Genesis 50:20: The Interpretive Lens for Chapters 37-50

These notes are provided for a live discussion and Q&A on Genesis 50:20. These are the skeleton notes for Keith and Mitch as they discuss this passage. The recording can be found later on TRC Sermons


  1. We want to model some bible saturated gospel conversation between RL group members. Do what we do this morning at the coffee shop, on the job, at the house, etc.
  2. We want to help you think deeply on reading and interpreting your bible.
  3. We want to help get Genesis 50:20 as the framework for the rest of Genesis wedged into your soul SO THAT you can rest in trusting the Lord Jesus with the details of every day and live in Sabbath rest with Jesus REGARDING YOUR PAST / PRESENT / FUTURE.

Observations (Mitch)

  1. Genesis 50:20 will be our interpretive lens to make sense of the Joseph narrative. 
    1. Psalm 105:16-22 (God brought the famine, broke the bread supply and sent Joseph ahead as his rescuer); Genesis 45:5, 7, 8 (God sent me not you…to preserve life)
    2. That lens? Yhwh, the Lord Jesus, is the main character and the one moving his people to gospel ends in every detail.
  2. Moses intends us to know Yhwh as distinct from the Egyptian and Canaanite deities who can’t even control the weather, so Moses relates how Yhwh told Abraham what he was going to do(Genesis 15:13-14), and now shows how he fulfills it.
  3. Joseph ultimately points us to the gospel in showing us the pattern of 1 subjected to the unjust sin of others in order to save the unjust sinners as a gospel pattern that will ultimately be fulfilled in Jesus who providentially put this all together historically to prepare us for the gospel. 
    1. All scripture predicts, prepares for, reflects and results from Jesus’ person and work.
      1. Through pattern; through theme; through individual examples; through imperfect bridges like Joseph; through absolute dead end deadbeats like the Levite husband in Judges 19. 

Observations (Keith)

  1. The two authors of Scripture (Moses [human] and God) use types to help us understand historic events 
    1. These events both provide understanding of our current circumstances and provide insight (for those hungry to search for them) for the future.
  2. Genesis 37-50 provides a resolution to all of Genesis.
    1. Joseph is the restorer of lost relationship (from family destruction to family restoration – People or descendants).
    2. Joseph is the restorer of lost provision (from famine to plenty – Land).
  3. Joseph is the faithful servant who lives wisely (according to God’s revealed instruction) while in exile.
    1. He is right focused (purpose driven).
    2. He rightly understands his identity.
    3. He uses his gifts in service to those outside the tribe, to fulfill God’s purposes inside the tribe.


  1. Have these kinds of conversations over Scripture with your RL group members. 
  2. Let your bible be the interpretive lens through which you interpret the bible. 
  3. Trust Jesus with the details of your daily life…he is really that much in charge of your days. 
  4. The more you embrace God’s revelation (the Word), the more you are able to see through it (make better sense of the world) and the more you desire it. 
  5. The path outlined in the Scriptures is THE path to human flourishing…eventually. Although it typically does not shape up the way we first thought it might, the God solution is the only real solution to human flourishing.
  6. From the position of a biblical worldview, there is no such thing as meaningless suffering. No other worldview makes sense of suffering in a way that is helpful.  
  7. As we think eternally, with the end in mind from the beginning, we are able to actually behave more wisely. Right eschatology (within a wide scope of eschatological views) has strong potential to lead to right living. 


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