Was Joseph a Type of Daniel? Typological Correspondence in Genesis 37–50 and Daniel 1–6 -- By: Joshua M. Philpot

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 61:4 (Dec 2018)
Article: Was Joseph a Type of Daniel? Typological Correspondence in Genesis 37–50 and Daniel 1–6
Author: Joshua M. Philpot


Was Joseph a Type of Daniel? Typological Correspondence in Genesis 37–50 and Daniel 1–6

Joshua M. Philpot*

* Joshua Philpot is an adjunct professor in the School of Christian Thought at Houston Baptist University and associate pastor at Founders Baptist Church, 24724 Aldine Westfield Rd., Spring, TX 77373. He may be contacted at jphilpot@hbu.edu.

Abstract: Joseph and Daniel share many similarities: both men are Hebrew exiles, both speak God’s word prophetically, both recount dreams, and both are given the ability to interpret those dreams. Even though they are like bookends in the Hebrew canon, these connections may suggest intentionality. In what follows, I will argue on thematic, sequential, and linguistic grounds that the author of the book of Daniel shaped the narrative of Daniel 1–6 after Joseph’s life. If this is correct, the texts of Genesis 37–50 (and 41 in particular) and Daniel 1–6 (and 2 in particular) portray the historical Joseph as typological of the historical Daniel, only situated in another role and context. In other words, the intentional literary strategy employed by the author of Daniel 1–6 was to construct his narrative in such a way to evoke and mirror the Joseph story in Genesis 37–50. This is to say that the author of Daniel noticed a pattern in Joseph that is then replicated in Daniel, and thus the author presents Daniel according to that Joseph-pattern because the author of Daniel recognizes (i.e. interprets) the repetition of the pattern to be significant. I will demonstrate this thesis within both texts, grounded upon the following three premises: (1) historical and thematic development; (2) linguistic and sequential event correspondence in Genesis 41 and Daniel 2; and (3) escalation within the redemptive historical outline of the Hebrew canon. Finally, the theological implications of this study will be summarized in the conclusion.

Key words: Daniel, Joseph, typology, biblical theology, intertextuality, canonical theology, correspondence

I. TYPOLOGY

While many scholars, past and present, have engaged in the study of typology of the NT’s use of the OT,1 many others have documented how OT authors

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