could be held responsible...
The coat was not necessarily of "colours," but more correctly "of pieces" (mg). The word for "coat" is the Hebrew "ketonet," signifying a "cover," and thus the garment was more a sacrificial dress, such as used later of the priests. Thus a distinctive robe, a garment of privilege, which became an object of the brethren's envy.
Jacob sent forth Joseph to seek his brethren, and to see if it was well with the flock. The brethren represent the twelve tribes; the flock, the "other sheep not of this fold." The father covered Joseph with a cloak not his own, but expressly designed by the father, not a seamless coat which indicates perfection, but a coat with many seams, interwoven with peculiar skill, which blended all colours together, making them "one,"
This garment gave Joseph a dignity not his own, but which the father put on him, separating him from his brethren, though of the same family. Each piece being of a different colour and, no doubt, a different shape, represents not only the varied wisdom developed by each saint, but that the "one body" shall compose pieces from every nation, kindred, people, and tongue.
The light colour, and the dark colour, the bright piece, and the piece of a duller hue, because the father's thoughts designed it, and his hands joined them together for his beloved son's sake
The Christadelphian, Jan 1872
4 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.
Even as a youth; Joseph (the Increaser) was despised by his brethren. As Paul said to Timothy, "let no man despise thy youth" (1 Tim. 4;I2,). This was because Joseph was his father's favourite (v.3); for all the right reasons. He was a spiritual minded young person, not fleshly minded - like his brethren.
The coat of many colours was emblematic of his spiritual mind, attuned to the things of God, a priestly garment like the ephod (Ex. 28), a garment of glory and beauty, worn by Christ inwardly. **
THE APOCALYPTIC MESSENGER, August 2017
5 And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.
He dreamt prophetic dreams. Perhaps he did not know they were prophetic. At all events, he told them to his brethren, who were angered at them because they exhibited Joseph in the position of supremacy over them all. These dreams were of God, as we may understand Joseph afterwards recognised from his declaration to Pharaoh:
"It (the power to interpret dreams) is not in me: God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace;"
And also his question to the butler and the baker in prison:
"Do not interpretations belong to God?"
All dreams are not of God: very few are. Dreams come of the multitude of business (Eccles. 5:3).
"He that hath a dream, let him tell his dream; but he that hath My word, let him speak it faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat, saith the Lord" (Jer. 23:28).
Yet there were dreams that were from God:
"If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make Myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream" (Numbers 12:6).
Of this order are the dreams referred to in the promise of the latter-day outpouring of the spirit:
"Your old men shall dream dreams."
This was the nature of Joseph's dreams-divinely communicated forecasts of coming events. They were communicated as a part of the agency that was to develop the future to which they pointed. The narrative of them by Joseph filled the minds of Joseph's brethren with envy-a bitter feeling that banishes mercy.
Their self-esteem was hurt by dreams that appeared to them the mere embodiments of a petted boy's complacency, and thus they were predisposed to act the part that was to send Joseph to the sphere of his discipline and promotion. *
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.
Joseph's dream of the obeisance of the sheaves, sun, moon, and stars, was typical of all things both in heaven and earth being put in subjection to the Christ; when the mystery of God, or the dream hid in the minds of the prophets, should be fully developed.
Joseph's dream brought in the principle of life, so the father's words revealed by his son, brought life and immortality to light. The type and antitype were both stript of their garments, and each cast into a pit, which was empty, and contained no water, from which David in spirit prays to be delivered.
Neither type nor antitype saw corruption, although had Joseph been permitted to remain in the pit, he must have done so, but the pre-determined counsel of God drew him up from thence. Each was sold by one of the twelve; one by Judah, the other by Judas.
...When the dream was opened up, the typical suffering part of the Son of Man was finished, and the glory that should follow was fully inaugurated; no longer probation, but exaltation was the condition which surrounded him. Because of Joseph's great wisdom, a "new name" indicating character, was given him by the King, the meaning of which was a "revealer of secrets," or the man to whom secrets are revealed.
The Christadelphian, Jan 1872
'He is despised and rejected of men' (Isa 53: 3)
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.
Here is a prophecy where the interpretation is immediately apparent to the hearers
Their feelings settled into hatred, and hatred was ready to seek and find an opportunity of putting its object out of the way. Joseph was perfectly innocent of anything to justify their malignity. He was free of guile, a lover of righteousness, loved of his father, and loved of God; and behold him the object of gathering clouds of enmity! *
9 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.
These two dreams show Joseph's spiritual mind, in advance of his fellows, if also his naivety, his innocence in telling all. One reflects the pastoral life, the time of harvest, when they were binding the sheaves; the other astronomical or concerning the heavens, but speaking symbolically of the political heavens.
THE APOCALYPTIC MESSENGER, August 2017
10 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?
The hearers have no difficulty in interpreting the prophecy.
As the sun is the great source of the electrical glory and power of the solar system, it is said in scripture, to "rule the day." The moon and the stars become visible to us by the reflection of his beams. Their light or glory is borrowed; and when he is darkened, they also are in eclipse. The sun is therefore a very appropriate symbol of the supreme or sovereign power of a political universe.
In Joseph's dream, predictive of his exaltation, and of the homage that would be paid to him by his kindred, his father is represented by the sun, as the ruling authority of the circle; his mother by the moon; and his brethren by eleven stars (Gen. 37). They all "made obeisance to me," said Joseph; and though highly figurative, Jacob readily perceived its signification
11 And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.
'...he was despised, and we esteemed him not'. (Isa 53: 3)
A short-sighted view would have judged the situation impossible. It would have said an innocent youth would have been shielded from malice; and, in the opposite experience, it would have complained of injustice, or, at the least, of a bewildering inscrutability in the ways of God.
The facts of Joseph's case at this juncture confute such views. Joseph was innocent and excellent, but Joseph was young and untried, and God had a great purpose with him that required that he should be matured and perfected in character as men only can be perfected-in the school of adversity. *
18 And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.
"But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth because darkness hath blinded his eyes." 1 Jhn 2.11.
(John 10: 20)
19 And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh.
This is the heir; come, let us kill him (Matt 21: 38)
20 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.
The object of Joseph's brethren was to kill him. They proposed to do this out and out before casting him into the pit (Gen. 37:20); but this would have interfered with the purpose of God. They were therefore diverted from their purpose. *
21 And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him.
But Elohim will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. (Ps 49: 15)
22 And Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him; that he might rid him out of their hands, to deliver him to his father again.
Reuben was touched with compassion for his brother, and proposed that they should do nothing violent to him, but merely put him into a pit, and let him come to die there-his object being to release him afterwards, and take him back to his father. *
'He was oppressed, and he was afflicted... as a lamb to the slaughter...he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth...' (Isa 53: 7, 9)
23 And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him;
Nothing is said in the narrative of Joseph's terror; but it comes out in their remarks one to another in Egypt twenty years afterwards,
"We saw the anguish of his soul when he besought us, and we would not hear." *
'An horrible pit' (Psa 40: 2)
24 And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.
Joseph had to be fitted for exaltation and the exercise of power, and therefore Joseph had to suffer for Joseph's own good and for the bringing about of a great result to the whole house of Israel. Joseph was allowed to become the object of his brethren's successful hatred. Therefore, if sympathy sheds a tear, the understanding admires, while Joseph is bound by unfeeling brethren, and in spite of his frantic entreaties, lowered into a pit where death appears inevitable, both in his own estimation and that of his brothers.
No greater evil short of death could befall a human being than that which thus came to Joseph. A spectator on the spot would have said it was evil in which it was not possible to imagine any good purpose. There was no explanation of it. Joseph was not permitted to know the meaning. He could not have understood if told. It would have frustrated the object for him to know.
Let us recollect this when in any matter similarly situated. Circumstances may be dark; calamity unmixed; the situation such that enemies may appear to speak the truth if they say, "There is no help for him in God;" yet God may be at the bottom of all the trouble for purposes of goodness which the future alone will reveal. The only policy is, in all circumstances, to commit ourselves to the keeping of our Creator in faith and well-doing, as the Spirit commands:
"Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. And He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light and thy judgment as the noonday." *
26 And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood?
27 Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.
Judah [Yahudah] proposed to sell Joseph: Judas is Greek for Yahudah, the name he would be known by among the Jews.
Had Reuben's idea of coming back alone and taking him up again been carried out, God's purpose would have been interfered with. So something occurs - we are not told what - to take Reuben away from the company of his brothers for a short time. While he is away, a company of travelling merchants, en route for Egypt, come in sight. An idea occurs to Judah: *
28 Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.
Allegories are similitudes - not exact in their details. (Yahoshua sold for 30 pieces)
'...the whole case is declared to be a case of divine manipulation...Thus Joseph told his brethren who had sold him into Egypt:
"God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth. . . . So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God" (Genesis 45:7-8).
Again, after his father's death, when his brothers, fearing Joseph's resentment for what they had done to him, sought to propitiate him, he said, after reassuring them,
"As for you, ye thought evil against me, but God meant it unto good to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive" (Genesis 50:20).
So, also, we have the oft-recurring remark, "And the Lord was with Joseph:" and the statement of David in Psalm 105: God
"sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant."
In studying the events of Joseph's life, therefore, we are studying a case in which God was at work beyond all question; and from which, therefore, we shall be able to learn instruction with regard to the experiences of our own lives, if our lives, like his, are framed in the fear of God and committed to His keeping in prayer and well-doing; for his case, like all the others, was
"written for our learning."
29 And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes.
Joseph is taken out of the pit and sold in Reuben's absence. The merchants take their terror-stricken property and depart. Joseph's brethren also go their ways. Reuben, by and by, comes to the pit expecting to put an end to his brother's agonies. Alas, he is gone! - Reuben knows not whither - and he gives way to his grief.
Follow Joseph in his journey. From one dreadful experience he has plunged into another, and far worse. A father's favourite, accustomed to the ways of love and the surroundings of comfort, he finds himself in the hands of unfeeling and mercenary strangers, who regard him as a chattel, and think only of how much he will fetch when they arrive in Egypt.
It is written, "Oppression maketh a wise man mad." Judge, then, the violent revulsions of feeling to which Joseph the choice of Jacob's family, must have been subject in the custody of the Midianites as a slave going to a strange country.
It was enough to break his heart altogether. Probably, we should have thought it was broken if we could have seen him "all of a heap," exhausted with grief, broken down, unable to cry any more. It is not possible for human situation to be more agonising; human prospects to be darker; or human grief more poignant or more unavailing than Joseph's at this part of his life.
And yet "God was with him," and was directing his way, and fitting him for exaltation and for untold usefulness in the execution of the divine purpose. The fact is to be pondered by every son of God in all possible evils that may befall them; for these things were "written for our learning."
The kingdom of God lies ahead, and Paul has told us that
"through much tribulation we must enter therein."
How much, and what sort we require, God knows, and not we ourselves. Therefore, let us
"humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God; and He will exalt us in due time."
Joseph's agonising journey to Egypt was a journey to exaltation; and so is ours, if, like Joseph, we fear God, do His commandments, and commit our way to Him. But exaltation comes not at once. There were dark and dreary years before Joseph.
Let us not be impatient.*
*Ways of Providence Ch 8
31 And they took Joseph's coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood;
... this coat or "many pieces" was returned to the father, not as he sent it forth, but dipped in blood, a sacrifice being necessary before it could be presented to him, but after Joseph was cast into the pit, the coat came back to the father, and he knew it was Joseph's, although covered with sacrificial blood.
Although the father thought his son was rent in pieces, yet no account is given that the garment was rent at all. The coat being a free gift from the father, brought the envy of all the tribes but Benjamin, for they hated him without a cause.
The Christadelphian, Jan 1872
36 And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh's, and captain of the guard.
Joseph is let down into the pit, and by-and-bye, a gang of Ishmaelites come along and his brethren change their minds and sell him to them, doubtless glad to get rid of him without putting him to death. Imagine a fate more truly heartless than to be taken away from a fond and affectionate father, in comfortable circumstances, and given into the hands of traders as a slave.
.... if we try to put ourselves in the position of Joseph at the moment he was sold by his brethren, we can realise that it must have been a position of utter desolation; and it was a long time before his path began to brighten. Taken to Egypt he was sold as a slave menial into the house of one of Pharaoh's officers, and you know that after serving for a time, through the power of slander he was thrown into prison, and there he lay in the lowest depths of adversity, apparently abandoned by God and man.
Now, in such a position Joseph might well have reasoned, if he had been of the faithless sort, and had not endured as seeing Him who is invisible-if he had not as it were, a hand grasping the invisible hand of God-that God was taking no cognisance of his position; whereas He was guiding Joseph to a splendid destiny and preparing him for the high position he was to occupy.
Adversity gave a robustness of character he could not otherwise have possessed. His afflictions were spread over thirteen years; and they were thirteen years of utter blackness, pure adversity, unmitigated evil, in which to the eye of sense there was no token of divine regard, and yet in which God was at the helm all the way through.
Now, here we are, so many Josephs; we have been called to be the sons of God; we have been called to be the seed of Abraham, the children of Israel and the brethren of Joseph; and like him, we are going through a training for a throne. We are being put through the fire, like ore, that the precious metal may come out at last, tried and refined, for the Royal use.
Let us think of this, and endure evil with composure. Let us avoid the mistake of thinking that God has forsaken us, because it may be we are placed in circumstances in which there appears to be no evidence of right guidance. God knows what is needful for our development, if we do not. Let us commit our way to Him, and roll our burden on Him, knowing that He careth for us.