“And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars all made obeisance to me” Genesis 37:9
This is the second of the dreams that the Spirit of God impressed upon the mind and heart of young Joseph. In the first dream, his mind envisioned stalks of wheat bowing down unto his stalk. This enraged his brothers for they were given to understand that this intimated that they would be bowing down in submission, unto Joseph. Although they had no idea of the events which, by the hand of the Almighty controller of the universe, would cause this to ‘come to pass’, they were still incensed that the ‘elder should serve the younger’. This dream, sent by the revealer of secret things, unto the mind of this young up-start while he slept, remembered and regaled by him as he awoke and understood by him and his brothers, was concerning earthly things which must shortly come to pass with types and foreshadows of the heavenly Joseph, Jesus Christ.
The earthly fulfillment can be first seen when the sons of Jacob, less Benjamin, are sent down to Egypt, because of a sore famine in all the land, and bowing themselves before the lord of Egypt they buy bread. Joseph, now elevated to ‘king of the land’ accuses them of being spies. They are incarcerated and examined where they vehemently deny the accusation and state, “Thy servants, twelve brethren, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan”. (It is no coincidence that the dream of Joseph was of stalks of wheat and the cause of Israel coming to Egypt is a famine or a lack of wheat.) After they are released from prison they begin the journey home only to discover that the money they had paid to Egypt for the wheat, was now somehow back in their sacks, and they are sore afraid. They rehearse all these events in the ears of Jacob, upon their return and in complete obeisance, refer to their brother Joseph as “the lord of the land”.
The famine waxes sore upon the land and Jacob is forced, by the unseen hand of God, to send again for wheat. The brothers return to the land of fortifications and again bow themselves before their lord. This time they brought double the money and, as they brought Benjamin as Joseph had demanded, all the stalks were before Joseph. Having purchased the wheat, or so they supposed, they are stopped and searched and the cup is discovered in Benjamin’s sack. The whole household is subjugated to Joseph’s edicts and commands and cast into prison.
“Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried. Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren”, in Egypt and they indeed bowed before him, once more. How beautiful the prophet picture of Christ and His redeemed family, as Joseph first commanded all to leave, save his family so that no MAN stood with the chosen household. Then HE revealed HIMSELF unto his brethren and them alone. He spoke the language which they knew and showed them that which was always there. He needed no additional means, avenues or mediums as the one who ruled over all the land revealed, not by flesh and blood, nor by the will of man but by the predetermined will of Almighty God that he was indeed, bone of bone and flesh of flesh. As the Apostle Paul would write centuries later, “But when it pleased God, who had separated me from my mothers womb, and called me by His grace, to reveal His Son in me,” (Gal. 1:15). How then came this revelation, by grace or by the works of the flesh? To whom came this most precious revelation? To whomsoever willed, to who ever accepted or received it, or to those who asked for it, or to none but the chosen household? No, “not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of Host”. (Zechariah 4:6) “Flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto you, but My Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 16:17).
Lastly, when Jacob dies, the brothers are fearful that Joseph would bring the weight of all Egypt upon them in retribution and again they bow themselves and place themselves in submission unto his will. “And his brethren also went in and fell down before his face and they said, Behold, we be thy servant.” (Gen. 50:18).
The word of the Lord had been revealed unto a babe, spoken in ignorance and simplicity and brought to pass by His power according to His good pleasure. “I the Lord have spoken; it shall come to pass, and I will do it ;”(Ezekiel 24:14).
This dream was of earthly things and was brought to pass in a tangible manner but there is a greater spiritual application which the Spirit conveys to those of like precious faith. What great beauty is displayed in Joseph as a type of Christ, who draws (forces) His people to a place He has prepared for them and there feeds them in the midst of an evil generation in a foreign land. This dream was exclusively between Joseph and his ten brothers just as the grace of our Lord is exclusively between Himself and His Brethren. They bowed down in fear, reverence and obedience to the ruler of the land just as John describes the innumerable host of the redeemed bowing before the Lord God Omnipotent in the revelation of Jesus Christ. The grace of God is upon and unto His people and He has orchestrated the events and circumstances that involve the ‘whole earth’. The blessing of abundance was upon Egypt but it was for the house of Israel. There was a sore famine in the land of Canaan and the abundance of food in the land of Egypt which was the cause, by the hand of God, which drew Jacob to the land of fortification where he grew from a family to a nation. (It should be noted how that the so called ‘land of promise’ which is sought out by so many religionist today as the location of the ‘soon to be fulfilled’ prophesies of the end times and the location of the earthly kingdom, should be afflicted with this sore famine, while the evil empire of Egypt should be a place of refuge and comfort to His people). These events fulfilled the prophesy which the Lord spoke unto Abraham as He said, “Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;” (Gen. 15:13).
The second dream speaks of things, not of this world. It involves the entire house, Jacob, his wife Rachael, Joseph’s mother and his eleven brothers. Rachael never made the trip to Egypt and never bowed before Joseph. She died while giving birth to ‘Benoni’ (the son of my sorrow) , yet when Jacob is told of the dream he specifically asks Joseph, “What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come and bow to thee to the earth?” (37:10). Rachael was dead and buried. She could never bow to the earth before anyone. The scripture is silent about whether Leah may have still been alive or not at the time of this dream, but she was not Joseph’s mother and there is no mention of her going down into Egypt. Rather, when Jacob was about to die, he made Joseph swear that he would bury him in the same plot of ground where he had buried Leah (49:31), so it is a fair assumption to say that Jacobs question could not have included Leah. Also, when Jacob did come to Egypt and was reunited with his lost son, it was Joseph who bowed himself before Jacob as he fell on his neck and wept. If this be true, then who is (are) the sun, moon and eleven stars that are spoken of in the dream and how do they do obeisance to Joseph?
The sun, moon and stars figure prominently in the scriptures. God spoke creation into existence, saying, “Let there be light”, then He divided the light from the darkness and set an inseparable barrier of distinction between them. He called the light, ‘Day’ and the darkness, ‘Night’. Before the sun, moon or stars were created, there was a kingdom of light and a kingdom of darkness. He then set the lights in the firmament of heaven for ‘signs, seasons, days and years’ and then He, “made two great lights; the greater to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night: the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness:” (Gen.1:14 ff). This testimony definitely recounts the actual and literal creation of heaven and earth and all the components therein, yet, by the revelation of the Spirit, it has a richer meaning concerning the distinction between the kingdom of light from the kingdom of darkness and the respective inhabitants. Along with the stars, these were for signs and illumination upon the earth for all to see.
The writings of the Old Testament are resplendent with references to those whom God had revealed His power and might unto and those whom He kept secluded and in seaming obscurity. He revealed Himself unto Cain when He rejected the works of his hand and then set a mark upon him and drove him into the world. The children of Cain wrought mighty works but not in righteousness for the wrath of God was upon them yet even the beloved of Solomon said, “I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon.” (Song 1:5).
God separated Noah from the wickedness of this world, not because of his righteousness, but because God had separated him unto Himself from before the foundation of the world. From his seed would come children who dwelt in the sunlight of the day and the obscurity of the night. His children were of the name (Shem), those easily deceived (Japheth) and those of hot passion and temper (Ham).
God called Abram and Lot out from the family in the land of Ur of Chaldea and little else is said of Gods dealing with the people of Mesopotamia. Abram and his family were separated from Lot and his people over an issue of intolerance. God showed His favor upon Abram, though Abram displayed the corruption and impotence of the flesh, as He led him into the land of promise. From Abram would come the children of promise and from Lot (the envelope) and his family, being less renown, a vessel of mercy called, Ruth.
On one hand, a people who lived in the constant brilliance and revelation, of the day. These were under the rule of the light of His law, the schoolmaster that brings His children to Christ. On the other hand, a people who existed in obscurity, hidden in the night and ruled by the lesser light, without the law, having the law written upon the tablets of their hearts. These groups were separated in the creation, along with the sons of Belial, as inhabitants of both the kingdom of day and the kingdom of night and unto them were given signs, seasons, days and years, ‘that they may know that I am God’.
“What advantage then hath a Jew? Or what profit is there of circumcision? Much in every way; chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God. For what if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?” (Romans3:1). These are they unto whom pertain “the adoption and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the law, and the services and the promises; whose are the fathers, and of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came. Who is over all, God blessed for ever, Amen.” (9:4f). These were ruled by the law and the prophets which proceeded from the voices, thunder, smoke and the fire of Mount Sinai. They were subjugated to the handwriting of ordinances which laid the foundation of repentance from dead works, and faith toward God, in doctrines of baptisms and of laying on of hands, and of the resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.” (Hebrews 6:1a-2). All these things stood as the earthly pattern of heavenly things to come that drew His elect children unto the Kingdom of the Redeemer. This is the sun as represented by Jacob, the head.
“And you, who were dead in your trespasses and sins; wherein in times past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were children of wrath, even as others” (Ephesians 2:1ff). These are they which dwelt in the obscurity of the kingdom of the night, being alienated from the commonwealth of Israel. They were governed by the same truth yet in the brilliance of the lesser light. They were kept by the power of His will until being translated out of the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of the true Light of His dear Son. This is the moon as represented by his mother.
“And He brought him forth abroad and said, Look now toward heaven and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them, so shall thy seed be” (Gen. 15:5). Abram stands in type and foreshadow as the father of the faithful unto whom faith is imputed for righteousness sake. His seed are represented as the stars of the heaven and although obscured by the brilliance of the thundering glory of the law of Sinai law or a glimmering speck shinning far off in the distance from the lesser light, yet ever present and innumerable by man. But God knoweth them that are His. “He telleth the number of the stars; He calleth them all by names” (Psalms 147:4). This innumerable host, the stars, is represented in the dream by the eleven children of promise. They stand, in type, as the house of Israel in the wilderness, under the law. In fulfillment they stand as the house of the redeemed who dwell in the True light of the Glory of the Holy Law of God, fulfilled in Christ. They are in this world but they are not of this world.
It should be noted that the eleven who stood before Joseph at the time of the dream, do not comprise the children who inherit the land. Neither Joseph nor Levi received an inheritance when Israel came into Canaan. Levi was joined unto the tabernacle and the service of the law. The two sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh received the portion of their father “And the lot of the children of Joseph fell from the Jordan by Jericho on the east, to the wilderness that goeth up from Jericho throughout mount Bethel” (Joshua 16:1). So those who bow before Joseph and do obeisance to him are not those, as a group, who come from the wilderness and receive the promised land.
Moses speaks to the nation of Israel as they prepare to enter the land of promise, saying, “The Lord your God has multiplied you and behold, ye are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude” (Deut. 1:10). God had performed His promise to Abraham. He preserved Jacob, brought forth his children and made them a nation. He sanctified them in the land of fortification. He isolated them in the land of Goshen, made a distinction of separation between them and those of the ‘great house’. They grew from a few oppressed people into a multitude and a nation. He drew them out unto Himself and led them with the fire and the cloud. He parted the Red Sea, delivered His people and destroyed Pharaoh, that His name might be declared in all the world by these marvelous works. He brought them unto the mount and gave Moses and Joshua the brilliant glory of His Holy Law. This Law, written by the finger of God was never given to Adam for it was shattered before man ever got hold of it. He then gave the words to Moses who wrote the ‘ten words’ upon his tables of stone which he made with his hand and gave Israel a law and commandments, whereby, if a man should do them, he should live in them upon the land which the Lord gave him. Here was the earthly fulfillment of the promise to Abraham.
The chosen people of Israel immediately proved that by the works of the law no flesh can ever be justified. They were a stiff necked and rebellious people from the beginning, and the light of the glory of the mount diminished as they humanized the law and amended it trying to find a way to keep it. National Israel, by the impotence of the flesh, wandered further and further from truth and justice. The light of the sun grew dark and obscure, the moon was made silent (blood) and the signs and wonders ceased as the stars withheld their shinning (drew back the brilliance). “A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so; and what will ye do in the end thereof?” (Jer. 5:30f).
Israel had taken the law of Sinai and made merchandise of it. She entered into leagues, alliances and confederacies with the nations of the world contrary to the commandments of God. She went after the way of Balaam and desired wealth, prominence and power. She became abundant (Ephraim) by the hand of Almighty God and she promptly forgot (Manasseh) her God. She committed spiritual wickedness in high places turning the glory of God into the likeness of man and creation. She lifted up her eyes and was driven to worshiped the sun, the moon and the host of heaven rather that the Creator, as Moses prophesied they would (Deut. 4:19). She was led by the hand of God, according to His predestinate will, to be despised, rejected and impoverished. Weak and poor, she returned to those she had committed whoredoms and adulteries with, mixing blood with blood, but she was not longer desired. She became an undesirable slut and a conquered people among the nations of this world and the glory of the simplicity of the gospel was plunged into confusion (Babylon) and darkness. “How is the gold become dim! How is the most fine gold changed! The stones of the sanctuary are poured out in the top of every street. The precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold, how are they esteemed as earthen pitchers, the works of the hand of the potter….they that did feed delicately are desolate in the street; they that were brought up in scarlet, embrace dunghills. For the punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the punishment of the sin of Sodom that was overthrown as in a moment, and no hands stayed on her.” (Lam.4:1).
The sun, moon and stars were set in the firmament of heaven as signs and wonders unto all of creation, from generation to generation, as the heavens declare the glory of the Lord. Unto the children of darkness, the seed of the serpent, whether they existed in the brilliance (sun light) of the doctrines and covenants of old Israel or the obscurity (moon light) of the Gentile world, these were testimonies of condemnation as they declare the invisible things of the Godhead, “Therefore, thou art inexcusable, oh man, whosoever thou art that judges” (Rom. 2:1). These having natural eyes, could not see the work which the hand of God performed day unto day and night unto night. They were not enlightened by the signs which the Father set before them to give light upon the earth. They were blinded by the god of this world because Almighty God has set the things of this world in their heart so that they cannot find out God by seeking (Ecc.3:11) any more than national Israel could see the wondrous work of the advent of the Messiah or His work of atonement for those chosen in Him before the foundation of the world. They sought for a conquering leader that would establish them as a world power and elevated them above all others. Therefore there still remains this veil upon their hearts in the reading and understanding of the Old Covenant, for it testifies how that the Messiah of God must needs come as a servant, being born of a woman and made under the law. He must be despised of men and rejected, a man of sorrow who, to fulfill the requirements of the righteousness of God, must suffer, bleed and die. All the types and foreshadows of the patterns, given in the mount, spoke of this in everything from the priesthood to the tabernacle, to the commandments and the sacrifices.
To the household of faith, sons of God according to election of grace, these signs and wonders manifest the power and sovereignty of the Lord God Omnipotent, who performs all things after the good pleasure of His will (Jeremiah 30:24). These have been given eyes to see and according to the commandment of the Father, they perceive the glory of the Godhead. By the imputed faith of the Son of God, they saw as the mountains (the exalted ones) were brought low and bowed down before Him at His coming. They also saw the valleys (the weak and lowly ones), exalted as they bowed before their Lord and King in worship and praise. They saw the heavens drop down, the winds obeyed His voice and the angry waves were stilled, the trees clapped their hands and the whole of creation proclaimed the glory of the advent of the Redeemer. “Lord lettest now thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of thy people Israel” (Luke 2:28). Zerubbabal had come forth out of the darkness and obscurity of the confusion (Babylon) of the confederacy (mixing) of the light and the darkness. He shone forth out of the darkness, and the darkness perceived Him not and brought forth the headstone of grace and truth. At the climax of fullness of His work, when the fullness of time had come, the sin of the Gentiles had come full, the sin and iniquity of national Israel had grown up before the throne of God as that tree of the mustard seed having all manner of the fowls of heaven (the wicked one) nesting within her branches; when all the sin and transgression of His people had been imputed unto Him so that He who knew no sin had become the sin of His children; when He hung upon the cross and became the curse of the law for His people, there was gross darkness upon the earth (Luke 23:44) and silence in all of heaven (Rev. 8:1).
‘Jacob’ and ‘thy mother’ became dark and the ‘children of the law’ gathered in their shining for they could not compare with the glory that was to be revealed. There was no further need for the light of the beginning of the doctrines of Jesus Christ for He had fulfilled the law to every jot and tittle. He led His people, who were held under the curse of the law, into the liberty of His glory and His righteousness. There was no further need for the obscurity and uncertainty of the night. He had thrust in His sickle and gathered together (harvested) out of the kingdom of the night all those given unto Him by the Father and translated them into the kingdom of the True Light. He commanded the north winds to let loose and the south winds to hold not back, let my people come forth. He called unto His people, proclaiming His word upon the valley of dry bone and the dead in Christ heard His voice, were quickened and arose. They came forth out of the wickedness of the present evil generation from every tribe and kindred and tongue. They escaped the judgment of that great city which is Sodom and Egypt that city where our Lord was crucified and out of the confusion of Babylon with Zerubbabal at their head, carrying the headstone of God and crying, grace, grace unto it.
He was proclaimed victorious over sin and death by the power of the Godhead, who would not suffer His soul to see corruption. He was raised from the dead, with power and might. He presented Himself to the Father having the sheaves of His harvest with Him as He said, “Behold I and the children which Thou hast given Me.” This was in fulfillment of the prophecy which He spoke when He said, “All that the Father hast given Me I have lost none, save the son of perdition who was a devil from the beginning, and I will raise them up in the last days”. He presented His bride unto Himself without spot or blemish. Her sins were forgiven, removed unto the uninhabited land and remembered no more. She was washed in the washing of regeneration and He declared His generation before the Father. Together they are seated in the throne of the Lamb, in the heavens, having overcome the world by the power of His faith, “the just shall live by His faith”.
He then returned a second time without sin, the armies of heaven with Him, to execute the wrath of the judgment of God. “The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble; the sun and the moon shall be dark and the stars shall withdraw their shinning; and the Lord shall utter His voice before His army; for His camp is very great; for He is strong that executeth His word; for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide” (Joel 2:10). He went forth conquering and to conquer. His vestige was stained with the blood of the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of God for He alone had trodden it, for no man was worthy. Out of His mouth proceeds the two-edged sword of the testimony of Truth as He established His assembly here on earth and built His church. Just as David, the beloved, had assembled all the parts for the building of His temple but was forbid of God to build it for his hands were stained with blood, so Christ could not build His temple having the sin of His people upon Him. Therefore, after the temple was torn down, three days later He arose, the King of Righteousness (Melchizedek) and the King of (our) Peace (Solomon), He presented to the Exalted Father (Abram), who had given Him the tenth (the remnant), the blood and the body, and the Father was satisfied. He then built His temple, just as He told the high priest, “tear this temple down and I will build it again in three days, howbeit He spoke not of this (Solomon’s, Ezra's or Herod’s) temple but of His own body”. He then consecrated it with His anointing. “And it shall come to pass afterward, I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh (Acts 2)….And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood before the great and terrible day of the Lord come. And it shall come to pass, whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call” (2:28ff).
The types and foreshadows had been fulfilled. The light of the law of Moses, which glory faded away, was no longer needed by reason of a better glory that remains, which cannot be enhanced nor diminished in any way. Since in Adam, all (the children) had sinned and come short of the glory of God, in Christ all (the children) were redeemed by His obedience. There is therefore, in Christ neither Jew nor Gentile. The wall of division has been broken down and He has made of the two, one new man, for they are all His children of promise. The chosen children of the election have been both delivered from the searing sun of the law of Israel and translated out of the kingdom of obscurity when the Sun of Righteousness arose with healing in His wings. The eleven stars do obeisance to their Lord and King as they stand before the Everlasting throne to sing the song of Moses, the song of deliverance. “Alleluia; salvation, and glory, and honour, and power unto the Lord our God: For true and righteous are His judgments: for He has judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and has avenged the blood of His servants at her hand” (Rev. 19:1f).
God had put the covering upon the sun with a cloud (brilliance), which is the same cloud that covered Mount Sinai with the Glory of God. He caused ‘Jacob’ to bow before Joseph (Christ) the glory of God for the law had been accomplished. He was and is the “light to lighten the Gentiles and the Glory of His people Israel” (Luke 2:44).
The doctrines and covenant, the handwriting of ordinances, which stood in weak and beggarly elements and were given to reveal the exceeding sinfulness of sin, have been nailed to the cross and removed, being fulfilled. The stones of the altar have been made into chalk for there remains no more sacrifice for sin. Christ has entered once into the Holy tabernacle not made with hands, before an altar that the world cannot approach and has offered a more perfect sacrifice, His precious blood. The fruit of the labour of Christ had satisfied the just demands of the Holy Law of God and by this all the iniquity of Jacob (the children of promise) had been forgiven (Is. 27:9). The moon no longer gave her light for there was no longer any light to reflect. His mother stood silent in obeisance before Joseph for, without the sun, she had nothing of herself.
“And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof” (Rev. 21:22f). “And there shall be no more night there; and they need no candle, neither the light of the sun; for the Lord giveth them light and they shall reign for ever and ever” (22:5). The new heaven and the new earth have come. Old things have passed away and behold, all things have become new. The church, His bride, has arisen, has shook off the dust of Adam, this world and has been granted to be adorn, in linens clean and white, which is the righteousness of the saints, for her Husband. The bridegroom has come forth out of His chamber. He has redeemed Israel. He has overcome the world and is seated at the right hand of the Father having all His foes under His footstool. There are no more signs and wonders for He is all in all and He is the Light of His people Israel (God has prevailed).
May the Lord grant a heart of discernment to His children to cast aside that which is not of the truth. If truth be revealed, give all praise and glory unto His Holy Name.
Elder CA Dirkes