Joseph, Judah and Jesus

(Commentary on Genesis 44:18-34)

Does it mean anything that the last act of Joseph's brothers before he reveals himself to them, is Judah interceding for his brother?

More often than not, to ask the "Is this significant?" question of Scripture is to answer it, "Yes."

After all, it's Judah's Offspring who intercedes for His brothers and gets us off the hook with the Lord. Joseph I think meant to be gracious all along, but he certainly had a way of convicting his brothers of their sin against him. Perhaps the same could be said of God concerning us...

Now read this passage from Hebrews, thinking of Jesus, compared with Judah, interceding for his brother's life.

Hebrews 2:11-18
He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying:

“I will declare Your name to My brethren;
In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.”
[Psalm 22:22]

And again:
“I will put My trust in Him.” [Isaiah 8:17; Psalm 18:2; 2 Sam 22:3]

And again:
“Here am I and the children whom God has given Me.” [Isaiah 8:18]

Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.


  1. Great job at seeing Christ in the Old Testament. Sadly in our current seminary educations we are taught that we shouldn't do that, and so in our Old Testament sermons we end up with something that could be preached in most Jewish Synagogues with no complaint. We need to continue to remember that the Old Testament speaks of Christ and preach him from there. Thank-you for this.

  2. Yep. I've become convinced that the Joseph narrative is true on two levels. There is the compelling personal narrative of Joseph, and the Lord's care for him.

    Then, there is the transformation of Judah from rapist and wicked brother to spokesman and would-be redeemer. In short, it's a great account of the individual and his relationship to God, and the outworking of God's covenantal plan in his corporate people.