The Parables of Joseph - Part 4
The Regathering and Final Restoration of Israel
“And the seven years of dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said: and the dearth was in all lands; but in the land of Egypt there was bread.” (Genesis 41:54)
This is a prophetic picture of the beginning of the Great Tribulation period of seven years of dearth, or death, soon to come upon this earth. Notice, first of all, that it “began to come”. Another words, there was a gradual decay until finally there was no food. Our world is already headed toward this very rapidly. Secondly, notice, “the dearth was in ALL lands; but in the land of Egypt, there was bread.” This has a dual prophetic meaning. The seven years of dearth will be in every land throughout the earth. This is the primary meaning of Egypt in the parable. But, another application begins to emerge…Egypt with Joseph in charge becomes the place of provision for both the Gentile nations AND Israel. As the story progresses, you will see this more clearly.
“And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians; Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do.” (Genesis 41:55)
Pharaoh still represents the Heavenly Father. Even in the Tribulation, when the nations cry out to Him, He directs them to the Resurrected Yeshua the Messiah (Joseph), for He is still seated on the throne at the right hand of God and is still the Lord of the Harvest. He will still hear and answer prayer, even in this terrible time.
“And the famine was over all the face of the earth: And Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt.
And ALL COUNTRIES came into Egypt unto Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands.” (Genesis 41:56-57)
Notice that three times in two verses, it is repeated how bad the famine was. Two different places are mentioned: the land of Egypt, and all countries/all the face of the earth. Now, this refers to both the nation of Israel and all nations during the Tribulation time.
“Now when Jacob saw that there was corn in Egypt, Jacob said unto his sons, Why do ye look one upon another?
And he said, Behold, I have heard that there is corn in Egypt: GET YOU DOWN THITHER, AND BUY FOR US FROM THENCE; THAT WE MAY LIVE AND NOT DIE.” (GENESIS 42:1-2)
Now as this story and parable continues in chapter 42, we begin to see Joseph’s father Jacob and his brothers, OUTSIDE THE LAND of Egypt. In the same way, as the Tribulation period gets worse and worse, perhaps in the first two years, the Jewish people that still remain in the nations of the world see that Israel has the greatest provision and blessing. It is here that we see the shift from Egypt representing the Gentile nations of the world, to its’ also becoming a picture of the restored nation of Israel during the last seven years of judgment upon the earth. They will return to the land of Israel to receive provision from God. It will be the only place on earth that will be safe for the Jewish people.
“And Joseph’s TEN brethren went down to buy corn in Egypt.
But Benjamin, Joseph’s brother, Jacob sent not with his brethren; for he said, Lest peradventure mischief befall him.” (Genesis 42:3-4)
So much is here! First of all, there are ten “lost tribes” still in the nations. God has promised throughout His Word that He will gather all of Israel from the Diaspora and return them to their ancient homeland, and then open their eyes to see Yeshua the Messiah. This is yet to happen. We don’t know where those “lost tribes” are, but God does. He has miraculously preserved them and they will all come back in the first two years of the time of famine. Secondly, Benjamin still remains outside of the land, until the second wave of Aliyah, where all the tribes will return, as we will see. When it gets REALLY bad, the last of Israel will come home. I believe that those are the Jews from the West here in America, Europe, and other first world nations. They will not return until the famine finally is so bad that they have no other choice. Finally, all of Israel will make Aliyah before the worst of the Tribulation comes.
“And the sons of Israel came to buy corn AMONG THOSE THAT CAME: for the famine was in the land of Canaan...” (Genesis 42:5a
Another dual reference to Israel and all nations. Israel will still produce an abundance of food, have a strong economy, and remain under God’s supernatural protection, when the whole world plunges into dearth. The world, especially the Middle East nations, will come to Israel and beg for bread…isn’t that ironic considering how small and despised we are now?” Starvation and deprivation are amazing motivators to drive the nations to cry out to the Holy God of Israel.
“And Joseph was the governor over the land, and he it was that sold to all the people of the land: and Joseph’s brethren came, and bowed down themselves before him with their faces to the earth.
And Joseph saw his brethren, and he knew them, but made himself strange unto them, and spake roughly unto them; and he said unto them, Whence come ye? And they said, From the land of Canaan to buy food.”
This has several layers of prophetic meaning also. First, this is a picture of how Israel was treated during the Diaspora by the so-called Christian Church. Joseph is not recognizable as their brother – he looks like an Egyptian, he talks like an Egyptian, he is the Gentile God “Jesus”, and his brothers cannot discern his Jewish identity. Secondly, This is a picture of the first wave of Aliyah during the first year or so of the Tribulation. They return from the nations, and prostrate themselves before the Lord, but they don’t really know Him. The vast majority of the Jews in the nations still will return at this time, and will come and bow themselves before God, but not recognize their Messiah. Notice that Joseph is the governor over the land. Yeshua is actively involved in providing for His people, though he cannot reveal Himself until Benjamin finally returns.
Joseph does a very strange thing. He accuses them of being spies, then he demands that one of them (Simeon) has to be bound in prison and held until they can return with him. Then it is written:
“And he put them all together into ward THREE DAYS.
And Joseph said unto them THE THIRD DAY…This do, and live; for I fear God…let one of your brethren be bound IN THE HOUSE OF YOUR PRISON: go ye, carry corn for the famine of your houses:
But bring your youngest brother unto me…
And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us…
Therefore, behold, also his blood is required.” (Genesis 42:17-22, selected passages)
Again, so much is here! I wrote about the prophetic meaning of three days, and the third day. This is a repetition of the same, but now focusing on the Jewish people. From the beginning of the Diaspora, until now at the dawning of the third day of the one thousand year Messianic Kingdom, we as Jews have been separated from our land and blinded to the truth of our Messiah Yeshua. We have been in “ward”, or imprisoned among the nations, because we did not recognize Yeshua our Messiah and rejected Him as a whole nation. His blood WAS required of us, and we have lived in exile and wandered in the nations for two days, or 2000 years. But, ON THE THIRD DAY, Israel is released from prison. God supernaturally provides for Israel, both those that have returned to the land, and those who haven’t yet. That is NOW. The fig tree is bearing leaves, growing, bursting forth, and bearing fruit. The Jewish people are now being restored, both physically and spiritually. This will only increase more and more, especially during the last seven years of famine, causing great jealousy and anti-Semitism throughout the world. Also, there is a vivid object lesson here once again showing that Israel in the end will “mourn for Him Whom they pierced” as it says in the prophet Zechariah. We see again the suffering Messiah portrayed by Simeon as being bound and imprisoned as a ransom for His brethren.
“And they knew not that Joseph understood them: for he spake unto them by an interpreter.” (Genesis 42:23)
This shows that our Messiah, our brother Yeshua, has been with the Jewish people. He has heard all that we have prayed to God, and knows all about our plights and suffering and captivity in the nations, though we didn’t recognize Him or know Him. God has never abandoned His people, Israel.
“And he turned himself about from them, and wept; and returned to them again, and communed with them…” (Genesis 42:24a)
Here is a picture of the compassion of Yeshua towards His own family. He cannot reveal Himself to all of Israel until the appointed time, but His great love causes Him to hide Himself and weep. This is the story of Yeshua in heaven both during the Diaspora and also at the time of the end when the Jewish people are returning to the land and our coming Messiah.
Joseph fills their sacks and restores their money too. This leads the brothers to exclaim, “What is this that GOD hath done unto us?”. During the Tribulation, God will supernaturally provide so abundantly to His people Israel, that the whole world will see clearly that it was GOD HIMSELF who is doing all these miracles for the Jewish people and nation.
They return to Jacob, their father, and tell him all that happened. Their father is old, and heart-broken. He remains in unbelief and near despair because of all that has happened to him. This is another picture of the Jewish people in the nations before they finally return to the restored nation of Israel. He refuses to let Benjamin go, for he says,
“My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he is left alone: if mischief befall him by the way in the which ye go, then shall ye bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.” (Genesis 42:38)
The broken-hearted Jewish people have been stolen from, lied about, betrayed, persecuted, murdered, and abused for so long, that it is nearly impossible for them to believe or even hope anymore that God will really restore them.
“And it came to pass, when they had eaten up the corn which they had brought out of Egypt, their father said unto them, Go again, buy us a little food.” (Genesis 43:2)
The Jewish people that still remain in the nations are now forced to “go again” and finally return to Israel.
Now Judah speaks to his father, and says that he must release Benjamin to go with them. Now Jacob is called “Israel”, his God given name. Israel argues to let him stay, but then Judah now offers himself as a surety, and says:
“Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go; that we may live, and not die, both we, and thou, and also our little ones.
I WILL BE SURETY FOR HIM; OF MY HAND SHALT THOU REQUIRE HIM: if I bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, THEN LET ME BEAR THE BLAME FOR EVER:” (Genesis 43:9)
This is another prophetic snapshot of Yeshua and His redemption for us. Yeshua is descended from the tribe of Judah. He was the surety, or the guarantee, of our redemption. He bore our sins and took our place as our Substitute. He bore our eternal blame before God so we could be forgiven and saved.
Now, at this point, I have to ask the question, just whom does Benjamin represent in this parable? Some believe that it is the end time church that is Benjamin in the nations. But remember, the overcoming Church is raptured out of the earth at the beginning of these last seven years. The Christians are always trying to take Israel’s place every time they can, it seems. Now, I believe that we spiritually belong or are “grafted in” to a particular tribe of Israel. But, when God says Benjamin, he means Benjamin. Benjamin will be the last of the Jewish people – the last of the twelve tribes – to return. But finally, he too will return in the massive second wave of Aliyah in the second year of the final seven.
“…And the men took ( Jacob’s extra gifts of balm, honey, spices, myrrh, nuts, and almonds) that present, and they took double money in their hand, and Benjamin; and rose up, and went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph.
And when Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the ruler of his house, BRING THESE MEN HOME, and slay, and make ready; for these men shall dine with me at noon.
And the man did as Joseph bade; and the man brought the men INTO JOSEPH’S HOUSE.” (Genesis 43:15-17)
This is that second and largest wave of Aliyah. It will occur shortly after the first. All the Jews will finally return, including the ten “lost” tribes. When this happens, Joseph, or Yeshua, will bring them HOME INTO HIS HOUSE, and have a covenant meal with them. This is a picture of each of the twelve tribes returning to their inheritance in the land promised to Abraham and his family.
First they try to buy or earn their way to Joseph by paying their debts, but Joseph says to them:
“Peace (Shalom) be to you, fear not: YOUR GOD, AND THE GOD OF YOUR FATHER, hath given you treasure in your sacks: I had your money. And he brought Simeon out unto them.
And the man brought the men into Joseph’s house, and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their asses provender. (Genesis 43:23-25)
This is a picture of grace as well as restored covenant. Yeshua tells the last of the Jews who return, they do not owe him anything…God has paid all their debts in full. Then they are brought into fellowship with God once again in the Messiah’s house, their spiritual thirst is quenched, Yeshua washes their feet (doesn’t that sound familiar?), and even their livestock are provided for. Everything is restored. Simeon is brought out of prison. This may be a reference to those Jews in the land that have suffered from the wars and attacks. They will be brought back to their inheritance also and healed and restored in full.
“And when Joseph came home, they brought him the present which was in their hand into the house, and bowed themselves to him to the earth.
And he asked them of their welfare, and said, Is your father well, the old man of whom you spake? Is he yet alive?
And they answered, Thy servant our father is in good health, he is yet alive. And they bowed down their heads, and made obeisance.
And he lifted up his eyes, and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, and said, Is this your younger brother, of whom ye spake unto me? And he said, God be gracious unto thee, my son.
And Joseph made haste; for his bowels did yearn upon his brother: and he sought where to weep; and he entered into his chamber, and wept there.
And he washed his face, and went out, and refrained himself, and said, Set on bread.
And they set on for him by himself, and for them by themselves, and for the Egyptians, which did not eat with him, by themselves: because the Egyptians might not eat bread with the Hebrews; for that is an abomination unto the Egyptians.
AND THEY SAT BEFORE HIM, THE FIRSTBORN ACCORDING TO HIS BIRTHRIGHT, AND THE YOUNGEST ACCORDING TO HIS YOUTH: AND THE MEN MARVELLED ONE AT ANOTHER.
And he took and sent messes (food and drink) from before him: but Benjamin’s mess was five times so much as any of theirs. And they drank, and were merry with him.” (Genesis 43:26-34)
This is a picture of All of the tribes of Israel coming “home to Messiah’s house” and being seated “in the land” according to their birthright and promised inheritance. Then, there is a covenant meal, in which Yeshua will renew the covenant of Abraham with the restored tribes “seated as a part of Messiah’s house” in the land God promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
There are two reasons, at least, why Benjamin is given “five times more” than the other tribes. The first reason is that, because he was the last to return, the most was stolen from him. He is given back all that was stolen by the Gentile nations in the Diaspora. The second, and perhaps primary, reason, is that it is a picture of grace (five is the number of grace in the Scriptures), and a gift of love from Yeshua because of covenant relation by their common mother. Yeshua our Messiah is the great King of Kings, and he can give as much as He wants to whomever he wants because of His everlasting love. Additionally, not everyone will receive the same rewards, but all of God’s children shall be rewarded according to what they have done. Some will have great reward, and some will have no reward, but all will be loved and provided for by our Lord. Amen.
Chapter 45 begins with, as it is written:
“Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, CAUSE EVERY MAN TO GO OUT FROM ME. AND THERE STOOD NO MAN WITH HIM, WHILE JOSEPH MADE HIMSELF KNOWN UNTO HIS BRETHREN.
And he wept aloud: and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard.
And Joseph said unto his brethren, I AM(!) JOSEPH; DOTH MY FATHER YET LIVE? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence.
And Joseph said unto his brethren, COME NEAR UNTO ME, I PRAY YOU. And they came near. And he said,
I AM JOSEPH YOUR BROTHER, WHOM YE SOLD INTO EGYPT.
NOW THEREFORE BE NOT GRIEVED, NOR ANGRY WITH YOURSELVES, THAT YE SOLD ME HITHER: FOR GOD DID SEND ME BEFORE YOU TO PRESERVE LIFE.
For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing not harvest.
AND GOD SENT ME BEFORE YOU TO PRESERVE YOU A POSTERITY IN THE EARTH, AND TO SAVE YOUR LIVES BE A GREAT DELIVERANCE.
SO IT WAS NOT YOU THAT SENT ME HITHER, BUT GOD: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.
Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith they son Joseph, GOD HATH MADE ME LORD OF ALL EGYPT: come down unto me, tarry not:
And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and thy children’s children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast:
AND THERE WILL I NOURISH THEE; FOR YET THERE ARE FIVE YEARS OF FAMINE; LEST THOU, AND THY HOUSEHOLD, AND ALL THAT THOU HAST, COME TO POVERTY.” (GENESIS 45:1-11)
By now, all this should be very clear to you, dear reader. Yeshua reveals Himself as their brother. He had hid his identity from his family, until all of them came back to the land. Yeshua will throw all the hostile Gentiles out of the land and Israel will dwell alone in her own inheritance as recorded in the Bible. It is interesting to note that Joseph says, after he reveals himself, that there still remained five more years of famine. If this is literally correct concerning the prophetic parallel I have drawn, then all twelve tribes will return to Israel in the first two years of the seven-year Tribulation. Perhaps this is the case.
The rest of the story tells of Joseph bringing his father, all the rest of his family, and “all that he had”, to come to dwell in the best of the land of Egypt, called the land of Goshen. They were protected from the famine for the next five years and were abundantly provided for. This, obviously, would be the fullness of God’s chosen people coming home to Israel at this appointed time, including all their wealth and all that is theirs.
Finally, I want to jump to the end of the story of Joseph. There is so much more in the story, but I have written what the Lord asked me to share. Please, don’t judge me if everything isn’t perfect in this account. I am just looking at this story from one viewpoint. As one great Bible teacher once said, “Just be like an old cow; eat the hay, and spit out the sticks.” But, I believe it is a genuine revelation from the Holy Spirit. Please discard anything that you don’t agree with, and please forgive me at this poor attempt to put into words what was revealed to me.
“And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants.
And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?
But as for you, ye thought evil against me; BUT GOD MEANT IT UNTO GOOD TO BRING TO PASS, AS IT IS THIS DAY, TO SAVE MUCH PEOPLE ALIVE.
Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them”. (Genesis 50:18-21)
Then, right before Joseph died, it is written:
“And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you…unto the land which he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” (Genesis 50:24)
Yeshua, Who did die, and rose again from the dead, our Messiah will one day witness this very thing - All of Israel will bow before him…the sun, the moon and the twelve stars of Joseph’s teenage dream. Then God’s Kingdom will come to earth. Forever He shall reign on the throne of David from Jerusalem forever and ever. Amen.
“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.
AND SO ALL ISRAEL SHALL BE SAVED: AS IT IS WRITTEN, THERE SHALL COME OUT OF SION THE DELIVERER, AND SHALL TURN AWAY UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB:
FOR THIS IS MY COVENANT UNTO THEM, WHEN I SHALL TAKE AWAY ALL THEIR SINS.” (Romans 11:25-27)
May the blessings of our Lord be yours always!
March 4, 2012