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                                                The Story of Joseph (Genesis Chapters 37-45)                     Page 1 of 4

     The story of Joseph is one of the many fascinating stories in the Bible. Joseph was the youngest of the sons of Jacob. To give a quick genealogical view of this family; there was Abraham who God made a covenant with. He had two sons, Ishmael and Isaac. Isaac had a son Jacob and Jacob had several sons, the youngest being Joseph. When reading the scriptures of Jacob in Genesis, you will see a reference to his name being Israel. That is because God renamed Jacob to Israel when he wrestled with an angel (Gen. Ch. 32-34).

One day, Joseph was in the field with his brothers, and he told them of a dream he had.  So he said to them, “Please hear this dream which I have dreamed:  There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf.”  And his brothers said to him, “Shall you indeed reign over us? Or shall you indeed have dominion over us?” So they hated him for his dreams and for his words.  

Joseph's brothers were very jealous of him because their father Jacob favored Joseph. Especially after their father made a tunic of 'many colors' for Joseph.

Then Joseph dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, “Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.”

When Joseph told his brothers and father about this dream, Jacob asked him, “do you mean that I and our family will bow down to you?” Jacob rebuked Joseph, but very much pondered what his dreams meant.

           Jacob then sent Joseph out to the fields to check on their brothers and he told Joseph to come back and report to him their progress. After looking for them Joseph was told by a stranger that his brothers went to Dothan.

When Joseph went to Dothan, his brothers saw him coming and conspired to kill him, but the oldest brother Reuben convinced the brothers to just throw him in a pit so they would not actually have actually go through with killing him.

    The brother s continued to conspired against him to kill him.  Then they said to one another, “Look, this dreamer is coming! Come therefore, let us now kill him and cast him into some pit; and we shall say, 'Some wild beast has devoured him.' We shall see what will become of his dreams!”  But Reuben heard this, and he delivered Joseph out of their hands, and said, “Let us not kill him.”  And Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit which is in the wilderness, and do not lay a hand on him”-that he might deliver him out of their hands, and bring him back to his father.  So it came to pass, when Joseph had come to his brothers, that they stripped him of his tunic, the tunic of many colors that was on him.  Then they took him and cast him into a pit. And the pit was empty; there was no water in it.

After this, the brothers saw a group of Ishmaelites from Egypt coming toward them. So they conspired again to sell Joseph to the Ishmaelites so their conscience of Joseph dying would not bother them. So this they did. Joseph was sold to the Ishmaelites for 20 pieces of silver and they returned to Egypt with Joseph as a slave. When Rueben returned to the pit, he saw that Joseph was gone, and after speaking with his brothers, they took Joseph’s tunic and dipped it into the blood of a goat to make it seem as though he was attacked and killed by a wild animal.

They took the tunic back to their father so he could identify it as belonging to Joseph and when Jacob did so, he mourned greatly at the loss of his son. For I shall go down into the grave to my son in mourning.” Thus his father wept for him.

When Joseph arrived in Egypt as a slave, he was purchased by Potiphar an officer of Pharaoh. The Lord was with Joseph and Joseph prospered very well in everything he did. Potiphar noticed this and made Joseph in charge of all of his personal effects. The Lord blessed Potiphar for Joseph’s sake and eventually trusted Joseph completely in all of his administrative responsibilities.

At this time Potiphar's wife who had saw Joseph  had desires for him and at one point propositioned him to sleep with her. Joseph refused but she kept after him. One day, when Joseph came into the house,  Potihar's wife grabbed him and demanded he sleep with her. Joseph broke away from her and ran, but as he ran, his shirt had torn and she was left holding it. She then began to scream. When all the men in the village came to her, she said;  See, he has brought in to us a Hebrew to mock us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice.  And it happened, when he heard that I lifted my voice and cried out, that he left his garment with me, and fled and went outside.” So she kept his garment with her until his master came home.  Then she spoke to him with words like these, saying, “The Hebrew servant whom you brought to us came in to me to mock me;  so it happened, as I lifted my voice and cried out, that he left his garment with me and fled outside.” Potiphar had Joseph thrown in prison for this. But the Lord was with Joseph and caused the Jailer of the prison to find favor in Joseph. The Jailer eventually made Joseph in charge of all of the prison activities and did not bother to check on anything that Joseph did, because he had such confidence in him. The Lord made Joseph prosper.

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