Torah Portion: Meketz (At the end) Genesis 41:1-44:17

HafTorah: I Kings 3:15 – 4:1

The number seven plays a big part in Biblical reckoning of days and years. Seven days in a week, the Sabbath falls on the seventh day and each seventh year is a sabbatical. In Daniel chapter 9 years are numbered in sets of seven. In Genesis 41 Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s dream as referring to seven-year periods. Both in Judaism and in Christianity the number seven is important to the years before Messiah’s coming. In both it is seen as a time of famine, plagues and disasters. Revelation 12: 6-14 refers to this seven-year period.

So, based on this common thread I want us to look tonight at these scriptures as a pattern or parallel to the Messiah. I usually don’t like to do this because it could possibly take away from the original meaning. But I want us to take this approach tonight because I think it is too important to pass over.  Let us begin in Genesis 41:39 after Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s dream. Pharaoh makes a statement about Joseph. He said, “There is no one as discerning and wise as you.” The Hebrew words used here are: discerning (binah) wise (chokmah). These words can be found in Isaiah 11:2 referring to Messiah.

Pharaoh goes on in Genesis 41:40 to set Joseph over his house and all that he has except himself. Joseph had been humbled going from the favorite son of his father to being a prisoner. Read Philippians 2:7-8 where it speaks of Yeshua going through the same process. Then in Philippians 2:9 we read where Yeshua like Joseph is highly exalted. Pharaoh gives Joseph his signet ring which represents the authority of Pharaoh. Again in Philippians 2:9 we see where G-d gives Yeshua the name which is above every name.

Just as Pharaoh gives Joseph his own chariot, G-d gives Messiah a seat on His own throne. As Joseph goes forth criers run before the chariot saying, “Bow the knee.” (Genesis 41:4) In Philippians 2:10 it says that at the name of Yeshua every knee will bow. Genesis 41:40 says Joseph will be over the house of Pharaoh and in Hebrews 3:6 it says the same about Yeshua.

Now in Genesis 41:57 we read where the people of all the earth came to Joseph to buy grain so they might live. So, in effect he became the salvation of the nations. Isaiah 52:10 says the Messiah will show the salvation of G-d to the nations. But while this is happening Joseph remains estranged from his own brothers. (Romans 11:25) Genesis 42:8 speaks of Joseph’s brothers not recognizing him. Why was that? He had a Gentile name, spoke to them in a foreign tongue, wore foreign clothes and was made up to look Egyptian. So they had no idea who he was. They also believed that basically he was dead and gone, not to return. We can easily see the parallel here with Yeshua. How does he appear in Christian art? He is shown speaking Greek, Latin or other languages. He is usually unrecognizable to His own brothers. Joseph did not return evil for evil. He repaid evil for good. In Genesis 42:21 we read of the distress of Joseph’s soul. In Isaiah 53:11 we see the same term used in speaking of the Messiah.

In Genesis 42:24 we read where Simeon was bound and taken from the brothers. What is significant is that his name contains the Hebrew root for the word “hear”. So Joseph took hearing from his brothers. Romans 11:8 echos the same idea. G-d, in His eternal purpose, has stopped the ears of Yeshua’s brothers for a time.

As we read the story of Joseph here I believe that it gives us a spiritual picture of the Messiah and as such should help us understand Yeshua in a deeper way. It reminds us G-d has an eternal plan and His will will be done.

I pray for you and for me that we live in that time where Simeon’s hearing is restored to His brothers, and also to us who still cannot hear.