The First Interpreter

November 30, 2010 at 9:58 am | Posted in Genesis | 8 Comments
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In Genesis’s account of the adventures of Joseph, we see yet another Biblical “first.” In Genesis Chapter 40, Joseph, the “dream expert” (Genesis 37:19) is in prison. The Pharaoh’s chief butler and chief baker happen to be imprisoned with him. They have some very odd dreams, and Joseph, realizing that God can help him, agrees to interpret their dreams. Thereby he becomes the first “interpreter” in the Bible.

An interpreter is a person who translates messages between people among whom there is some barrier to communication.

And they said unto him, We have dreamed a dream, and there is no interpreter of it. And Joseph said unto them, Do not interpretations belong to God? tell me them, I pray you.

Genesis 40:8

Of all the ways that Joseph reminds us of a type of Christ, here is one of the most poignant. For we, like the baker and the butler, were at one time separated from our King, and trapped in a prison of sin. We dreamed of ways to make peace with God. But our sinful condition kept Him from coming into forgiving fellowship with us. Then came a Man who could speak to both parties: King and prisoner; God and man. His name was similar to “Joseph,” but we know Him as Jesus. He was the only One Who could truly interpret our dreams of escaping prison. He brought the Good News from His King to us, and took our responsive message of repentance, and our cries for rescue, back to the King.

The word “interpreter” shows up again in the book of Job. Elihu is attempting to explain to Job the way God sometimes deals with those whose sins are bringing them into an eternal spiritual prison.

Yea, his soul draweth near unto the grave, and his life to the destroyers. If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness: Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.

Job 33:22-24

What a beautiful picture of Christ the Interpreter! Among all the angels of Heaven, One greater than an angel comes forward, One Who is unlike all the rest (“one among a thousand”). By His grace He imputes righteousness to lost sinners bound for the pit, offering Himself as their ransom.

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  1. […] fully man and fully God, is our Gateway into God’s presence. He is the only One who can put one hand on us and one hand on God the Father, and bring us into mediated fellowship. LikeBe the first to like this […]

  2. […] The Recognition Admonition February 11, 2011 at 10:29 am | Posted in Genesis | Leave a Comment Tags: affects of sin, Benjamin, Bible lessons on Genesis, Bible study on Genesis, Biblical recognition, Biblical reconciliation, Book of Genesis, Book of Proverbs, Christ in Genesis, commentary on Genesis, conflict resolution, fear God, fear of God, fearing God, fearing the Lord, Genesis, Genesis 38, Genesis 42, Haggai 1, interpreters, Jacob, Jacob and Benjamin, Joseph and Benjamin, Joseph and his brothers, Joseph in Genesis, Joseph's brothers, Judah, Judah and Tamar, lessons on Genesis, Proverbs, Proverbs 4, recognition, recognition in Proverbs, recognition in the Bible, recognizing, reconciliation, resolving conflicts, Simeon, Sunday School lessons on Genesis, Tamar, the Lord's ways Lord, help us to be forgetful of ourselves and focused on others. Help us also to be and focused on Your glory. Help us to be looking for opportunities to give You glory and to praise Your Name. Just as Joseph wanted to introduce his brothers to the king of Egypt, I pray that You will show us ways we can bring our brothers and sisters closer to You, our King. In Jesus Christ’s Name, Amen. And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us. And Reuben answered them, saying, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? therefore, behold, also his blood is required. And they knew not that Joseph understood them; for he spake unto them by an interpreter. […]

  3. […] dream which was part of the beginning of all Joseph’s troubles was now fulfilled: And they […]

  4. […] I am now getting near the end of a long series of posts on the Book of Genesis. Since Genesis is the first book of the Bible, it has been fun to point out several things, ideas, or words, which occur for the first time in Genesis. We have seen the first plants and animals, the first man and woman, the first marriage, the first sin, the first murder, the first song, the first tears, the first rain, and the first interpreter. […]

  5. […] Favorite Son Beware of Fabrics, Frolicking, and Friends Don’t Get Too Attached To Your Coat The First Interpreter That’s Good. No, that’s Bad. Jesus and Joseph and Their Brethren The Recognition […]

  6. […] this One who dares to come to these gates? What manner of man – a MAN! – dares to approach where only angels have come before? And this Man says, Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye […]

  7. […] is this Angel, Who will make sure they stay in the “way” of God? The wording reminds us of John 14, […]

  8. […] He is a better Priest, with a better ministry, ministering a better covenant, established upon better promises. His role as “Mediator” reminds of the “daysman” longed in Job 9:32-33. Our Mediator/Daysman brings us into eternal loving peace and familial relationship with God. Job had a desire to draw near to God – to “come together in judgment” – but he lived in the time of shadows – shadows of better things to come. He had the desire to draw near to God, but not the means. […]


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