Genesis 49:22-26; Deuteronomy 33:13-17; Genesis 37-50; Exodus 13:19; Numbers 13:7; 1 Chronicles 25:2,9; Ezra 10:42; Nehemiah 12:14; Matthew 1; Luke 3; Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3; Matthew 1:16-25; Matthew 2:13,19; Luke 1:27; Luke 2:4-43; Luke 3:23; Luke 4:22; John 1:45; John 6:42; Isaiah 53:9; Matthew 27:57,59; Mark 15:43; Luke 23:50; John 19:38; Luke 3:24,26,30; Acts 1:23
1. Eleventh son of Jacob and first of Rachel. The interesting history of Joseph is too well known to need being given in its detail, but attention should be given to the many respects in which Joseph was a striking type of the Lord Jesus. He was the beloved one of his father: this with the intimations given to him of his future position, destined for him by God in the midst of his family, stirred up the envy of his brethren and resulted in his being sold to the Gentiles: as the Lord was hated by His brethren the Jews, and sold by one of them. Joseph was accounted as dead. He was brought very low, being cast into prison, under a false accusation against him because he would not sin: his feet were “made fast in the stocks,” and the iron entered his soul: in all these circumstances he was foreshadowing the Lord in His humiliation.
On the elevation of Joseph to power he was unknown to his brethren, as the Lord in exaltation is now to His brethren after the flesh. During this time he had a Gentile wife and children and became “fruitful”: so while the Lord is rejected by the Jews, God is gathering from the nations a people for His name. Joseph ruled over the Gentiles, as the Lord will do. Then all Joseph’s brethren bowed down to him, as eventually all the twelve tribes will bow down to the Lord. This is followed by all the descendants of Jacob being placed in a fruitful part of the country, as the nation will be gathered to the pleasant land in the millennium.
The beautiful and touching way in which Joseph dealt with his brethren, will be repeated in a magnified way by the Lord’s tender and loving dealing with the remnant of Judah when they come to speak to Him about the wounds in His hands, and to mourn over the way He was treated by them. They will then see that, notwithstanding their hatred, He laid the foundation in His death for their future blessing.
When Jacob prophetically blessed His sons, Joseph had a prominent place (Gen. 49:22-2622Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall: 23The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him: 24But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:) 25Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb: 26The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren. (Genesis 49:22‑26)). He was to be very fruitful, with branches running over the wall: so the blessing of Israel through Christ extends to the Gentiles. He was sorely grieved, hated, and shot at, as was the Lord; but his bow abode in strength, and from him was the shepherd, the stone of Israel (two titles of the Lord). Then the blessings of heaven and of the deep, of the breasts and of the womb, are multiplied on the head and on the crown of Joseph, as the one separated from his brethren: all foreshadowing, though to be far exceeded by, the many crowns and the glory in heaven and on earth of the true Nazarite, now sanctified in heavenly glory, the Lord Jesus. For the blessing by Moses compare Deuteronomy 33:13-1713And of Joseph he said, Blessed of the Lord be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath, 14And for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon, 15And for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills, 16And for the precious things of the earth and fulness thereof, and for the good will of him that dwelt in the bush: let the blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of the head of him that was separated from his brethren. 17His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh. (Deuteronomy 33:13‑17). Joseph, when about to die, had faith that God would surely deliver Israel from Egypt and gave directions concerning his bones (Gen. 37-50; Exod. 13:1919And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you. (Exodus 13:19)). For the Egyptian king under whom it is supposed that Joseph lived, see EGYPT.
4. One who had married a strange wife (Ezra 10:4242Shallum, Amariah, and Joseph. (Ezra 10:42)).
5. Priest “of Shebaniah” who returned from exile (Neh. 12:1414Of Melicu, Jonathan; of Shebaniah, Joseph; (Nehemiah 12:14)).
6. Husband of Mary the mother of Jesus. He was “a just man,” and was obedient to the instructions he received from God as to his wife, and in protecting the infant Jesus. He was of the house and lineage of David, his genealogy being given in Matthew 1 and perhaps in Luke 3. The visit to Jerusalem, when the Lord was twelve years old, is the last incident recorded of him. He is once called “the carpenter” (Matt. 13:5555Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? (Matthew 13:55)), as is the Lord also in Mark 6:33Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. (Mark 6:3). It was a custom for all Jews to learn a trade (Matt. 1:16-2516And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. 17So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations. 18Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 19Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. 20But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 21And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 22Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. 24Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: 25And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS. (Matthew 1:16‑25); Matt. 2:13,1913And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. (Matthew 2:13)
19But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, (Matthew 2:19)
; Luke 1:2727To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. (Luke 1:27); Luke 2:4-434And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. 8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. 15And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. 16And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 17And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. 18And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. 20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. 21And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb. 22And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; 23(As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) 24And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons. 25And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. 26And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ. 27And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, 28Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, 29Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: 30For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, 31Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; 32A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. 33And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. 34And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; 35(Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. 36And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; 37And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. 38And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem. 39And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth. 40And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him. 41Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. 42And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. 43And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. (Luke 2:4‑43); Luke 3:2323And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli, (Luke 3:23); Luke 4:2222And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son? (Luke 4:22); John 1:4545Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. (John 1:45); John 6:4242And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven? (John 6:42)).
11. Disciple, also called BARSABAS, surnamed JUSTUS, who, with Matthias, was selected as fit to take the place of Judas, but the lot fell on Matthias (Acts 1:2323And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. (Acts 1:23)).