22 ¶ Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall: 23 The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him: 24 But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:) 25 Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb: 26 The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren. 27 Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf: in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.
Joseph’s has two sons, one Ephraim and the other Manasseh.
41:52 And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.
Joseph was a fruitful bough, not only in his progeny but in his career in Egypt and in delivering his family from the famine. A bough is a branch.
Judges 9:48 And Abimelech gat him up to mount Zalmon, he and all the people that were with him; and Abimelech took an axe in his hand, and cut down a bough from the trees, and took it, and laid it on his shoulder, and said unto the people that were with him, What ye have seen me do, make haste, and do as I have done.
Isaiah 17:9 In that day shall his strong cities be as a forsaken bough, and an uppermost branch, which they left because of the children of Israel: and there shall be desolation.
Christ is referred to as the Branch in prophecy regarding His first appearance and His millennial reign.
Jeremiah 33:14 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. 15 In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. 16 In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness.
Zechariah 3:8 Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.
Zechariah 6:12 And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD:
Regarding the branch, the bough, and a well, notice this statement by Jesus and, in fact, read the context of His encounter with the woman by the well.
John 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
Notice the wall of separation between Jew and Gentile that Christ overcame.
Ephesians 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
Joseph’s brothers, likened to archers, tried to kill him but God made him strong and he overcame. Joseph has truly been blessed and used by God.
An interesting thing to note is that Ishmael, considered by Muslims to be a prophet and an ancestor of Mohammed as well as the father of the Arab people having links to Mecca and the construction of the Kaaba, was an archer.
Genesis 21:20 And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer.
Note the symbolism with the great conqueror at the end of human history, enemy of Christ and Christians…
Revelation 6:2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
Verse 24 gives us a prophecy of Christ. Christ is ultimately the shepherd, the stone of Israel and cornerstone of the church.
John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep…14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
Ephesians 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
He is the spiritual Rock that followed Israel in the wilderness. Notice as you read Exodus and Psalms the importance of the rock.
One example in the wilderness journeys of the Hebrews would be Exodus 17:6 Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.
Isaiah 8:14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
1Corinthians 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
The everlasting hills presents us with an interesting point. Ezekiel will use Joseph and Ephraim as an example of all Israel in a prophecy that can only come true during the millennial reign of Christ with Christ as a type of David, who represents God’s king (2Samuel 23:3 for the quality of a king.)
Ezekiel 37:15 ¶ The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, 16 Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: 17 And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand. 18 And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these? 19 Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand. 20 And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes. 21 And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: 22 And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all: 23 Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God. 24 And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. 25 And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever. 26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. 27 My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 28 And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.
Benjamin had Ehud the judge and Saul the king from his tribe. Also, from Benjamin came Mordecai and Esther. Paul, the great minister to the Gentiles in the New Testament, was also a Benjamite. Truly, this tribe will play a great part in God’s ministry of reconciliation toward mankind. In Judges we see that Benjamin comes near to being wiped out and are a very warlike tribe. Jacob’s prophecy of his beloved youngest son’s progeny shows that this goes beyond just speaking of the future of his child.
Regarding Paul, Matthew Henry makes the point that he devoured the prey or prosecuted Christians in the beginning and divided the spoil, gathering Christians for Christ, as a preacher, later. This brings to man a parable Christ told about how He spoiled, took, Satan’s goods, people, by those He drew to Himself.
Matthew 12:28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. 29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house. 30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.
This is not to say I have written the definitive word on these prophecies but that these are things to consider. There are many more connections to be made and literally hundreds of sermons to be gleaned from these Biblical cross-references. There is more to preach on than attendance, giving, and soul-winning most certainly.