For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Romans 15:4


Genesis 45

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Romans 15:4

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 A Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough

Copyright 2000 James Melough

45:1.  “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.”

This brings us prophetically to the end of the Tribulation, and the fulfillment of Zec 12:10, “And they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.”  It is the symbolic portrait of the revelation of Messiah to the believing Jews in Jerusalem at the time of His second advent.  The dismissal from Joseph’s presence of all except his brethren depicts the judgment that will separate the unbelievers from the believing remnant at that time. 

Joseph’s inability to “refrain himself” reveals the attitude of Christ towards Israel.  He longs to see them reconciled and blessed.

45:2.  “And he wept aloud: and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard.”

This surely was the weeping of joy, telling us of the joy that will fill the heart of Christ on that day when He can reveal Himself to the remnant at the end of the Tribulation.  A day of even greater joy, however, will be that in which the Lord, at the Rapture, reveals Himself to His bride, the believers of this present age. 

“... and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard.”  Since Egypt represents the world, these Egyptians represent the believing nations remaining on the earth following Christ’s judgment of the nations at the end of the Tribulation; and since in the context of this section, Pharaoh is a type of the Father, the truth being symbolically declared is that earth and heaven will unite in celebrating that day of reconciliation, not only between Christ and the remnant of Israel, but also between Him and the saved remnant from each Gentile nation. 

45:3.  “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.”

The announcement of his name meaning let him add, was more than an identification.  Though they at that moment didn’t know it, this brother whom they had hated and sold, would add to them blessings beyond anything they could ever have imagined.  And it scarcely needs to be stated that the blessings they enjoyed in Goshen drawing near, are but a shadow of what Israel will enjoy in the Millennium. 

It is significant that the place of blessing was Goshen which means drawing near.  Where Christ is there is blessing.  To be blessed we have but to draw near to Him. 

Joseph’s concern for his father is disclosed in his question, “Doth my father yet live?”  Jacob here represents the believing Jews still dwelling amongst the nations at the end of the Tribulation, but who will then be gathered back to Palestine to enjoy millennial blessing.  Joseph’s question tells us of Christ’s love for the nation represented by Jacob. 

“His brethren ... were troubled (terrified) at his presence.”  This calls to mind the words of Re 1:7, “Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him.  And they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him.”  There had been confession of their sin, though at the time when the confession was made they didn’t know that Joseph understood their speech, “And they said ... we are verily guilty concerning our brother” (Ge 42:21), and again in chapter 44:16, “God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants.”  The first confession represents that of the sinner awakened and ready to be saved; the second, that of the sinner already saved.  There was a measure of fear connected with both, but it was as nothing compared to the fear that gripped them as they stood face to face with the Joseph they had hated and sold, but who was now revealed also as the ruler of Egypt.  This points to the experience of the remnant at the moment of Christ’s appearing at the end of the Tribulation.  It is one thing to confess sin to a Christ trusted, but not actually seen; quite another to stand in the literal presence of that same Christ.  The glory of that Presence must surely strike fear into every heart, of believer and unbeliever alike.  Some-thing of the reverential fear that accompanies the display of Divine glory is revealed in Re 1:17 which records the experience of John, the beloved disciple, when brought into the presence of that glory, “And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead.”

45:4.  “And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you.  And they came near.  And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.”  

The order of Joseph’s words is instructive: the invitation to come near preceded the identification of himself as “your brother whom ye sold.”  The implication couldn’t be clearer: they were forgiven.  The reference to his having been sold was to identify, not to condemn.  In his gracious attitude we have a glimpse of the grace of Christ, not only to the Tribulation remnant, but to sinners everywhere. 

45:5.  “Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.”

There was no rancor on Joseph’s part, but rather a concern that they should suffer no further distress on account of their past wrong.  This foreshadows the attitude of God towards Israel after they had crucified Christ, when Peter declared, “And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers.  But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all His prophets, that Christ should suffer, He hath so fulfilled” (Ac 3:17,18).

Since the Tribulation (the prelude to millennial blessing) will be but the long-delayed fulfillment of what could have been immediately after the crucifixion, this gracious attitude of Joseph to his brethren (and of God to Israel during the probationary period of the early Apostolic age) points us to the grace that will be shown to Israel in the Tribulation.  Joseph understood that everything which had befallen him had been by Divine appointment, reminding us that all that befell Christ at His first advent was also by Divine appointment.  In the case of Joseph it was to save his family from physical death; but in the case of Christ it was to save His “family” (Israel), and all men, from spiritual death. 

45:6.  “For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall be neither earing nor harvest.”

Those first two years represent the Tribulation, the number two marking that era as one of testimony particularly to Israel, but also to the nations.    

The remaining five years of famine portray the interval that will elapse between the end of the Tribulation and the setting up of the millennial kingdom, for it is to be remembered that during those five years Jacob and his family would be in Goshen preserved from the rigors of the famine until the time when there would again be harvests, and they would enjoy Goshen’s abundance, that land being itself a type of millennial Canaan.

That there will be such an interval is indicated in Ezekiel 39 where we read of seven months being used to bury the dead resulting from the Armageddon conflict, and seven years for the gathering and burning of the discarded weapons.

A careful study of Scripture indicates that no dispensation comes to an abrupt end, but rather that there is, in fact, an interval of transition in which the old gives place to the new.  Others, including Dr. E. Shuyler English, in his introduction to the Scofield Reference Bible, page seven, have noted this.  The age of law, for example, was phased out, and the age of grace introduced during the thirty-eight years between the crucifixion in AD 32, and the destruction of the Temple in AD 70.  Similarly, there will be an interval between the Rapture, and the beast’s signing the treaty with Israel, which will begin the Tribulation.  Another such interval is mentioned between the end of the Millennium and the destruction of the present earth and heavens, see Re 20:7-15. 

45:7.  “And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.”

The words “to preserve you a posterity” direct the thoughts to future generations in which their own lives would be perpetuated.  It carries us beyond the preservation of Jacob’s family through Joseph, to the eternal preservation of the nation of Israel through the Lord Jesus Christ.  It tells us also of the eternal preservation of every man who trusts in Christ.

“In the earth” has special significance for the believing Tribulation remnant, and for the saved Gentiles also of that period.  Those found alive on the earth at the end of the Tribulation will remain on the earth for a thousand years to enjoy the blessings of an earth in subjection to the Lord-Jesus Christ.  Then they, too, will enter into the enjoyment of eternal blessings when a new heavens and a new earth will replace these present ones, as it is written,  “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away” (Re 21:1).

“And to save your lives by a great deliverance.”  That great deliverance accomplished through Joseph’s sufferings, is but a picture of the greater deliverance accomplished through Christ’s greater sufferings. 

45:8.  “So now 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.”

Joseph, in retrospect, saw in all that had befallen him, the working of God for the preservation of Jacob’s family.  Christ, in prospect, saw that by means of His death at Calvary, God would preserve, not only the remnant of Israel, but also every believing man and woman from every nation on earth. 

The word that is here translated “father” means not only literally father or ancestor, but also source, and that is what is meant here: God had made Joseph the source of wisdom to Pharaoh.  Since Pharaoh was the king of Egypt, but ruling according to Joseph’s word, we see in this the truth that though men may occupy the thrones of earth, they rule only by God’s permission, and even their rebellion is made to serve His purposes. 

As we have noted already, however, Pharaoh in this present context, is also a type of God the Father, so that Joseph’s having been made “lord of all his house” reminds us that the Father has made the Lord Jesus Christ Lord “over His own (God’s) house” (Heb 3:6).  And Joseph’s having been made “ruler throughout all the land of Egypt,” assures us that Christ has been made Ruler of what Egypt represents - the world. 

45:9.  “Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me ruler of all Egypt: come down unto me, tarry not.”

This points to the regathering of the remainder of converted Israel from among the nations into the land of Canaan after the Tribulation. 

A word of explanation may be in order here to answer the question, Since Jacob was already in Canaan, how can his going out of it to Goshen in Egypt represent the regathering of the remnant into Canaan?  The Canaan from which they were being called was a land of famine, and as such is an apt picture of the Canaan where some of the remnant will be at the end of the Tribulation, the rest being still scattered among the Gentiles - a place also of famine.  It must be remembered that Jacob was in Canaan, not as the possessor of the land, but as a pilgrim sojourning among the Canaanites.  It is as such that Israel sojourns among the Gentiles today.  Her jurisdiction over the earth will not come until the Millennium.  Those already in Canaan at the end of the Tribulation will be brought into a new, transformed millennial Canaan, represented by Goshen, the best part of Egypt, as will also those brought back from their sojourning among the Gentiles.  It is from that famine-stricken place that Christ will regather them.  It should be noted also that while certainly they went to Egypt, type of the world, it is emphasized that they went to a particular part of it - Goshen, the best part.  Egypt represents the world, and as Goshen was the best part of Egypt, so, in the Millennium, will Canaan be the best part of the whole earth. 

“Come down unto me, tarry not,” points prophetically to the Lord’s call to the saved remnant of Israel scattered amongst the Gentile nations after the Tribulation, to come to Canaan.  But clearly it is also an Old Testament type of Christ’s call to sinners through the Gospel, “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden” (Mt 11:28).  And as it was with Joseph’s invitation, so is it with Christ’s: there is urgency.  Joseph’s “tarry not” is Christ’s, “Behold, now is the accepted time” (2 Co 6:2); “Boast not thyself of tomorrow, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth” (Pr 27:1). 

45:10.  “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.”

Goshen means drawing near, and as the dwelling place of Joseph’s reconciled brethren, is a picture of the state of the redeemed remnant in the Millennium.  They, too, will dwell in the best part of the millennial earth, and they will be near to Christ. 

Near as those reconciled brethren were, however, there was one nearer than they - Asenath, the Gentile bride given Joseph during the time of his rejection by his brethren.  So will it be in the Millennium.  Near as redeemed Israel will be, nearer still will be the redeemed of this present age, the Bride given Christ during the time of His rejection by His Jewish “brethren.”

The Gentiles, however, are also to be blessed in the Millennium, and this is portrayed by the blessings enjoyed by the Egyptians under Joseph’s wise administration. 

As the reference to succeeding generations speaks of the long duration of Israel’s millennial blessings, the inclusion of flocks and herds declares that there will be blessing for the creature creation as well as for man during those years.  The carnivores will become herbivorous, as it is written, “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.  And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: the lion shall eat straw like the ox” (Isa 10:6-7).

45:11.  “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.”

As was suggested in our study of verse six, the two years of famine already past represent the Trib-ulation era; and the remaining five, the interval that will elapse between the end of the Tribulation and the establishment of the millennial kingdom.

45:12.  “And, behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that it is my mouth that speaketh unto you.”

There could be no denying the evidence of their eyes: they were seeing what they would have said was impossible.  They had never expected to see Joseph again, and if that were impossible, how much more impossible that they should see him again as the ruler of Egypt!  This foreshadows the coming experience, not only of the remnant at the second advent, but of all the nations, “Behold, He cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him” (Re 1:7).

Whatever else may be embodied in this symbolic picture, one thing is certain: the consternation of those ten brothers is as nothing compared to the terror that will grip the hearts of the unsaved on that day “When the Lord Jesus Christ shall be revealed ... in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Th 1:7,8). 

45:13.  “And ye shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that ye have seen; and ye shall haste to bring down my father hither.”

Returning to the original symbolic picture pres-ented in this section: these brethren seem to represent the first converts of the Tribulation age, while the remainder of the family still in Canaan represent the rest of the Jews converted during those seven years.  Joseph’s revelation of himself therefore, represents Christ’s revelation of Himself at the second advent, to the converted Jews then in Jerusalem.  His despatching his brothers to fetch his father, portrays the truth declared often in the Old Testament, that after the Tribulation, the Jews will be gathered back to Palestine from all the countries among which they have been scattered.  Since all unbelieving Jews and Gentiles will then have been banished from the earth, these Jews will be believers.  Of many Old Testament passages which refer to this future regathering of the saved Jews, Isa 66:20 may be cited, “And they shall bring your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the Lord.”

45:14.  “And he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck, and wept, and Benjamin wept upon his neck.”

Since Christ is represented by both Joseph and Benjamin, this joyful weeping of the two brothers portrays the joy that will be Christ’s on that day when He and the saved remnant stand face to face.

45:15.  “Moreover he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them: and after that his brethren talked with him.”

All the “rough speaking” was ended, its purpose had been accomplished: Joseph and his brethren were reconciled.  Their talking speaks of communion.  It isn’t difficult to see in this the foreshadowing of the joyful communion between Christ and the remnant when the “rough speaking” of the Tribulation judgments will have accomplished its purpose. 

45:16.  “And the fame thereof was heard in Pharaoh’s house, saying, Joseph’s brethren are come: and it pleased Pharaoh well, and his servants.”

We have noted already in our discussion of verse two that this portrays the united celebration of heaven and earth at the reconciliation of Christ and the remnant at the end of the Tribulation. 

45:17.  “And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Say unto thy brethren, This do ye; lade your beasts, and go, get you unto the land of Canaan.”

Clearly Pharaoh here continues to be a type of God the Father, so that his commanding the brethren points to the end of the Tribulation when God will command the remnant in Palestine to go and bring to Canaan their brethren who will still be among the nations. 

A word of explanation is necessary here.  When the Lord returns in glory at the end of the Tribulation, He will destroy the rebel armies that will have assembled in Palestine.  This destruction will be the climax of the campaign of Armageddon.  (That what is usually called the battle of Armageddon, is more a campaign than a battle, has been very fully discussed in his excellent book Things to Come, by Dr. Dwight Pentecost, a book which should be read by anyone interested in prophecy).  It would appear that the next stage of God’s program will be the judgment of the nations, following the Lord’s destruction of the Gentile armies at the conclusion of the Armageddon campaign.  That judgment of Israel, and of the nations, will be to separate unbelievers from believers, the former being banished from the earth, and the latter remaining to enter the millennial kingdom. 

On the basis of Mt 25:32, “And before him shall be gathered all nations, and he shall separate them one from another....” it has been concluded that this separating judgment requires the literal gathering of the nations to one specific place, and on the basis of Joel 3:2, “I will gather also all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people....” it has been assumed that this valley of Jehoshaphat will be that place.  Not all, however, make that assumption.  Many exegetes understand Joel 3:2 as referring to the assembling of the armies of the nations for the Armageddon campaign, not for the judgment of the nations following the Lord’s destruction of those armies.  Mt 24:40,41 must also be considered, “There shall two be in the field, the one shall be taken, and the other left.  Two women shall be grinding at the mill, the one shall be taken and the other left.” These verses indicate that the Lord’s judgmental separation of the believers from the unbelievers will not require the assembling of the nations to a specific place, but, rather, that that judgment will be similar to the Rapture, the only difference being that at the Rapture the one taken will be the believer taken to heaven, but at the second advent, the one taken away will be the unbeliever banished to hell, while the one left will be the believer about to enjoy millennial blessings. 

If this latter interpretation is correct, and it seems to be, it would explain the necessity of having to bring the believing Jews out of the nations into Palestine following the judgment of the nations after Armageddon, a regathering that is declared literally in Isa 66:20, and symbolically here in Ge 45:17. 

45:18.    “And take your father and your households, and come unto me: and I will give you the good of the land of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the land.”

This foreshadows God’s calling the remnant back from amongst the Gentiles, to Canaan after the Tribulation, into the enjoyment of millennial blessings. 

45:19.  “Now thou art commanded, this do ye, take you wagons out of the land of Egypt for your little ones, and for your wives, and bring your father, and come.”

The fact that they were commanded reminds us of the character of the millennial age: it will be one in which the Lord Jesus Christ will rule the nations with a rod of iron.  Unlike this present age of grace, in which God has been patient with human rebellion, there will be no toleration of any rebellion in the Millennium.  Much of the blessedness of that age will flow from the Lord’s refusal to brook rebellion, and we shouldn’t miss the practical implication of that fact:  man’s greatest blessing in any age stems from total submission to God’s will. 

In their being commanded to take wagons out of the land of Egypt to bring their families, we may see in symbol the changed attitude of the world towards Israel in the Millennium.  The nations, which for so long have used their resources against her, will then use those same resources to serve her. 

45:20.  “Also regard not your stuff, for the good of all the land of Egypt is yours.”

We have noted already, that in the present context, Jacob’s family in famine-stricken Canaan, is a picture of Israel today, and as she will be in the Tribulation, experiencing spiritual famine in the midst of the nations among which she has been scattered for these past two thousand years.  The paltriness of what she now possesses, as compared with what she will have in the Millennium, is indicated in the words “regard not your stuff.”

We shouldn’t miss the practical application of this to our own lives.  The earthly pleasures and treasures for which men today sell their souls, will be seen in the light of eternity to be but worthless baubles.  That command to Joseph’s brethren long ago has been preserved on the page of Scripture for our encouragement.  God commands us, “Regard not your stuff.”  The best of heaven is ours for ever. 

45:21.  “And the children of Israel did so: and Joseph gave them wagons, according to the commandment of Pharaoh, and gave them provision for the way.”

Significantly, they are called “the children of Israel,” rather than “the sons of Jacob,” for Jacob is associated with the old nature, as Israel is with the new.  These brethren represent part of the converted remnant. 

Joseph’s giving them wagons and provisions to bring their father and families down to him, tells us of the Lord’s provision, after the Tribulation, for the gathering of the remnant from their long dispersion among the nations, into the enjoyment of the millennial kingdom. 

“According to the word of Pharaoh” reminds us that as Joseph was subject to Pharaoh, so will Christ, in the Millennium, continue to be subject to the Father. 

45:22.  “To all of them he gave each man changes of raiment, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver, and five changes of raiment.”

Raiment is always the Biblical symbol of right-eousness, either the righteousness of Christ that clothes the believer, or the filthy rags of self-righteousness that are unacceptable to God.  These changes of raiment therefore, given by Joseph, speak clearly of the righteousness of Christ bestowed on the believing remnant.

Whatever other reasons there may be for Benjamin’s being given greater gifts, one certainly is obvious: he is a type of Christ, and inasmuch as he was given three hundred pieces of silver and five changes of raiment, we are being shown in symbol that the glory which is now Christ’s is the reward of His death and resurrection to make possible man’s redemption from the consequences of sin.  This is the lesson of the three (number of resurrection) hundred pieces of silver (emblem of redemption).  The five (number of responsibility) changes of raiment remind us that His present glory is the reward of responsibility Godward and manward perfectly fulfilled.

A further practical lesson is that as the believers of this present age will be rewarded according to the faithfulness of their earthly service, so will be also the believers of the Tribulation age.  Benjamin therefore, may also represent those of the remnant who will have earned a better reward than their fellows. 

45:23.  “And to his father he sent after this manner; ten asses laden with the good things of Egypt, and ten she asses laden with corn and bread and meat for his father by the way.”

This verse is rich in instruction as to the blessings that will be Israel’s in the Millennium.  Ten and twelve are both governmental numbers, but whereas twelve is always related to those who are governed, ten relates to God as the Governor.  There being ten he asses and ten she asses, then, speaks of Divine government.  That government will be strictly enforced in the Millennium.  Since the male speaks of activity of the will; and the female, of passivity, there being ten of each would remind us that all activity will be according to God’s will.  Overt rebellion will bring death in the Millennium.

The ass represents man’s natural body, the wild ass portraying its activity in the gratification of uncontrolled lusts, and the domesticated ass portraying it under at least some measure of moral restraint, its lusts in some measure at least under control.  These asses, then, carrying the good things of Egypt to Jacob’s house, and to be used also undoubtedly to transport his stuff into Egypt, may represent the Gentiles obedient to God’s government, going to bring the scattered remnant from among the nations, into Canaan at the beginning of the Millennium.  That the Gentiles will engage in such service is made clear in Isa 66:20, for example, “And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the Lord, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord.”

But whereas the he asses carried the good things of Egypt, the ten she asses were laden with “corn and bread and meat,” and since these things are the symbols of the Word as the believer’s spiritual food, the picture is of the abundance of that food in the Millennium, not in there being any more of Scripture, but in there being a greater measure both of under-standing and obedience.

Since what the she asses carried represents what is spiritual rather than temporal, one lesson at least is that it isn’t only by human endeavor, but by quiet submission, that spiritual enrichment comes.

Since the asses carrying the good things of Egypt were males, the spiritual lesson is that man will enjoy the abundance of the millennial earth only in proportion to the diligence (activity) of his husbandry.  Dispensations change, but Divine principles don’t: it will be as true in the Millennium as in any other age, “That if any would not work, neither should he eat” (2 Th 3:10). 

45:24.  “So he sent his brethren away, and they departed: and he said unto them, See that ye fall not out by the way.”

One obvious reason for the injunction was the superior gifts given to Benjamin.  Those gifts might well have aroused their envy.  The practical application is too plain to miss.  God has endowed each believer with a spiritual gift, but those gifts differ, and it is that matter of difference that has caused many brethren to “fall out by the way.”

The differences are occasioned by the differing needs of the Church, because it is for the upbuilding of the Church that the gifts are given, as is made clear in 1 Co 12-14.  Man, however, lacking God’s perception of the needs of the Church, doesn’t     always see that all the gifts are necessary, and the result is that he begins to discriminate, and that foolish discrimination produces envy of those who are thought to have “more important” gifts.  The admonition “See that ye fall not out by the way,” is as necessary today as when it was given to Joseph’s brethren long ago.

45:25.  “And they went up out of Egypt, and came into the land of Canaan unto Jacob their father.”

So apparently, will some of the remnant in Palestine at the time of the second advent, together with many Gentiles, go to the nations to bring their brethren, the remainder of the remnant, into that good land promised to Abraham.  The practical implication, of course, is that we, too, should be willing to spend time and effort in bringing our brethren “from among the nations,” that is, from unnecessary involvement with the things of earth, into the full enjoyment of “Goshen,” their spiritual inheritance that can be enjoyed here on earth.  The same principle applies also to those who are not our brethren, that is, the unsaved.  Christ has sent us to the nations so that others may be brought into “Goshen,” the kingdom.  “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mk 16:15). 

45:26.  “And told him, saying, Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt.  And Jacob’s heart fainted, for he believed them not.”

It is significant that here where his unbelief is being set before us, his name Jacob is used.  The old nature which the Jacob name represents, even in a believer, can’t comprehend spiritual truth.  As there are today many believers who fail to grasp the magni-tude of the blessings that are theirs in Christ, so also after the Tribulation there will be believers lacking that knowledge, and in the present context Jacob represents them.

The report so far surpassed Jacob’s wildest hopes that he couldn’t believe it.  So will it be, not only with the scattered remnant in the period between the end of the Tribulation and the establishment of the millennial kingdom, but with every believer.  On that day when we stand face to face with the Lord Jesus Christ, then will we exclaim, as did the queen of Sheba, “I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and behold, the half was not told me” (1 Ki  10:7).  “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him” (1 Co 2:9). 

45:27.  “And they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said unto them: and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived.”

He continues to be described as Jacob rather than Israel, reminding us that the remnant, though saved, will be still an earthly people, rather than a heavenly, throughout the Millennium.  As with the earthly experience of the believers of this present age, the new Israel nature will dwell in the bodies of millennial age believers side by side with the old Jacob nature, until that day when the millennial earthly blessings will be superseded by the heavenly.  It wasn’t until he saw the wagons that Jacob’s spirit revived.  The old nature knows nothing of the principle of faith, it must see “the wagons,” it is sensual, knowing only what can be perceived by the senses.  The believing remnant, even in the Millennium, will be a people in earthly bodies, enjoying earthly blessings, until the day the Millennium ends, and they exchange earth for heaven.  The old Jacob nature remains with all believers of every age during their earthly lives. 

45:28.  “And Israel said, It is enough, Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die.”

As if to remind us that the remnant represented by this man has spiritual life also, God uses also the spiritual name, Israel.  Jacob may require sight of the wagons to convince him, but Israel, though not yet having seen Joseph, believes him to be alive.  That is faith, for “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb 11:1). The remnant, though on earth, and enjoying earthly blessings in the Millennium, will be nonetheless, a people possessing also spiritual life.  When the Millennium ends they will enter heaven. 

[Genesis 46]



     Scripture portions taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version
© 2000-2005 James Melough