Daily Thought for: 8th February

JOSEPH

Genesis 37

Joseph, as the first son of Jacob and Rachel, was loved by Israel above all his brethren, 37. 3. Significantly, the name Israel (the spiritual name of Jacob) is used here, indicating that Joseph was a godly and spiritual lad. The further description ‘the son of his old age’ could indicate that he was a wise son, passing the wisdom of his years. The coat given by Jacob was the mark of the firstborn, Luke 15. 22. All this served to bring forth the brothers’ envy, so much so that they could not even greet him with the common ‘salaam’ greeting, v. 4b. 

His first dream, vv. 5-8, significantly concerns only the eleven brethren. Under the figure of corn sheaves they bow down to him. This points forward to Joseph as ruler in Egypt dispensing corn to them. He faithfully tells them of this and as a result is hated even more, Ps. 69. 4. In the second dream, vv. 9-11, the figure is drawn not from earth but the heavens. This time both his father and mother are involved (presumably Rachel bows by proxy via Benjamin). These two dreams speak of the true Joseph, the Lord Jesus Christ, for every knee will in a future day bow to Him, whether on earth or in heaven, Phil. 2. 8, 9. 

The events in verses 12 to 36, foretell the first advent of Messiah and the nation of Israel’s treatment of Him:— 

1. The father sends the son, v. 13; cf. 1 John 4. 14. 

2. He was sent to the place of danger – Shechem (see ch. 34). 

3. He was sent from the place of fellowship – Hebron, v. 14b. 

4. He seeks his brethren, v. 16; cf. Luke 19. 10. 

5. He finds they have wandered from the place he expected to find them, v. 17. 

6. He was seen afar off and conspired against before he arrived – witness the nation’s treatment of the prophets, then of the Son, Luke 20. 9-19. 

7. In type, he is finally killed by his brethren, vv. 21-36; cf. Acts 2. 23. 

This all serves, then, as a picture and type of the marvellous grace of the Father in sending His beloved Son and of the depths of the Son’s suffering at Calvary. Truly for Him the well was not empty; cf. Ps. 22. 1-5. 

 

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