Richard Agee

Genesis 42:1-22: Messiah’s hidden meeting with Israel foretold through Yosef

Richard AgeeWhen the brothers of Yosef (Joseph) came to Mitsraim (Egypt), even the second time, they did not recognize him at all (Gen. 42:1-22). He was concealed from them behind a new name — צָפְנַת פַּעְנֵחַ Zaphenath-paneakh [see part 2 of the Genesis 41 study for the significance of that name]  — and new appearance — shaved and in garb of his office.

Similarly, Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah is known as Jesus Christ the Church-maker in the Gentile world, and He is hidden from the rest of the descendants of Israel. Even while on Earth, Yeshua’s true Messiahship was concealed. God revealed the true identity to Peter (Matt. 16:13-20).

Just as Yosef didn’t get his power until after he had basically died to his family just as Yeshua didn’t gain all power and authority until after His death and resurrection. 

Reuben didn’t hurt Yosef at all, had nothing to do with Yosef’s sufferings.  The sons of Rachel’s and Leah’s handmaidens were also innocent of Yosef’s sufferings, but the other sons of Leah — or at least Simeon and Levi — knew very well what they did to Yosef. The rest of them assumed Yosef was dead. 

Yosef was the revealer of what is hidden. The first thing he has to reveal is himself. After he revealed himself, that is what brought salvation to his family. 

The main grains that Yosef would have had control over are the wheat and the barley. For the Egyptians and the known world, Yosef was the nourisher and sustainer of the world. 

Yosef wasn’t just the second in command of Egypt’s domestic policy but their foreign policy as well and his wisdom helped make Egypt the world’s pre-eminent superpower. 

When the famine got very bad, Ya’akov (Jacob) had to send his 10 older sons to Egypt to get grain but he did not allow Benjamin, the youngest, to go because he assumed that he was Rachel’s only surviving son. 

When Yosef’s brothers arrived, he was quite harsh with them to a point of cruelty. Yosef singled them out for scrutiny. When Ya’akov’s 10 sons arrived and saw Yosef, they had to bow to him. That prompted Yosef to remember his dream about them bowing to him. That first dream came true at that time. 

Yosef accused them of being spies but they were quick to deny this by telling Yosef about their family history. 

Reuben was most likely the one speaking to Yosef here. Since Reuben was the first-born, he would have been their spokesperson. Since Reuben didn’t know about how Simeon and Levi had sold him away. Yosef accused them of being spies, which is a death penalty offense in the cultures of that day. Yosef did not swear to them by God but by the life of his king the Pharaoh. He had declared them guilty until proven innocent and he was telling them that Pharaoh gave him the power to do whatever he wanted to do to them. 

Yosef threw all the brothers in jail for three days. On the third day, he lets most of them one with one important condition, they had to leave one behind and bring the youngest one back.  After the three days, Yosef was not swearing by Pharaoh but by God. 

Most of the sons were not guilty of Yosef’s captivity. Yosef knew which of his brothers was most guilty of his slavery and exile, yet he was testing all of them.

Reader: Jeff. Speaker: Richard Agee. Summary: Tammy.


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