Genesis 47:11 And Joseph placed his father and his brethren, and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded. 12 And Joseph nourished his father, and his brethren, and all his father’s household, with bread, according to their families.
Genesis 47:13 ¶ And there was no bread in all the land; for the famine was very sore, so that the land of Egypt and all the land of Canaan fainted by reason of the famine.
Genesis 47:27 ¶ And Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the country of Goshen; and they had possessions therein, and grew, and multiplied exceedingly. 28 And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years: so the whole age of Jacob was an hundred forty and seven years.
When Joseph sent his brothers back to their father Jacob in Canaan, in order to bring them all to Egypt, he promised that he would ‘nourish’ them there. Genesis 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: 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. And in our above listed text we find him doing exactly that.
Therefore he pictures our Lord Jesus Christ, nourishing his redeemed people. Yet Christ provides himself, as the Bread of heaven, to nourish our souls! John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. 58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live forever.
For as the family of Israel were come to live in a strange country, with different customs and different language, and were nourished by the sovereign of the land; so is every true believer, nourished spiritually by the presently reigning, sovereign Lord Jesus Christ in this present evil world! John 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
And it is the present exalted position of the Lord Christ, as the Light of the world, shining back into the situation of our text that gives understanding to Joseph’s responsibilities. Consider these verses: John 17:1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: 2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. This is the beginning of the great high priestly prayer that our Lord prayed at the hour of the cross. And we can clearly see the priorities of the Trinity regarding the cross and the atonement.
In verse one we see that the first priority is the glory of God! 1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Then we see in the first part of verse two that the second priority is the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power (or authority), is given unto me in heaven and in earth. He has been given all authority over all flesh! Then we see the third and final priority listed in the last part of verse two. It is to give eternal life – not to all flesh over which he sovereignly rules, – but to all those that the Father has given him!
So just as the Lord Jesus has power over all flesh, Joseph had all authority over all of Egypt. Genesis 41:41 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. But just like the Lord Jesus shall only give eternal life, not to every human being without exception, but to those given him by the Father, so Joseph has the responsibility to physically feed every soul in Egypt, but only invites the house of Israel to come dwell in Goshen, to be near him and be nourished by him personally!
These matters are clearly seen in our text, listed above. For in verses eleven, twelve, twenty seven and twenty eight we read of the special care given by Joseph to Jacob’s household. There is no mention of want. Psalm 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. The effect of the world-wide famine is of no concern to them, as they are being nourished by the sovereign of the land! Jeremiah 17:7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. 8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.
There is no mention of them concerned with the payment of taxes. Isaiah 55:1 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Salvation is not obtained by works, but by free grace alone! Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
And they do not lose their livestock, for in Psalm 107:38 we read, He blesseth them also, so that they are multiplied greatly; and suffereth not their cattle to decrease. 1 Corinthians 9:9 For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? 10 Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.
Yet in verse thirteen, at the beginning of Joseph’s dealings with the population of Egypt we read, of the shortage of bread. Then we read of the exhaustion of the Egyptian’s money, (47:14,15); the taking of their cattle and livestock, (47:16-18), and then the purchase of their lands and liberty, (47:20,21). And finally we read of the complete displacement of the Egyptian population from the rural to the urban lifestyle. For Joseph moved them off their farms, into the cities near the grain houses which stored all the corn he had accumulated during the seven years of plenty.
But in verse eleven of our text we read that the family of Israel were given Goshen, the best of the land, for a possession! For it was God himself who displaced Jacob and his family from Canaan into Egypt. For there he intended to develop them from just a family into being a great nation! Genesis 46:2 And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I. 3 And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation: 4 I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again: and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes.
And finally, we read that Joseph exacted upon all Egyptians a change in the law. Genesis 47:26 And Joseph made it a law over the land of Egypt unto this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth part; except the land of the priests only, which became not Pharaoh’s. And so the Lord Jesus Christ, our great High Priest, has made a change in the law, which has fulfilled it’s duty in bringing us to Him! Hebrews 7:11 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? 12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.
Galatians 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
So all Egyptians were fed and displaced by Joseph. They lost all they had. And they were thankful for his intervention! Genesis 47:25 And they said, Thou hast saved our lives: let us find grace in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh’s servants. Proverbs 11:25 The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself. 26 ¶ He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it.
And just as all the land of Egypt became Pharaoh’s, so all the land of Canaan became the Lords! Genesis 47:20 And Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh; for the Egyptians sold every man his field, because the famine prevailed over them: so the land became Pharaoh’s. Leviticus 25:23 The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners with me. Psalm 24:1 The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
And even so it is now with all the redeemed of God! 1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Joseph gave forth bread. The Lord Christ gives forth himself as our souls bread! John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
John 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (That is, he went to the cross to prepare them a place of redemption.) 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
And as God has given us himself, nothing else shall be retained from us that is necessary for life! Romans 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
Under this provision by Joseph, we read in verse twenty seven of our text that they multiplied exceedingly. And this was a mighty miracle from the Lord God! Exodus 1:7 And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them. 12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel.
Deuteronomy10:22 Thy fathers went down into Egypt with threescore and ten persons; and now the LORD thy God hath made thee as the stars of heaven for multitude. 26:5 And thou shalt speak and say before the LORD thy God, A Syrian ready to perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous:
Isaiah 54:1 Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD. 2 Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes; 3 For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.
And so it is with Christ! He is God’s one, single seed, planted, from which grows the entire church, world wide! Galatians 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. John 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
And even though the church was spoken of as only a “little flock,” it shall grow into a number that cannot be reckoned! Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Revelation 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
For it shall, like the mustard seed, grow into a mighty tree. Luke 13:18 Then said he, Unto what is the kingdom of God like? and whereunto shall I resemble it? 19 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it.
The church shall be drawn from “every kindred.” Revelation 5:9 …for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
Pastor Gene Breed