"And Joseph brought in Jacob his father, and set him before Pharaoh: and
Jacob blessed Pharaoh." GEN 47:7.
Joseph had been promoted in the kingdom. He wore robes of royal
apparel, but Joseph was not afraid nor ashamed to identify with his old
father, a man of 130 years, with homespun clothing (nothing appealing),
a shepherd, and an abomination to the king outside of the merits of
See some of the contrasts that stand between the monarch, Pharaoh, and
Joseph's old father:
1) One was a patriarch; the other was a monarch.
2) One was the covenant head of a number who were destined to become a
mighty nation; the other was a mighty monarch of a nation destined to be
humbled before the seed of Israel.
3) The occupation of the lesser was an abomination to the greater.
4) One dressed in shepherd's apparel, the other in royal apparel.
The contrasts between the two were as far as the East is from the West,
but in Joseph they were able to have reconciliation; they were able to
have unity through the merits of Joseph.
This is a blessed gospel principle that is taught to you and me in
Christ. It is in the merits of Christ that the Father can look upon
sinners with favor that were an abomination in His sight, and that He
can appoint them a portion in the goodness of the land.
Joseph was not ashamed to honor his old father by owning him before his
master. Not only was he willing to identify with his old father, but he
honored him. It was a great honor for Jacob to be introduced into the
presence of the king and to be able to come and pronounce his blessing
upon the king. This was a great honor that Jacob received as a result
of Joseph honoring his father. We read that in Verse 7, "And Joseph
brought in Jacob his father, and set him before Pharaoh." He seated his
father in the presence of the king, "and Jacob blessed Pharaoh." Notice
the contrast of events. Joseph brought Jacob into the presence of the
king, and yet it was Jacob who pronounced the blessing upon Pharaoh.
Words of respect are worthless unless our actions correspond. Think of
Jacob's homespun apparel in contrast to the royal apparel of Joseph and
Pharaoh. Joseph knew how despised such would be before the king's
court, yet he was not ashamed to honor his father by giving him a seat
in the presence of the king. He was not ashamed to honor his father
before Pharaoh, who would look upon him in his own merit. Joseph knew
that outside of his merit, his father would be an abomination in the
sight of Pharaoh, but it was in what Joseph had done, it was in the love
that Pharaoh had for Joseph that he could look upon Jacob with favor.
Pharaoh was clearly touched by the loyalty of his servant Joseph. In
his first meeting with Joseph, Pharaoh said, "Who can we find one who is
wiser?" Pharaoh highly esteemed Joseph. Joseph had proven himself; what
he had prophesied came to pass. There were seven years of plenty and
the seven years of famine had become a reality. Pharaoh was touched by
the loyalty of his servant Joseph and gave him a token of his pleasure,
saying, "The land of Egypt is before thee; in the best of the land make
thy father and brethren to dwell," GEN 47:6. Pharaoh understood that
Joseph was genuine.
There are many lessons to be learned from this royal interview that took
place between two princes. Jacob, as a patriarch, was a prince with
God; he had power with God. Pharaoh was a prince in the realm of
nature. Here we see a royal interview between two dignitaries.
The king had learned by Joseph's actions that he could hold him in
unquestionable trust; therefore, he could look upon Joseph's honoring of
his old father as an indication of righteousness.
Solomon said in PRO
16:31, "The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of
righteousness." The king had no reason to question that Jacob had come
to his "hoary head" in the way of righteousness, because he was the
father of the son that had performed in the king's presence and whose
service the king was well pleased with.