The Josephs in Genesis and Matthew

In Matthew’s infancy stories (1:18–2:23), there are at least four connections between the Joseph in those chapters and the Joseph at the end of Genesis. Connections have been widely noted by commentators.

  1. Both Josephs have a father named Jacob (cf. Gen 30:24; Matt 1:16).
  2. Both Josephs experienced revelation through dreams (cf. Gen 37:5-11; Matt 1:20, 2:13, 2:19).
  3. Both Josephs went to Egypt (cf. Gen 39:1; Matt 2:14).
  4. Both Josephs preserved their families in Egypt (cf. Gen 45–47; Matt 2:14-15).

What does this mean? In the music of the First Gospel’s infancy narratives, Matthew wanted his readers to hear the familiar tune of Joseph from Genesis. The notes are embedded there for those with ears to hear.

Are there further correspondences between the two Josephs?

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