Parashat Mikets - December 16th

מקץ Mikets

Genesis 41.1 — Genesis 44.17

Joseph as a type of the Messiah in Parashat Mikets

Genesis 41.14: Joseph is brought up from the “bor” (pit); so too the Messiah will be raised from the “bor,” which is the grave (see Isaiah 38.18; Ezekiel 32.23-24; Psalms 30.4; 88.4-7).

Genesis 41.15-16: Joseph gives God the credit and speaks in his name. Jesus did the same: John 5.19-20 and 14.24

Genesis 41.39-41: Joseph was brought out of prison and raised to the right hand of the king, receiving all authority. Compare Psalms 110.1, “sit at my right hand,” speaking of the Messiah. And Jesus said “all authority is given to me” (Matthew 28.18). He also said (Matthew 26.64) “you will see the son of man sitting at the right hand of power,” an allusion to Daniel 7.13-14.

Genesis 41.42: Joseph is clothed in Egyptian (Gentile) clothes, so much so that his brothers will not recognize him. So it happened with Jesus, taken by the Gentiles, wrapped in garments of foreign custom.

Genesis 41.46: Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh, the age at which a man may begin priestly service (Numbers 4.3). Jesus was “about thirty years old” when he began his ministry (Luke 3.23).




Genesis 43.16-17, 24-25, 31-34:

“When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, ‘Bring the men into the house, and slaughter an animal and make ready, for the men are to dine with me at noon.’ The man did as Joseph bade him, and brought the men to Joseph’s house. . . . And when the man had brought the men into Joseph’s house, and given them water, and they had washed their feet, and when he had given their asses provender, they made ready the present for Joseph’s coming at noon, for they heard that they should eat bread there. . . . Then he washed his face and came out; and controlling himself he said, ‘Let food be served.’ They served him by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because the Egyptians might not eat bread with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians. And they sat before him, the first-born according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth; and the men looked at one another in amazement. Portions were taken to them from Joseph’s table, but Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as any of theirs. So they drank and were merry with him.”

Here again we see a parallel between Joseph and Jesus. Joseph had been abandoned by his brothers. They assumed that he was dead, even though he was actually alive. Not only was Joseph alive, but he had been exalted to the right hand of the power of the kingdom of Pharaoh. Now the time is approaching when he will reveal himself to them. In preparation for that moment, he invites them to sit down and eat with them.

When we come to the table of communion, we do so as sinners who have betrayed our Lord, who is also our brother. He has already reconciled us to himself, and this meal with him is when we recall what he has done, on his initiative, to make peace with us. Like Joseph, he has forgiven us for what we did to him.




Genesis 44.1-2: “Then he commanded the steward of his house, ‘Fill the men's sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put each man's money in the mouth of his sack, and put my cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest, with his money for the grain.’ And he did as Joseph told him.”

Joseph’s cup plays an important part in the story and points to the Messiah. Cups are used symbolically in scripture, often for God’s will or what God purposes in a person’s life (see, for example, Psalms 11.6; 16.5; Luke 22.42; John 18.11). In a broader sense, the cup is God’s revelation. Joseph’s cup, in his Egyptian context, was used for discerning the will of his gods.

Benjamin can be seen as a representative of the people. He is “the son of [Jacob’s] right hand,” that is, he represented his father Israel. Benjamin also represents Jerusalem, which will be in his tribal area. When Joseph has his cup put into the sack of Benjamin, we can see it as representing God’s revelation to the people of Israel. God sent prophets to the people, but they rejected them. Joseph’s brothers had rejected God’s revelation through dreams. The cup of Joseph points to the guilt of the brothers in how they have treated him. This act of Joseph is part of the process of bringing the rest of the sons of Jacob/Israel to repentance.



Haftarah: Zechariah 2:10 - 4:7 (in the Hebrew text Zech. 2:14 - 4:7)


Shabbat Shalom!

All material copyright © 2017, unless stated otherwise for specific material