Joseph’s Brothers Sell Him into Captivity (1855 painting by Konstantin Flavitsky)
In this week’s Torah portion we are looking at Genesis 37:1–40:23
We follow the story of Joseph, the beloved son of Jacob and Rachel – and the remarkable fore-glimpses of Messiah.
Jacob makes a precious many-coloured coat for Joseph.
Joseph has two dreams which foretell him ruling over his brothers.
How are these two dreams both signs of Messiah?
Could it be Messiah ben Joseph – the suffering Messiah whose sheaf is raised up (resurrection) and the victorious Messiah ben David (who even Israel bows down to).
Joseph, like Jesus, is sent by his father to the sons of Israel.
Instead of being happy to see him, they conspire to kill him, but instead throw him in a pit and sell him into slavery.
His precious robe is dipped in goat’s blood and shown to their father as ‘proof’ that his beloved son had been eaten by a wild animal.
Judah, who failed to conduct a levirate marriage for his daughter-in-law Tamar, is seduced by her and she produces twins.
It was said of Rebekah that she had two kingdoms in her womb- Israel and Edom.
Of Tamar it was said that she had one kingdom – the Kingdom of Messiah.
Joseph is taken to Egypt and sold to Potiphar, the minister in charge of Pharaoh’s slaughterhouses.
The Lord blesses Joseph in all that he does, and soon he is made overseer of all his master’s property.
Potiphar’s wife attempts to seduce Jospeh but his rejection of her advances results in him being thrown in prison – where he again prospers.
In prison, Joseph meets Pharaoh’s chief butler and chief baker, Both have disturbing dreams, which Joseph interprets; in three days, he tells them, the butler will be released and the baker hanged. Joseph asks the butler to intercede on his behalf with Pharaoh. Joseph’s predictions are fulfilled, but the butler forgets all about Joseph and does nothing for him.