The blessings Yisra’el (Israel), f.k.a. Ya’akob (Jacob), game his sons in Genesis 49 seem cryptic, because events are described that didn’t happen in the sons’ lives. Then we notice that these are prophecies for the end of history and about the Messiah. In this part of the study, covering Gen. 49:1–12, we encounter the messianic name שִׁילֹה Shiloh.
In Genesis 43, Yosef (Joseph) hosted a large banquet for his brothers and household staff. At the time of the account in Genesis 44, Yosef was still hidden from his brothers. He is the second in command of Mitsraim (Egypt), one of the world’s most powerful nations of the period. This account of the actions of Pharaoh and Yosef is a parable of what the Father and the Son planned to do to and through a group of believers in God, a group called Israel.
We’ve already explored how Yosef’s life parallels that of Yeshua the Messiah. In part 3 of this study of Genesis 42 [see parts 1 and 2], we explore the another parallel in the ancient Egyptian name of Yosef (Joseph) and in the three days of imprisonment of his brothers.
The life of Yosef (Joseph) is a shadow of the life of the Messiah in a number of ways. In the latter half of Genesis 42, we see another shadow: Yosef was hidden from his brothers yet wanted to weep when he heard their penitence over the death they thought they had set in motion for him by selling him into slavery.
That’s the repentance God seeks from Israel for the treatment of God’s Messiah. The prophets and apostles foretell that day will come.
When 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).
This account of Yosef’s dreams and being sold by his brothers into slavery in Mitsraim (Egypt) is the foundation for the teaching through the rest of Genesis and even the Torah. The life of Yeshua the Messiah on Earth paralleled that of Yosef (Joseph).
Does this chapter have anything to do with the Messiah, or is it just a history about the family of Ya’akov (Jacob)? The meanings of the names of each of these children in sequence tells the story of the Messiah and how He will gather the nations (gentiles) into God’s family. The entire Bible is about Yeshua the Messiah, not just about Abraham, Yitskhak (Isaac), Ya’akov, Yosef (Joseph) or their descendants.