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  Genesis 42

Joseph Index      Introduction    Joseph Summary
Genesis 37, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50
September 11, 2001 attack  

Genesis 42
Jesus Comparison
42:1 When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, "Why do you just keep looking at each other?" Matthew 16:8 Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, "You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread?

James 2:20 You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?

Jacob was pointing out a failure of Joseph's brothers, similar to a failure of Christ's brothers in His day. 

Here we see our Lord teaching us to be about the work instead of wasting time.

2 He continued, "I have heard that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us, so that we may live and not die." Matthew 8:5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 "Lord," he said, "my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering." 7 Jesus said to him, "I will go and heal him." ... 10 When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, "I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. It is interesting how those who are somewhat removed from Christ often have the greatest faith and see their need for spiritual nourishment.  Christ's brothers, as did Joseph's, needed a jump start to seek life.
3 Then ten of Joseph's brothers went down to buy grain from Egypt. Luke 17:17 Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Similar to Joseph's 10 brothers going down to get grain, the 10 lepers went to gain healing (a form of sustenance) from Christ.
4 But Jacob did not send Benjamin, Joseph's brother, with the others, because he was afraid that harm might come to him. Matthew 8:14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost. Jacob (similar to God in this setting) protects His chosen ones.
5 So Israel's sons were among those who went to buy grain, for the famine was in the land of Canaan also. Romans 1:16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile . Christ came to save all, especially God's people, Israel.  The famine of our sinfulness affects all people.
6 Now Joseph was the governor of the land, the one who sold grain to all its people. So when Joseph's brothers arrived, they bowed down to him with their faces to the ground. Revelation 5:2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, " Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?" 3 But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it... 12 In a loud voice they sang: " Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!"

Acts 4:12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."

Joseph's brothers sought salvation from the only one who could offer assistance.  Jesus is the only one worthy to open the scroll, the only source for our spiritual salvation.
7 As soon as Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he pretended to be a stranger and spoke harshly to them. "Where do you come from?" he asked. "From the land of Canaan," they replied, "to buy food." John 2:24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men. 25 He did not need man's testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man.

Luke 13:27 "But he will reply, `I don't know you or where you come from . Away from me, all you evildoers!'



This is neat! Christ speaks harshly to those who choose not to believe in Him for salvation.  Joseph's brothers certainly tried to have him killed and deserved no kindness from Joseph.  In truth, we are like them in that we deserve blame in Christ's crucifixion, if we had not sinned, He wouldn't have to die for our salvation.  It is also interesting that the name "Canaan" means 'the lowlands'.  We are in the valley (low) of the shadow of death.  Christ has already paid the price, if we refuse to accept it, He will then speak harshly to us, as we deserve even more condemnation.   
8 Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him. John 1:9 The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Christ knew why He was in the world and knew His brothers.  His brothers did not recognize Him as the Messiah.  This is a clear-cut, perfect parallel between Joseph's and Jesus' lives.
9 Then he remembered his dreams about them and said to them, "You are spies! You have come to see where our land is unprotected." Matthew 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: "You brood of vipers ! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? The brothers of both were each in opposition to the ones they should have been supporting. 
10 "No, my lord," they answered. "Your servants have come to buy food. John 6:51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." We need spiritual sustenance as Joseph's brothers also needed nutritional sustenance.
11 We are all the sons of one man. Your servants are honest men, not spies." Acts 23:3 Then Paul said to him, "God will strike you , you whitewashed wall! You sit there to judge me according to the law, yet you yourself violate the law by commanding that I be struck!" The brothers were not truly spies and the Pharisees were not truly demons.  Yet both were up to no good, continuing in dishonesty regarding Joseph's whereabouts and concerning just who is the Christ.  The Pharisees knew the scriptures that pointed to Jesus perfectly yet they denied it since they wanted a different sort of Messiah.
12 "No!" he said to them. "You have come to see where our land is unprotected." Matthew 23:4 They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. The Pharisees were in the process of removing Israel's protection by leading the people astray.  In a sense, as the land was unprotected in Joseph's time, the Jews were unprotected because of the 'spies (Pharisees)'
13 But they replied, "Your servants were twelve brothers, the sons of one man, who lives in the land of Canaan. The youngest is now with our father, and one is no more." Matthew 23:5 "Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; Both the brothers and the Pharisees cared about their appearances, again hiding the truth. 
14 Joseph said to them, "It is just as I told you: You are spies! Matthew 23:13 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. Joseph and Jesus both were instrumental at taking apart the dishonesty of their counterparts and exposing their sin.
15 And this is how you will be tested: As surely as Pharaoh lives, you will not leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here. Matthew 23:26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. Christ knew how to test the Pharisees.  The Pharisees fail their test but Joseph's brothers will pass this test and show true repentance.
16 Send one of your number to get your brother; the rest of you will be kept in prison, so that your words may be tested to see if you are telling the truth. If you are not, then as surely as Pharaoh lives, you are spies!" Matthew 23:30 And you say, `If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.' 31 So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. Again, both were tested.
17 And he put them all in custody for three days. Matthew 27:62 The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63 "Sir," they said, "we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, `After three days I will rise again.' 64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first." Although Christ was in the tomb for 3 days, actually the Jewish leaders were in a sense 'in custody' as they remained in fear of Christ and the effect His life had on the people they were manipulating.
18 On the third day, Joseph said to them, "Do this and you will live, for I fear God: Matthew 28:11 While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13 telling them, "You are to say, `His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.' Christ's rising from death was reported to the Jewish leaders.  Above all people, they had overwhelming evidence it was true yet they chose to save face above the truth.  They lacked the fear of God.  They chose an expedient approach to deal with something that simply didn't fit their own ideas.
19 If you are honest men, let one of your brothers stay here in prison, while the rest of you go and take grain back for your starving households. Corinthians 4:4:1 So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God. 2 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful . The brother who stays behind is being faithful as we are to be faithful, as servants of Christ. 
20 But you must bring your youngest brother to me, so that your words may be verified and that you may not die." This they proceeded to do. Matthew 19:21 Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." 22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

John 14:15 "If you love me, you will obey what I command.

Matthew 11:28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Joseph's brothers finally understand that for salvation, they must follow the commandments of Joseph and give up the one thing most precious to their family, Benjamin.  Jesus expects to be first and more important than anything else.  His redeemed will follow His commandments.

Christ asks us to come to Him.

21 They said to one another, "Surely we are being punished because of our brother. We saw how distressed he was when he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen; that's why this distress has come upon us." Matthew 27:54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, " Surely he was the Son of God !" Although the centurion was not a Pharisee, undoubtedly some of Jesus' Jewish 'brothers' were saying similar things after the earthquake and storm.  Who is Christ's brothers?  Even the centurion.
22 Reuben replied, "Didn't I tell you not to sin against the boy? But you wouldn't listen! Now we must give an accounting for his blood." Matthew 27:25 All the people answered, "Let his blood be on us and on our children!" Again, this undoubtedly was (is) played out at the time of judgement.  Many will search to blame others when we are all guilty of Christ's blood.
23 They did not realize that Joseph could understand them, since he was using an interpreter. Matthew 9:4 Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, "Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts?

John 16:13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.

2Corinthians 5:20 We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.

We cannot hide our sins from God.  Christ and Joseph knew more than their brothers realized.

Joseph used an interpreter (even though he didn't need it), Christ uses the Holy Spirit to interpret our needs. 

24 He turned away from them and began to weep, but then turned back and spoke to them again. He had Simeon taken from them and bound before their eyes. Luke 19:41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace--but now it is hidden from your eyes. Christ, like Joseph, wept over His brothers, as He saw their lack of understanding. 
25 Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, to put each man's silver back in his sack, and to give them provisions for their journey. After this was done for them, 26 they loaded their grain on their donkeys and left. Matthew 25:15 To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents , and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.

John 1:16 From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.

Isaiah 55:1 "Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.

Philippians 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

God provides for our sustenance.  Our material goods are tests of our stewardship. 

Joseph returned their money, Jesus' sustenance cannot be bought.

27 At the place where they stopped for the night one of them opened his sack to get feed for his donkey, and he saw his silver in the mouth of his sack. Matthew 25:16 The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. 17 So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. Although Joseph's brothers were being tricked, the truth is they eventually were allowed to keep the money used to buy the grain, and got choice property as well.  God loves to bless those who He loves (sometimes including material goods as well).
28 "My silver has been returned," he said to his brothers. "Here it is in my sack." Their hearts sank and they turned to each other trembling and said, "What is this that God has done to us?" Mark 4:35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples , "Let us go over to the other side."... ...38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"... 40 He said to his disciples , "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" 41 They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!" Yes, Joseph's brothers got it right!  God did do it to them.  Although it appears to simply be from Joseph, we see God's choreography throughout this account, as well as all of history!

The brothers could not understand the situation they found themselves in by the hand of God.  Joseph's and Jesus' brothers both became terrified.

29 When they came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan, they told him all that had happened to them. They said, obvious parallel The Jewish leaders obviously prayed to God regarding what they should do to deal with Jesus.  Oh, the prayers were undoubtedly long and wordy.  They were of no benefit since the leaders did not know the Father and had their own evil agenda.  God turned them over to their own evil.
30 "The man who is lord over the land spoke harshly to us and treated us as though we were spying on the land. 31 But we said to him, `We are honest men; we are not spies. 32 We were twelve brothers, sons of one father. One is no more, and the youngest is now with our father in Canaan.' 33 "Then the man who is lord over the land said to us, `This is how I will know whether you are honest men: Leave one of your brothers here with me, and take food for your starving households and go. 34 But bring your youngest brother to me so I will know that you are not spies but honest men. Then I will give your brother back to you, and you can trade in the land.'" 35 As they were emptying their sacks, there in each man's sack was his pouch of silver! When they and their father saw the money pouches, they were frightened. recapping the verses above see above
36 Their father Jacob said to them, "You have deprived me of my children. Joseph is no more and Simeon is no more, and now you want to take Benjamin. Everything is against me!" 37 Then Reuben said to his father, "You may put both of my sons to death if I do not bring him back to you. Entrust him to my care, and I will bring him back." 38 But Jacob said, "My son will not go down there with you; his brother is dead and he is the only one left. If harm comes to him on the journey you are taking, you will bring my gray head down to the grave in sorrow." Luke 11:47 "Woe to you, because you build tombs for the prophets , and it was your forefathers who killed them. 48 So you testify that you approve of what your forefathers did; they killed the prophets , and you build their tombs. 49 Because of this, God in his wisdom said, `I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and others they will persecute.' 50 Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world,

Luke 20:10 At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants so they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11 He sent another servant, but that one also they beat and treated shamefully and sent away empty-handed. 12 He sent still a third, and they wounded him and threw him out. 13 "Then the owner of the vineyard said, `What shall I do? I will send my son , whom I love; perhaps they will respect him.' 14 "But when the tenants saw him, they talked the matter over. `This is the heir,' they said. `Let's kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.' 15 So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. "What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them?

Here we see 2 obvious parallels.  The first was when Christ rebuked the Pharisees for having killed the prophets (His brothers who they should have been caring for) and for their planning to kill His Son, Jesus Christ.

Also in Luke, Christ prophesied that this would happen to him as the parable explains the Father sending multiple servants to get that which was owed and they were killed, as was His Son. 

Copyright 2003, Dio, Inc.

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