And the Midianites sold him into Egypt
Or Medanites, who sprung from Medan, a brother of Midian, and son of Keturah, ( Genesis 24:2 ) ; and were distinct from the Midianites, though they dwelt near them, and were now in company with them, and with the Ishmaelites, and were all concerned in the buying and selling of Joseph, and therefore this is sometimes ascribed to the one, and sometimes to the other: unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh;
the word is sometimes used for an eunuch, but cannot design one here, since Potiphar had a wife, and some say a child; but he either was a chamberlain, or however some officer at court, besides what follows: [and] captain of the guard;
of Pharoah's guard, his bodyguard; some render it, "of the slaughterers" F8; meaning either cooks or butchers, of whom he was the chief; or rather executioners, he having the charge of prisoners, and the care of executing them, like our sheriffs. Joseph was a most eminent type of Christ, and there are so many things in this chapter which show an agreement between them that cannot be passed over. Joseph was the son of his father's old age, Christ the son of the Ancient of days; Joseph was in a peculiar manner beloved by his father, Christ is the dear son of his Father's love; Jacob made for Joseph a coat of many colours, God prepared a body in human nature for Christ, filled and adorned with the various gifts and graces of the Spirit without measure. Joseph was hated by his brethren, and they could not endure to think he should have the dominion over them. The Jews, of whom Christ was according to the flesh, hated him, and would not have him to reign over them; Joseph was sent by his father a long journey to visit his brethren, and know the welfare of them and their flocks, Christ was sent from heaven to earth to seek and save the lost sheep of the house of Israel; Joseph's brethren, when they saw him come to them, conspired to take away his life, the Jews, who were Christ's own, when he came to them, received him not, but said, this is the heir, let us kill him, and they consulted to take away his life; Joseph was stripped of his clothes, and sold for twenty pieces of silver at the motion of Judah, and Christ, by one of the same name, was sold for thirty pieces of silver, and was stripped of his clothes by the Roman soldiers; Joseph was delivered into the hands of foreigners, and Christ into the hands of the Gentiles; Joseph being reckoned as dead by his father, and yet alive, may be herein an emblem of Christ's death, and his resurrection from the dead.