by Glen Penton

Here are twenty-one ways that Joseph, son of Israel, points forward to Messiah:

  1. He was God's chosen leader for the Family of Israel. God made His choice clear both to him and to the Family he was to rule.

  2. Most of his brothers rejected his rule. Some plotted his death.

  3. The father sent him on a mission of mercy, seeking his brothers.

  4. He was lowered into the earth, but came back up out of it.

  5. Some of his brothers claimed he was dead when they knew he was really alive. Others sincerely mourned his death.

  6. His rejection by his brothers caused him to be sent out among the gentiles.

  7. He was sold for the price of a slave and handed over to the gentiles to die.

  8. He was falsely accused and suffered for crimes not his own.

  9. Some of his brothers shared him with gentiles, who did not know how much they needed him.

  10. He was dishonored by some gentiles who sought to use him for their own ends.

  11. He was honored by others because God was with him.

  12. He provided life, hope, and the wisdom of God to prisoners, kings, and those in between.

  13. His message brought life to some, but death to others.

  14. He foretold a seven-year time of tribulation, and how to survive it.

  15. He was made ruler over the gentiles.

  16. He took himself a bride from among the gentiles by whom he had Jewish children.

  17. His brothers failed to recognize him. They mistook him for a gentile ruler.

  18. Because they didn't recognize their brother, God's chosen, the sons of Israel had to leave the land of Israel, beg for mercy from gentile governments, be falsely accused, and suffer among the gentiles as their brother had.

  19. Judah lead the sons of Israel in pleading for forgiveness when it was time for the Family of Israel to recognize him during a seven-year time of Jacob's troubles, arranged by God for this purpose.

  20. He revealed himself to his brothers and saved both them and the gentiles.

  21. He united his own family with the Family of Israel, and settled them all in a good, prosperous land with their revived father, Israel.

The messianic imagery in the history of Joseph is so clear that the rabbis have taught that the Torah speaks of two Messiahs. Messiah Son of Joseph is to be a Warrior-Messiah, suffering for the sins of His People, betrayed by a dear friend, rejected and handed over to the gentiles and killed. He is to be brought back to life by Messiah Son of David, the King to rule the world in shalom from Jerusalem. The rabbis have recognized the two aspects of the One Messiah and mistaken Him for two Messiahs.

As a sign of His tender respect for the godly traditions of His People, God sovereignly arranged that when the Messiah actually came among us to suffer and die for our sins as promised, people asked, "Is this not the Son of Joseph?" (John 6:42)

His new agreement with His brothers
When Israel met Messiah
More about Israel and Messiah
Learning from Israel's troubles
Israel as a dysfunctional family
Messiah and His earthly family
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