In Genesis chapters 39 to 40, Joseph goes down to Egypt where he is sold as a slave to a man called Potiphar. He acts wisely in his house and becomes a chief steward, and God is with him because he is honest and he looks after the place well.
He’s competent and he’s promoted to position even though he’s a slave in the house, and he attracts the eye of Potiphar’s wife who accuses him of trying to rap rape her and has him thrown into prison.
19 So it was, when his master heard the words which his wife spoke to him, saying, “Your servant did to me after this manner,” that his anger was aroused. 20 Then Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were confined. And he was there in the prison. 21 But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.Genesis 39.19-21
Joseph is treated with great Injustice here and ends up in prison. In chapter 40 he is in prison and he’s given again a position of responsibility because of his trustworthy nature and while he’s in the prison he interprets the dreams of Pharaoh’s butler and his baker who had offended Pharaoh and been thrown into prison.
The interpretation Joseph gives is favourable to the butler telling him he’s going to be restored to his position under Pharaoh, but it is not favourable to the baker of whom he says he is going to be hanged.
And that’s exactly what happens. Joseph tells the butler, as he’s restored to Pharaoh, not to forget him, to remember him, but he doesn’t. So, once again, Joseph is the victim of people’s indifference and bad treatment.
23 Now it happened in the process of time that the king of Egypt died. Then the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry came up to God because of the bondage. 24 So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 25 And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them.Exodus 2.23-25
In chapter 41, two years pass by and Pharaoh has a dream. Let’s read that dream because dreams are pretty important in this story:
Then it came to pass, at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh had a dream; and behold, he stood by the river. 2 Suddenly there came up out of the river seven cows, fine looking and fat; and they fed in the meadow. 3 Then behold, seven other cows came up after them out of the river, ugly and gaunt, and stood by the other cows on the bank of the river. 4 And the ugly and gaunt cows ate up the seven fine looking and fat cows. So Pharaoh awoke. 5 He slept and dreamed a second time; and suddenly seven heads of grain came up on one stalk, plump and good. 6 Then behold, seven thin heads, blighted by the east wind, sprang up after them. 7 And the seven thin heads devoured the seven plump and full heads. So Pharaoh awoke, and indeed, it was a dream. 8 Now it came to pass in the morning that his spirit was troubled, and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt and all its wise men. And Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was no one who could interpret them for Pharaoh.Genesis 41.1-8
The chief butler then speaks up to Pharaoh and says, ‘I remember that when I was in prison there was a young Hebrew man there who was able to interpret my dream, maybe he can interpret your dream‘.
And they fetch Joseph out of the prison and Joseph interprets the dream. He says to Pharaoh in verse 25,
“The dreams of Pharaoh are one; God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do: 26 The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good heads are seven years; the dreams are one. 27 And the seven thin and ugly cows which came up after them are seven years, and the seven empty heads blighted by the east wind are seven years of famine. 28 This is the thing which I have spoken to Pharaoh. God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do. 29 Indeed seven years of great plenty will come throughout all the land of Egypt; 30 but after them seven years of famine will arise, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine will deplete the land.Genesis 41.25-30
He goes on to say to Pharaoh in verse 33,
… let Pharaoh select a discerning and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt. 34 Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, to collect one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven plentiful years. 35 And let them gather all the food of those good years that are coming, and store up grain under the authority of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. 36 Then that food shall be as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which shall be in the land of Egypt, that the land may not perish during the famine.”Genesis 41.33-36
Joseph gives some good news or gives good advice and he tells Pharaoh how he can survive this coming famine. Pharoah then says, ‘Well, okay Joseph, you got the job; do it yourself.‘ He says, ‘How can we find such a wise man amongst the people of Egypt?‘ ‘Who else can do this?‘
And Joseph suddenly passes from being a Hebrew in prison to being the second ruler in Egypt under Pharaoh. And the scripture says Joseph was 30 years old when he starts this ministry.
Then God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the animals that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters subsided.Genesis 8.1
Do you know of anybody else who started their Ministry at the age of 30? Yeshua/Jesus, yeah. That’s another one of the parallels between Jesus and Joseph, a type of the Messiah.