Types of the Holy Eucharist
Genesis 47:12
And Joseph nourished his father, and his brothers, and all his father's household, with bread, according to their families.

I. WHO WAS THIS THAT FED HIS BRETHREN IN THE TIME OF DEARTH? (Acts 7:11). Joseph, "separate from his brethren" (Genesis 49:26), "sold to be a bond servant" (Psalm 105:17), tried, afflicted, and imprisoned, so that "the iron entered into his soul" (Psalm 105:18), was a true type of Jesus our Lord, Who became a "stranger unto His brethren, an alien unto His mother's children" (Psalm 69:8; Psalm 88:7, 18), Who took upon Him the form of a servant" (Philippians 2:7), was afflicted and smitten (Isaiah 53:4, 5, and cf. Psalm 88:8). Then, too, as Joseph brought out of prison (Psalm 105:19, 20). set over all the land of Egypt (Genesis 41:41, 43; Psalm 105:21), saluted as Zaphnath-pasneah (Genesis 41:45), "the Saviour of the world" (Neals), sustained the life of all nations by miraculous supplies of bread (Genesis 41:57): even so Jesus our Lord, the true Joseph, "taken from prison and from judgment" (Isaiah 53:8), entrusted with all power (Matthew 28:18; Ephesians 1:20-23), "exalted to the right hand of God to be a Prince and a Saviour" (Acts 5:31), now feeds countless thousands throughout all the world, with Himself, the Living Bread, in the Holy Eucharist.


1. All countries — for "all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn: because that the famine was so sore in all lands" (Genesis 41:57). So in one sense our True Joseph "giveth food to all flesh" (Psalm 136:25), and "openeth His hand, and filleth all things living with plenteousness" (Psalm 145:16; Psalm 104:27, 28).

2. Joseph fed his people, the Egyptians, for "when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith unto you, do .... And Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians" (Genesis 41:55, 56). "And when money failed... all the Egyptians came unto Joseph, and said, Give us bread... And Joseph gave them bread" (Genesis 47:15, 17). So now Jesus our Lord, the True Joseph, prepares a table in the wilderness of this world, at which He feeds His people, not with common food, but with spiritual good things, help, benedictions, knowledge, grace, "to deliver their soul from death and to feed them in the time of dearth" (Psalm 33:18), so that they may eat and crave for that still greater food, the Holy Eucharist, of which He spake (Psalm 81:11), "open thy mouth," &c.

3. But Joseph specially cared for his brethren — his kinsfolk according to the flesh — for he brought them into his house and feasted them (Genesis 43:17, 34), he gave them provision for the way (Genesis 42:25). So now our own Joseph, Jesus our Lord, hath special care for His elect (Wisd. 3:9), the saints of the Most High whom He is not ashamed to call His brethren (Hebrews 2:11), He brings them into His house, He makes them to sit down to meat, at His table in His kingdom, He comes forth and serves them, saying, "Come, eat of My bread and drink of the wine that I have mingled" (Proverbs 9:5), "for My flesh is meat indeed and My blood is drink indeed" (John 6:55). Thus do the poor eat and are satisfied. They are full, yet hungry still.


1. "When the dearth was in all lands," "and the famine was over all the face of the earth," and was "sore in all lands" (Genesis 41:54, 56, 57), "and there was no bread in all the land: for the famine was very sore, so that the land of Egypt and all the land of Canaan fainted by reason of the famine" (Genesis 47:13), then "Joseph nourished his father and his brethren and all his father's household, with bread." So now, "in the time of dearth," when there is a sore and grievous famine in the weary land of this world and multitudes are perishing with hunger, because they cannot satisfy the cravings of their immortal spirit with the husks that the swine do eat (Luke 15:16), our True Joseph feedeth the hungry, satisfieth the fainting soul with Himself, the bread of God, and saith to every soul that is hungering and thirsting after righteousness (Matthew 5:6), "Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it" (Psalm 81:11.)

2. After he had "made himself strange unto them" (Genesis 42:7, 8), he nourishes them with bread. So now Jesus our Lord appears "in another form," and makes Himself strange as it were unto us by veiling His beauty and His brightness under the veils of bread and wine, as it is written, "Verily Thou art a God that hidest Thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour" (Isaiah 45:15).

3. When his brethren had repented of their wickedness and fault, and were sorry for their sin — for they said, "We are verily guilty concerning our brother." So now it is when we have confessed our wickedness, and are sorry for our sins (Psalm 38:18; Psalm 51:3), when we have examined ourselves (1 Corinthians 11:28, 31, 32), when we "do truly and earnestly repent us of our sins... and have made our humble confession to Almighty God, meekly kneeling upon our knees"; then is it that our dear Lord vouchsafes to feed and nourish us with that True Wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and that True Bread that strengtheneth man's heart, in the Holy Communion.


1. He fed and feasted them in his house, at his princely table, albeit sitting apart from them (Genesis 43:16, 17, 32); whereas the Greater One than Joseph, even Jesus our King, receiveth sinners and eateth with them (Luke 15:2) at His own royal table of Sacred Communion (Luke 22:30), in His house the Church (1 Timothy 3:15; Hebrews 3:6).

2. Also Joseph gave his brethren provision for the way (Genesis 42:25; Genesis 45:21): so our Blessed Lord invites us to draw nigh unto the altar of God, and "strengthen ourselves with the Bread of Life" now, whilst we are in the way, saying, "Arise and eat" of My Flesh and drink of My Blood, "because the journey is too great for thee" (1 Kings 19:7).

3. He fed and nourished them in Goshen (Genesis 46:28; Genesis 47:1, 4, 27; Genesis 50:8, 22); so it is in the true Goshen that Jesus our King Eternal feeds His brethren at the marriage Supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19.), and reveals Himself to them face to face.


1. He fed his brethren at no expense to themselves — for "Joseph commanded to fill their sacks with corn, and to restore every man's money into his sack, and to give them provision for the way; and thus did he unto them" (Genesis 42:25, and cf. 43:12, 21-24, 45:20-24, 47:11, 12, 27, 50:21) not once nor twice. So Jesus our Saviour feeds us with His own most Blessed Body and Blood, and satisfies our mouth with good things, "without money and without price" (Isaiah 55:1, 2), again and yet again throughout our earthly pilgrimage.

2. He nourished them with corn (Genesis 42:19; Genesis 50:25), and wine (Genesis 43:34), and bread (Genesis 47:12), and so "saved their lives by a great deliverance"; and yet the food which Joseph provided was perishable in its nature, and they who partook of it died at their appointed time. Whereas our True Joseph — Who is the Corn of Wheat (John 12:24), the Wine that cheereth God and man (Judges 9:13), and the Bread of God which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world (John 6:33) — gives us Food which is incorruptible, and is the seed of immortality, seeing that "This is the Bread which cometh down from heaven that a man may eat thereof, and not die," "if any man eat of this Bread he shall live for ever."

(W. F. Shaw, B. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And Joseph nourished his father, and his brethren, and all his father's household, with bread, according to their families.

WEB: Joseph nourished his father, his brothers, and all of his father's household, with bread, according to their families.

The Settlement of the Children of Israel in Goshen
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