JOSEPH, A PROPHETIC TYPE OF YESHUA
This is one of my favorite passages in scripture. For years, I have not been able to read it without tears welling up in my eyes.
“Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, ‘Have everyone leave my presence!’ So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh’s household heard about it.” (Ge 45:1–2)
Since his brothers came to Egypt, he has been playing a game, seeking to help them see their great sin.
“Surely, we are being punished because of our brother. We saw how distressed he was when he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen; that’s why this distress has come on us.” (Ge 42:21)
His plan forces their hand to bring Benjamin—his full brother. I am not sure if this is the end of Joseph’s plot or if he just could not force it anymore. With great love and compassion, he reveals himself to his brothers. Hollywood could not have written a better script.
BUT THERE IS MORE!
This is a picture of Yeshua and Israel. Just like the brothers, Israel is not aware that this Yeshua, whom they once rejected, is their Messiah. Just as Joseph saved their lives, Yeshua comes to fight for Israel (Zech. 14:3-4). He will reveal himself to “his brothers,” and there will be weeping. “Israel has experienced a hardening in part” (Rom. 11:25), but Yeshua will remove the veil.
“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.” (Zec 12:10)
The New Testament affirms this:
“Look, he is coming with the clouds,” and “every eye will see him, even those who pierced him”; and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.” So shall it be! Amen. (Rev. 1:7)
Yes, Israel weeps over its rejection of Yeshua but now embraces him as Messiah. Joy comes just a few verses later in Chapter 13.
“On that day, a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse [the Israelites] from sin and impurity.” (Zech. 13:1)
Joseph reassures his brother that he will not punish them, saying that it was God who sent him for two reasons:
1. “It was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.” (Gen. 45:5)
2. And to preserve the nation of the Hebrews: “God sent me ahead of you to preserve a remnant for you on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.” (Gen. 45:7)
Oh, what a day that will be
In this story, Pharaoh is a type of God the Father. He is the only one over Joseph. When he hears that “Joseph’s brothers have come” (v. 16), he blesses them with great favor. We see that after Yeshua returns to Israel, there will be a great celebration in Jerusalem during the Feast of Tabernacles (Zech. 14:16).
Isaiah speaks of this moment that inaugurates the Messianic Age in the most eloquent way:
On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine— the best of meats and the finest of wines.
On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever.
The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The Lord has spoken. (Is 25:6–8)
In the same way, Israel’s rejection of Yeshua was God-ordained, as it resulted in the salvation of the Gentiles (Rom. 11:11-12, 15). And when he reveals himself to the Jewish people, “All Israel will be saved.” (Rom. 11:26) This is what Yeshua referred to in Matthew 23:39, when he said, “You will not see me again until you say blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” In other words, you will see me when you welcome me as Messiah!
If Joseph was emotional at revealing himself to his brothers, imagine Yeshua’s emotion when mass revival hits Israel!