33 ¶ Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. 34 Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years. 35 And let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. 36 And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine. 37 And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants. 38 And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is? 39 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art: 40 Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou. 41 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. 42 And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph’s hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck; 43 And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt. 44 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt. 45 And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphnathpaaneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.
Joseph made a final recommendation to the Pharaoh, not meaning to suggest himself, a lowly prisoner in the king’s dungeon, a foreigner sold into slavery there. Someone wise and discreet should rule under the Pharaoh’s authority. Here is our first example of government being used to serve the needs of the state apart from war. The Pharaoh is to take 20% of the land so that wheat can be stored up during the good years to prepare for the lean years to come. This tax was for the benefit of the people and the security of the state when the famine would come.
Corn is the British reference to a seed of any cereal grass, notably wheat, and expands to be a reference to the plant itself.
John 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
See how our Bible is written below in this verse’s parallel phrasing defining corn as wheat.
Amos 8:5 Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit?
Government for the welfare of the people is mentioned in Paul’s letters to the Christian in Rome. In fact, it is the only mandate listed in Paul’s letters for human government, to punish evil-doers. As said before, evil is usually a reference to malice or malicious, violent intent. Again, here in Paul, taxes are mentioned, paying tribute.
Romans 13:1 ¶ Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. 6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
Jesus Himself acknowledged that paying taxes to your government is a good testimony.
Matthew 17:24 ¶ And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? 25 He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? 26 Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. 27 Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.
I assure you that the Roman government referred to in the previous two passages was not a Christian or a righteous government. But, government has a mandate and, as we know, the power to tax is the power to govern.
Pharaoh acknowledges that the Spirit of God is in Joseph. Here, typology implies that Pharaoh is in type God the Father and here Joseph is a type of Christ, or God in the flesh, issuing from God and possessing His authority.
All ability, power, and authority, even that to do evil, comes from God. Nothing can be done without His permissive will or His direct will.
John 19:11 Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.
But, Christ as God in the flesh or the Son of God comes in God the Father’s authority…
John 5:18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
Philippians 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
…and in fact, to have seen Him is to have seen God the Father.
John 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
John 10:30 I and my Father are one. 31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? 33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
John 12:45 And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.
So, in this passage in Genesis we have a picture, a type of God the Father and the Son of God, as Pharaoh gives Joseph his own ring, his own authority and power over Egypt. To see Joseph was to see the Pharaoh and Joseph carried all of the power and authority of Pharaoh. For such a thing to happen this could only have been God’s direct will. Do you see how many things He allowed the men and women of this narrative so far to do and how He molded and shaped those things no matter what their intentions, good or evil, into His plan, His ministry of reconciliation toward mankind?
The priesthood of Egypt was a powerful class whom the Pharaoh would want on his side and having Joseph marry one of their daughters was an astute political move. In this we can speak in type of how God drew Abraham from the Gentiles to create a people for Himself for Joseph’s offspring would be among God’s chosen.
On was a city that became known as Heliopolis, city of the sun. On is said by some authorities to be the birthplace of Egyptian mythology. It was the first capital of Egypt and the place where Egyptian myth said that creation itself took place. It is here that the great sun god, Ra or Atum, self-created god, was to have arisen from the Benben stone in the great temple to light up a dark universe. He was the source of all other gods and people themselves were born from his tears. It is of no little significance that God arranged for a priest’s daughter of this city and this god to be married to Joseph. God drew mankind away from the darkness of paganism and chose Egypt’s greatest god’s priest’s daughter to be the vessel through whom would come two tribes of the Hebrews, Ephraim and Manasseh. We will learn how troublesome they were.
Strong’s dictionary says that Joseph’s Egyptian name means, “treasury of the glorious rest.” We will receive new names from God.
Revelation 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.