“But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that this day should overtake you like a thief.” 1 Thessalonians 5:4
In analyzing the patriarchs and the unfolding plan of God, primary focus here was placed upon Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their counterparts. This carried the eras of God’s plan from Israel and the Law through Jesus the Messiah and the taking out of a special bride for him, which is known as the Church. This then ended with Jacob and the time still to come, known as the Tribulation or the 70th Week of Daniel. However, in the diagram, the last significant person of Genesis was omitted and that was Joseph.
Joseph is a clear parallel of Jesus and much focus is upon his suffering. But which advent does Joseph most clearly demonstrate? At 17 years of age, Joseph becomes favored in his standing with Israel (Jacob). However, Joseph has the dream where his father, mother, and eleven brothers will one day bow down to him. When he tells them this, they turn on him and hate him. His brothers then sell him into slavery and fake his death to deceive Jacob (Israel). So then, Joseph’s story does parallel the story of Jesus as to his suffering by his own family and the following deception, but the emphasis of this story is Joseph’s prophetic dream of his family one day bowing down to him.
As we think of current history, Israel still believes, if at all, that Jesus is dead and not alive. We still wait for Israel to believe in Jesus and worship him as an entire nation. Though Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father, that fact is currently lost to Israel. What causes Joseph’s family to return to him? That would be the period of seven years of famine, much like the period of seven years that the nation of Israel will endure to return them as a whole to the Messiah. In the end, like the story of Joseph, they will all bow down and all will be forgiven. Joseph, like Jesus, then continues his rule and fulfills the meaning of his name–He shall enlarge. Much like Israel grew in Goshen, so will Israel grow in the Millennium under the leadership of the Messiah.
The prophecy of Joseph is then the nation of Israel falling down to honor him, which will be true of Israel at the Second Coming of Christ. As Jacob represents redeemed Israel, then Joseph represents the Redeemer realized by his people of Israel.