Genesis Chapter 46  Jacob to be made a great nation in Egypt

             God declared unto Jacob that he and his descendants would become a great nation in Egypt: 46:1 “And Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices unto the God of his father Isaac. 2 And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I. 3 And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation: 4 I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again: and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes.”  Much of this chapter deals with the framework of the nation that Jacob would become and would set a pattern for a future and greater kingdom as set forth below:

             Twelve and Seventy – A Kingdom Born

            The kingdom of Israel began based on a covenant that God had made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  God chose Jacob and changed his name to Israel.  The man Jacob had twelve sons.  These twelve sons married and multiplied into a multitude.  The progeny of these twelve sons were divided into twelve tribes, commonly referred to as the twelve tribes of Israel.  The tribes were known by the names of the twelve sons of Jacob. 

            During the days of the great famine in Egypt, Jacob and his family came to live in Egypt under the protective care of Joseph: Exo 1:1 "Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob.

2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, 3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, 4 Dan, and Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. 5 And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already."  From these twelve sons and seventy persons grew a nation within Egypt of nearly three million people who were delivered out of Egypt during the days of Moses. 

            In the wilderness God made a covenant with Israel and appointed over them twelve princes and seventy elders:

                        1.  Num. 1: 4 "And with you there shall be a man of every tribe; every one head of the house of his fathers. 5 And these are the names of the men that shall stand with you: of the tribe of Reuben; Elizur the son of Shedeur. 6 Of Simeon; Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai. 7 Of Judah; Nahshon the son of Amminadab. 8  Of Issachar; Nethaneel the son of Zuar. 9 Of Zebulun; Eliab the son of Helon. 10 Of the children of Joseph: of Ephraim; Elishama the son of Ammihud: of Manasseh; Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur. 11 Of Benjamin; Abidan the son of Gideoni. 12 Of Dan; Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai. 13 Of Asher; Pagiel the son of Ocran. 14 Of Gad; Eliasaph the son of Deuel. 15 Of Naphtali; Ahira the son of Enan. 16  These were the renowned of the congregation, princes of the tribes of their fathers, heads of thousands in Israel."

                        2.  Exo 24:1 "And he said unto Moses, Come up unto the LORD, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship ye afar off."

                        3.  Exo 24:9 "Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel."

                        4.  Num 11:16 "And the LORD said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee."

                        5.  Num 11:24 "And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the LORD, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tabernacle."

                        6.  Num 11:25 "And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease."

            The twelve princes of the twelve tribes of Israel became the governors of Israel and the seventy elders became the judges of Israel.  What later became known as the Sanhedrin counsel had its roots in the seventy elders.

            This pattern of the kingdom is presented to us in type at the place known as Elim:

                        1.  Exo 15:27 "And they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters."

                        2.  Num 33:9 "And they removed from Marah, and came unto Elim: and in Elim were twelve fountains of water, and threescore and ten palm trees; and they pitched there."  Elim was a place of refuge and comfort for the desert weary travelers.  Here they refreshed themselves.  Of course, this pointed back to the kingdom that began with twelve sons of Jacob and seventy decendants. 

            It also pointed forward to a future kingdom of heaven that would have twelve apostles judging the twelve tribes of Israel and seventy elders:

                        1.  Mat 10:1 "And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease."

                        2.  Mat 10:2 "Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother…"

                        3.  Mat 10:5 "These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not."

                        4.  Mat 11:1 "And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities."

                        5.  Mat 19:28 "And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."

                        6.  Luke 10:1 "After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come."

                        7.  Luke 10:17 "And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name."

            The twelve apostles are the ones that Christ used as foundation stones to build his church kingdom upon: Eph. 2:20 "And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit."  The seventy elders are representative of the gospel ministry today who go at the direction of the Lord through the Holy Spirit. 

Genesis Chapter 46  Tell Pharaoh Thusly

We’ll all familiar with the story of Joseph, how he was betrayed by his brothers and sold into slavery, only to become a ruler in Egypt, and save his family from the famine of later years.

The ending of the story tells of a situation quite amusing on first reading. Joseph carefully instructs his brothers, that when they are asked by Pharaoh, they are to claim they are cattlemen and not sheep herders, for shepherds are an abomination to the Egyptians.

But as soon as the brothers appear before Pharaoh, they are quick to admit, contrary to their wise brother’s advice that they are sheep herders of long standing. And not only that, but to aggravate the situation, they insist they need Egypt’s land for their flocks.

These brethren never had the benefit of Paul’s sound instruction in Galatians about reaping and sowing, but they sure learned the lesson from their experience. They were finished with lying and deceit, regardless of the consequences.

Someone once said you can see a type of Christ over 125 different ways in Joseph. But no matter the level of esteem we attach to a man, he’s still just a man. Joseph was willing to lie to Pharaoh to protect this family, but his brothers would have none of it.

The brothers laid the truth out, come what may, and God blessed them through Pharaoh for their honesty. He gave them the best of the land, and made them to be rulers over his cattle.

Gen 46:33 And it shall come to pass, when Pharaoh shall call you, and shall say, What [is] your occupation?

Gen 46:34 That ye shall say, Thy servants' trade hath been about cattle from our youth even until now, both we, [and] also our fathers: that ye may dwell in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd [is] an abomination unto the Egyptians.

Gen 47:1 Then Joseph came and told Pharaoh, and said, My father and my brethren, and their flocks, and their herds, and all that they have, are come out of the land of Canaan; and, behold, they [are] in the land of Goshen

Gen 47:2 And he took some of his brethren, [even] five men, and presented them unto Pharaoh
Gen 47:3 And Pharaoh said unto his brethren, What [is] your occupation? And they said unto Pharaoh, Thy servants [are] shepherds, both we, [and] also our fathers

Gen 47:4 They said moreover unto Pharaoh, For to sojourn in the land are we come; for thy servants have no pasture for their flocks; for the famine [is] sore in the land of Canaan: now therefore, we pray thee, let thy servants dwell in the land of Goshen

Gen 47:5 And Pharaoh spake unto Joseph, saying, Thy father and thy brethren are come unto thee:
Gen 47:6 The land of Egypt [is] before thee; in the best of the land make thy father and brethren to dwell; in the land of Goshen let them dwell: and if thou knowest [any] men of activity among them, then make them rulers over my cattle.

Genesis Chapter 46 Parallels between Joseph and Christ

            There are numerous parallels between the life and events surrounding Joseph and the life an events surrounding Christ.  In this chapter I have identified four such parallels:

                        1.  God promised to Jacob that Joseph would put his hand upon Jacob’s eyes: v.4 “I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again: and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes.”  The implication is that Joseph would put his hand upon the eyes of Jacob and Jacob, whose vision was now dim, would have a recovering of sight.  Likewise we see where Jesus put his hands upon the eyes of a blind man and he had a recovery of sight: Mk. 8:25 “After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.”

                        2.  Joseph had two sons in the land of Egypt: v.20 “And unto Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, which Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On bare unto him.”  Christ’s children are described as two:

                                    a.  Eph. 2:15 “Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:”

                                    b.  John 10:16 “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”

                        3.  Joseph presented himself unto his father: v.29 “And Joseph made ready his chariot, and went up to meet Israel his father, to Goshen, and presented himself unto him; and he fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while.”  Jesus presented himself to the Father: Heb. 9:14 “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

                        4.  All of Joseph’s kin and his father’s house came unto him: v.31 “And Joseph said unto his brethren, and unto his father's house, I will go up, and show Pharaoh, and say unto him, My brethren, and my father's house, which were in the land of Canaan, are come unto me;”  Similarly, we read of Christ: John 6:37 “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”