In verse 31, the Septuagint, a Jewish translation of the Hebrew Torah, reads “staff” rather than “bed”, as recorded in the Masoretic Hebrew text of the Torah. There is no need to argue over which is correct. Both are correct. His staff was at the head of his bed, thus he bowed on the staff and at the head of the bed.
Gen 47:1 Then Yosef (YHVH: Mercy adds) came and spoke to Pharaoh (Great House), saying, “My father and my brothers, and their flocks, and their herds, and all that they have, have come out of the land of K’naan (Lowland, humility); and, hinei behold, they are in the land of Goshen (Draw Near). Gen 47:2 And umik’tzeih from the end, outer edge (cut off) of his brothers he (Yosef) took five men, and yatzigeim established (presented) them lip’neiy before the face of Pharaoh (Great House).
Joseph has carefully orchestrated these events so as to keep his brothers and family separate from the royal court of Egypt and the possibility of assimilation. He has previously placed the idea of Goshen before Pharaoh as a foregone conclusion and Pharaoh is happy to comply with Joseph’s request.
Why only five of his brothers? Some of our Sages suggest that Joseph chose the weakest of the brothers so as to deter Pharaoh from employing them in his court. Others say that he chose the strongest in order to satisfy Pharaoh’s faith in the strength of Joseph and his community, and enlist Joseph’s brothers into the Egyptian military. Five is symbolically seen as half of fullness (10), the first instalment of a work yet to find completion. In a very real sense this is prophetic of what awaits Israel in the years ahead.
It is impossible to know which five brothers were taken before Pharaoh. The Sages’ interpretations range from the weakest to the strongest, and offer various reasons to support their conjectures.
Perhaps the most likely explanation is that Joseph chose brothers from each end of the birth order. This fits with the use of the Hebrew “umik’tzeih” which translates literally as “and from the end”. If this is the correct reading of the Hebrew text then the brothers selected might have included Rueben (Behold a son), Simeon (Heard), Benjamin (Son of my right hand) and Zebulun (Prince, dwelling gloriously, gift), the fifth being either Levi (Joined) or Issachar (reward).
The Targum of Yonatan names the five as, Zebulun, Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher; but Yarchi identifies them as, Reuben, Simeon and Levi, Issachar and Benjamin. Neither list can be considered as anything more than conjecture.
What is clear is that Joseph intended to establish his brothers before Pharaoh as being of great value as herders of Egypt’s animals but of little value to the court of the monarchy and to its military. It seems that his goal was to keep the sons of Israel set apart, in order to maintain their culture and more importantly their priestly role before the one true God HaShem, whom they worshipped and represented in the land of idolatry known as Egypt.
Gen 47:3 And Pharaoh said to his (Yosef’s) brothers, “What is your occupation? And they replied to Pharaoh, Your servants are shepherds, both we, and also our fathers.
As discussed in my commentary on the previous chapter, the role of shepherding was both a practical and spiritual role for the Patriarchs and the tribes of Israel. The Pharaoh in question may be one of the Hyksos kings and is therefore interested in the occupation and lineage of this people who have come from the same region as his descendants, who had invaded Egypt many years prior. If on the other hand he is not a Hyksos ruler and these events are taking place at a later date in History, his question is simply a means by which he can assess how the brothers of Joseph might enhance his rule and the betterment of Egypt.
Gen 47:4 They also said to Pharaoh, “It is in order to sojourn (dwell temporarily) in the land that we have come; for your servants have no pasture for their flocks; for the famine/hunger is severe in the land of K’naan (Humility): now therefore, we plead with you, let your servants dwell in the land of Goshen (Draw near).
All this was said to Pharaoh according to the instructions Joseph had given his brothers. What stands out in respect to Israel’s greater story, is the fact that the brothers said, “It is in order to sojourn (dwell temporarily) in the land that we have come.” It’s clear that the entire family of Jacob understood the promises of God concerning Israel and the importance of looking forward to that day when they would leave Egypt and return to the Land of K’naan, which would make up part of the greater area of land promised to Israel. To sojourn is to dwell temporarily, working and living until the time comes to move on to the goal of one’s journey. All who follow Messiah Yeshua are sojourners, awaiting His return and the goal of our journey, to live eternally with Him in the promised Olam Haba (World to come).
It’s important to note that Joseph’s brothers offer no real threat to the security of Egypt as herders of animals, an occupation reserved for the lower classes and or slaves. Therefore, part of the reason for Joseph’s instructions is to ensure that neither his brothers nor his father appear arrogant or entitled before Pharaoh.
Gen 47:5 And Pharaoh (Great House) spoke to Yosef (YHVH: Mercy adds), saying, “Your father and your brothers have come to you (singular): Gen 47:6 The land of Mitzrayim (Double straits/distress) Egypt is before your face (singular); in the best of the land make your father and brothers to dwell; in the land of Goshen (Draw near) let them dwell: and if you know of any men of strength among them, then make them shari my princes over my cattle.”
Pharaoh speaks directly to Joseph using the singular “you” and insists that it is Joseph before whom the entire land of Egypt lies. Joseph has shown great respect to Pharaoh in coming to him before allowing his family to make camp in Goshen. Pharaoh continues to trust Joseph’s judgement in all matters and thus he effectively gives the decision back into Joseph’s hands, saying, “Let them dwell”, meaning, ‘Let them dwell where you’ve suggested”. Finally Pharaoh, having seen the prosperity brought about through Joseph’s leadership, requests that he select the strongest of his brothers to care for his herds. This of course gives some credence to the suggestion that Joseph had brought the weaker looking of the brothers before Pharaoh.
Gen 47:7 And Yosef (YHVH: Mercy adds) brought in Yaakov (Follows after the heel) his father, and stood him before the face of Pharaoh (Great House), and Yaakov y’vareikh blessed Pharaoh.
What we are reading about here is the meeting of two kings. The king of the people of HaShem (A spiritual king), and the king of a world power.
Hebrews 6:16 reminds us that human beings always swear by one greater than themselves. In the case of the servants of HaShem, that greater One by Whom we swear is God Himself. It is also true that because the Hebrew view understands all blessing to come from God, the person who blesses is always blessing by One greater than himself. In fact, with regard to the Patriarchs and their interactions with other rulers, it can be said that the greater blesses the lesser. In the present case Jacob blesses Pharaoh, there is no mention of Pharaoh blessing Jacob. From the Torah’s perspective Jacob, the servant of God is greater than Pharaoh (Great House). This is why nothing is said of Pharaoh blessing Jacob. God has and will continue to bless Jacob, and through Jacob God pronounces blessing on Pharaoh, for as long as he cares for, protects and facilitates the prosperity of Jacob/Israel.
Gen 47:8 And Pharaoh said unto Yaakov, How old are you?
This question of Pharaoh seems unusual. What might have prompted Pharaoh to ask this?
It seems that in the plain sense Pharaoh is struck by the ancient features of Jacob’s face and his frailty. Though, given what he already knows of Joseph’s father, the opposite may be true. He may be impressed at how fit Jacob looks for a person whom Pharaoh suspects of being much older than himself. It’s possible that Egyptians were not accustomed to seeing people who had lived as long as Jacob had, and that Pharaoh was astounded by Jacob’s obvious old age and wondered how it was possible? Thus he wanted to verify Jacob’s age.
Gen 47:9 And Yaakov said unto Pharaoh, “The days of the years of my pilgrimage are one hundred and thirty years: few and raiym (full of) evils have the days of the years of my life been, and my days are not as many as the days of the years of the lives of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage.
We know that Jacob dies at the age of 147 years (47:28). Therefore, he spends two seventeen year periods with Joseph: Joseph’s first 17 years and Jacob’s last seventeen years. 17 is the sum of the two numbers of completion and wholeness. 7 is connected to the created order and its completion, while also being representative of the sevenfold Spirit of HaShem and the emanations of His character. Thus 7 is symbolic of spiritual completion, wholeness, fulfilment. 10 is also a number of completion and wholeness, and seems to have the role of symbolizing the earthly fulfilments of the heavenly will. In simple terms HaShem has shown Jacob the end from the beginning and is now showing him the beginning from the end. He has lived to see part of the promise fulfilled and will now begin a new journey in Hashem, the journey into Gan Eden (Paradise). Though Jacob’s days have been full of troubles, he has none the less seen the faithfulness of HaShem manifest throughout his days on earth as a sojourner/pilgrim.
The root for the Hebrew “guray” meaning pilgrimage or sojourn, is “geir”. Thus, in modern terms Jacob was saying, ‘I’ve been living as an immigrant, a geir (alien/stranger) for 130 years”.
Both Rashbam and Rambam read raiym (evils) as “travails”. In this context the Hebrew raiym can denote trouble.
“Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.” –Job 14:1
Gen 47:10 And Yaakov (YHVH: Mercy adds) y’varekh blessed Pharaoh (Great House) and went out from before Pharaoh.
Once again Jacob (representing HaShem) blesses Pharaoh. Both these blessings are conditional on Pharaoh’s right treatment of Israel. The Torah has already established that God will bless those who bless Abraham’s descendants and curse those who curse them (Gen. 12:3; 22:18; 26:4; 28:14; 30:27-30; 39:5, 23).
Gen 47:11 And Yosef (YHVH: Mercy adds) settled his father and his brothers, and gave them a possession in the land of Mitzrayim Egypt, in the best part of the land, in the land of Rameses (Child of the Sun), as Pharaoh had commanded.
“The land of Rameses” is the later name, that is, the name used during Moses lifetime, for the region of Goshen (Exodus 1:11).
Gen 47:12 And Yosef nourished his father, and his brothers, and all his father's household, with bread, according to the mouths of their children.
“According to the mouths of their children” is an idiom that means each family was given the appropriate amount of supplies for the number of people in the family. The same principle is applied during the collection of manna many years later, following the exodus.
Gen 47:13 And there was no bread (food) in all the land; for the famine/hunger caused great fainting, so that the land (& those in it) of Mitzrayim Egypt and all the land of K’naan (Lowland) fainted before the face of the famine/hunger.
A stark contrast is shown between the care and provisioning of Israel and the general state of the common people of Egypt and K’naan. The “fainting” described is the natural result of low blood sugar and dehydration and is a metaphorically allusion to despair. The famine made things especially difficult during the extremely hot conditions of the summer months.
Gen 47:14 And Yosef (YHVH: Mercy adds) gathered up all the silver that was found in the land of Mitzrayim Egypt, and in the land of K’naan, (as the price) for the grain which they (the people of Egypt and K’naan) bought: and Yosef brought the silver into Pharaoh's house.
Although Joseph had authority over all these things he showed his great integrity by making himself fiscally accountable to Pharaoh.
Gen 47:15 And when the silver ran out in the land of Mitzrayim Egypt, and in the land of K’naan, all the Mitzrayim Egyptians came to Yosef (YHVH: Mercy adds), and said, “Give us bread (food): for why should we die in front of you? Now that the silver is gone. Gen 47:16 And Yosef said, “Give your cattle; and I will give you food in exchange for your cattle, if the silver is gone.” Gen 47:17 And they brought their cattle to Yosef: and Yosef gave them bread (food) in exchange for horses, and for the flocks, and for the cattle of the herds, and for the asses: and he fed them with bread for all their cattle for that year.
We note that it is “bread/food” that is given rather than grain. These events must be taking place in the latter part of the fifth year or the beginning of the sixth year of the famine/hunger, since we read of a second or following year, when seed rather than bread was given to them for the purpose of sowing the land. This means the drought was coming to an end, making the second of these two years the seventh and final year of the famine.
Gen 47:18 When that year was ended, they came to him again the second year, and said to him, “We can’t hide it from my lord, our silver is spent; my lord also has our herds of cattle; there nothing left in the sight of my lord, but our bodies, and our lands: Gen 47:19 As a result, should we die before your eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land for bread (food), and we and our land will be servants to Pharaoh: and give us seed, that we may live, and not die, and so that the land will not be desolate.
In the ancient world it was common for people devoid of any other means of payment to offer their liberty as payment and become indentured servants to those from whom they purchased goods. The irony of the enslavement of the common people of Egypt is not lost on the Hebrew writer of this text. Moses is recording these words in retrospect at Sinai and must surely see the rhythms of God at work as he collates the oral and revealed history and laws of Israel.
Gen 47:20 And Yosef bought all the land of Mitzrayim Egypt for Pharaoh; for every Mitzrayim Egyptian sold his field, because the famine/hunger prevailed over them: so the land became Pharaoh's.
It seems unlikely that those in Pharaoh’s court and those of higher social standing were required to sell their freedom. Along with the priests, the elite were probably exempt due to the stipends they received from Pharaoh.
Gen 47:21 And as for the people, he removed them to cities from one end of the borders of Mitzrayim Egypt even to the other end.
This was probably done in order to sever generational ties to those parts of the land that had been sold. Thus those who had sold ancestral lands in one location were moved to another so that they would not become reattached to the idea of owning what they might later consider to be their rightful possession. That is, the land they had sold.
Gen 47:22 Only the adamat ground of ha-coheniym the priests was not purchased; for the priests had a portion assigned them by Pharaoh, and ate their portion of food which Pharaoh gave them: this is why they didn’t sell their ad’maat ground.
The priests of Egypt received their stipend in much the same way as the priests of Israel would one day receive their living from the people for the service offered before HaShem.
It’s interesting to note that if it is the case that only the priests of Egypt were in this privileged position, then one might consider the people of Israel, who were also allowed to maintain their land in Goshen (and buy more land) and received a regular allotment of food from Joseph, to be a nation of priests. In fact, this has been the case since the first priest Abraham chose to lead his children in the paths of Hashem, and is still the case today.
“’So as for you, you will be to Me a kingdom of kohaniym and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you are to speak to Bnei-Yisrael (Children of Israel).” –Exodus 19:6
Gen 47:23 Then Yosef said to the people, “Behold, I have bought you this day and your land for Pharaoh: so, here is seed for you, and you shall sow the land.
This happened in the last year of the famine, or else sowing seed would have been pointless.
Gen 47:24 And it shall come to pass in the increase, that you shall give a fifth to Pharaoh, and four fifths shall be your own, for seed of the field, and for your food, and for those of your households, and for food for your little ones. Gen 47:25 And they said, “You have saved our lives: let us find grace in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh's servants.” Gen 47:26 And Yosef made it a law over the land of Egypt unto this day, that Pharaoh should receive a fifth; with the exception of the land of the priests, which didn’t become Pharaoh's.
Joseph acts generously in Pharaoh’s name. The land owner (Pharaoh) was entitled to take the majority of the land’s produce. Another ruler of the period might have taken four fifths of the produce and left those who worked the land with only a fifth from which to divide up food and seed for replanting. What Joseph agrees to is the opposite of this. Pharaoh will take the lesser portion and the greater portion will remain in the hands of the farmers. This is why the people respond by saying, “You have saved us”. They gladly offer themselves in service of a ruler who will deal with them righteously.
There is a wonderful foreshadowing of the Messiah and His kingdom in this interaction. The Olam Haba (World to come), will be a kingdom owned entirely by the most generous King of all time, God Himself. Those who sell all they have to become His servants in this life are delighted to receive the generous portion of eternal life that God affords those who work in His harvest field. He gives enough for our needs and overflows our cup that we might bless others. When His Son Yeshua (Joseph being the type for Messiah) offers us the opportunity to be set free from certain death in the famine and hunger of this sin affected world, we gladly give up that which we cannot hold on to for that which we will never lose.
The fifth given to Pharaoh, even up until the day of the writing down of the Torah, is symbolic of Egypt’s failure to be complete in its spiritual journey. The tithe of Abraham and subsequently of the priesthood, is a lesser portion practically speaking (A fifth is greater than a tenth), but a greater portion spiritually speaking.
Gen 47:27 And Yisrael (Overcomes in God) dwelt in the land of Mitzrayim Egypt, in the country of Goshen (Draw near); and they acquired property in it, and grew, and multiplied exceedingly.
The priests of Egypt maintained their property, but the priestly nation of Israel extended their land holdings. Israel the man, and “they”, Israel the people, dwelt in Egypt and prospered.
Vayechiy (And He lived)
This parashat is distinct in that unlike others, there is no gap in the Torah text to indicate its division. It may seem ironic that the portion that describes Jacob’s death should be headed “And he lived”. However, this is exactly the right way to describe the deaths of the children of God. As Yeshua has said, “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob: He is not the God of the dead but of the living!” (Matthew 22:32). For Jacob, now Israel, death is the doorway to the Messiah and Gan Eden (Paradise), and subsequently “He lives, eternally”.
Gen 47:28 And Yaakov (Follows after the heel) lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years: so the total number of Yaakov’s years was one hundred forty seven.
Yaakov the follower, the pilgrim, completes his earthly journey with the knowledge that as Yisrael the overcomer he will enter into Gan Eden (Paradise, Abraham’s bosom).
Gen 47:29 And the time drew nigh that Yisrael (Overcome in God) must die: and he called his son Yosef (YHVH: Mercy adds) and said to him, “If now I have found grace in your sight, I plead with you, put your hand under my thigh, and deal kindly and truly with me; I plead with you, do not inter me in Egypt:
Israel, who has overcome in God now calls upon HaShem Who adds mercy, asking for confirmation of the hope he has held in his heart for so many years. He asks to be interred above ground (not buried).
The act of placing the hand under the thigh next to the male sexual organ is symbolic of an oath which binds one to the generations past and future (Gen 24:2). In effect, Joseph is making an oath that will also be incumbent on his progeny. This is why all of Jacob’s sons go up to inter him at Machpelah in Hebron (Gen. 50:8, 12-13).
Gen 47:30 But I will lie with my fathers, and you shall carry me out of Mitzrayim Egypt (Double straits, distress), and inter me in their place of interment.” And he (Joseph) said, “I will do as you have said”. Gen 47:31 And he (Jacob) said, “Swear to me.” And he (Joseph) swore to him. And Yisrael prostrated himself toward the head of the bed (bowed himself on the head of his staff).
“In trusting Yaakov (follower), as he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and he bowed in worship while leaning on the top of his staff.” –Hebrews 11:21
In verse 31, the Septuagint, a Jewish translation of the Hebrew Torah, reads “staff” rather than “bed”, as recorded in the Masoretic Hebrew text of the Torah.
There is no need to argue over which is correct. Both are correct. His staff was at the head of his bed, thus he bowed on the staff and at the head of the bed.
With this established we are free to expound the meaning of the head of the bed and the bedrock of the staff, both being significant symbols.
The second of Joseph’s dreams has not yet been fulfilled to completion. His brothers have bowed down to him but his father has not. As Jacob seeks Joseph’s oath, Joseph stands close to the top of his bed. After making the oath upon Jacob’s thigh, Jacob bows to Joseph at the head of his bed and upon his staff. Thus he completes that part of Joseph’s second dream that can be completed and leaves the final fulfilment of it (When both Jacob and Rachel will bow to the Messiah ben Joseph [Yeshua]) until that great day when the Messiah returns and the dead rise.
The head of the bed is the chief place of rest and denotes a final transition of peace. Jacob is bowing to HaShem in the knowledge of his son’s oath, assured that he will be interred in the cave of Machpelah in Hebron (Gen. 23:9-19; 25:9; 49:30; 50:13), along with his forefathers, there to await the resurrection and the life everlasting in the land promised to him by HaShem.
The staff is a sign of Jacob’s authority over all his sons, the tribes of Israel. This is why the name Israel is used in verse 29 prior to the oath and prior to his bowing to Joseph at the head of his bed and upon the staff. This staff of authority is being passed on, not to Judah, but to Joseph, from whom the sons of promise (Ephraim and Menashe) have come forth. This staff is given to Joseph in a figurative representation of the future Messiah, Who will rule over all the tribes of Jacob/Israel, and indeed, over all nations.
“ So Yaakov’s sons did for him just as he commanded them. His sons carried him to the land of K’naan and interred him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, the field that Avraham bought as a property for burial from Ephron the Chitti, next to Mamre.” –Genesis 50:12-13
© Yaakov Brown 2017
The favour that God bestows on others does not diminish our value, but our envy of them clouds our ability to see our value.
It is the repentant and self-sacrificing plea of Judah on behalf of his brother Benjamin, and the imminent possibility of Jacob’s death that acts as the catalyst for Joseph’s break down and revelation. The viceroy and ruler of Egypt, Joseph (YHVH: Mercy adds), chooses to refuse vengeance and instead adds mercy to his brothers.
It is almost impossible for the Spirit filled disciple of Yeshua to miss the obvious correlation between the present text and the final exodus of the Jewish people recorded in the Revelation of Yeshua (Jesus) to Yochanan (John).
Just as the tribes of Israel have gathered in repentance before Joseph in Egypt and according to the revelation of his person, mourn their sin and are reconciled through his mercy, so too the books of Romans (11) and Revelation explain that in the latter days all the tribes of Israel will look upon the one whom we have pierced and in repentance will receive the mercy of Yeshua our Mashiyach. If there were ever any doubt as to the correlation between the life stories of Joseph and Yeshua, it is silenced here.
Gen 45:1 Then Yosef (YHVH: Mercy adds) no longer had the power to restrain himself in front of all who stood near him; and he called out, “Cause every man to go out from me”. And there stood no man with him, when Yosef made himself known to his brothers.
Mercy added knowledge to the tribes of Israel.
It is clear from the last verses of the previous chapter, that it is Joseph’s realization that his brothers are truly repentant, along with their care for Benjamin and Joseph’s own fears for the wellbeing of his father which finally bring him to the end of himself, emotionally speaking.
Rashbam suggests that Joseph had his personal staff and other household members leave the room because his position required that he be seen by them only in an emotionally neutral state.
Prophetically speaking, Joseph’s revealing himself to his brothers in private seems to correlate to Yeshua’s revealing Himself to the twelve disciples (All of whom were Jews and represented the twelve tribes of Israel). Following His transfiguration Yeshua instructs the three, “Don’t tell anyone” (Matt. 17:9; 9:9).
Gen 45:2 Vayitein And giving kolu his voice, he wept: and the Mitzrayim (Egyptians: Double distress) and the house of Pharaoh (Great House) heard.
This can be understood to mean that word spread to Pharaoh’s house from the houses surrounding Joseph’s house, or, that Joseph’s house was close enough to Pharaoh’s palace that he could be heard. Regardless, the weeping must have taken the form of wailing in order to have been heard outside the walls of Joseph’s house.
Gen 45:3 And Yosef (YHVH: Mercy adds) said to his brothers, “I am Yosef; does my father ha-od continue in chaiy health (life)? And his brothers could not answer him; for they were terrified before mipanay’u his face.
Everyone, including the interpreter, had been cleared from the room. Now only Joseph and his brothers remained. Therefore, Joseph must be speaking Hebrew at this point. Thus the brother’s terror and astonishment are triggered not only by the words themselves but also by the fact that Joseph is now speaking their mother tongue.
Joseph is not repeating the previously answered question of whether his father is alive. Rather in this context the Hebrew chaiy indicates health, much like the English expression “Full of life”, chaiy is used in a similar way in verse 27 where it speaks of Jacob being revived. Other uses of chaiy denoting health and wellbeing can be found in Lev. 18:5, Deut. 8:3; Prov. 14:30; Hab. 2:4 etc.
We notice that Joseph’s brothers were terrified by his revelation. They gazed upon his face (panayu). In other words, when Joseph made himself known, the familiarity they had sensed when looking upon him became suddenly and awe inspiringly clear. So too, at the end of the age, the twelve tribes of Israel will look upon the One Whom they have pierced (Zech. 12:10; John 19:37), and in repentance the entire remnant of the ethno-religious people of Israel (Jews) will be redeemed through Yeshua (Romans 11:25-26).
“When Joseph said ‘I am Joseph,’ God’s master plan became clear to the brothers. They had no more questions. Everything that had happened for the last twenty-two years fell into perspective. So too, will it be in the olam haba (time to come) when God will reveal Himself and announce, “I am HaShem!” The veil will be lifted from our eyes and we will comprehend everything that transpired throughout history.” –Chafetz Chaim
“Therefore, having such a hope, we act with great boldness. 13 We are not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face in order for Bnei-Yisrael not to look intently upon the end of what was passing away. 14 But their minds were hardened. For up to this very day the same veil remains unlifted at the reading of the ancient covenant, since in Messiah it is passing away. 15 But to this day, whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart. 16 But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Ruach Adonai is, there is freedom. 18 But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory—just as from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” -2 Corinthians 3:12-28 (TLV)
Gen 45:4 And Yosef (YHVH: Mercy adds) said to his brothers, “G’shu Draw near to me, please, eli into me, against me. Va’igashu And they came near. And he said, I am Yosef (YHVH: Mercy adds) your brother, you sold me into Mitzrayim (Egypt: Double distress). Gen 45:5 Now therefore, don’t be cut up, nor angry in your own eyes, that you sold me here: for it was to preserve life that Elohiym (God: Judge) sent me before lip’neichem your faces.
Adding Mercy he spoke to his brothers, “Draw near, intimately close in brotherly love”. And the brothers drew close. “I am adding mercy” he said, “I’m your brother who you sold into double distress. But don’t dwell on your sin or condemn yourselves because you sold me into this place: it is because there was a need to preserve life that The Judge sent me before your faces (while you were still unable to see).
Joseph responds to the brothers’ terror with an invitation of grace and mercy. “I am the one who adds mercy, your brother”. Joseph does not deny the reality of the sin committed against him. He states clearly that which is already on the minds of the brothers’, “You sold me into double distress”. When he continues he further illuminates and acts out a progression of redemption through repentance and mercy.
He has stated his identity as the aggrieved party, acknowledged that he has been sinned against, and has accepted the repentant attitude and actions of those who have committed the sin. Now, drawing attention to all these elements he says, “Now, therefore, don’t be cut up or become self-condemning because you sold me here: for it was to preserve life that Elohiym (God: Judge) sent me before lip’neichem your faces.” Not only did The Judge Elohiym send Joseph ahead of his brothers to preserve them and the entire household of Jacob, He also, through Joseph, has preserved the lives of the Egyptians, who would otherwise have starved to death during the famine. Thus, “To preserve life”.
“All of us (sons of Jacob) were destined to descend into Egypt according to God’s decree that Avraham’s descendants would be aliens in a foreign land (Gen. 15:13). Normally we would have gone to Egypt in iron fetters [in the same manner of all slaved-exiles], but He chose to spare Father (Jacob) and you from the harshness of a forced descent into hostile conditions. He set me here to prepare the way and provide for you in honour.” –collected from Tanchuma; Lecha Tov
Gen 45:6 For these two years the famine (hunger) has been in the land: and there are five years yet to come, in which there will neither be sowing nor harvesting.
Benjamin had been given the fivefold portion as the first half of the completion of the work of Israel’s establishment in Egypt. There will now be five more years of reliance on the provision of Joseph under Pharaoh, bringing the prosperity and security of Israel (Jacob) to completion. Thus the number ten represents the fullness and certainty of the promised provision of God.
Gen 45:7 And Elohiym (God: Judge) sent me before your faces to place you as a remnant ba-aretz in the land, and to keep you alive for a great deliverance.
As a preserved remnant, Israel was to be set apart as the nation from whom the Messiah will come. God had been working to bring about the deliverance of Israel from hunger and death, and He will continue to do so throughout her history until that final deliverance which is foretold in the prophetic book of Revelation. A book that retells the exodus as the grand meta-narrative encompassing generations and fulfilling the allotted days of this world.
The deliverance Joseph speaks of is both the present coming to Egypt of Joseph’s family and the future deliverance of the people of Israel from slavery, both physical and spiritual.
Gen 45:8 And now it was not you that sent me here, but Ha-Elohiym the God/Judge: and He has made me to be a father to Pharaoh (Great House), and adon lord of all his house, and a ruler in all the eretz land of Mitzrayim Egypt (Double distress).
“And now” is the phrase that secures the brothers’ forgiveness and distinguishes between the past sin and the present reconciliation. “It was not you that sent me here” reveals the purposes and participation of the loving God YHVH. It infers that Joseph was not simply sold but called by God in his dreams and sent ahead by God via the vehicle of adversity.
“Father to the King” is an ancient title given to viziers and is therefore appropriately applied to Joseph. The title father is also used to refer to Israel’s prophets, as in the case of Elisha, who is called “O my father, my father, the chariots and horsemen of Israel” (2 Kings 13:14). Thus Elisha is seen as the spiritual leader of Israel, who has authority in God to direct the outcomes of Israel’s military battles. Given the Hebrew understanding of the use of father in this context, it seems very likely that Joseph’s role in Egypt was a combination of spiritual and military leadership. Additionally, it is also symbolically significant in its representation of Joseph as a type for the Messiah. Yeshua said, “I and the Father are echad (complex unity)”. It is comforting to know that our Messiah is Ruler, even in the land of double distress (Mitzrayim/Egypt).
Gen 45:9 You hurry, and go up to my father, and say to him, “This is what your son Yosef says, ‘Elohiym (God/Judge) has made me adon lord of all Mitzrayim Egypt: come down to me, don’t delay: Gen 45:10 And you shall dwell in the land of Goshen (Drawing near), and you shall be near to me, you, and your children, and your children's children, and your flocks, and your herds, and all that you have: Gen 45:11 And there will I nourish you; for there are yet five years of famine (hunger); otherwise you and your household, and all that you have, will come to poverty.
Goshen was a fertile region in northeast Egypt, east of the Nile delta, which contained the country’s most fertile soil and is called the best of the land (Gen. 47:6).
The repetition of the phrase “draw near” which was seeded in verse 4, conveys a rhythm of reconciliation and intimacy that cradles the entire account. Joseph is sending a message to his Abba (Dad) saying, “I’m alive Dad, and I’m a trusted adviser to the king and a ruler over all Egypt. Come down (Draw near) to me, live in a place called “Draw near” and dwell near to me with your entire household for the remainder of your days. Also, allow the generations of your progeny to draw near to me.”
As a type for the Messiah, Joseph is echoing the future work of the Messiah:
“Let us therefore draw near with boldness to the throne of chesed (grace), that we might receive rachamiym (mercy) and find chesed (grace) to help in time of need.” –Hebrews 4:16
The major city of Goshen was Rameses. Goshen is thought to have been near Tanis, the seat of power of the Hyksos (Chiefs of Foreign Lands), Semitic invaders who dominated Egypt from approx. 1720 to 1580 BCE. The name Rameses was used in later times during the reigns of the Ramessides of the thirteenth century BCE. These are possibly the periods of Joseph (mid 1700s) and Moses (mid 1300s) respectively.
Gen 45:12 V’hinei And behold, your (plural) eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benyamin (Son of my right hand), that it is my mouth (language) that speaks to you.
“You can recognize my features with your own eyes. You can also identify me by my speaking Hebrew.” -Radak
Gen 45:13 And you shall tell my father of all k’vodi my glory in Mitzrayim Egypt (Double distress), and of all that you have seen; and you shall hurry and bring my father down here. Gen 45:14 And he fell upon his brother Benyamin's neck, and wept; and Benyamin wept upon his neck.
Joseph’s glory in Egypt and his intimate connection to his father remind me of the words of Yeshua:
“I glorified You on earth by finishing the work that You have given Me to do. Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world came to be.” –Yochanan (John) 17:4-5
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” –Revelation 12:11
Joseph clearly favours Benjamin over his other brothers and their blood bond strengthens their joyful tears of relief at finally reuniting. The language “And he fell upon his brother Benyamin's neck, and wept” is more dramatic than that of the following verse, where he simply kisses and weeps upon the brothers.
The reason God favours one over another in this life, is so that He might exhibit His offer of eternal favour to all. In regard to salvation God has no favourites, but in regard to the way we walk, He favours the obedient.
Gen 45:15 Moreover he kissed all his brothers, and wept upon them: and after that his brothers talked with him.
This final act of reconciliation releases the brothers from their fear of Joseph the Egyptian ruler (Judge) and invites them into safe conversation with Joseph their brother and redeemer.
Yeshua, in respect to the God-head, is our judge, redeemer and comfort (God with us). And in respect to His humanity, He allowed Himself to become our brother. Like the brothers of Joseph, we view Yeshua as a fearsome judge until we receive His intimate kiss. The Torah brings death only to those who are already dead. It is a judge over the sinner and an instructor to the righteous.
Gen 45:16 V’hakol And the kol voice, sound, was heard in the house of Pharaoh, saying, Yosef's brothers are come: and it was pleasing in the eyes of Pharaoh, and his servants. Gen 45:17 And Pharaoh said to Yosef, “Say to your brothers, ‘Do this; load your animals, and go, head to the land of K’naan (Lowland, humility); Gen 45:18 And fetch your father and your households, and come to me: and I will give you the good of the land of Mitzrayim Egypt, and you shall eat the fat of the land. Gen 45:19 Now you are commanded, do this; take wagons out of the land of Mitzrayim Egypt for your little ones, and for your wives, and bring your father, and come. Gen 45:20 Also regard not your possessions; for the good of all the land of Egypt is yours.
And The Voice was heard in the great house saying, “Mercy has added his brothers to you”.
Joseph was unable to go up to get his father himself due to his role as Egypt’s viceroy and the many responsibilities he had, particularly during this time of famine. Thus (care of Pharaoh) he is very specific in his instructions to his brothers. Pharaoh’s relationship with Joseph is clearly a positive one that goes beyond politics and the matters of the ruling class. He shows extravagant hospitality to the brothers and affords Joseph the opportunity to lavish them with supplies and promise fertile land upon their return.
Regard not your possessions, for all the goodness that comes from the land of distress is yours.
Adversity teaches us that material possessions are worthless in light of the eternal truths learned through our struggles.
Gen 45:21 And the children of Yisrael (Overcomes in God) did so: and Yosef (YHVH: Mercy adds) gave them wagons, according to the commandment of Pharaoh, and gave them provision for the way.
The use of the name Israel here is one of the many reasons that the popular but flawed redacted theory is so unattractive to me. The name Israel in this section of the text of the Torah is an anomaly that refutes the idea of the so called pro-Jacob Elohimist. In fact, the reason the name Israel is used hear is because it is not merely Jacob who is being delivered from famine but the entire people of Israel. This is the perfect place to use the unified title of the tribes, directly after their reconciliation and provisioning. And there is absolutely no reason to believe it was inserted by a redactor at a later date.
Gen 45:22 To all of them he gave each man changes of clothes; but to Benyamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver, and five changes of clothes.
Each brother is clothed and cared for but Benjamin is given special treatment as Joseph’s favoured brother, the only one who had not participated in his sale into slavery. There is no indication of the old rivalries, the brothers have learned to accept and appreciate that which God has provided and to celebrate the special gifts which have been given to their younger brother. There is much for us to learn from this. The favour that God bestows on others does not diminish our value, but our envy of them clouds our ability to see our value. Therefore, we celebrate the Good God bestows on others and in doing so we realize our true identity as sons and daughters of God in Messiah.
Gen 45:23 And to his father he sent the following; ten donkeys laden with the good things of Egypt, and ten she donkeys laden with grain and bread and food for his father’s return journey.
The double portion of fullness (10) is in compensation for Jacob’s double distress at losing his two sons (albeit temporarily). The bread supplies the immediate need and the grain provides for making bread when the fresh bread runs out. The remainder of the food may be dried fruit, meats etc. for the journey.
Gen 45:24 So he sent his brothers away, and they departed: and he said to them, See that you don’t have a falling out on the way.
The p’shat (plain) meaning here denotes that Joseph was concerned that the brothers might look to blame one another for the mistreatment of Joseph. Alternatively, he was concerned that they would begin to argue over why Benjamin received such extravagant gifts from Joseph. Whatever the reason the point was that Joseph wanted his brothers to remain focused on the goal of their journey which was to bring Jacob and all his household to Egypt in fulfilment of the decree of HaShem (Gen. 15:13).
Gen 45:25 And they went up out of Mitzrayim Egypt (Double distress), and came into the land of K’naan (Lowland, humility) to Yaakov (Follower) their father, Gen 45:26 And spoke to him, saying, “Yosef is chaiy alive, and he is governor over all the land of Mitzrayim Egypt”. And Yaakov’s lev core being/heart became faint (slacked), for he did not believe them. Gen 45:27 And they told him all the words of Yosef, which he’d said to them: and when he saw the wagons which Yosef had sent to carry him, ha-ruach the spirit of Yaakov (Follower) their father v’t’chaiy revived: Gen 45:28 And Yisrael (Overcomes in God) said, “It is enough; Yosef my son is chaiy alive: I will go and see him before I die.
Both Rashi and Rambam suggest the Jacob experienced a spiritual revival upon accepting the truth of the news concerning Joseph. This, they say, is why the name Yisrael (Signifying Jacob’s spiritual nobility) is employed in the following verse.
Jacob’s mourning “will bring down my grey head in sorrow to sheol” (Gen. 42:38), is turned to joy, “It is enough that Joseph my son lives: I will go and see him before I die!”
© Yaakov brown 2017
We would do well to remember that modern social justice is not justice, in the same way that a truth is not the Truth.
This sidra (section) of Genesis begins the Torah portion Mikeitz (end), which takes its title from the phrase “And it came to pass at the end of two years”. While practically speaking mikeitz is used to denote the end of a period of time, by way of a remez (hint) it also infers the end, or last phase of the prophecy made to Avraham (Gen. 15:13-16) concerning the bondage and persecution of his progeny and ultimately, their freedom from slavery.
It is worth noting that verses 1-32 deal with the last of the three pairs of dreams in Joseph’s story. Each set of dreams acting as a stepping stone toward the fulfilment of God’s plan for Israel.
The events of this chapter begin two years after the release of the baker and cupbearer and bring the total years of Joseph’s imprisonment to 12 and his years in captivity to 13 (Genesis 37:2). Verse 46 tells us that Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh, making Jacob 120 years and Isaac 180 (Isaac died around this time) at the time of these events.
1Now it was at the end of two years, when Pharaoh (Great house) was dreaming, and hinei suddenly, there he was standing al upon (over, beside) ha-y’or the River (Nile).
Pharaoh was standing upon or over the River, a title used to describe the Nile. The Nile was deified in Egyptian culture and Pharaoh’s standing on or over it makes him (at least in his own mind) superior to it, a god in his own right, which we also know to be part of the spiritual belief system of the ancient Egyptians. Pharaohs were often considered to be gods, a god with us, in reality they were types of anti-messiah’s. As mentioned in previous articles, Pharaoh was a title rather than a proper noun.
All of Egypt was dependant on the Nile for its crops and water. The Nile symbolized prosperity and provision. Therefore, given its venerated status, Pharaoh could not help but be captivated by its prominent position in his dream.
2 Then hinei suddenly, there were seven cows, y’fot beautiful, healthy and at closer inspection, fat, and they grazed in the reeds.
There were seven cows, a number meaning completion, fullness etc. A number that would later become closely associated to Israel’s agricultural and social order. These cows were healthy (one of the meanings of yafeh) and were grazing in the reeds. The reeds grow at the edge of the Nile itself, which indicates that the Nile is the source of the cattle’s health and fatness. Practically speaking, the cattle of Egypt often submerge themselves in the Nile in order to get relief from the heat and from insects.
3 Then hinei suddenly, there were seven other cows coming up after them from ha-y’or the River (Nile), ugly and emaciated, and they stood beside the cows at the edge of ha-y’or the River (Nile). 4 Then the ugly emaciated cows ate the seven good-looking fat cows—and Pharaoh woke up.
As is often the case when dreams take a nasty turn, Pharaoh awoke abruptly and was probably unsettled for some time before going back to sleep. The eating of the fat cows seems symbolic of the fact that the seven full and complete good years would soon be forgotten by a full and complete (7), all consuming age of famine.
5 Then he slept and dreamed a second time: hinei suddenly, there were seven heads of grain ascending on a single stalk, b’riyot made fat and good. 6 Then hinei suddenly, there were seven heads of grain, thin and scorched by the east wind, sprouting up after them. 7 Then the seven thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven ears of grain that had been made plump and full. Then Pharaoh woke up—it was a dream.
The text infers that the seven thin heads of grain grew on the same single stalk. The use of the Hebrew echad (One, complex unity) regarding the stalk of the full heads of grain, is intended to unify the two weeks of years in order to connect them to the former dream.
Once again the years of famine swallow up all evidence of the years of abundance. Once again the seven that completes the prosperity also completes the poverty.
The phrase, “it was a dream” infers relief on Pharaoh’s part at the fact that he had woken from a vivid dream. Relief that turns to concern when he realizes that the dreams have some sense of the prophetic about them.
8 But in the morning he v’tipaem felt beaten and disturbed in ruachu his spirit. So he sent and called for the fortune-telling priests of mitzrayim (Egypt: double distress) and all its wise men and Pharaoh told them his dream. But no one could interpret them for Pharaoh.
The fortune-telling occultists of Egypt were part of her priesthood. It may be that the priest of On mentioned later in the text is one of those who was called upon. The wise men may or may not have been associated with the priesthood. Given the ongoing political struggles between the house of Pharaoh and the priesthood of Egypt, it is more likely that the wise men were men of logic and common wisdom rather than spiritualists like the fortune-telling priests.
As in the case of the cupbearer and baker, an attempt is made to interpret the dreams but to no avail. This may be the catalyst for the cupbearer’s pang of conscience. We also note the singular use in the phrase, “Pharaoh told them his dream” compared to the plural, “But no one could interpret them”. At this point it should be clear to all concerned that the dreams have a unified message, and yet, this seems to escape all the wise men and priests of Egypt. Though, it seems to have been established in Pharaoh’s mind. This is possibly why when Joseph later begins by establishing the fact that the dreams are echad (one), Pharaoh accepts what follows, having already concluded the same.
9 Then the prince of the cupbearers spoke with Pharaoh saying, “I am reminded of my sins today. 10 Pharaoh had been angry with his servants and put me in the custody of the house of the prince of the executioners—and with me, the prince of the bakers. 11 Then we each dreamed (firmly binding) a dream (firmly bound) on the same night, he and I, we both dreamed, yet each dream had its own interpretation. 12 Now there with us was a ga’ar Ivriy Hebrew youth—a slave belonging to the prince of the executioners. When we told him, he interpreted our dreams for us, each man’s dream he interpreted. 13 Then it came about, just as he interpreted for us, so it happened. I was restored to my position, but he was hung.
We could read the cupbearer’s confession as the result of a genuine pang of conscience or as an act of self-preservation. Either way the timing is in God’s hands and affords Joseph the perfect opportunity to bring glory to both the God of Israel and himself. One would have thought, given the Egyptian prejudice against the Hebrews, that the phrase “ga’ar Ivriy” Hebrew youth, coupled with the position of slave, would have given Pharaoh reason to pause. However, it seems, based on the following verse, that Pharaoh’s angst had grown so great that at this point he was willing to try anything.
14 Then Pharaoh sent and called for Yosef (YHVH: Mercy adds). So they quickly fetched him from the ha’bor well/pit. He shaved, changed his clothes, and came to Pharaoh. 15 Then Pharaoh (Great house) said to Yosef (YHVH: Mercy adds), “I dreamed (firmly binding thing) a dream (firmly bound thing) and there’s no one to interpret it. I heard about you—it’s said that you can listen to a dream to interpret it.”
Rosh Hashanah 10b says that Joseph was released 2230 years from creation on Rosh Hashanah (Yom Teruah: Day of Shofar blasts). If this is correct, Joseph was released at the beginning of what will later become known as the High Holy Days of Israel, which take place in the seventh month (Tishri, Beginning; The Sabbath Month) of the Hebrew Calendar, and include Yom Kippur (Day of Covering), Sukkot (shelters) and Shemini Atzeret (Eight Day).
This idea is significant because the number seven, which symbolizes completion, fullness and fulfilment, is a central element in the dreams of Pharaoh. Also, the month of Tishri is a month of new beginnings. These events are truly a new beginning for both Joseph and Israel (Jacob). And, in retrospect, the beginning of the end (all be it 400 years down the track) of Egypt’s domination over the Jewish people.
Note that Pharaoh is referring to the dreams as one dream but like the cupbearer and baker before him, he is using the doubling of the Hebrew chalom chalam’ti (Dreamed a dream). Thus the two become echad (one, complex unity).
16 Then Yosef (YHVH: Mercy adds) answered Pharaoh (Great house) saying, “apart from me. Elohiym (God, gods, Judge) will answer Pharaoh with shalom.”
In other words, “Without Elohiym’s help I’m not able to give a Divine answer, instead I defer to Him and He will answer you so as to bring shalom (peace, wholeness) to the turmoil of your heart and mind.” Like Daniel the prophet, Joseph ascribes his interpretive skill to God (Daniel 2:30).
“Those that honour Me, I will honour” -1 Samuel 2:30
17 So Pharaoh said to Yosef: “In my dream, hinei suddenly I was standing on the bank of ha-y’or the river (Nile). 18 And hinei behold, out of the river (Nile) seven cows were coming up, fat and beautiful, healthy, and they grazed in the reeds. 19 Then all of a sudden, there were seven other cows coming up after them, feeble, very ugly and emaciated. I’ve never seen cows this hideous in the whole land of Egypt. 20 Then the emaciated and ugly cows ate the first seven fat cows. 21 When they were devoured, one couldn’t tell that they had been devoured. Their appearance was as ugly as it was at first. Then I woke up. 22 Then I saw in my dream, there were seven heads of grain ascending on one (echad) stalk, full and good. 23 Then suddenly, there were seven heads of grain, dried up, thin, and scorched by the east wind, sprouting up after them. 24 Then the thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven good heads of grain. So I told the fortune-telling priests, but no one could provide me with an explanation.”
While there are some subtle differences in the recapitulating of the dreams, all the main elements are present. It is possible that Pharaoh left out the fact that the scrawny cows came out of the Nile because the Nile was deified and from his perspective, only gave forth good things. However, this small detail does not mitigate the otherwise dark conclusion of the dreams.
The fact that Pharaoh mentions his disappointment only in the fortune-telling priests, may indicate one of two things: either he didn’t expect the wise men (who use logic) to understand what he considered to be metaphysical symbolism, or, he was intentionally belittling his priestly rivals. Whatever the reason, he was none the less concerned about the dreams and their meaning, and was determined to get an answer.
25 Then Yosef said to Pharaoh, “Pharaoh’s dream is echad (one). Elohiym (God, gods) has told Pharaoh what He is about to fashion. 26 The seven good cows: they are seven years. Also the seven heads of grain: they’re seven years. It is echad (one) dream. 27 The seven emaciated and ugly cows coming up after them: they’re seven years. Also the seven empty heads of grain scorched by the east wind: there will be seven years of famine. 28 He (Hoo) the word (Ha-d’var) which I conveyed by my words (d’vartiy) to Pharaoh already: Ha-Elohiym the God is about to fashion, that which he has shown to Pharaoh. 29 Seven years of abundance are about to come in the whole land of Egypt. 30 Then seven years of famine will come up after them and all the abundance in the land of Egypt will be forgotten and the famine will consume the land. 31 So the abundance in the land will be unknown because of the famine that follows, for it will be an exceedingly oppressive famine.
Joseph emphasises the unity of the dreams. The cows representing ploughing and sowing and the grain, reaping and harvesting (Arbanel). He first gives a concise overview.
Joseph infers that God has given this message to Pharaoh because it concerns the entire land that he has governance over. Joseph reasserts his own trust in God, repeating that God is about to fashion these things. Though the generic title Elohiym (God, gods, judges) is being used, as a Hebrew he can only be speaking of the Hebrew God, he is after all an imported slave who has little previous knowledge of Egypt’s deities.
Joseph begins with the issue of famine because Pharaoh is used to prosperous livestock and abundant grain harvests, but it is the latter part of the dream that has concerned him most and it is this that allows Joseph to capture and hold Pharaoh’s attention.
32 “Now as for repeating Pharaoh’s dream twice: it’s because the matter has been settled by Elohiym God and Elohiym God will quickly make it happen.
Joseph stresses the point that Elohiym is in control of both the dreams and the events that they predict. Elohiym (Joseph’s God) has firmly decided this and will make it happen very soon. Joseph, a slave, a despised Hebrew, speaks of an authority greater than the false man-god Pharaoh. Any other ruler might have had Joseph struck down for presuming to say such a thing but Pharaoh seems convinced that Joseph is his only means of escaping what is to come.
33 So now, let Pharaoh select a man discerning and wise and set him in authority over the land of Egypt. 34 Let Pharaoh act by appointing administrators over the land and take a fifth portion from the land of Egypt during the seven years of abundance.
The man for the job will need to be discerning enough to coordinate the business and logistics of this undertaking and wise enough to know how to store and preserve the grain. A good job for one who has cared for flocks and harvested grain in the fields of Hebron nu.
The fifth portion is to be taken from the land, meaning a fifth of all the grain producing land would be farmed directly into Pharaoh’s storehouses. This would be in addition to the taxable produce of the land, which probably returned a tenth of all grain to Pharaoh’s storehouses every year.
35 Then let them gather all the food from these good years that are coming, and let them store up grain under Pharaoh’s hand as food for the cities, so they may preserve it.
This means that each city would have its own granaries in which to store its grain. These granaries would be controlled by those whom the man Pharaoh appointed would place in charge as overseers.
36 Let the food be held in reserve for the land for the seven years of famine that are coming upon the land of Egypt. Then the land will not be annihilated by the famine.”
Affirming his certain belief in the coming events, Joseph says, “the seven years of famine that are coming”.
37 Now the plan seemed good in the eyes of Pharaoh as well as all his servants. 38 Then Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can a man like this be found, one in whom is ruach Elohiym (God’s Spirit: spirit of the gods)?”
It is interesting to note that the plan seemed good not only to Pharaoh but also to his servants. One would have thought that a court of people who despised Hebrews and had just been one upped by a Hebrew slave, would be envious, hateful and disagreeable to Joseph’s interpretation and council. However, be it due to their fear of Pharaoh’s wrath or simply because they genuinely saw the wisdom in Joseph’s words, they were all convinced by him according to the will of God.
The name Elohiym, which denotes the attribute of Judgement, is used throughout this account. It is God the Judge who speaks this warning to Pharaoh, and it is the servant of YHVH the Merciful who brings Pharaoh the redemptive solution to the coming crisis. Whatever Pharaoh’s degree of spiritual understanding, he clearly believes that Joseph is a spiritually gifted man imbued with supernatural favour.
39 Then Pharaoh (Great house) said to Yosef, “Since Elohiym God has made all this known to you, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. 40 You! You will be over my house, and in addition all my people’s mouths will kiss you. Only in relation to the throne will I be greater than you.”
Egyptian law forbade the promoting of slaves into positions of authority. Thus Pharaoh’s edict was a controversial one. However, it’s clear that Pharaoh was convinced that Joseph was uniquely qualified for the job.
This rise to the position of Egypt’s second in command was the first stage of the final fulfilment of Joseph’s God given dream of ruling over Israel and the nations, as a type for the future Messiah.
41 Then Pharaoh said to Yosef, “See, I appoint you over the whole land of Egypt.” 42 Then Pharaoh removed his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, clothed him with fine linen garments, and put a chain of gold around his neck.
The ring was Pharaoh’s seal and meant that Joseph had authority to implement legislation and seal binding law in all Egypt. The fine garments of royalty represented Joseph’s authority over the land of Egypt, over the morning (Sun) and the evening (Moon) stars. This is in fulfilment of his second dream, which has multiple, far reaching and complex repercussions. In place of the garments he had lost, Joseph is given a garment of far greater authority. Though he has suffered great losses, he has, with God’s help, overcome adversity with his trust intact.
43 Then he had him ride in the chariot as second-in-command, the one that belonged to him, and they called out before him, “Av’reich Father King, Tender Father!” So he appointed him over the whole land of Mitzrayim (double distress) Egypt.
There are at least two possibilities for translating the composite Hebrew word Av’reich. First, Av means Father (in wisdom) and reich means tender (in years) [Midrash]. Second, and according to both Rashi and Onkelos, Av is the Hebrew for Father and reich is Aramaic for King. Both titles denote attributes of the God of Israel, our Father and King (Aveinu Melkeiynu). Therefore, to the Hebrew reader at least, Joseph is seen as a type for the Messiah (God with us). The Jewish Redeemer who will save from the nations those who submit to Him and then, will deliver, save and restore His entire people (12 tribes), the house of His father Jacob (Israel).
Onkelos paraphrases, “This is the father of the king”; which agrees with what Joseph himself says, that God had made him a father to Pharaoh (Gen. 45:8).
The Targum of Yonatan includes both meanings in its paraphrasing of this verse:
"This is the father of the king, who is great in wisdom, and tender in years:'' –Targum Yonatan
“let the father of the king live, who is great in wisdom, and tender in years:'' –Targum Yerushalayim
44 Pharaoh also said to Yosef, “I am Pharaoh, yet without your permission no one will lift up his hand or his foot in the whole land of Egypt.” 45 Then Pharaoh named Yosef (YHVH: Mercy adds) Tzafnat-paneach (treasury of glorious rest) and gave him As’nat (Belonging to the goddess Neit) daughter of Potipherah (He whom the Ra gave), kohen priest of On (Strength), as his wife. Then Yosef went out, in charge of the land of Egypt.
Both Rashi and Rashbam interpret Joseph’s new title as M’pareish Hatz’punot, meaning He who explains what is hidden.
“One to whom hidden things are revealed” – Onkelos
“A revealer of secrets” –Targum Yonatan
The latter part of Tzafnat-paneach is used only this once in Scripture, and Iben Ezra confesses his ignorance as to whether it is an Egyptian word or not. Some think the first part of the name is etymologically linked to the name of the Egyptian idol Baal Zephon (lord of the north: Exodus 14:2), and that, in this new name given to Joseph by Pharaoh, he has inserted the name of his god, just as Nebuchadnezzar did, when he gave new names to Daniel and his company (Daniel 1:7).
The Zohar explains that the name change was an instance of Divine Providence intended to help keep Joseph’s identity hidden from his family so that his dreams would be fulfilled.
Alshich suggests that Potipherah is the same as Potiphar and that therefore, Joseph is marrying his former master’s daughter and is thus vindicated from the false charge concerning Potiphar’s wife. However, if as many believe, Potiphar is a title rather than a personal noun, it is just as likely that the Potiphera of the priests of On is simply an equivalent position in the priesthood held by another individual altogether. This seems more likely in fact, given that the role of Prince of Executioners (Potiphar) is quite separate and distinct from that of priest.
As’nat the Egyptian (Double distress) becomes the mother of two of Israel’s greatest sons, the sons of promise, Ef’rayim (doubly fruitful) and M’nasheh (to forget trouble). Thus, out of double distress comes double blessing.
46 Now Yosef was 30 years old when he began serving as representative of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. Yosef went out from Pharaoh’s presence and passed throughout the whole land of Egypt.
The age of thirty years is significant because it is believed to be Yeshua’s age when He began His public ministry and is known to be the age at which first century Jewish teachers and scribes were welcomed into positions of ministerial authority. Add to this the multiples of three (Unity of deity and completion of that which is firmly established) and ten (Fullness, completion, fruitfulness), and we see that Joseph is entering a season of completion and fullness according to the will of God. At thirty he has now been separated from his family for thirteen years (Gen. 37:2). A number that in Judaism represents the twelve tribes in union with the One God.
47 During the seven years of abundance, the land produced by the handfuls. 48 So he gathered all the food in the land of Egypt during the seven years, and put food in the cities; the food from the city fields surrounding the cities he put in each city. 49 So Yosef (YHVH: Mercy adds) stored up grain like the sand of the sea, vast amounts, until he stopped keeping record because it was beyond counting.
Once again Joseph’s name speaks forth his work and the blessing of God poured out on an undeserving people. Mercy adds.
The phrase, “By the handfuls” is an idiom signifying abundance.
50 Two sons also had been born to Yosef before the first year of famine came, born to him by As’nat (Belonging to the goddess Neit), daughter of Potipherah (He whom the Ra gave), kohen priest of On (Strength). 51 Yosef named his first-born M’nasheh (to forget trouble), “because Elohiym God has caused me to forget all my trouble and all my father’s house.” 52 And the second he named Ef’rayim (doubly fruitful), “because Elohiym God has made me fruitful in the land of my oppression.”
We are told that Joseph’s two sons are born to him, “before the first year of famine came”. Why? What difference does it make when they were born? In the birth of Joseph’s sons God has provided evidence in advance of the fruitfulness yet to come, so that during the coming years of famine (adversity), Joseph can look to the hope he has in HaShem. The sons are named both for the past faithfulness of God (M’nasheh) and for the future promises of God (Ef’rayim). There is a lesson here for every believer: God has given us a great hope in His Son Yeshua, a promise of eternal life, and we know this, that “God cannot lie”. Therefore, in adversity we should look to the sons who have been born to us in the former days, “Forgotten Trouble (Resurrection)” and “Future Double Fruitfulness (Eternal life)”, remembering that God has been faithful, that He is being faithful, and that He will faithfully complete the good work He has begun in us.
The continued use of Elohiym (Judge) reinforces the restorative justice shown to Joseph. As’nat, like Tamar, Rachav, and Ruth, has been grafted into the bloodline of Israel through a Redeemer (like Boaz), a man who is a type for the future Messiah and deliverer of humanity.
The fact that the boys were given Hebrew names infers As’nat’s conversion to Joseph’s faith, having been convinced of the truth of HaShem according to His providence and faithfulness to Joseph and Yaakov/Yisrael.
We bless our boys every Yom Shishi with the words, “May God make you like Ef’rayim and M’nasheh” (Gen. 48:20).
53 Then the seven years of abundance in the land of Egypt came to an end, 54 and the seven years of famine started to come—just as Yosef had said. So there was famine in all the lands, but in the whole land of Egypt there was bread. 55 When the whole land of Egypt suffered famine, the people cried out to Pharaoh for food, and Pharaoh said to all of Egypt, “Go to Yosef. Do whatever he tells you.” 56 The famine was over all the face of the earth, so Yosef opened up all the stores among them and sold grain to Egypt. Then the famine became severe in the land of Egypt. 57 Yet the whole world came to Egypt to buy grain—to Yosef—because the famine was severe in the whole world.
For all intents and purposes, Joseph had become the ruler of the known world. He had become father to Pharaoh (Gen. 45:8), and would soon be recognized as ruler over his brothers according to the will and plan of God for His people Israel.
© Yaakov Brown 2017
Like the Messiah Who comes forth from her, Israel has suffered death and will experience resurrection.
This chapter records the second of three pairs of dreams that mark important transitions in Joseph’s life. The first pair being those he shared with his brother’s and father, who became the interpreters of them (Gen. 37:5-11). The result being his sale into slavery (Gen. 37:18-38). The second pair, recorded here, are interpreted by Joseph, after he explains that the interpretation of dreams is a gift from God. Where the former dreams foretold Joseph’s future authority and almost resulted in his death, the dream of the cupbearer foretells his future reinstatement to his place of authority and the baker’s dream foretells his death.
This chapter is also filled with Messianic symbolism from start to finish: the bread (Chori: white linen/unleavened) and wine, the three days, the pit (As Joseph puts it), a metaphor for death, and the restoration of the cupbearer, a type for resurrection. All is pointing to the redemptive purposes of God for His chosen people Israel, to be carried out through Joseph (A type for the future Messiah).
1 And it came to pass after these ha-d’variym the words/things, the one who provided the king of Miytzrayim Egypt (double distress) with drink, incurred guilt due to an offence, as did the baker; against their lord, king of Egypt.
“After these words, things, events” is more than a reference to the physical events of the previous chapter. It is a reminder of the d’variym, the words themselves and their spiritual significance. This is seen in the repetition of the phrases, “HaShem was with him, and that which he did HaShem made to prosper”. These phrases form a foundation for what is about to unfold.
Both Yarchi and Rashi note that according to Midrash, with regard to the cupbearer’s offense, a fly was found in Pharaoh’s cup, and in the baker’s case a stone was found in the baked goods served to Pharaoh. This is more likely than the Targum Yonatan’s assertion that they both tried to poison the Pharaoh, given that such an act would have seen them executed immediately.
The cupbearer’s offense would have been considered less serious than the baker’s because a fly could have flown into the cup at any time and is therefore unlikely to be a premeditated act, whereas the stone had been baked into the goods and is therefore seen as a premeditated attempt to chock Pharaoh to death: or at very least, an attempt to cheat Pharaoh out of the true weight of the bread, a form of theft. It was not uncommon in ancient Egypt for various factions to seek to assassinate the Pharaoh in order to place a ruler on the throne of Egypt who would be sympathetic to a different political agenda. The conflict between the Pharaonic authority and the Egyptian priesthood is well documented. It’s possible that the baker belonged to such a faction.
The identities of the two princes of Pharaoh are of great importance with regard to the meta-narrative of Scripture. The cup and the bread will become central symbols for both Israel and the nations. We find that the cupbearer is a bearer of wine and the baker of broken bread. We are being introduced to the elements which will latter represent the poured out blood and broken body of our Messiah Yeshua.
2 And displeased, Pharaoh (Great house) placed the two into the custody of the official: the prince responsible for drink and the prince responsible for baking. 3 And they were given into a prison house of the prince of executioners into the house, ha-sohar the round place, where Yosef (HaShem: Mercy adds) was imprisoned.
In Genesis 39:1 Potiphar is called Pharaoh’s official and Prince of the executioners. In the present text the prince cupbearer and prince baker are given to the official (Potiphar), who gives them into the care of his sub commander (Prince of Executioners). Alternatively, both titles refer to Potiphar, just as they did in Genesis 39:1.
The Hebrew term ha-sohar apparently refers to the shape of the prison which was possibly built as a cylinder going down into the ground. This would explain Joseph’s use of the Hebrew ba’bor (well, pit) in verse 15.
4 And the prince executioner placed them in the care of Yosef (HaShem: Mercy adds) to vay’sharet (minister to) them, and it came to pass after yamiym (a year, many days) of confinement: 5 That the two men dreamed a dream, they dreamed in the one night, each man interpreting his dream, the one who provided drink and the baker to the king of Miytzrayim Egypt (double distress), who were imprisoned in the house, which was round.
As previously stated, “The prince executioner” probably refers to Potiphar’s subordinate but may refer to Potiphar. Either way, Potiphar is in the chain of command and at least partly responsible for giving Joseph this opportunity.
We notice that once again the Hebrew y’sharet (minister to, serve willingly) is employed to describe Joseph’s care of these men. Even in prison Joseph is a minister of God to those in his charge. His generous spirit and integrity are sustained because HaShem is with him.
The Hebrew yamiym can denote a period of up to a year. In the present context this means that the cupbearer and baker were in Joseph’s care for a period of at least a year before they had their respective dreams.
The Hebrew, “Ish c’fit’ron chalomo” is usually translated as, “each man according to the interpretation of his dream” and is said to mean that each man dreamed according to his station. I have rendered the phrase, “each man interpreting his dream”. I believe that the text is inferring that the men each attempted and failed to interpret their respective dreams to their satisfaction. This would help to explain the phrase “We have dreamed a dream and no one can interpret it” (v.8).
The belief that dreams could contain prophetic messages concerning the future was widely held throughout the ancient Near East and is attested to in part by Abimelech’s experience in Genesis 20:3. This makes Joseph’s offer of interpretation in the following verses an inviting proposition and gives him the opportunity to prove himself to be an accurate interpreter of dreams.
It is interesting to note that in verse 5 the cupbearer and baker are called by their occupations alone without the Hebrew sar (prince) being used to refer to their now former positions of authority.
6 And Yosef (HaShem: Mercy adds) entered toward them in the morning, and saw them and behold they were zoafiym (sad, angry, troubled and perplexed). 7 And he enquired of the s’riseiy (officials, eunuchs) of Pharaoh (Great house) who were with him in the place of confinement, house of their lord, saying, “Why are your faces full of raiym (bad, evil, worry, sadness, distress, and misery) today?”
We notice that Joseph, who has had Mercy Himself add comfort to him in his distress, now “adds mercy” to the troubled cupbearer and baker. Like all great men of God, Joseph allows the overflow of his experience of God’s love and mercy to affect those around him. He is looking for an opportunity to comfort these men who have been placed into his care.
The Hebrew raiym, used here to describe the faces of the men can be translated a number of ways and allows for an ambiguous interpretation. It may mean that the face of the cupbearer was distressed and the face of the baker was full of evil intent. If the conjecture concerning the sins of each of the men is true, it makes sense that the would-be assassin (baker) would be angered by his incarceration and what he perceived his dream to mean. The cupbearer on the other hand is simply distressed due to his inability to interpret his dream and troubled by his present predicament.
8 And they replied, “We have chalom chalam’nu dreamed a dream and no one can interpret it.” And speaking toward them Yosef said, “Is it not l'elohiym (to God, gods, judges) that interpretation belongs? Let me saf’ru (relate, number, recount, rehearse) for you.”
The phrase “We have dreamed a dream” can also be understood to say, “We have dreamed a firmly bound thing” or, “We saw a firmly bound firmly bound thing”. In other words, the doubling of the phrase establishes the certain nature of the dream outcomes. These matters have been established by God and will come to pass.
Neither the cupbearer nor the baker, nor any of the other prisoners, had been able to make sense of the dreams.
Joseph’s response may have been understood in a slightly different manner to his intended meaning. Alternatively, Joseph used the generic term elohiym (God, gods, judges) in order to make it easier for the Egyptians to accept the help of a Hebrew. To Joseph, elohiym referred to the God of the Hebrews but to the cupbearer and baker the term elohiym could be understood to refer to the Egyptian deities. Regardless, Joseph was saying that the accurate interpretation of dreams was made possible by God. It is only after Joseph establishes the authority of God that he offers to recount the meaning of the dreams.
9 And the prince of providing drink recounted his dream to Yosef and said, “In my dream behold, all of a sudden a vine grew before my face: 10 And on the vine three tendrils and it (she) sprouted buds as it (she) ascended and blossomed, and produced ripe grapes in a cluster of fruit. 11 And the cup of Pharaoh was in my hand and I took it and the grapes I pressed into the cup and gave the cup into the palm of Pharaoh.”
The writer of Genesis includes the title prince (sar) again, perhaps denoting the fact that the cupbearer is soon to be reinstated. The rapid growth of the vine and the singling out of three tendrils, as well as the quick ripening of the fruit, are all elements that indicate the imminent outcome. The specific nature of the fruit of the vine (Grape juice, wine) is important because it relates this easily identifiable symbol to the meta-narrative of redemption. The wine of the cupbearer’s dream, once it is joined by the bread of the baker’s dream, provides a foreshadowing of the blood and body of Messiah. This is also in keeping with the fact that Joseph is a type for the Mashiyach.
Another important aspect of the cupbearer’s dream is the fact that Pharaoh takes the cup directly from his hand without the cup bearer having drunk from it to test for poison (one of the most important steps in presenting a cup to a king). This denotes Pharaoh’s complete trust in the cupbearer (according to the dream), and infers future favor where the cupbearer is concerned.
12 And Yosef said, “This is the interpretation of it, the three branches are three days.
13 In three days you'll return and yisa par’oh et roshecha, Pharaoh will lift up your head vahashiyv’cha and return you to you position and you will give the cup into Pharaoh's palm in the way you did at first as the provider of drinks.
The idiom, “lift up your head” can mean to count (Exodus 30:12), meaning that the cupbearer will be once again counted worthy in Pharaoh’s sight. The same phrase can also mean to reestablish position (Psalm 3:3; 27:6). In addition, this phrase is used to describe the release of a prisoner (2 Kings 25:27; Jeremiah 52:31). The exact same phrase is used in verse
19, as a word play, followed by the qualifying terms, above and hang.
14 When this occurs remember me and show kindness toward me I plead, make mention of me to Pharaoh and bring me out from this the house.
Joseph is certain of the interpretation he has received from God. Thus he affirms his faith by requesting that the cupbearer use his position to help deliver him from prison.
Unfortunately the cupbearer will soon forget Joseph’s plight (v.23) and it will be two years before he recalls Joseph and his gift for interpreting dreams (41:1, 9-13).
15 For I was carried away from mei-eretz the land of Ha-Ivriym the Hebrews, and also here I've done nothing at all to warrant putting me in this ba’bor (well) pit.”
It’s worth noting that this is the first time that Joseph breaks his silence and protests his innocence.
The phrase, “Land of the Hebrews” shows that at very least Hebron and the surrounding area was known to belong to the Hebrews at that time in history (Approx.1900 BCE).
It is no coincidence that Joseph employs the same Hebrew word ba’bor (well, pit) used to describe the empty well he was thrown into by his brothers (Gen. 37:24). He sees the connection between these two injustices and longs for deliverance. Perhaps, based on the fact that he was freed from the former pit, he relates it to his present captivity because he believes that through his dreams God has shown him an already established future deliverance.
16 And the prince of baking seeing the good interpretation said, “I also dreamed and behold, all of a sudden three baskets of chori white bread (white linen) were upon my head.
The fact that the prince of baking spoke only after hearing the first interpretation, infers that he was not intending to take up Joseph on his offer at first.
The use of the rare verb chori (choor, charar), which comes from a root meaning white stuff, white linen, indicates that the bread in the baskets was unusual in some way. I understand this to be a concise way of presenting the idea of matzah unleavened bread in an Egyptian context prior to the establishment of Pesach and the days of unleavened bread. The Hebrew matzah is used only in Genesis 19:3 prior to its use in Exodus 12:8 and is used in the context of Avraham meeting face to face with a manifest representation of God. This seems to be a unique use that is intended to convey the time of year that the event occurred. The same need is not present here, nor has the Pesach been established, therefore it seems probable that the use of chori rather than lechem (yeast filled bread) in the present context, is intended to denote matzah or an historical Egyptian equivalent (unleavened bread).
The cupbearer saw events unfold before his face, but the baker sees the baskets on top of his head. This is the first indication that the dreams have tragically different meanings. The cupbearer witnesses the events of his dream from within his own body, whereas the baker witnesses the events of his dream from outside of his body. This is an almost universal representation of a transitional death experience.
17 And in the highest basket there was a selection of every kind of baked goods for Pharaoh, v’ha-oph and the birds (flying creatures) ate from the basket on my head.”
The Hebrew oph meaning flying creature, is used to refer to carrion that feed on the flesh of fallen corpses (1 Kings 14:11; 16:4). The fact that the birds are eating Pharaoh’s baked goods without fear, shows that the baker is absent. The phrase “every kind of baked goods” represents the full range of the prince baker’s responsibilities. The basket that is being plundered is on top of the baker’s head, the head being the symbol of authority. Therefore, the plundering is taking place over and above the authority of the baker. This is another way of conveying loss of position. In the case of the baker, he had already lost his position and had been imprisoned in a pit (metaphor for death), thus the dream must be speaking of a further demotion. The only demotion lower than prison is death.
18 And Yosef said “This is the interpretation of it: the three baskets are three days.
19 It will come to pass in three days yisa par’oh et roshecha, Pharaoh will lift up your head meialeycha v’talah otcha al eitz above and hang you upon a tree: and the birds will devour your flesh from above.
The similarities with the cupbearer’s dream end at the three days. Here, the phrase, “yisa par’oh et roshecha, Pharaoh will lift up your head” is employed as a sort of morbid word play and is qualified by the phrase, “meialeycha v’talah otcha al eitz above and hang you upon a tree”. There is historical evidence that the Egyptians practiced an execution method where the body of the victim was impaled on a long spiked stave and lifted into position outside of the city walls. This is probably the means of the baker’s coming execution.
There is of course a correlation with the “hanging on a tree” of the cursed (Deut. 21:23) and the crucifixion of Messiah, who is the bread of life (John 6:35).
20 And it came to pass that after three days it was the birthday of Pharaoh and he prepared a feast for all his servants. And he lifted up the head of the prince of the drinks and he lifted up the head of the prince of the baking in the midst of all his servants.
The repetition of the three days is an indication of God’s hand on the events and conveys a sense of completion and resurrection. The cup bearer is metaphorically dead in prison and after three days he is resurrected to face judgement and is given new life, whereas the baker is metaphorically dead in prison and after three days is resurrected to face judgement and is condemned to death. Both are lifted up, and each one is judged according to his deeds. This is of course a clear depiction of Yom Ha-Din (The day of Judgement).
The wine of the cupbearer’s dream is a foreshadowing of the blood of the Messiah, and the chori (matzah) unleavened bread in the three baskets symbolize the Messiah’s body and His resurrection is seen in the restoring of the cupbearer because the life is in the blood (wine).
21 And he lifted up the prince of the drinks to serve drinks again and he gave Pharaoh's cup into his palm. 22 And the prince of baking was hung (2 Samuel 21:9) according to the interpretation of Yosef.
Joseph is thus established as one whose interpretations are trustworthy. The events transpired just as he had interpreted they would.
23 And the prince of drinks did not remember Yosef, he ceased to care and forgot.
How soon we forget the charitable acts of others. While we’re in a place of torment and suffering we often turn to others for comfort and benefit from their care, but when we are free once more, we quickly forget those who remain in the place of torment that we had once endured. However, the forgetfulness of the cupbearer is part of God’s timing. The cupbearer will recall Joseph at just the right time so that he can have maximum exposure and gain high position from the Pharaoh.
This failure to remember Joseph is a prophetic link to the future of Israel. A future filled with the rhythm of being forgotten and redeemed (Exodus 1:8). We see here, that Joseph is also a type for his people Israel, a people whom a subsequent Pharaoh will not recognize. Like the Messiah Who comes forth from her, Israel will suffer death and experience resurrection.
The reinstatement (resurrection) of the cupbearer is followed by two years of waiting. Joseph awaits God’s deliverance and the crown of authority promised to him in his dreams. In many ways this is like our spiritual journey in Messiah. We meet Him and experience freedom/resurrection from sin but this is only the beginning. We must then continue to hold on to our trust in God as we await His kingdom come, when Messiah will return and we will enter the Olam Haba (World to come), the ultimate fulfillment of our hope in Him.
© Yaakov Brown
Founder of the Beth Melekh International Messiah Following Jewish Community,