There are many who say that Joseph and the Passover Lamb are the two clearest pictures in the Old Testament of Christ, and I would agree with them.
Remember: The New is in the Old concealed, the Old is in the New revealed.
The New Testament sheds light on the Old Testament. And the New is concealed in the shadows of the Old – it is hidden, but it is there for those who like to search for hidden treasure.
Joseph typifies Christ Jesus in many ways, but crucially his story also points to the nation of Israel and God’s dealings with them, and so we will look at both of these aspects.
Joseph as a type of Christ
|1. Joseph was the beloved son of his father, Jacob Genesis 37:3
“Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children…”
|Christ is the beloved Son of the Father
“and suddenly a voice from heaven saying ‘This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased”
|2. Joseph was clothed in the coat of many colours signifying his Firstborn rights and inheritance of his father. Genesis 37:3||Christ is the firstborn of the Father, and the Son of His inheritance.
Hebrews Chapter 1; Ephesians 1:18
|3. Joseph was envied by his brothers
“But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him…” Genesis 37:4
|Christ was envied by His brethren, the Jewish Chief Priests and elders. Matthew 27: 12-18
“For he knew that they had handed him over because of envy”
|4. Joseph was betrayed and rejected by his brothers and sold for 20 pieces of silver
|Christ was betrayed and rejected by his brethren and sold for 30 pieces of silver. Matthew 13:53-58; Matthew 26:15|
|5. Joseph was not recognized by his brothers, neither early on as he told them his dreams, nor later as the governor of Egypt. Genesis 37:8; Genesis 42:8||Christ was not recognized by His brethren, when he came preaching the Kingdom of heaven to Israel, nor is He recognised now as the risen King of the Jews. Matthew 12:22-30; Romans 11:7-8|
|6. Joseph was cast into a pit to die by his brothers Genesis 37:24||Christ was crucified on the cross by His brethren, then placed in a tomb Matthew 27:60|
|7. Joseph coming out of the pit, signifying the place of death, back in to life Genesis 37:28||Christ was raised from the dead
Matthew 28:5, 6
|8. Reuben found the pit empty Genesis 37:29||Christ’s brethren find the tomb empty Matthew 28:1-6|
|9. Joseph was sold into slavery Genesis 37:28||Christ took the form of a bond-slave Philippians 2:7|
|10. Joseph is rejected by his brethren and so is sent to the Gentile world, (Egypt) Genesis 37:28||Christ was rejected by Israel and so is sent to the Gentiles Matthew 12:22-30; Romans 11:25|
|11. Joseph suffered much, becoming a slave, being falsely accused, going to prison Genesis 39 & 40||Christ suffered much at the hands of men, being falsely accused, betrayed and died
Matthew 26 & 27
|12. There is no record of Joseph sinning, even though he was a sinner||Christ never sinned, He is God in human flesh
|13. Joseph had the Spirit of God in him Genesis 41:38 “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?”||Christ Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit
|14. After a time of suffering, Joseph was exalted to a high position in Egypt by Pharoah
|After Christ’s sufferings God has highly exalted Him and given Him the Name which is above every name. Philippians 2:5-11|
|15. Joseph was given the Egyptian name of Zaphnath-Paaneah, which means the “Saviour of the World” Genesis 41:45||Christ Jesus is the Saviour of the world, and His name bears witness to that.
“…you are to name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” Matthew 1:21
|16. Joseph was 30 years old when he began his life’s work, after much preparation Genesis 41:46||Christ was 30 years old when He began His ministry, after much preparation.
|17. Joseph was given a Gentile bride by Pharoah at the time of his exaltation Genesis 41:45||Christ is to be given a Gentile bride, the Church when He returns for her.
|18. Joseph went out from the presence of Pharoah as Zaphnath-Paaneah, to save the world from the coming famine Genesis 41:46||18. Christ Jesus went out from the presence of the Father to save the world from sin
|19. Joseph provided grain/food to the starving masses Genesis 47:13-26||Christ Jesus is the bread of God sent from heaven to feed the world John 6:22-51|
|20. Joseph’s brothers, those bearing the names of the 12 tribes of Israel, go through much hardship and suffering before Joseph reveals himself to them Genesis 42- 44||Christ’s brethren the Jews will go through much trial and suffering before they recognize their King, culminating in the time of Jacob’s Trouble.
|21. Joseph’s brothers suffering leads them to repentance Genesis 44:18-34||The time of Jacob’s Trouble, or the Great Tribulation is to bring the nation of Israel to national repentance, as the anti-type of the Day of Atonement. Jeremiah 30:7; Romans 11|
|22. Joseph’s outward harshness towards his brothers conceals his inner love and tenderness towards them. Genesis 42- 44 ; Genesis 42:24; Genesis 45:2||God’s heart towards sinners and Israel alike, though He seems to deal with them harshly, is one of love and tenderness, ultimately seeking restoration and reconciliation. Romans 5:8|
|23. Joseph’s brothers are restored and saved
“Moreover he kissed all of his brothers and wept over them…” Genesis 45
|Israel is restored and saved
See further on Joseph as a prophetic picture of the Church here.
If you have any further types of Joseph that I haven’t mentioned, be sure to comment them below.