16 ¶ And the fame thereof was heard in Pharaoh’s house, saying, Joseph’s brethren are come: and it pleased Pharaoh well, and his servants. 17 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, [Say unto thy brethren, This do ye; lade your beasts, and go, get you unto the land of Canaan; 18 And take your father and your households, and come unto me: and I will give you the good of the land of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the land. 19 Now thou art commanded, this do ye; take you wagons out of the land of Egypt for your little ones, and for your wives, and bring your father, and come. 20 Also regard not your stuff; for the good of all the land of Egypt is yours. 21 And the children of Israel did so: and Joseph gave them wagons, according to the commandment of Pharaoh, and gave them provision for the way. 22 To all of them he gave each man changes of raiment; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver, and five changes of raiment. 23 And to his father he sent after this manner; ten asses laden with the good things of Egypt, and ten she asses laden with corn and bread and meat for his father by the way. 24 So he sent his brethren away, and they departed: and he said unto them, See that ye fall not out by the way.
Word of Joseph’s reunion with his brothers has now gotten around Pharaoh’s court. This Pharaoh, a type of God the Father, is pleased and so are his servants, probably his ministers, that this Saviour of the Egyptian people has been blessed with this reunion. Pharaoh opens up his arms to offer a place of abode for Joseph’s family. He orders Joseph to gather up his family in Canaan and bring them back to Egypt. Everything that the Egyptians have his family will have. It is a bold promise and one reason why I think this Pharaoh and his top officials ethnically represent the Hyksos dynasty rather than native Egyptian, being more sympathetic to foreigners from Canaan. So, now, a caravan heads back to Canaan to get Jacob and the rest.
Remember how when Rebekah watered Abraham’s servant’s ten camels and I talked about typology in 24:10-28. Let me review for a moment.
“For one example of prophetic interpretation, the phrase And God said is repeated ten times in the first chapter of Genesis. Perhaps, in symbolic, typology these ten camels, brought by a type of the Holy Ghost to a type of God’s church represent God’s word in Abraham, a type of God the Father, sending the Holy Ghost to gather His church for Christ, who in type is Isaac, already sacrificed in type and resurrected in type, based on how the church responds to the words of God. What is happening here is then telling us in shadow what has happened in the spiritual world since before creation.
Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
The part played by the bride-to-be for Isaac, the church for Christ, is laid out by the servant of Abraham, or the Holy Ghost, as one who when approached by the Holy Ghost, responds. The Holy Ghost makes the truth of the gospel brought by the Holy Ghost on ten camels, in a manner of speaking, representing what God has said, apparent and the bride-to-be responds. The bride for Isaac waters the camels as the church glorifies the gospel of Christ by its response to that gospel, confirming that the church is indeed chosen, but chosen by her response. Below, Paul expresses his wish to present the church as pure to Christ as His bride.
2Corinthians 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
And this marriage will be complete at the end of human history.
Revelation 19:9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.”
Back to this passage of Scripture, Ten represents many things, particularly God’s order and what He said, His words. Here, a type of Christ, Joseph, is sending by order of a type of God the Father, Pharaoh, provisions in numbers of ten to take back to nourish God’s people with the intent purpose of drawing them, bringing them to Egypt, which is here a type of Heaven. Heaven clearly is the end habitation of God’s people but He does not leave them without spiritual nourishment in the meantime in the period before their return. Of course, there are many much better sermons that can be taken from this one passage as with all.
Numbers like three hundred and five have great significance in the rest of the Bible and there are many opinions as to what they signify. But numerology is always a risky business and almost always a matter of opinion. You see a number and then start looking for its application in all sorts of ways, some clear from the text and others a total stretch. Be careful how you represent God and remember that Job’s three friends were criticized, not for lying in every particular as many of the things they said were true, but for misrepresenting God’s reasons and intentions, which they had no way of knowing.
Corn and bread and meat also might have a significance as three types of nourishment; one natural and raw, one prepared by human hands, and one as the general reference for food in the Bible. Could these refer to corn as God’s word in its raw form from the pages of the Bible, bread as God’s word interpreted by a human with the help of the Holy Spirit, and meat as the deepest and true doctrine that God’s word provides for us. I am sure there are other possibilities as well regarding the spiritual nourishment God’s food provides.
Job 34:3 For the ear trieth words, as the mouth tasteth meat.