Life-Study of Genesisby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
With this message we conclude the series of messages on chapter forty-nine. Chapter forty-nine is a record of Jacob's prophetic blessing of his sons. These blessings are given in figures, signs, and symbols, all of which need to be allegorized. We have seen that in Genesis the seeds of nearly all the truths in the Bible are sown. The seeds sown in this book are developed in the following books and are harvested in the book of Revelation. Because Genesis is a book of the seeds of the truths contained in the Bible, the conclusion of chapter forty-nine must correspond to the conclusion of the whole Bible. In the last two chapters of Revelation there are two main things: the universal blessing and the eternal dwelling of God with men.
Before we consider this universal blessing and the eternal dwelling, we need to review chapter forty-nine. The first four sons of Jacob were Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah. According to the record of the Old Testament, these four sons were evil. The first and the fourth, Reuben and Judah, were full of lust. The second and the third, Simeon and Levi, were full of anger. Lust and anger characterize evil people. In the constitution of the kingdom of the heavens decreed in Matthew chapters five, six, and seven, the Lord Jesus covered lust and anger in a strong way. If a man can be kept from these two things, he will not be sinful. A man becomes sinful mostly because he is full of lust and anger. We praise the Lord that in His grace He saved the first four sons of Jacob. Moreover, two of them were transformed into something marvelous. Levi was transformed to become the priests, and Judah was transformed to become the kings. Sinners have become priests and kings. This has been accomplished by a kingly salvation.
This salvation was sent out to the Gentile world by Zebulun, the fifth son of Jacob. After the gospel was shipped out by Zebulun, Issachar came in as rest, rest in the gospel accomplished by Judah and preached by Zebulun. The saved one rests in God's salvation. After Issachar came Dan and with him a form of apostasy. Although Dan deviated from God's way, Gad came in to restore the situation. Thus, with Dan we have apostasy, and with Gad we have recovery. The recovery with Gad issues in the sufficiency of the riches of Christ symbolized by Asher. Naphtali, who follows Asher, signifies resurrection in which are the riches of Christ.
After the first ten sons, we come to the last two, Joseph and Benjamin. If you read the record of these two sons carefully, you will see that there is no account of any defect or failure in them. Although there is a long record regarding Joseph in the Bible, there is no hint that he was wrong in anything or that he failed. Joseph was perfect. Although we cannot say that Benjamin was perfect, there is no record of any defect in his life either. Joseph was called the son of a fruitful tree, and Benjamin, the son at the right hand. It is very meaningful that Joseph was fruitful and that Benjamin was at the right hand of God. Both are in resurrection. These two characteristics can easily be applied to the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is the only Son of the fruitful tree, and He is also the only Son at the right hand of God. Hence, both Joseph and Benjamin were types of Christ. Joseph was a type of Christ issuing in God's unlimited, boundless, universal blessing. The perfect Christ typified by Joseph brought in God's boundless blessing. Benjamin was a type of Christ as the One who brought in God's eternal dwelling place.
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