The Two Are One

Joseph was trapped, exiled in Egypt. Suddenly, Joseph was released from prison. The dramatic rise to fame is legendary. The turn of events hinged on Joseph's spectacular interpretation of Pharaoh's two dreams.

The number two is a significant and consistent feature throughout the life and Biblical account of Joseph.

Joseph was different from his brothers in two ways. He was loved more than his brothers, and he wore a special coat, which his father had made him. (Genesis 37:3) Joseph's brothers were not impressed.

Joseph had two dreams. The dreams eventually caused his brothers' to reject him and to sell him. (Genesis 37:5-9)

While in prison, Joseph met two servants of Pharaoh, both of whom had a dream. Joseph interpreted the two dreams. (Genesis 40)

After the fulfilment of the two dreams of Pharaoh's servants, Joseph had to wait another two years before Pharaoh had his two dreams. (Genesis 41:1)

On the first visit to Egypt, "the ten brothers" of Joseph are mentioned. (Genesis 42:3). That's five times two.

Simeon is kept in Egypt as a guarantee. Simeon was the second son of Jacob.

Likewise, Joseph was one of two sons born to Rachel. Joseph is also the second to last son of Jacob.

When the brothers returned to Egypt the second time, they brought Benjamin, the second son of Rachel.

At their father's request, they took gifts, three pairs; six in total. Furthermore, their father insisted they "take double the money". (Genesis 43:11-12)

Joseph made himself known to his brothers on their second visit.

Joseph made himself known twice. (Genesis 45:3, 4)

Also, when Joseph revealed himself, it was in the second year of the second of Pharaoh's two dreams. (Genesis 45:6)

It was also twenty-two years since Joseph had been sold by his brothers.

Pharaoh's dream sets the stage for Joseph's entrance, and rapid rise to fame. Therefore, it is not surprising that Pharaoh has two dreams.(Genesis 41:5).

Also, within each dream the theme of two continues with the appearance of pairs. There are contrasting pairs: one between healthy cows and thin cows; and between healthy heads and empty heads of grain. Then there are also matching pairs: one group of healthy cows matched with healthy heads of grain; while another group of thin cows matched with empty heads of grain. (Genesis 41)

Joseph is given wisdom, by God, to interpret the two dreams.

Joseph was able to link the pairs, predicting the next fourteen years of world economy, with absolute accuracy. Pharaoh could avoid the coming world famine by acting prudently in the first seven prosperous years. By doing so he would secure his kingdom beyond his time and even into the next generation.

An important aspect of Joseph's interpretation was that Pharaoh's two dreams were one. "Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, 'The dreams are one; God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do." (Genesis 41:25)

This important element required wisdom from God and was like a key that unlocked a great mystery. Thus Joseph was able to place the dreams together, side-by-side so that they appeared as one. Whilst the seven good years and the seven bad years were completely separate, they were one continuous 14-year period. What appeared to everyone, including Pharaoh's wise men, to be separate and opposing, was in fact, one and the same.

Much in the same way that Joseph appeared to his brothers as an Egyptian and the Ruler of Egypt - someone who was entirely outside the kingdom of God, and a stranger, one who would be opposed to the purposes of God - yet he was in fact, their brother. "I am Joseph; does my father still live?" (Genesis 45:3)

Joseph's life is also a story of the life of the Messiah. Joseph's rejection and rise from prisoner to Prime Minister is a foreshadow of the Messiah's experience. The powerful imagery of two separate and opposing roles of the Messiah, yet, He is the One Person, is a key to understanding what God has accomplished through His Anointed. Thus, Yeshua the Messiah was rejected by His own, died as an atonement for sin, but whom the Heavenly Father has raised from the dead because of His righteousness. And so, God has made Him, namely, Yeshua both Lord and Messiah. The two are One.

May there be many who believe in His Name.

Mark Warren