Because he was separated from his brothers in the principle of a Nazarite, Joseph was blessed above his brothers by his father Jacob (see Gen. 49:22-26).
In his prophesying with blessing concerning each of his twelve sons, Jacob uttered a great prophecy with blessing concerning Jacob, which is actually the universal blessing of the Triune God for Christ and all the believers in Christ.
Reuben lost the birthright due to his indulgence in the lusts of the flesh, and Simeon and Levi were not blessed because of their terrible disposition and violent acts according to their temper.
Judah was given the kingship, and the scepter would not move from him (Judah typifies Christ and the Gospel). Zebulun is a port on the seashore sending out ships (typifying the preaching of the gospel), and Issachar is like a donkey couching among the sheepfolds, lowering his shoulder to bear the burden (typifying the church life).
Dan started out well with a victory but became a snake causing others to fall (the danger of apostasy), but Gad recovered the victory by fighting with his brothers until they entered into their allotted portion of the land (fighting for others’ enjoyment of Christ).
Asher enjoyed rich food, dipped his foot in the oil, and had a rich provision (the rich Christ to be enjoyed in the church life), and Naphtali is like a hind let loose, one who gives beautiful words (our experience of the resurrected Christ and speaking beautiful words).
Joseph is a fruitful bough by a fountain with branches running over the wall, typifying Christ as the branching out of God into humanity, and the many believers in Christ as the many branches in the vine.
If you read Gen. 49:22-26 and Deut. 33:13-16 you will see that Joseph was blessed with the universal blessing of the Triune God, a blessing which transcends time and space, and with the favor of Him who dwelt in the thornbush (entering into God’s dwelling place and staying in His presence).
Hallelujah for such an all-encompassing blessing which is now upon Christ and upon all the believers in Christ!
Jacob’s Prophesying with Blessing concerning Joseph
Joseph is a fruitful bough, A fruitful bough by a fountain; His branches run over the wall. The archers bitterly attacked him, And shot at him and harassed him; But his bow remained firm, And the arms of his hands were agile, By the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob – From there is the Shepherd, the stone of Israel – From the God of your father, who will help you, And from the All-sufficient One, who will bless you With blessings of heaven above, Blessings of the deep that lies beneath, Blessings of the breasts and of the womb. The blessings of your father surpass The blessings of my ancestors To the utmost bound of the everlasting hills. They will be on the head of Joseph, And on the crown of the head of the one who was separate from his brothers (Gen. 49:22-26).
To understand the deeper meaning of Joseph being “fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a fountain; his branches run over the wall” I would like to quote this footnote,
Joseph as a fruitful bough typifies Christ as the branch (Isa. 11:1) for the branching out of God through His believers as His branches (John 15:1, 5). In Genesis 49:22 the fountain signifies God, the source of fruitfulness (Psa. 36:9; Jer. 2:13), and the branches’ running over the wall signifies that Christ’s believers as His branches spread Christ over every restriction, magnifying Him in all circumstances (Phil. 1:20; 4:22; Philem. 10). (Gen. 49:22, footnote 1, Holy Bible Recovery Version)
In speaking of Joseph being a fruitful bough running over the wall, Jacob actually spoke of Christ as the branching out of God into humanity and the believers as the many branches in the vine.
Now we as the many branches in Christ the vine take God as the source of our fruitfulness and spread Christ over any restriction, limitation, or hindrance, and we magnify Him in every circumstance whether through life or through death. Hallelujah!
The blessings bestowed on Joseph, as seen in Genesis 49:25-26 and Deuteronomy 33:13-16, encompass all time, from ancient times to eternity (Gen. 49:26; Deut. 33:15), and all space, from heaven to earth, including the deep under the earth (Gen. 49:25b; Deut. 33:13-14, 16a). Time plus space equals the universe. As the one universally blessed by his father, Joseph typifies Christ, the appointed Heir of all things (Heb. 1:2; Col. 1:16), and His believers, Christ’s partners who participate in His inheritance (1 Cor. 3:21-22; Rom. 8:17; Heb. 1:9; 3:14; 1:14 and footnote). The universal blessing on Joseph will consummate in the new heaven and new earth, in which everything will be a blessing to Christ and His believers (Rev. 21:1, 4-5; 22:3, 5). (Gen. 49:25, footnote 2)
Jacob’s prophesying with blessing concerning Joseph was not only concerning his descendants but also concerning Christ and the church.
Christ is appointed by God to be heir of all things, and we as the believers in Christ are His partners, His co-heirs, those who participate in His inheritance and who are blessed by the Father with every spiritual blessing.
All the believers in Christ are universally blessed persons, and together we are a blessed people, destined to be co-kings and joint heirs with Christ to inherit the entire universe with Christ.
God Himself is the source of newness, and as we come to Him again and again, we are being made the new creation in reality (2 Cor. 5:17). In our Christian walk we are many times distracted from the Lord, but when we come back to God and touch Him in spirit, something of God is put into us and we are mingled with God to be one with God!
The secret of receiving God as our blessing of newness is to bring everything to God and let Him get into everything (2 Cor. 4:16). In all the situations we’re in and the things we go through, we need to bring everything to God in prayer and let Him get into everything to infuse us with Himself and make us one with Him.
Hallelujah, as the real Israel of God today, all believers in Christ are under God’s universal blessing, and the more we praise God the more any curse of the fall will become a blessing (Eph. 5:20)!
In the church life we can testify that blessing is everywhere: the enjoyment of God is present among us, God is blessing us with His rich up-to-date speaking, and as we praise the Lord for all things and at all times, any curse or negative situation turns out to blessing! Hallelujah, praise the Lord!
Lord Jesus, we come back to You: infuse us with Yourself and mingle us more with God. Lord, renew us day by day as we come to You, bring everything to You, and allow You to get into everything in our daily living. Father, thank You for blessing us with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus in the heavenlies. Keep us under Your blessing, enjoying God in Christ as the Spirit in the church life with all the saints for God’s glory! Lord Jesus, be magnified in us in all things and at all times!
If we carefully read Gen. 49:25-26 and Deut. 33:13-16 we will see that there are at least ten main aspects of the blessing that Joseph received from God (through both his father Jacob and later Moses):
- The precious things of heaven (Deut. 33:13) – some of which are rain, snow, sunshine, etc.
- The dew – so fresh and nourishing early in the morning.
- The blessing of the deep that lies beneath: the springs, fountains, and waters underneath the earth.
- The precious fruits brought forth by the sun (Deut. 33:14). Christ as the Sun brings forth many precious fruits in our being.
- The precious fruits brought forth by the moon: many precious things are put forth by the church (typified by the moon).
- The blessing of the best things of the ancient mountains.
- The precious things of the eternal hills (Deut. 33:15).
- The precious things of the earth and its fullness (Deut. 33:16): minerals such as gold, silver, etc.
- The blessing of the womb and the blessing of the breasts: for the producing of life (the womb) and the nourishing and sustaining of life (breasts).
- The favor of Him who dwelt in the thornbush: God dwelt in the thornbush, He dwelt in the temple, now He dwells in the church, and He will dwell in the New Jerusalem! In the
- New Jerusalem all the bushes will be transformed into precious stones.
If we carefully read these blessings concerning Joseph we will realize that they are universal: they transcend time and space. Everything that happened in Joseph’s life was a blessing to him, even the fact that he was sold by his brothers into slavery.
Joseph overcame in his sufferings because he was strengthened by God, the Mighty One of Jacob and the All-Sufficient One, and because he clearly saw that everything in his life was arranged by God to be a blessing to him (see Gen. 49:24-25; 45:5; 50:20).
It is such a blessing when we as believers in Christ are being strengthened into our inner man and realize that everything that happens in our life is sovereignly arranged by God to be a blessing to us, and everything works together for good (1 Cor. 3:21-22; Rom. 8:28; Eph. 5:20; 1 Thes. 5:18).
Even if other people hate us or do things to hurt us, in God’s view and according to His sovereignty all things work together for good.
From the human point of view, Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery in Egypt; from God’s point of view and according to Joseph’s understanding, he was sent there by God to prepare a way to preserve his family’s life. Joseph’s brothers intended it for evil, but God turned it to good. Hallelujah!
Joseph was blessed with “the favor of Him who dwelt in the thornbush” (Deut. 33:16a; Exo. 3:2-6, 14-15; Mark 12:26-27) – this is the highest blessing, being blessed with entering into God’s dwelling place and staying in His presence.
The psalmists yearned to be in God’s house, desired to be in His courts, and considered one day in God’s house to be more precious than a thousand anywhere else (see Psa. 27:4, 8; 84:10-12).
The Triune God burns as the fire and the fuel in the redeemed humanity (the thornbush), and He does not consume us. He is the God of resurrection burning within us, and His presence is welcomed and pleasant. If we feel we’re “burned out” in the church life it means we’re “running on the wrong fuel”; our fuel should be the Triune God!
God Himself is our sun to supply us with light, our shield to protect us from our enemies, our enjoyment, and our glory as the manifestation of God in splendor!
Lord, may we see how blessed we are: all things work together for good in our life! Strengthen us into our inner man and change our view of what happens in our life. May we realize that God is the One arranging all things and situations so that we may be blessed with more of God! Lord, we give ourselves to You: work Yourself into us in all things. We love to stay in Your presence and be in Your dwelling place. Lord, You are everything to us. You are our real blessing.
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my Christian experience, bro. Ed Marks’ sharing in the message for this week, and portions from, Life-study of Genesis (msgs. 104-105), as quoted in, the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Crystallization-Study of Genesis (3), week 11 / msg 11, Jacob’s Prophesying with Blessing (2) (you can buy this morning revival book here).
- Picture credit for Genesis 49:22 and more spiritual quotes on this topic via, Christian Pictures Blog.
- Hymns on this topic:
# I am just a branch, and You’re the vine. / As I dwell in You, everything is fine. / Here I’d like to be, Lord, all the time. / Here I’m Yours, dear Lord, and You are mine. (Song on, Abiding in Christ, the Vine)
# Heirs of God! Joint-heirs with our Lord Jesus! / What a hope of glory this for us! / Though the suff’rings presently seem grievous, / Greater far the glory then for us! / Yea, in all these things we more than conquer, / Through the One whose love has us possessed; / Soon the day for which waits all creation, / When the sons of God are manifest! (Hymns #1210)
# God Himself within the bush, / Nothing seen but just the flame; / Make me that, just that, O God, / For the glory of Thy Name. (Hymns #352)
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