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Torah: Genesis 41:1 - 44:17

Haftarah: I Kings 3:15 - 4:1

Brit Chadashah: Matthew 27:15 - 46

Joseph in Egypt_edited_edited.jpg

Up to this point, certain events have happened in the life of Joseph – before this, he was seated in a position of favor with his father Jacob, signified with a coat of many colors. While his brothers worked the fields, Joseph was set aside with care, studying and learning from his father. In addition, he felt that he was somewhat above his brothers, as he later expressed in dream, where his brothers ended up bowing down to him – “Then Joseph dreamed a dream and told his brothers – and they hated him even more” – Genesis 37:5. Later, Joseph would be betrayed by his brothers and sold into slavery. Yet, as for Jacob his father, he would be led to believe that Joseph had was put to death. Yet, Joseph was very much alive and now seated in a position of exaltation and power – as it is written, “You! You will be over my house, and all my people will pay homage to you. Only in relation to the throne will I be greater than you” – Genesis 41:40. This portion has been compared to the exaltation of Messiah.

According to modern rabbinic Judaism, there is a belief in not one Messiah, but in two Messiahs – Mashiach ben Yosef (Messiah the Son of Joseph) and Mashiach ben David (Messiah the Son of David). Most Jews today are only familiar with Mashiach ben David who will come and free everyone from the tyranny of this world and Israel’s enemies. Most are not familiar with Mashiach ben Yosef, who is also called the “Suffering Servant.” According to rabbinic Judaism, Mashiach ben Yosef will come first, before Mashiach ben David to prepare the world for coming Messianic Kingdom. He will fight against Edom (Rome) but, he will die in battle. His death will be followed by a great tribulation for all of Israel – also known as Jacob’s Troubles. After this period of tribulation, Mashiach ben David will arrive, avenge the death of Mashiach ben Yosef, resurrect him and both will usher in the Messianic Kingdom on earth. Israel will then be gathered from all over the earth, all of the Gentile nations will bow down to this Messiah, all war will end and the Temple will once again be standing in Jerusalem. As it is written, “For the earth will be filled with knowing the glory of Adonai, as the waters cover the sea” – Habakkuk 2:14. However, the reality is, is that this is not what Torah actually teaches – Torah teaches us that there is only One Messiah, and He will come once to suffer, die and resurrect – then He will return to rule from His Throne in the New Jerusalem – Messiah Yeshua our King! As it is written, “The kingdom of this world has become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Anointed One. And He shall reign forever and ever” – Revelation 11:15. 

The exaltation of Joseph like all other events in life – seated in a position of favor with his father – betrayed by his brothers – sold as a slave – thought to be dead – and now, placed in a position of power – are greatly likened not only to parallel the life of the Messiah, but to point us the Messiah. The early sages have always looked at this portion as Messianic, as it has been said in regards to this event – “This alludes to Messiah the Son of Joseph because He will also be compensated for his sorrows.” Joseph went from a place of favor seated next to his father above his brothers to the lowliest of places as a slave and a prisoner – he was even thought to be dead by his father Jacob. For 20 years Joseph suffered as a slave and as a prisoner of Egypt, when he was suddenly raised by Adonai in exaltation over all the earth. As it is written, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. You! You will be over my house, and all my people will pay homage to you. Only in relation to the throne will I be greater than you” – Genesis 41:39-40. Prophetically speaking Joseph’s descent to that of a humble servant from his favored position with his father can be compared to the descent of Messiah as Messiah Himself took the form of humble servant when He came off His Throne in order to come to earth – as it is written, “But He emptied Himself – taking on the form of a slave, becoming the likeness of men and being found in appearance as a man. He humbled Himself – becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” – Philippians 2:7-8. Yet, why was Joseph exalted above all other slaves? Just as Messiah was exalted above all men by giving glory to the Father, Joseph also gave glory to the Father. As it is written, “It’s not within me. God will answer with shalom for Pharaoh” – Genesis 41:16. This verse has also been translated to say, “God will see to Pharaoh’s peace.” Because Pharaoh could not find peace within himself or through any of his other so-called prophets, Joseph declares that peace can only come from Adonai. The early sages would say that man can bend peace, twist it and corrupt it according to their ways – but this is not so with Adonai. Peace only comes from Adonai – Messiah is also called Sar Shalom – the Prince of Peace.

The events surrounding the exaltation of Joseph so greatly illustrates the exaltation of Messiah that early sages wrote - “While the brothers were busy selling Joseph, Adonai was busy preparing the ground for the Messiah” – Shenei Luchot HaBerit. Like Joseph, Messiah would not only be humbled from a place of favor, but He would also be betrayed by His own brethren and even sold for silver. However, as we continue to examine our portion, just as Joseph was given a name of authority with the signet ring of Pharaoh – as it is written, “The Pharaoh removed his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, clothed him with fine linen garments, and put a chain of gold around his neck” – Genesis 41:42. Likewise, Messiah would be given a Name, the Name Yeshua. As it is written – “For this reason God highly exalted Him and gave Him the Name that is above every name, that at the Name of Yeshua every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth” – Philippians 2:9. Again, prophetically speaking this verse can also be translated to say, “He draped (wrapped) him with fine linen garments”- Genesis 41:42. This would signify not only the role of the Messiah in regards to authority, but also what He would do for us in regards to His sacrificial death – as it is written, “And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth” – Matthew 27:59. It may not have been simply coincidental that the tomb in which Messiah was placed in, was owned by a man named Joseph – as it written, “His grave was given with the wicked, and by a rich man in His death” – Isaiah 53:9a. Pharaoh not only clothed Joseph, but also gave one of his very own chariots – “The he had him ride in the chariot as second-in-command, the one that belonged to him, and they called out before him, “Kneel down!” So, he appointed him over the whole land of Egypt”- Genesis 41:42.


According to the early sages the Throne of Adonai is known as “The Chariot.” This comes from the vision of Ezekiel, when he saw the Throne of Adonai being carried on wheels (Ezekiel 1:15-21). According to the Brit Chadashah it is the Messiah that Ezekiel was speaking of in regards to “The Chariot” – as it is written, “For the Lamb in the midst of the Throne shall shepherd them and guide them to springs of living water, and God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes”- Revelation 7:17. The verse goes on to say that as Joseph was in the Chariot, the people were to bow down before him, as one would bow down before the throne of Pharoah. Interestingly, the word for “kneel down” used here is the word, “avrek.” It is written here, “lepanav avrek” – “kneel before him.” However, the early sages say that this word “avrek” is made up two word, “av,” which means “father,” and “rek,” which means king. In addition, “avrek,” means “This is the one from the King,” or, “This is the One from the Father.” Thus, prophetically speaking, as Joseph was given a name of authority Pharaoh, the Messiah would be given a Name from the Father that all would down to Him, just as they would bow down before the Throne of God – “That at the Name of Yeshua every knee should bow, in heaven and on the earth and under the earth, and every tongue profess that Yeshua the Messiah is Lord”- Philippians 2:10-11.

The life events of Joseph are seen prophetically as parallels to the life of Messiah Yeshua. So much so, that Messiah is called Mashiach ben Yosef – Messiah the Son of Joseph. Just as Pharoah gave all authority to Joseph, Adonai gave all authority to Messiah Yeshua. Until the time of the arrival of Joseph’s brothers, Joseph would be the redeemer of the people of the world, he would be given a Gentile name (Zaphenath-Paneah), a Gentile bride, and his children would even appear to be Gentile. He would be recognizable for a time by his own, until the day comes when He would make Himself known – and all of Israel will weep and mourn, which will lead them to their salvation in Messiah Yeshua. As it is written, “Then I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication, when they look toward Me whom they pierced. They will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only son and grieve bitterly for Him, as one grieves for a Firstborn” – Zechariah 12:10. Messiah came as the Son of Joseph, but He will one day return as Messiah the Son of David!


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