If you’ve ever attended Sunday School or have children or grandchildren who attend Sunday School, the “coat of many colors” probably rings a bell as the story of Joseph, the favored son of Israel (Jacob) that begins in Genesis 37. But there is so much more to the story of Joseph as a foreshadowing of the coming Messiah. If you’ve never heard the parallels before, read and be amazed!
- Both Joseph and Yahoshua (His Name means Salvation through YHWH) were the highly favored sons, beloved by their fathers. They were both firstborns, Joseph by Jacob’s Rachel and Yahoshua by the Virgin Mary. Their brothers hated them and conspired to kill them.
- Joseph was sold as a young slave for 20 pieces of silver while Yahoshua was betrayed for 30, the price of a mature slave.
- Both were stripped of their clothing, their robes covered in blood, and falsely accused. Joseph’s brothers threw him into an empty cistern while Yahoshua was placed in a tomb. Both were raised from those places.
- Joseph was 30 when he was placed into the service of Pharaoh, ultimately placed in a position to deliver his brothers, and revealed himself twice to his brothers. Yahoshua began His ministry at approximately age 30.
- Joseph’s name was changed by Pharaoh to “Tsofnat Paneach” which means “Decipherer of Secrets.” Yahoshua revealed His Father, first to the Jews and then to the Gentiles. And while many Jews and Gentiles have missed the Messiah the first time, He will be revealed - unmistakably - the second time.
- Joseph was given honor and glory by Pharaoh and made ruler over all Egypt. Yahoshua was crowned with honor and glory because of his suffering death (the Suffering Servant whom Joseph prefigures).
“But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.” Hebrews 2:9
And isn’t it so interesting that while Joseph’s life so closely parallels that of Yahoshua, still, our Messiah does not come from the line of Joseph?
Our Messiah will return, soon, as a Mighty Warrior (whom Joshua prefigures) first, and then as our King, Mashiach ben David (the Messiah King whom King David prefigures), Ruler over all and to whom every knee shall bow!
The multi-colored coat Joseph wore is only one small part of a bigger story. And within the bigger story of Joseph as a foreshadowing of the Messiah are the many prophecies, fulfilled and yet to be fulfilled, within the Tanahk. May Yahweh, in His infinite wisdom, give you ears to hear, eyes to see, and the desire to know Him better through His divinely-inspired Word.