Genesis Chapter 40  Joseph as a Type of Jesus

            As we have previously stated, Joseph is one of the strongest types of Jesus in the Old Testament.  There are many parallels between the life and experiences of Joseph to the life of Jesus Christ.  Some of those parallels found in chapter 40 are as follows:

                        1.  Joseph was an interpreter of dreams.  He interpreted the dreams of the two servants of Pharaoh who were consigned to the prison because they had offended the king.  Dreams from God as detailed in the scriptures are a form of prophecy.  Jesus was an interpreter of Old Testament prophecy.  Several times the phrase, “As it is written..” is spoken by the Lord as he expounded the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy.  A few of these times are listed as follows:

                                    a. Matt. 26:24 “The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.”

                                    b. Mark 7:6 “He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.”

                                    c.  Mark 9:13 “But I say unto you, That Elias is indeed come, and they have done unto him whatsoever they listed, as it is written of him.”

                        2.  Joseph thru his interpretation of dreams foretold the destination of the two servants of Pharaoh.  The butler would be restored to the service of Pharaoh and the baker would be hanged by Pharaoh.  It came to pass just as Joseph had foretold.  Likewise, Jesus foretold the destination of the two groups of mankind, i.e., the elect and the nonelect:

                                    a. Matt. 25:31 “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:”

                                    b. Matt. 25:41 “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:”

                        3.  Joseph pronounced good tidings to the butler and asked the butler to remember him when he was restored to the service of Pharaoh.  The butler forgets about Joseph.  Jesus has pronounced good tidings to the elect and often times we forget about him in our daily living.

                        4.  Joseph was a servant to the prisoners: Gen. 40:4 “And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them: and they continued a season in ward.”  Similarly, Jesus was a servant to the elect children of God who were the prisoners of sin: This is illustrated in John chapter 13 when Jesus as a servant washed the disciples feet. 

                        5.  The captain of the guard charged Joseph with the care and well-being of the prisoners: “And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them.”  In similar fashion we read of Christ given charge of the elect: John 6:38 “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.”  Christ was charged by the Father with the eternal deliverance and security of the elect. 

            6.  Joseph was bound in the prison.  He was not free to do his own will, but the will of the captain of the guard.  Likewise, Christ was bound to the covenant of redemption as stated in Rom. 8:29, 30: “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”  As we read in John 6:38, 39 previously, Jesus came to do the will of the Father and that will was to execute the covenant of redemption as stated above.   

Genesis Chapter 40  An Illustration of Grace

            Most people who believe in God profess that they think that God should be fair and that everyone should be treated in judgment exactly alike.  However, if God were fair, then how could God punish the Just One and let the unjust go free?  Christ, who had no sin, suffered the wrathful judgment of God for the sins of his elect.  There is nothing fair about it, yet it greatly manifests the love of God towards his people.

            In this 40th chapter of Genesis we have an example of two men who were guilty of having offended Pharaoh: Gen. 40:1 “And it came to pass after these things, that the butler of the king of Egypt and his baker had offended their lord the king of Egypt.”  In comparison, all of mankind have offended the God of glory. 

            These two servants of Pharaoh were cast into the prison because of their offenses to await judgment: Gen. 40:2 “And Pharaoh was wroth against two of his officers, against the chief of the butlers, and against the chief of the bakers. 3 And he put them in ward in the house of the captain of the guard, into the prison, the place where Joseph was bound.”  The wrath of God is against all sins and all sinners, thus all mankind.  We, all, were under the condemnation of God because of sin. 

            Both servants of Pharaoh were guilty and were worthy of death because of their offenses.  Yet, we find that Pharoah restored the chief butler and hanged the chief baker according to Joseph’s interpretation of their dreams.  Why was one executed and the other allowed to go free.  The answer is grace.  Grace is the unmerited favor of God.  All of mankind are worthy of eternal punishment, yet only a portioned will suffer the eternal wrath of God.  The reason the rest do not suffer God’s wrathful judgment is because of the grace of God toward them and Jesus atoning blood. 

            Someone might ask, “Why did Pharaoh chose the butler to restore and not chose the baker?”  My answer is that I do not know as we are not told.  Yet, we know that God chose his elect by the grace of God.  That is they were chosen by God’s unmerited favor.  Pharaoh’s choosing the butler to restore is an illustration of God’s amazing grace towards the elect.