Genesis Chapter 49 Gad

            Gen. 49:19 “Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.”  This passage of scripture points us to the wild man of Gadarea. 

            Luke 8:26 “And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee. 27 And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not. 29 (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.)

            30 And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him. 31 And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep. 32 And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them. 33 Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked.

            34 When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country. 35 Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.”

            This man of Gad had been overcome by a legion of unclean spirits and consequently was a wild man as described in the passage above.  However, when the Lord came to him, he cast out the legion of unclean spirits and the man became one that was sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind.  The man had been overcome by a troop, but overcame at the last through the gracious work and command of Jesus. 

            God’s children are like the man of Gad.  We have all been overcome by a troop of sin, but are delivered by the Lord.  Not only did he deliver us from the condemnation of sin, but he made us righteous before God.  We are clothed in the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. 


Genesis Chapter 49  Issachar

            Gen. 49:14 “Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens: 15 And he saw that rest was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute.”

            The description of Issachar speaks to us of a burden bearer who finds a good rest and a pleasant land and then bows his shoulder to bear and thus becomes a servant unto tribute.  The closest description I have found to the above in the New Testament is found in Matthew Chapter 11 when the Lord tells his people to come unto him: Matt. 11:28 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

            “Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens.”  The Lord said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden.”  The Lord is speaking to his people who are bearing two burdens.  They are bearing the burden of trying to get right with God and they are bearing the burden of sin-guiltiness.  The only way that they can find rest is to come to the Lord and rest in his finished work.  The Lord himself finished the work of making them right with God.  They do not have to labor to try to establish their righteousness for Christ has already made them right with God: Rom. 10:1 “Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. 2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”  Christ is the end or completion of the law for righteousness.  When we believe that Christ has by his grace made us righteous before God, then we can rest from the burden of trying to get right with God and we can rest from the burden of sin-guiltiness as we realize that we have a righteous standing before God because of the sacrificial atonement of our Savior in our room and stead. 

            “And he saw that rest was good, and the land that it was pleasant.”  When we hear and believe the gospel of the grace of Christ we are brought to an understanding that this is a good rest and we are also taught about the Church Kingdom of God that it is a pleasant land in which to live and labor. 

            “And bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute.”  This is similar to what the Lord said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  While we find that the Lord had given us rest from laboring to establish our own righteousness and rest from sin-guiltiness, this should cause us to have a desire to serve the Lord because of his manifest love for us.  This service is not a grievous service but is an easy service and the burden is light.  Serving the Lord in his kingdom is one of the great privileges that God gives us. 


Genesis Chapter 49  Joseph

            Gen. 49:22 “Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall: 23 The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him: 24 But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:) 25 Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb: 26 The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.”

            It is fitting that more would be said about Joseph than about the other sons as Joseph is a very strong type of Christ.  There are over a hundred parallels between the life and circumstance of Joseph and the life and circumstance of Jesus Christ.  Several parallels are presented in the above passage:

                        1.  “Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well…”  The fruitfulness of Christ is without measure.  We read of the fruitfulness of Christ in Rev.7:9 “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.”  We read that Christ is the promised seed of Abraham: Gal. 3:16 “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.”  The promise to Abraham was that his seed would be multiplied to be as numerous as the stars, the dust of the earth, and the sand upon the sea shore.

                        2.  “Whose branches run over the wall…”  At one time there was a middle wall of partition that separated the Jews from the Gentiles: Eph. 2:14 “For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 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…”  Thus, the branches of Christ extended beyond the Israelite nation and encompassed a great multitude of people in all nations.

                        3.  “The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him…”  Certainly the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Herodians, the lawyers, the scribes, the priesthood, the Sanhedrin court, and the Roman government all took out their bows to shoot and try to destroy the Lord.  Their hatred was certainly manifest in their actions against the Lord Jesus Christ.  However, though the Lord was grieved by their actions he was not deterred from doing what the Father gave him to do.

                        4.  “But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob…”  The Lord Jesus came to defeat and to destroy a great host of enemies: sin, death, hell, Satan, and the grave.  He went forth with the bow of righteousness and the covenant promises of God to accomplish the work before him.  Christ, as the Son of God, went forth in the mighty power of God to accomplish the purpose or will of the Father: 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. 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. 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

                        5.  “From thence is the shepherd…”  This is certainly an apt description of our Lord Jesus Christ: John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep…” 14 “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.”

                        6.  “The stone of Israel:” Matt. 21:42 “Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?”

                        7.  “Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb…”  The book of Revelation declares to us the blessings of the Almighty upon the Lord Jesus Christ:

                                    a. Rev. 5:12 “Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

                                    b. Rev. 5:13 “And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.”

                                    c. Rev. 7:12 “Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.”

                        8.  “The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills.”  The blessings of God upon the person and work of Jesus Christ have prevailed above any blessings of any who has lived before or will live after.  The blessings of God are eternal blessings, unlike the timely blessings of men.

                        9.  “They shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.”  While Joseph was separate from his brethren in some ways, especially in the way of upright living, yet, Christ was separate from his brethren in holiness, righteousness, wisdom, godliness, and a host of other perfections.