Joseph and Two’s

The relation of Joseph, son of Jacob, and the number Two is very interesting. Joseph is described by Bible commentators as a type or picture of Jesus in as many as fifty different ways.

Perhaps the most obvious picture is how Joseph is second to the highest authority, just as Jesus the Son, answers only to God the Father. Joseph was an excellent administrator. Although not said in the Bible, I suspect he was Jacob’s administrator, answering only to his father. When he went to check on his brothers, he probably did so as overseer. (1) No wonder his older brothers hated him. He was number two. He also had two dreams showing his parents and brothers bowing before him. (2)

After Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, in Potiphar’s house he answered only to Potiphar. (3) He was number two. When he was falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife and placed in jail, he administered the jail for the jailer. (4) He was number two. Of course, we all know how Joseph answered only to Pharaoh in Egypt. (5) He was number two.

Isaac, the grandfather of Joseph, was the second son, and favored over the first, Ishmael. (6) Jacob, the father of Joseph, was the second son, and favored over the first, Esau. (7) Joseph himself was the son of Rachel, Jacob’s second wife, who was favored over the first, Leah. (8)

While in jail, Joseph served two of Pharaoh’s servants. (9) The servants had two dreams and Joseph interpreted both of them. (10) After one of Pharaoh’s servants was released from jail, it was two years before he remembered Joseph and his abilities. (11)

We are familiar with the story of Pharaoh and his dreams. In fact, he had two dreams. (12) Joseph interpreted them through the direction of the Lord and told Pharaoh that they were one event divided into two parts; seven good years and seven bad years. (13)

When the famine struck, Joseph’s brothers went to Egypt for grain. They did not realize that the Egyptian leader was their brother. As the famine wore on, they debated whether to return to Egypt for more grain. Judah stated that had they acted instead of arguing, they could have gone to Egypt twice. (14) The brothers did not recognize Joseph until the second visit. (15) Joseph brought his family to Egypt in the second part, in the second year of the second seven years. (16)

Pharaoh gave Joseph a Gentile bride (another picture of Jesus) who bore Joseph two sons. (17) The second son, Ephraim, was more honored than the first, Manasseh. (18) In the twelve tribes of Israel, you will notice there is no tribe of Joseph. The two sons of Joseph became family leaders on the same level as the brothers of Joseph. Joseph was twice blessed in that his sons each received a portion of the Promised Land.

What a remarkable man Joseph was! Completing the picture of Joseph as a type of Jesus, upon the death of their father Jacob, his brothers feared that this powerful man, Joseph, would take vengeance on them. But just as Jesus died to save man, Joseph told his brothers, “you meant evil against me; [but] God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as [it is] this day, to save many people alive.” (19)

I look forward to gathering around the Throne of God and seeing Jesus. But sometime during eternity, I would love to meet Joseph. Praise the Lord for the hope we have of spending eternity with Him.

1 – Genesis 37:14
2 – Genesis 37:5-9
3 – Genesis 39:8
4 – Genesis 39:22
5 – Genesis 41:43-44
6 – Genesis 21:12
7 – Genesis 25:23
8 – Genesis 29:30
9 – Genesis 40:2-4
10 – Genesis 40:5
11 – Genesis 41:1
12 – Genesis 41:1-7
13 – Genesis 41:25-27
14 – Genesis 43:10
15 – Genesis 45:3
16 – Genesis 45:6
17 – Genesis 41:50
18 – Genesis 48:13-14
19 – Genesis 50:20

BACK to Lesson Archive.