We are going to pick up with the story of Joseph again and the revelation of Messiah in Gen 39.1-23. Joseph becomes successful in Potiphar’s house, but the wife of Potiphar tries to seduce Joseph, and Joseph refused her. Of course, this made her very angry and she brings up false charges against Joseph to get back at him, accusing him of being a Hebrew, appealing to Egyptian prejudice. We will see this term “Hebrew” used again in this way in Gen 41.12. Potiphar must have had some doubts about this because he did not put Joseph to death, but put him in jail. Joseph again gains favor, this time with the chief jailer.
In Gen 40.1-23 we have another dream episode that has messianic implications, this time involving the cupbearer and the baker of the Pharaoh. They offended the Pharaoh and he was furious. The cupbearer and the baker had a dream but they could not find the meaning. Joseph noticed they were depressed, and Joseph asked them what was wrong. They told him about their dreams but they had no interpretation. Joseph said that interpretations belong to God (Job 33.14-17,29), and to tell him what they dreamed.
The cupbearer said there was a vine with three branches and as it budded its blossoms came out and produced grapes. He then took Pharoaoh’s cup and took grapes and squeezed them into Pharaoh’s cup, then gave the cup to Pharaoh. Joseph told him that the interpretation was this. The three branches are three days. Within three days Pharaoh will lift up the cupbearer’s head and restore him to his previous office. Joseph then asked him to keep him in mind and make a kind reference to Pharaoh about him, saying he was innocent of the charges he is in prison for.
When the chief baker saw that Joseph had interpreted the cupbearer’s dream favorably, he wanted Joseph to inteerpret his dream. The baker said he saw three baskets of white bread on his head. The top basket contained all sorts of baked food, and birds were eating them out of the basket on his head. Joseph tells him that within three days Pharaoh will lift up his head from him, and hang him on a tree, and the birds will eat his flesh.
So, it came about on the third day it was Pharaoh’s birthday and he had a feast. He restored the cupbearer to his previous position, but he hanged the baker just as Joseph had predicted. However, the cupbearer forgot all about Joseph. In this story we have tremendous picture of Yeshua. In Luke 13.22, Yeshua said, “I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I will reach my goal.” Joseph is a picture of the Messiah and he is in the prison (the cross). The cupbearer is the repentant thief on the cross, and the baker is the unrepentant thief. The repentant thief was brought before the throne of God (Pharaoh), the unrepentant thief was not. This also alludes to the two goats on Yom Kippur. One goat is called “L’YHVH” and the other goat is “L’Azazel.” The L’YHVH goat and the blood is brought before the Lord, the L’Azazel goat is taken to the wilderness and is a picture of Satan/False Messiah. We also see this alluded to when Yeshua stood before Pilate along with Barabbas.
Gen 41.1-57 tells us that two years later Pharaoh has a dream. This alludes to 2000 years when Yeshua was hidden, like Joseph was (Hos 5.15 through 6.3). The Pharaoh here is Amenemhat III. The phrase “At the end of two years” also alludes to the “end” eschatologically (Matt 24.3, 6). Pharaoh’s ultimate end is seen in the prophecies about the False Messiah. For more information on this, go to the teaching “The Greatest Deception Ever Told” on this site. In his dream, Pharaoh sees seven fat and seven sleek cows grazing, then seven others came up that were ugly and gaunt. They stood on the bank of the Nile River. The seven ugly and gaunt cows ate the seven sleek and fat cows. Pharaoh awoke and was very disturbed, but he fell asleep again and had a second dream (Job 33.14-17, 29). There were seven ears of corn that came up on a single stalk, plump and healthy. Then seven more ears came up after them that were thin and scorched by the east wind. The seven thin ears swallowed up the seven plump ears.
Pharaoh is very troubled by these dreams, and none of the magicians or wise men could interpret the meaning. It was then that the cupbearer told Pharaoh about the dreams that he and the baker had and how a “Hebrew youth” was able to give a correct interpretation of them. Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and brought him out of the dungeon. The cupbearer used two disparaging terms about Joseph in these passages. The first one was “Hebrew youth.” The Hebrews were foreigners and detested by the Egyptians (Gen 43.32). When he used “youth” he is saying that he is ignorant and unfit for service. The cupbearer feared that if Joseph achieved a position above him, he may avenge himself on the cupbearer for letting two years go by (40.23).
Joseph is brought before Pharaoh and he tells him that it is not in him by some magical power to interpet dreams, but God will give him an answer. Pharaoh tells Joseph the dreams and Joseph tells him that God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. There will be seven years of abundance, followed by seven years of famine. Pharaoh had a repeating dream because the “matter is determined by God and he will quickly bring it about” (Job 33.14-17, 29). He then tells Pharaoh that he must find someone and set him over the land. That individual must be honest, wise and discerning. Then that parson must appoint overseers to exact one-fifth of the produce of the land during the seven years of abundance and store it away. They should gather all the food and guard it, as a reserve. Then and only then will Egypt be saved. After hearing this, he agreed with the plan Joseph put forward.
In Pharaoh’s mind, since God has informed Joseph of all this, he seems like the man for the job. As a result, he appoints Joseph over everything and everyone, except Pharaoh himself. The people shall do homage to Joseph, and only in the throne will Pharaoh be greater than Joseph. Pharaoh took off his ring and put it on the finger of Joseph and clothed him with fine linen and put a gold necklace around his neck. He then has Joseph ride in his second chariot and they proclaimed before him, “Bow the knee!” Joseph was set over the land. The Talmud says in Rosh Ha Shannah 105 this happened on Tishri 1, a Rosh Ha Shannah. In these passages we see allusions to the five aspects of the coronation of a Judean king with the investiture (v 42); anointing (v 38); acclamation (v 43); enthronement (v 43) and homage (v 40).
This is a clear picture of the coronation of Yeshua as king on Rosh Ha Shannah, right after the believers have been caught up to heaven in the Natzal, before the seven year Birth-pains begin (pictured by the seven years of famine). Joseph is given a “bride”, and Yeshua will be given a bride. Joseph is the “shaliach” or sent one, agent, of Pharaoh to preserve life, a type of the Father (Pharaoh is a type of father to Joseph, as we will see later in this teaching). Yeshua is the shaliach or “sent one” of the Father to preserve life. Joseph is even “adopted” in a sense by Pharaoh and is given a new name “Zaphenath-Paneah” which means “food man of life” according to Egyptologists (Hertz “Pentateuch and Haftorahs”, p. 158). The importance of this change of name is that it will help conceal who Joseph is at first when his brothers come for food.
Joseph is about 30 years old when he is appointed a ruler in Egypt, the start of his “ministry” if you will. Yeshua was about 30 years old when he began his ministry. It is the age when priests began their service to the Lord (Num 4.3). After seven years of plenty, the food was stored up and the seven year famine began. People came to but grain from many areas, They were told to go to Joseph and to do whatever he tells them.
In Part 18, we will look at where Joseph was at this time and where Jacob came, and how he was able to store grain and distribute it to the land before we move on with the rest of the story. Archeology has found many sites that confirm this story and we will look at some of them. Knowing these areas will also play a role in understanding what happens in the story of the Exodus from Egypt. Genesis tells us how Israel got into Egypt, and Exodus will tell the story of how they got out. In our study of the Concepts in Exodus, we will deal with this information again in more detail.