Miketz (The 10th Reading)

The tenth reading from the book of Genesis is named Miketz (מקץ), which means “the end.” The title comes from the first verse of the reading, which says, “Now it happened at the end of two full years that Pharaoh had a dream” (Genesis 41:1). The portion begins with Pharaoh’s portentous dreams, Joseph’s interpretations and his subsequent rise to power over Egypt. When a famine strikes the land of Canaan, his brothers come to Egypt seeking grain, but they do not recognize Joseph, who engineers a means by which he can test their character.

Joseph is in Egypt. He is the Viceroy to Pharaoh; the second most powerful man in the land. There is a famine and the Jewish people head to Egypt where Joseph has been storing food for 7 years. This is the beginning of the enslavement of the Jewish people in Egypt. After a few generations Moses will appear on the scene and lead the people out in search of The Promised Land.

Joseph meets his brothers 20 years after they sold him and told their father, Jacob, that he must be dead. What is going on in this section? Is Joseph a foreshadow of Jesus?

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