I’ve just finished reading through the book of Genesis, and something interesting I noticed is that towards the end of Joseph’s story, he continuously commands his “steward” to assist his brothers. In Genesis 43, Joseph commands the steward to “bring the men into the house” and “prepare a feast” for them. What’s interesting about this is that in 43:19 Joseph’s brothers “went up to the steward of Joseph’s house, and spoke with him at the door of the house,” after which point it is the steward who lets them in. And in Genesis 44, the steward is commanded to “fill their sacks with food… [and] money for grain.” So what we gather from this is that the “steward to the House of Joseph,” in a sense, keeps watch over the door of the house, is tasked with letting people into the house, prepares feasts, and feeds the brethren.

Because Joseph in this story is a type of Jesus (see here), I speculate that the steward here is a type of St. Peter. This is because when the Lord appoints Peter as “Rock” of the Church in Matthew 16, He is clearly alluding to Isaiah 22 (open and shut—bind and loose), where Eliakim is the royal “steward” in the House of David, and indeed has the “key to the House of David,” just as St. Peter has the “key to the Kingdom of Heaven,” and just as Joseph’s steward watched over the “door of the house” and determined who was let in (implying he had some kind of key).

Moreover, the steward in the House of Joseph prepares a feast and feeds the brethren, just as St. Peter is commanded to “feed my sheep” and “strengthen your brethren” by the Lord Jesus in John 21 and Luke 22. What exactly this means is illumined by 1 Chronicles 9, where we learn that the Levitical priests have the “key” to the House of God (and are portrayed as its stewards or “gatekeepers” who “open” the house every morning; cf. this with the fact that Eliakim “opens and none shall shut” and St. Peter is given the keys in the context of the “gates of Hell” not prevailing), and part of their ministry was to prepare “flour and wine, and the olive oil,” as well as “baking the offering bread.” I believe this ministry to be fulfilled in St. Peter because the bishops of the Church are the “successors of Peter,” and it is by virtue of this apostolic succession that they are able to perform the sacraments of the Eucharist (flour and wine, offering bread) and Baptism-Chrismation (oil), thereby “feeding and strengthening” the brethren, and allowing the rule of Christ through the Church to be visibly and concretely manifest on earth. As St. Ignatius of Antioch famously wrote:

Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. (The Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans)