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March 29, 2010

Joseph and Jesus Compared

How the Life of Joseph is Like Jesus
Characters in Genesis Foreshadow the Messiah

By Jonathan Taylor

Jacob’s son Joseph is such an incredible type of Jesus that it is not possible to list even half of the examples here.

Joseph as a Type of Jesus

The story of Joseph commences with him feeding the flock like the good shepherd. In Genesis 37:3 "Israel loved Joseph more than all his children."Jesus is God’s only begotten Son in whom He was well pleased. In Joseph’s dream the sun, moon and stars bow to him. Like Joseph, Jesus was humbled and then exalted and "that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those in earth and of those under the earth." (Philippians 2:10)

Joseph Sold and Betrayed

As the story of Joseph’s life progresses, he is sold by his 10 brothers for 20 pieces of silver. Jesus was also betrayed by one of the 12 disciples, Judas Iscariot, and sold for 30 pieces of silver.

Preceding that event Joseph was stripped and thrown into a pit whilst his brothers sat down to have a meal. At the scene of the crucifixion Jesus was stripped before they gambled for His clothes and sitting down they kept watch over him.

The Midianites then took Joseph to Egypt. In Matthew Chapter 2 Joseph is warned in a dream to take the child and His mother to Egypt which fulfils the prophecy of Hosea 11:2, "Out of Egypt I have called my Son."

When Pharaoh’s officer purchased Joseph as a slave from the Midianites he observed that ‘the Lord made all he did prosper in his hand.’ (Genesis 39:3) In Isaiah 53 it is prophesied about the Messiah: "And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand."

Joseph Falsely Accused

Like Jesus, Joseph is falsely accused and faces persecution. When Pharaoh esteems Joseph because of his ability to interpret dreams, Joseph remarks that "It is not in me, God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace." This can be compared with Jesus words: "The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what he sees the Father do." (Genesis 41:40) In John Chapter 15 Jesus said He is the True Vine and "without me you can do nothing." Incidentally events occurred in Joseph’s and Jesus’ life when they were thirty years of age.

Joseph Provides Bread

Before the famine occurred in Egypt and the surrounding nations, God gave Joseph wisdom and time to prepare. Joseph made provisions for seven years and people from all over the earth came to buy grain. Jesus is the Bread of Life (John 6:35) and Joseph opened all the storehouses. Note how this mirrors the prophecy of Malachi 3:10, "Bring all the tithes into the storehouse that there will be food in My house, if I will not open for you the windows of heaven."

Joseph is Recognised

Joseph’s brothers are also forced to purchase grain from him without being aware of his true identity. After testing his brothers with a series of intriguing trials Joseph finally makes himself known to them. "I am Joseph your brother who sold you into Egypt." (Genesis 45:7) Following the resurrection it took a while for the disciples to recognise who He was "then there eyes were opened and they knew Him." (Luke 23:4)