Genesis 41:25-57 • From Degradation to Exultation


Well before the arrival of Christ’s First Coming, it had been established that there were two very important “types” or persons in the Old Testament pre-figuring the work of the Messiah which they called “Hamashiach Ben Joseph” (The Messiah the Son of Joseph) and “Hamashiach Ben David” (The Messiah the Son of David). They knew that Joseph taught of the suffering servant aspect of the Messiah’s ministry and that David taught of the conquering king aspect. There were great debates about how these two ministries would be reconciled in one Messiah because they did not take into consideration the possibility that it described One Messiah, but two Comings. The life of Joseph teaches us about the Messiah’s First Coming and His ministry as a suffering servant.

Read verses 25-32

Q: Why is one of the teachings concerning Joseph’s life that God will turn what is intended for evil to good for His purposes?

A: Joseph is sold into slavery by his brothers, thrown into prison because of a woman’s lies, forgotten for 2 years by a man he helped, and yet all these circumstances are used by God to elevate him to become the ruler of all Egypt and to be in the position to best carry out God’s will and help his family.

Application: Do you think because “bad things” happen that God has forgotten you or is not working in your favor? Do you know of anyone whose circumstances were used to God’s glory as in the case of Joseph?

Q: What is Joseph’s approach to interpreting the dream for Pharaoh? How is Joseph showing himself to be God’s servant rather than his own?

A: Joseph gives all the credit to God and points Pharaoh to Him, not himself. Like all true prophets of God, the goal of the revelation given through them is to turn hearts to God.

Point: When studying prophecy, the person of Joseph is a very good example to come back to that reminds us not only of the proper mechanics of interpretation but the right attitude and heart for both the speaker and the listener.

Read verses 33-36

Q: If they only needed food for 7 years, why store 1/5th per year instead of 1/7th?

A: This will provide the surplus necessary not only to feed the nations that would come to Egypt, but Joseph’s family who will also come for food during the famine. (Note: God is a God of abundance, not minimum requirements.)

Q: How is Joseph’s suggestion of an overseer a parallel of one’s coming to know and accept Christ?

A: One must relinquish sole power over one’s life, submitting to the direction and authority of Christ to address every issue in one’s life. One must accept Christ’s authority and direction to make preparations to endure both the good and the bad.

Read verses 37-45

Q: What tells us that God has positively impacted Pharaoh’s heart?

A: He knows that this is from God and that he himself falls short of the qualifications needed to follow through with God; he therefore appoints Joseph on the basis of his relationship with God without taking into consideration any other earthly qualifications.

Q: What are the similarities to the life of Christ in the life of Joseph here?

  1. Joseph went from a life of degradation to exultation in a single day in going from prisoner to ruler; so Christ does in a single day, going from the grave to resurrection and being given all power and authority by God the Father.
  2. Joseph undergoes a change that is symbolic of going from death (prison) to life (ruler), a “type” of resurrection.
  3. Joseph is given all power and authority by the king; Christ is given all power and authority by God the King.
  4. All Egypt had to bow their knee before Joseph; all mankind will bow their knee before Christ.
  5. Joseph is given a new name; Christ is given a new name.
  6. Joseph takes a Gentile bride; Christ takes a Gentile bride (the church) until such time as he also takes Israel as His bride as well.
  7. Joseph will feed the earth with grain; Christ will feed the earth with God’s Word.
  8. Discuss any others...

Read verses 46-49

Q: What is the meaning of the phrase “stood before Pharaoh”?

A: It’s a phrase meaning to serve the king. Such courts were attended by a great many “standing” in and near the throne that they may carry out the king’s commands.

Q: Who else was 30 years old when they “stood before” their King and began service?

A: Jesus of Nazareth.

Read verses 53-57

Q: How might this speak of the ministry of Christ?

A: Just as they could only get bread to sustain life from Joseph, so Christ is the only Bread of Life from Whom eternal life can be acquired. Just as the king of Egypt designated that the grain for life could only be acquired through the one man Joseph, so the King of Heaven designated that life can only be acquired through His One Son Jesus Christ.

Q: What might be the biblical parallel to God’s working through Joseph during these 7 year periods and His working in Israel in the final 7 year period of the End Times?

A: Just as the sons of Israel will be reconciled with Joseph through these events, so in the End Times the sons of Israel will be reconciled to Christ.


Make a list of the similarities to Christ’s life from the events leading up to this chapter:

  1. Joseph was the favorite son of his father who delivered a bad report concerning his brothers; Jesus was the favorite Son of His Father who delivered a bad report concerning His brothers.
  2. Joseph was handed over to the Ishmaelites so his brothers could say they were not guilty of bloodshed; Jesus was handed over to the Romans that his brothers could say they were not guilty of bloodshed.
  3. Joseph was betrayed by his brother Judah for 20 pieces of silver; Jesus was betrayed by his brother Judah (Greek “Judas”) for 30 pieces of silver.
  4. Joseph’s brothers invented a deception to make it look like he died; Jesus’ brothers invented a deception to refute His being raised from the dead.
  5. Joseph was caught between two prisoners, one for which he predicted life, the other death; Jesus was hung between two prisoners, one to which He granted life, the other death
  6. Joseph’s brothers used his garment; Jesus’ captors cast lots for His garment.
  7. List others...

Make a list of the such similarities from the events after this chapter:

  1. Joseph’s brothers did not recognize him the first time, but wept bitterly when they recognized him the second time; Israel did not recognize Jesus at His First Coming but will weep bitterly when they recognize and accept Him at His Second Coming.
  2. Joseph provides his brothers complete and unrestricted forgiveness; Jesus provides the same to all that have, do, and will come to Him.
  3. List others..