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Bible Dictionaries

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary

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The well known son of Jacob, whose history we have in Genesis from the thirtieth chapter to the end of the book. This made, in the margin of the Bible, is Adding—from Jasaph, to increase. It were needless to enter particulars of Joseph's history, when the Bible hath given it so beautifully. But perhaps it may not be an unacceptable service to observe on the history of this patriarch, what a remarkable character he is, and in what numberless instances he appears as a type of Christ: taken altogether, perhaps the greatest in the whole Scriptures. I shall particularize in a few leading features.

As Joseph was the beloved son of Jacob, and distinguished by his father with special tokens, of his affection, and which excited the envy of his brethren; so Christ, the beloved and only begotten son of God, by means of that distinguishing token of JEHOVAH, in setting him up, the Head of his body the church, and giving him a kingdom, in his glorious character of Mediator, called forth, as is most generally believed, that war we read of in heaven in the original rebellion of angels. (See Revelation 12:1-17) The coat of many colours Joseph wore might not unaptly be said to represent the several offices of the Lord Jesus when on earth—his prophetical, priestly, and kingly character. The dreams of Joseph, implying his superiority over his brethren and his father's house, interpreted with an eye to Christ, are very striking circumstances of the preeminency of his character. Of him, indeed, might the prophecy of Jacob respecting Judah be fully applied: "Thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies, and thy father's children shall bow down be fore thee." (Genesis 49:8) The mission of Joseph to his brethren, by the father, to see if they were well, and how they fared, (Genesis 37:14) is a striking representation of the mission of God's dear Son to this our world. He came indeed, not only to seek, but to save that which was lost; but like another Joseph, the treatment he received corresponded in all points, only in an infinitely higher degree of baseness and cruelty. They sold Joseph for a slave, for twenty pieces of silver, and he was carried down into Egypt, and from the pit and the prison he arose, by divine favour, to be Governor over the whole land. But our Joseph was not only sold for thirty pieces of silver, but at length crucified and slain, and from the grave which he made with the wicked and with the rich in his death, by his resurrection and ascension, at the right hand of power, he is become the universal and eternal Governor both of heaven and earth.

The temptations of Joseph, by the wife of Potiphar, bear no very distant resemblance to the temptations of the Lord Jesus by Satan. The trial to the one, was the lusts of the flesh; the trial to the other, was the pride of life. But the grace imparted to Joseph, to repel the temptation, and the punishment he suffered by a false imputation, very beautifully set forth the innocency of Christ triumphing over the Devil's temptation in the wilderness, and the imputation of our sin to Jesus, who himself bore our sins in his own body on the tree, though himself without sin, neither was guile found in his mouth. In the exaltation of Joseph at the right hand of Pharaoh, and all the famished country coming to him for bread, we behold a lovely type, indeed, of our Almighty Joseph exalted at the right hand of God, and dispensing blessings of grace and mercy in the living bread, which is himself, to a famished world. And as then the Zapnathpaaneah of Egypt revealed secrets, and the cry was, Go unto Joseph, what he saith unto you do: so now, in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, we do, indeed, behold our Wonderful Counsellor, who hath made known to us his and his Father's will, and the one desire of every soul is, to go unto Jesus, whatsoever he saith unto us is blessed, and our duty to obey.

In the going down of Israel into Egypt with all his house, constrained by famine to seek bread-what a striking portrait is here also drawn of the true Israel of God, constrained by the famine of soul to seek to Jesus for supply. And though like the brethren of Joseph, little do we at first know, that the Lord of the country is our brother, though in the first awakenings of spiritual want the Governor may seem with us, as Joseph did to them, to speak roughly; yet when the whole comes to be opened tour view, and Jesus is indeed discovered to be Lord of all the land, how, like Joseph's brethren, are we immediately made glad, and eat and drink at his table with him, forgetting all past sorrow in present joy, and partaking of that "bread of life, of which whosoever eateth shall live forever!" Such, among many other striking particularities, are the incidents in the history of the patriarch Joseph, which are highly typical of Christ.

Under the article of Joseph we must not forget to observe, that there are several more of the name mentioned in Scripture, and of some importance:

·Joseph the husband of Mary, the mother of the Lord Jesus Christ, Matthew 1:15; Mat 1:18.

·Joseph, or Joses, son of Mary and Cleophas, supposed to be one of those who did not at first believe on Christ, but was afterwards converted, John 7:5.

·Joseph, called Barsabas, a candidate for the apostleship with Matthias. See Acts 1:23.

·Joseph of Arimathea, John 19:38.

·Joseph, husband to Salome.

Bibliography Information
Hawker, Robert D.D. Entry for 'Joseph'. Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance and Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​pmd/​j/joseph.html. London. 1828.
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