Genesis 37–41: The Life of Joseph—A Foreshadow of Messiah Ben (Son of) Joseph

The spirit of Antimessiah (Antichrist) is on a dramatic rise in our day. It is even rampant among those who are returning to the Hebraic, Torah-centric roots of the Christian faith where some people are losing their faith in Yeshua the Messiah. A few are even converting to Rabbinic Judaism, which denies the messiahship and deity of Yeshua and the divine inspiration of the Testimony of Yeshua. Some of the blame for this can be laid at the feet of a few of the modern-day descendants of the non-believing Pharisees (i.e. the Rabbinic Jews), who use clever arguments to beguile unstable and unlearned souls into humanistic reasoning devoid of a living faith in Yeshua their Savior and the Redeemer of man. Because of a spiritual blindness that Scripture prophesied would come upon the Jews producing a hardness of heart toward Yeshua the Messiah, unbelieving Jews ignore the numerous prophetic shadow-pictures pointing to Yeshua the Messiah contained in their own Tanakh.

May the following study strengthen your faith in Yeshua the Messiah, in his divine origination in the very heart, mind and essence of Elohim, and in the fact that he was foreordained to come to this earth to reconcile sinful man to his Heavenly Father through his self-sacrifice on the cross. All this was prophesied long ago in the Tanakh. The ancient Jewish sages speak of a messianic figure coming called Messiah son of Joseph (Mashiach ben Yosef), the Suffering Servant, whose life and ministry would parallel that of Joseph, yet these same Jewish sages fail to see the connection between Joseph’s life and that of Yeshua. Let’s now chronicle the striking and uncanny parallels between Joseph and Messiah the son of Joseph, the Suffering Servant. (Many of these comparisons come from the book, Gleanings in Genesis, by Arthur W. Pink ).

  • Joseph had two names: Yoseph meaning “to add, increase, do again,” and Zaphnath-panaaneah meaning “revealer of secrets” (Gen 41:45). How do these names point to Yeshua’s mission? To answer this, consider the first Adam who because of sin caused the depopulation of YHVH’s eternal kingdom, while Yeshua, the Second Adam, came to gather in and be a shepherd to the lost sheep of Israel, so that the kingdom of Elohim might be full of spiritually regenerated sons and daughters.
  • What was Joseph’s occupation before being sold into slavery (Gen 37:2)? What was Yeshua’s spiritual “occupation”? (Not sure? Read John 10:1–18.)
  • Joseph’s father loved him more than all his brothers (Gen 37:3–4). What was the relationship between Yeshua and his Father? (Read Matt 3:17; 17:5 and John 10:17.)
  • Joseph was the son of his father’s old age (Gen 37:3). Relate this to Yeshua’s Father. Remember, old age is a metaphor for eternity. (Read John 1:1; 17:5; Mic 5:2; 1 Peter 1:20; Rev 13:8.)
  • Joseph wore a multicolored robe of distinction and honor (Gen 37:3). What did the Roman soldiers place on Yeshua at his beating (Luke 23:11; John 19:24), and what multicolored, glorious phenomenon surrounds and adorns him while he sits on his heavenly throne (Rev 4:3)?
  • Joseph’s brethren hated him and spoke ill of him because of the evil intent of their hearts (Gen 37:4). What about Yeshua? (John 7:7)
  • Joseph dreamed and foretold of his future sovereignty (Gen 37:6–10). Did Yeshua ever speak of his future glory in his Father’s kingdom? (Matt 26:64)
  • Joseph was envied by his brethren. (Gen 37:11)? How about Yeshua? (Read Matt 27:17–18; Mark 12:6–7; John 12:18–19.)
  • Joseph was sent forth by his father on a mission of love to ascertain the welfare of his brothers (Gen 37:14). Was Yeshua sent by his Father to this earth for a similar mission? (John 3:16–17; 1 John 4:10; Matt 15:24)
  • Joseph’s brothers rejected him. Did Yeshua’s brethren reject him? (John 1:11; Isa 53:3)
  • Joseph wandered in the wilderness seeking his lost brothers until he found them (Gen 37:15–17). What about Yeshua? (Matt 15:24; Luke 19:10)
  • Joseph was conspired against by his brothers (Gen 37:18). Yeshua? (Read Matt 12:44; Mark 14:1; John 7:30, 32; 10:39; 11:57.)
  • Joseph’s words were disbelieved and he was insulted (Gen 37:19–20). Did Yeshua’s brethren accept his words? (Matt 27:39–44)
  • Joseph was cast into a pit (Gen 37:24). What happened to Yeshua after his crucifixion? (Matt 27:60)
  • Joseph was taken out of the pit alive bodily (Gen 37:28). What happened to Messiah Son of Joseph after being in the tomb for three days and nights?
  • Joseph was sold for silver. This was Judah’s idea (Gen 37:28). Was Yeshua sold? What was the name of the one who betrayed him for silver (Matt 26:14–16)?
  • Joseph’s coat was sprinkled in the blood of a goat as if the blood was his and presented to Jacob (37:31). Who also shed his blood before his Heavenly Father? Whose vesture is dipped in blood? (Rev 19:13).
  • Once in Egypt, Joseph went from being a prince to becoming a servant and a pauper (Gen 39:1). What happened to Yeshua when he came from heaven to this earth (spiritual Egypt)? (Phil 2:6–7)
  • Joseph prospered in his master’s house. His master was well pleased with him (Gen 39:3–4). Was the Father well pleased with Yeshua? (Matt 3:17; 12:18; 17:5; John 8:29).
  • Joseph was greatly tempted, yet without sin (Gen 39:7–12). And Yeshua? (Heb 4:15)
  • Joseph was falsely accused (Gen 39:16–18). What about Yeshua? (Matt 26:59–60).
  • When falsely accused Joseph did not defend himself. What about Messiah Son of Joseph? (Isa 53:7; Matt 27:12, 14)
  • In prison, Joseph won the respect of the jailor (Gen 39:21–23). What did the Roman centurion say of Yeshua? (Luke 23:47)
  • Joseph was thrown into prison with the transgressors. Who was crucified along side of Yeshua? (Isa 53:12; Mark 15:28).
  • Compare what happened to the two imprisoned with Joseph with the two thieves hanging on each side of Yeshua at the crucifixion. Joseph was the means of blessing to one (Pharaoh’s cupbearer) and the pronouncer of judgment to the other (Pharaoh’s baker; Gen 40:13 and 40:19). What happened to the two thieves who hung with Yeshua? (Read Matt 27:38, 44; Mark 15:27; 13:24–30; Luke 23:32–33; John 19:18).
  • Joseph was delivered from prison by the hand of Elohim (Gen 41:14). How did Yeshua get out of his “prison” of the grave? (Acts 2:24, 32; 10:40)
  • Joseph was exalted from prison (death) to throne—to number two in command at the right hand of the king (Gen 41:14; 45:7–9). What happened to Yeshua? (Acts 2:33-34; 5:31; 7:55–56; Eph 1:20; Phil 2:6–9; Heb 1:13; 1 Pet 3:22) If you are “risen with Yeshua the Messiah” and are “in Yeshua” what will likewise happen to you? (Eph 2:5–6)
  • Joseph is seen as a revealer of secrets (Gen 41:16, 25, 28). What was Yeshua’s mission on earth? (John 17:8; 8:28; 12:49)
  • Joseph warned of a coming danger, and urged his hearers to make suitable provision to meet it (Gen 41:27). What did Yeshua warn his hearers about? (Matt 11:11–24; 12:36; 15:13; 21:44; 25:31–46; John 3:15–21, 36; 5:24–30; 15:2, 6)
  • In his new royal position, Joseph was publicly recognized. He wore royal garments, a gold chain and a ring of authority. All were to bow to Joseph (Gen 41:42–43). Read the description of the glorified Yeshua in Revelation 1:12–16 and 5:13. Every knee must likewise bow to the exalted Yeshua. (Phil 2:10)
  • Joseph started his life’s work and was given an Egyptian wife when he was 30 years old (Gen 41:45–46). What happened in Yeshua’s life when he was 30 years old? Yeshua started his ministry and was (re)married (literally, betrothed, in a Hebraic sense) to Israel, his spiritual bride (made up of those who have the faith of Yeshua and keep his commandments, Rev 12:17; 14:12), when he and his disciples drank the third Cup of Redemption (which corresponds to the Cup of Acceptance in the Jewish wedding ceremony) at the Passover Seder just prior to his crucifixion (Matt 26:27–29). Who arranged Joseph’s marriage? (Gen 41:45) Who arranged Yeshua’s marriage? Who arranged Yeshua’s wedding? Read the Parable of the Wedding Banquet in Matthew 22 starting in verse two.
  • Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh to carry forth his mission in Egypt (Gen 41:46). In Scripture, what does Egypt spiritually represent? From whence did Yeshua come when sent on his earthly mission to spiritual Egypt? (John 13:3; 16:28)
  • Joseph traveled throughout the land of Egypt fulfilling his ministerial responsibilities (Gen 41:6). Did Yeshua also have an itinerant ministry? (Matt 4:23; 9:35)
  • Joseph alone dispensed bread to a perishing and hungry world and to his own brethren (Gen 41:55). Did Yeshua’s ministry fulfill this prophetic shadow-picture as well? (Read John 6:48–58.)
  • Joseph became a savior to those who were famished in all the surrounding countries (Gen 41:56-57). Who did Yeshua come to save? (John 3:16; 2 Pet 3:9; Rev 5:9). Who was and is the Savior of the whole world? (John 4:42; 1 Tim 4:10; Tit 3:4; 1 John 4:14)
  • Joseph had unlimited resources to meet the need of the all those who were hungry (Gen 41:49). Are the resources of Yeshua limited to meet the needs of all those who would come to him? (Eph 1:7; 2:4; 3:8; Col 2:9; Rom 10:12; 1 Pet 1:3)


May your faith be strengthened immensely to know that in the sovereign and all-knowing foreknowledge of Elohim, your Heavenly Father, were the details of the life of Yeshua, the Savior and Redeemer, long before he came to this world in human form. YHVH had his plan of redemption all laid out, chronicled and precisely detailed well in advance of the actual events, and this divine plan was hidden all along within the very heart of the Hebrew Scriptures as a prophetic shadow-picture and ante-type waiting to be fulfilled in the fullness of times. No amount of clever reasoning on the part of those who deny the deity or redemptive work of Yeshua the Messiah can bury that fact! Yet it has been revealed to your mind and heart, by the Spirit of Elohim to know and understand these truths. May your spiritual walk be blessed and be fruitful in these understandings! And may you encourage and strengthen others with these truths!


5 thoughts on “Genesis 37–41: The Life of Joseph—A Foreshadow of Messiah Ben (Son of) Joseph

  1. While reading Genesis 37 about Yoseph’s coat and how they dipped his coat in goats (!) blood, I saw Rev 19:13 but then when you mentioned the cupbearer (wine) and the baker (bread) well there it is-His body and His blood. This is so good-YHVH as orchestrater, designer, planner, etc etec etc! Thank you for this teaching-love it!

    • I never related the baker and cup bearer to the bread and wine of communion before. What do you see as the spiritual, prophetic, symbolic lesson is in this? How do these two individual prophetically point to Yeshua, or is this a stretch?

  2. Only saw bread and wine although the baker-bread giver-was hung on a tree. The cup-bearer, vine dresser fills Pharoah’s cup, could it be a cup of wrath?

  3. Perhaps the cup bearer and the baker, as a unit, represent salvation and sacrifice; Yeshua’s work on the cross.

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