Genesis 49:22-27i CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Joseph and Benjamin are the last two tribes about whom Jacob prophesies. Joseph’s prophecy typifies the life of a Christian and the ministry of Jesus Christ. Benjamin’s prophecy concerns the fierceness of his descendants.
Joseph as a fruitful bough is a type of Christian. As such, he is:
- Strong – Eph. 6:10. A bough is a large arm or branch of a tree.
- Fruitful – Jn. 15:1-8. Christians abiding in the vine are to bear much fruit.
- Sprit-filled – Jn. 4:14, 7:38-39. The well typifies the Holy Spirit.
- Unobstructed – Rom. 8:35-37. The wall represents obstacles over which the Christian runs.
The archers are typical of the antichrist and those who oppose Jesus and Christians. Notice the negative references in Rev. 6:1-2; Gen. 21:20; Jud. 5:11; 1 Sam. 31:3; 2 Chr. 35:23; and Job 16:10-13.
The strong bow and arms of Joseph are spoken of in David’s Psalm 18:34-43. They are a reference to Jesus.
The shepherd is a reference to Jesus in Jn. 10 and 1 Pet. 5:4.
The stone is a reference to Jesus in Dan. 2:34, 44; Matt. 21:42, 44; and 1 Pet. 2:6.
The blessings of Joseph include abundant rain, wells of water and children. The blessings “on the head of Joseph” are that he was made the second ruler in the kingdom (41:40) after being sold into slavery (37:38) thrown into prison (39:20) and forced to serve the king’s servants (40:4).
Benjamin is likened to a wolf in his prophecy. Wolves are fierce and devour sheep (Jn. 10:12). To “ravin” means to obtain or seize by violence or to devour with great eagerness. Thus, we should expect to find fierce fighters in Benjamin’s line. And, in fact, we do:
- Jud. 20:14-17, 21, 25 – The tribe of Benjamin, with 26,700 soldiers, fought the other tribes of Israel, with 400,000 soldiers. In the first two battles, Benjamin destroyed 40,000 soldiers of the other tribes.
- 1 Sam. 10:20-24 – Saul, the first king of Israel, came from Benjamin. His reign was marked by multiple unsuccessful attempts to kill David.
- Phil. 3:4-6 – Paul, the apostle, was from Benjamin. He fiercely persecuted the church before his salvation. Afterwards, he valiantly fought the fight of faith and taught others to fight as good soldiers of Jesus Christ (2 Tim. 4:7; 2 Tim. 2:3-4; Eph. 6:10).