13 September 2023 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter.” Genesis 29:18 (KJV)
The story of Rachel and Jacob is one of the most charming of all love stories in the Bible. Joseph worked for his uncle Laban an agreed seven years in order to gain Rachel in marriage, but Laban tricked Jacob and gave him Leah to wed instead. So, Jacob agreed to work an additional seven years for Rachel whom he loved beyond Leah and all others. Joseph was the first-born of Rachel whom Jacob loved beyond measure. Jacob treasured Joseph above all of his brothers. His birth was also miraculous in that his father was above ninety years of age at his birth.
There are many, many points in which Joseph is a type of Christ. Unlike Adam who brought sin and death upon his progeny and was the father of all flesh, Joseph brought salvation and life in the time of famine. Christ is said to be the second Adam by whom came life eternal.
Joseph was hated by his brethren just as Christ was hated by the Jews to whom He came first. The jealousy of Joseph’s brethren resulted in his being stripped of his multi-colored robe which Jacob had given him, and being beaten by them, and cast into a dry well. He was held captive there until a caravan of Ishmaelites passed by enroute to Egypt. This too bears similarities to Christ in that His seamless robe was taken from him as He was stripped by the Romans, and He was mercilessly beaten and cast into a dungeon of holding.
The brothers of Joseph sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. This, too, points to Christ. But you may say, “But our Lord was sold for thirty pieces of silver – how is that alike?” The price of a slave was twenty pieces of silver alive. But if the death of another’s slave resulted in negligence or violence, the guilty party would pay thirty pieces of silver. Christ came as minister to all but was betrayed and crucified at the behest of the Jewish rulers; His cost, therefore, was thirty pieces of silver. Joesph did not suffer death at the hands of his brothers, therefore, his price was twenty pieces of silver. It was, by the way, Judah who was the proponent of the betrayal of Joseph just as it was Judas who betrayed Christ.
Another point: there were twelve apostles and twelve tribes of Israel. But Joseph’s inheritance was divided by his two sons making twelve tribes, plus Jospeh who stood above them. Jesus had twelve apostles over whom He exercised mentorship and nurture.
Joseph was sorely tempted in Egypt much as Christ was tempted in the wilderness. But Joseph, like Christ, did not surrender to the vilest of these temptations which was adultery.
The wisdom of Joseph resulted in the salvation of millions of souls during the time of famine. Multitudes came from all nations seeking food from the warehouses of Egypt that Joseph had established. Though they cast Him out, His brothers came into Egypt begging to buy wheat. By that time, Joseph was the second ruler under Pharoah. His brothers did not recognize Him. Neither did the Jews, either by pretense or by lack of wit, recognize Christ as their Savior.
Through many extraordinary means, Joseph tested his brethren. Finally, they were forced to bring their father (and Joseph’s father) to Egypt along with Benjamin, Joseph’s only brother by Rachel. The family of Jacob (Israel) remained in Egypt and was given the finest pastureland of Goshen. Egypt became a training ground in servitude for Israel. They remained in Egypt for four hundred years and became slaves in Egypt when the name of Joseph was forgotten. Just as we are today – slaves to sin – so was Israel slaves in Egypt.
Finally, the Lord brought His people out of Egypt by a Mighty Outstretched Arm after celebrating the very first Passover – a most vivid picture of the true Passover which Christ became for us as the Lamb of God without spot or blemish sacrificed before the worlds were made.
The only Begotten and Beloved Son of God, Jesus Christ, like Moses, has been sent by heavenly decree from before the Creation to lead us out of our own bondage like unto Egypt (sin). Our sinful wills are incapable of any good thing whatsoever. In fact, we are dead in trespasses and sin. But just as Israel in Egypt knew nothing of a deliverer before the appointed time to be drawn out of bondage in Egypt, so the dead ears and souls of the sinner in our day are made alive, not by some freely made and meritorious decision on his part, but by the interceding love and voice beckoning of the Holy Ghost to make alive. The dead self-will is made free thereby and we now walk in liberty when we have come to know and believe in the Son of God while we yet live.