The Son of My Right Hand

1912 55 I have often thought that an interesting exposition remains to be written in which should be set forth and illustrated by the typical imagery of the book of Genesis the wonderful triumph of the Lord Jesus Christ that will be manifested when His people shall be willing (Ps. 110:3) in the day of His power. That triumph was virtually secured in the all-embracing triumphs of the cross. But Israel was not willing in that day of the Lord's weakness, though, stronger than men, it proved as is said of the gospel, to be the power of God unto salvation for Jew and Gentile that believe, and is so still.

Here in Genesis we have a vivid picture of what will be in the millennial day after the church has been translated to heaven. It is a wonderful prefigurement. Surely it is not for nothing that Joseph and Benjamin were full brothers, being both of them Rachel's children as well as her only ones. Thus is the link between the ultimately coalescing constituents of the type made all the stronger. For Benjamin is no longer the "son of my sorrow," as he was pathetically named by his dying mother, sorrow abundantly realised in Joseph's story, but now at last he is linked with Joseph in the latter's typical character as God's chosen man, the man of His right hand. This "son of the right hand" is, as we know, the meaning of the name Benjamin. And it is interesting withal to notice the prophetic insight displayed by his father in thus naming him (see Gen. 35), a flash of that sustained God-given prescience which marked so wonderfully Jacob's dying charge to his sons. For none of the patriarchs had such a glorious exodus as he who had alas! been so crooked in his life, so crafty and so subtle, so fond of bargaining (see Gen. 38:28), though ever, as one has said, there was a noble side to him, and "his whole soul was steeped in tenderness." Truly we may apply to him, and in a far deeper sense, the words that England's great poet puts into the mouth of his most faulty hero, "Nothing in his life became him like the leaving of it."

Thus is it instructive to see that the story of Joseph is not only the most moving that ever was penned, save only His whose life and death of perfect grace it prefigures, but that (for that very reason) it is instinct and penetrated with deep spiritual meaning, and weighty with supreme prophetic import.

Again, do we not see, in the long-drawn out ordeal through which Joseph's brethren have to pass, a picture of the future exhaustive sufferings and humiliations of the Jew, so that God will at length declare in His grace that Jerusalem has received double for all her sins (Isa. 40:2)?

Finally, in Joseph we have a character not only the most striking, but also (spite of the perhaps too great self-consciousness of his early youth) by far the least faulty of all those who had the high privilege of being types of our blessed Lord. R.B.