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Egyptian brings to light the true meaning of the name and its prophetic import.
Zaph-en-to was a title of the last of the Shepherd Kings of Egypt and means "The
nourisher of the world". Zap means "abundance".
"Its well ascertained meaning is `food', especially `corn' or `grain' in general"
Nt (nath) is the preposition "of", common on the early monuments. Pa is the definite
article "the". Anch signifies "life". Thus one name of Memphis is ta-anch, the land of
life, or, the land of the living. The name therefore means "Food of the life", and is a
far-off echo of that wondrous claim which the Greater than Joseph was to make when He
said "I am the Bread of Life".
Is there not also an echo of Pharaoh's words in the lips of Mary? Pharaoh said, when
the people had no bread, "Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do" (Gen. 41: 55).
Mary said to the servants, when they had no wine, "Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it"
(John 2: 5).
Chapter 42: resumes the broken thread of the story of Jacob and his sons. One event
however has happened that it is important to remember. Joseph blesses the Gentiles
during his rejection by his brethren. Joseph is united to a Gentile by marriage while
exiled from his father's house. The names of his two children speak of forgetting his toil
and his father's house, and of being fruitful in the land of his affliction. The famine at
length appears and among those who are forced to sue at Joseph's feet are his ten
brethren. The story is a long one and we will not spoil it by attempting to summarize, we
know how it all ends. The outstanding typical features number among them the
1. THE REPENTANCE OF ISRAEL.--When Joseph's brethren came before him
and are charged with being spies, they aver that they are twelve brethren, the sons of one
man in the land of Canaan; and behold say they:--
"The youngest is this day with our father, and one is not" (Gen. 42: 13).
The mention of the fate of Joseph and the harshness of their treatment at the hands of
the ruler of Egypt causes their conscience to awaken and they said:--
"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"
(Gen. 42: 21).
Reuben uses even more forceful words: "Behold, also his blood is required"
(Gen. 42: 22). The type is clear. Israel must repent before they can be blessed.
2. THE REVELATION TO ISRAEL.--"Then Joseph could not refrain himself . . . . .
I am Joseph" (Gen. 45: 1-4). When Israel's blindness is removed and for the first time
they recognize the Lord Jesus as their Messiah, "They shall look upon Me whom they
have pierced, and shall mourn for Him" (Zech. 12: 10) is the word of prophecy.