Joseph served as a type for Christ in the following ways:
- Both were granted a new name: Joseph was denominated Zaphnath-paaneah by Pharaoh (Gen. 41:45) Jesus’ divine name was Christ.
- Both were good shepherds.
- Both were known as the most loved of their father.
- Both were clothed in authority and power of their father. Joseph, for instance, was given the ‘coat of many colours’ (Gen. 37:3), a symbol of priesthood authority.
- Both were revelators, and revealed things pertaining to the future (JST, Gen. 50:24-38; Matt. 24).
- Both were fully obedient to the will and wishes of their fathers and responded to their calls to serve, saying, ‘Here am I’ (Gen. 37:13; Abr. 3:27).
- Both were promised a future sovereignty, speaking equally of a temporal and an eternal role.
- Both were betrayed by their brothers, at which time they were stripped of their garments.
- Both were cast into a pit-Christ to the world of spirits, Joseph into an empty cistern.
- Both were betrayed with the utmost hypocrisy (Gen. 37:27; John 18:31).
- Both were sold. It was Judah that sold Joseph for twenty pieces of silver (Gen. 37:26-28), as it was Judas (Greek for Judah) who sold Jesus for thirty pieces of silver (Matt. 26:15).
- The blood-sprinkled coat of each was presented to his father. Joseph’s coat of many colors was dipped in the blood of the goat (Gen. 37:31-32) the blood of Jesus Christ as the blood of the scapegoat, a sin offering, was symbolically presented to the Father.
- Both blessed those with whom they labored in prison (Gen. 39:21-23; D&C 138).
- Both were servants, and as such all that they touched were blessed.
- Both were tempted with great sin and both refused its enticements (Gen. 39; Matt. 4:1-11).
- Both were falsely accused: Joseph by Potiphar’s wife, Christ by false witnesses.
- Both stood as the source of divine knowledge to their day and generation.
- Both were triumphant, overcoming all.
- Both were granted rule over all (Gen. 41:40; 1 Pet. 3:22).
- Both were thirty years old when they began their life’s work (Gen. 41:46; Luke 3:23).
- Both were saviors to their people, giving them the bread of life. Joseph saved his family with a temporal salvation; Christ as the Bread of Life saves the family of mankind with a spiritual salvation.
- The rejection of both brought bondage upon the people.
- Both were unrecognized by their people (Gen. 45:3-5; D&C 45:51-53).
- Both would be recognized and accepted by their brothers only at the ‘second time’ (Acts 7:13; D&C 45:51-53).
- As Joseph’s brothers bowed to him in fulfillment of prophecy, so all will yet bow the knee to Christ (Gen. 43:26-28; D&C 76:110).
- Through both, mercy is granted to a repentant people. As Joseph’s brothers sought forgiveness of him, so Christ’s brothers will eventually seek forgiveness of him.
- After the reconciliation, Israel is gathered. Having manifest himself to his brothers, Joseph charged them to return and bring their father and families to Egypt. So it shall be in the last days. After Israel have returned to their God, they, like Joseph’s brothers, shall be sent to bring all the family of Israel into the kingdom ruled by Christ.”
Source: Joseph Fielding McConkie and Donald W. Parry, A Guide to Scriptural Symbols [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1990], 71-72)