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Types of Christ in the Old Testament

Joseph as a Type of Christ

Joseph (Gen. 37:2 - 50:26). Joseph being a 'type' of Christ is exceedingly rich in its vital truths. Even though Joseph is one of the best types of the Lord Jesus, there seems to be no clear statement in the New Testament that Joseph did typify Jesus, maybe because the truths are so clear. Joseph is one of the clearest and most detailed types of Christ written in the Old Testament. In the life of Joseph is a treasure concerning our Lord Jesus. Consider the following.

Joseph As A Type Of Christ

Joseph was the seed of Abraham, in whom the promises of fruitfulness and blessing upon all nations were fulfilled. Genesis 12:2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: (KJV)
Genesis 46:3
And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation: (KJV)
Deuteronomy 26:5
And thou shalt speak and say before the LORD thy God, A Syrian ready to perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous: (KJV)
Psalm 105:23-24
Israel also came into Egypt; and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham. [24] And he increased his people greatly; and made them stronger than their enemies. (KJV)

Joseph and Jesus the beloved sons of their father. Genesis 37:3
Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours. (KJV) John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (KJV)

Joseph's brothers hated him. Genesis 37:4 And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him. (KJV) Genesis 37:8 And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words. (KJV)

Jesus had problems with His brothers. John 7:3
His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. (KJV) John 15:25 But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause. (KJV)

Joseph and Christ were likened to a sheaf. Genesis 37:7
For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf. (KJV)
Leviticus 23:11-12
And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. [12] And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the LORD. (KJV)

A hatred that progressed toward Joseph and Christ. Genesis 37:4-5
And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him. [5] And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more. (KJV) Mark 12:12 And they sought to lay hold on him, but feared the people: for they knew that he had spoken the parable against them: and they left him, and went their way. (KJV) Mark 14:55 And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found none. (KJV)

Both were rebuked by their natural fathers. Genesis 37:10 And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth? (KJV) Luke 20:19 And the chief priests and the scribes the same hour sought to lay hands on him; and they feared the people: for they perceived that he had spoken this parable against them. (KJV)

Israel would bow down to Joseph and Christ, although they refused to believe this and tried to kill him. Genesis 37:10
And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth? (KJV) John 8:58-59 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. [59] Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by. (KJV) John 10:30-31 I and my Father are one. [31] Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. (KJV)

Joseph cast into a pit.Genesis 37:24 And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it. (KJV)
Christ: pit = grave. John 19:41
Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. (KJV)

They stripped Joseph of his coat. Genesis 37:23
And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him; (KJV) . . . Was Joseph naked in the pit?
Matthew 27:28
And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. (KJV) . . . Was Christ naked on the cross? He certainly was put to an open shame!
Hebrews 6:6
If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. (KJV)

Sold Joseph and Jeses for 30 pieces of silver. Genesis 37:28
Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt. (KJV) Matthew 26:15 And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. (KJV) Matthew 27:9 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; (KJV) . . . The children of Israel is possibly referring to the sons of Jacob for selling Joseph for that amount.

His brothers said: " He is our brother and our flesh." Genesis 37:27 Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content. (KJV)
We are members of Jesus' Body. Ephesians 5:30
For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. (KJV)

They thought that the hardships of slavery would kill Joseph. Genesis 37:27
Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content. (KJV)
The Jews handed Jesus over to the Romans to be killed. Matthew 27:1-2
When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: [2] And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor. (KJV)

A blood drenched coat. Genesis 37:31 And they took Joseph's coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood; (KJV) Isaiah 63:2 Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? (KJV) Revelation 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. (KJV)

Sent on a mission to his brethren, on which they symbolically killed him. Genesis 37:14
And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem. (KJV)
Christ sent first and foremost to redeem Israel. Galatians
4:4-5 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, [5] To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. (KJV)

Joseph symbolically killed by the shepherds of his father's flock. Genesis 37:12
And his brethren went to feed their father's flock in Shechem. (KJV)
Christ killed by the Jewish priests, the shepherds of God's flock. Matthew 26:3-4
Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, [4] And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill him. (KJV)

The anguish of Joseph's soul ignored by the brothers. Genesis 42:21 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. (KJV)
The travail of Jesus' soul ignored by Israel. Isaiah 53:12
Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. (KJV) Isaiah 53:1-4 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? [2] For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. [3] He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. [4] Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. (KJV)

Joseph's brothers conspired to slay him. Genesis 37:18 And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him. (KJV)
Israel conspired to kill Jesus. Matthew 21:38 But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.
(KJV)

Jacob shared in Joseph's death. Genesis 37:33-34
And he knew it, and said, It is my son's coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces. [34] And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days. (KJV) . . . This is an excellent symbol of the pain of God that was and IS sadly ignored by us.

Joseph's master committed all that he had into his hand. Genesis 39:8 But he refused, and said unto his master's wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand; (KJV) . . . The realtionship between Joseph and Pharaoh is symbolic of that between God and Christ.

Joseph was falsely accused of adultery, and cast into prison. Genesis 39:20
And Joseph's master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison. (KJV)
Christ dumb before his shearers. Isaiah 53:7
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. (KJV) Matthew 27:12 And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. (KJV) . . . With Joseph as a type of Christ, prison = darkness. There was darkness at the death of Christ.

All the prisoners in the prison were committed to Joseph's hand. Genesis 39:22 And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it. (KJV) . . . An excellent symbol of Christ's relationship with us?

Joseph in prison with two malefactors. Genesis 40:2-3 And Pharaoh was wroth against two of his officers, against the chief of the butlers, and against the chief of the bakers. [3] And he put them in ward in the house of the captain of the guard, into the prison, the place where Joseph was bound. (KJV) . . . One saved, one not. Genesis 40:20-22 And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday, that he made a feast unto all his servants: and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants. [21] And he restored the chief butler unto his butlership again; and he gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand: [22] But he hanged the chief baker: as Joseph had interpreted to them. (KJV)
Christ on the cross with two thieves. Luke 23:32-33
And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death. [33] And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. (KJV) . . . One saved, one not. Luke 23:39-41 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. [40] But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? [41] And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. (KJV)

Joseph begs "remember me". Genesis 40:14
But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and shew kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house: (KJV) Genesis 40:23 Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him. (KJV) . . . Great pain in Joseph's heart because he knew he was innocent (40:15).
The thief on the cross begs "remember me." Luke 23:42-43
And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. [43] And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. (KJV)

Joseph's shame in the dungeon. Genesis 40:15 For indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews: and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon. (KJV)
A type of the supreme degradation of Christ on the cross. John 19:19-20
And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. [20] This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin. (KJV) Psalm 22:16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. (KJV)

Joseph changed his raiment. Genesis 41:14
Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh. (KJV)
A 'type' of Christ's resurrection; change of clothing. John 20:19-20
Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. [20] And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. (KJV)

Joseph was exalted over Pharaoh's house and people. Genesis 41:40 Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou. (KJV)
Christ now over both angels (God's house) and us. Matthew 28:18
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. (KJV) John 17:2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. (KJV) Ephesians 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, (KJV) 1 Peter 3:22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him. (KJV)

Joseph laid up food in preparation for the famine. Genesis 41:48-49
And he gathered up all the food of the seven years, which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which was round about every city, laid he up in the same. [49] And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering; for it was without number. (KJV)
Laying up the word, building on a good foundation. 1 Timothy 6:19
Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. (KJV) 1 Corinthians 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (KJV)

Joseph given a new name. Genesis 41:45
And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnathpaaneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt. (KJV) . . . Joseph's new name " Zaphnath-paaneah" means 'Saviour of the world', or 'bread of life'.
Christ given a new name on ascension. Philippians 2:6-9
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: [7] But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: [8] And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. [9] Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: (KJV) Revelation 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. (KJV)

Joseph's Gentile wife from a pagan king-priest background. Genesis 41:45
And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnathpaaneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt. (KJV)
Marriage of Christ to Gentiles, king-priests. Revelation 5:10
And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. (KJV) . . . Psalm 45 is full of allusion to Joseph (2,4,5,7,10,14, 16). Yet it is also a prophecy of the marriage of Christ to His bride, modelled on the marriage of Joseph.

Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt. Genesis 41:45 And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnathpaaneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt. (KJV) . . . Joseph was active.
Christ's active involvement in our working out of our salvation. John 10:4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
(KJV)

Joseph's (half-Gentile) sons were counted in the twelve tribes of Jacob. Genesis 41:51-52
And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house. [52] And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction. (KJV)
We are Christ's children. Hebrews 2:13
And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. (KJV)

Joseph's brethren fulfil his predictions without realizing it, by bowing before him. Genesis 42:6
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. (KJV)
Likewise, ALL latter day Israel shall bow to Christ. Isaiah 45:23
I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. (KJV) Romans 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. (KJV) Philippians 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; (KJV)

Even under pressure, the brothers came out with the same old lie. Genesis 42:13
And they said, Thy servants are twelve brethren, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and, behold, the youngest is this day with our father, and one is not. (KJV) . . . They had repeated it so often that they believed it.
This is the same Jewish attitude towards Jesus of Nazareth, their Messiah.

Joseph wept. Genesis 42:24 And he turned himself about from them, and wept; and returned to them again, and communed with them, and took from them Simeon, and bound him before their eyes. (KJV) . . . This is recorded of Joseph seven other times: 43:30; 45:2,14,15; 46:29; 50:1,17 besides here. Joseph was very compassionate. Joseph must have found it hard to prolong the agony of not revealing himself to them immediately; he was motivated by a desire to make them see the enormity of their sin, for their spiritual good rather than his own vindication.
Jesus wept. John 11:35 Jesus wept.
(KJV) . . . Jesus was very compassionate. Joseph as a type of Christ makes his story prophetic. This is a deep prophecy of the intensity of Christ's feelings, as the mighty Son of God, towards wayward Israel in the last days. He was a man of sorrow in His mortal life, and will still have this wonderful characteristic in the future as well.

Joseph celebrates their repentance with a meal together. Genesis 43:16 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. (KJV)
The marriage supper of the lamb. Luke 14:20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.
(KJV) Luke 22:30 That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (KJV) Revelation 19:9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. (KJV)

Joseph was thirty years old when he took over Egypt for Pharaoh. Genesis 41:46
And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt. (KJV)

Jesus was thirty years old when He started His ministry. Luke 3:23 And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli, (KJV)

Types of Christ in the Old Testament

Type of Israel, Jonah

Types . . . Eve Bride of Christ

Types of Christ's Death, Coats of Skin

Types of Christ's Death, Old Testament Sacrifices

Types of Christ's Death, Tabernacle

Types of Christ, Adam

Types of Christ, David

Types of Christ, Elijah

Types of Christ, Elisha

Types of Christ, Examples

Types of Christ, Isaac

Types of Christ, Job

Types of Christ and His Resurrection, Jonah

Types of Christ, Joseph

Types of Christ, Melchezidek

Types of Christ, Moses

Types of Christ, the Pillar of Cloud and Fire

Types of Christ, Samson

Types of Christ, the Rock

Types of Christ, the Brazen Serpent

Types of Christ, the Exodus

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