Story Of Joseph In The Bible

Now the story of Joseph in the Bible is not a common one by far. In fact it is not the actual story itself, but the events leading up to the story that open a window into the Hebrew culture, ancient Egypt, and family dynamics. It takes a bit of study to understand all its parts and to be able to fully appreciate the entire picture. Through this study, however, we may gain not just an appreciation for this particular Biblical story, but also for other stories in Scripture.

Joseph is among some of the noted personalities in the Bible. He was one of the sons of Jacob and son of Rachel as well. Rachel, who had infertility issues gave birth to Joseph during her old age by bearing him with the aid of her Egyptian maidservant or traditional surrogate mother.

Joseph is mentioned in each of the four canonical Gospels. The mathetmatical odds that this would have occurred by chance are very small. This fact validates the biblical account of Joseph as a real person and provides powerful evidence to support the Christian argument for the Historical Jesus and Bible accuracy.

Joseph is one of the most important figures in the Bible. He was sold into slavery by his brothers, but rose to the rank of number 2 man in the Kingdom of Egypt during a time of great famine. His actions saved the lives of his family and many other people in Egypt. However, even if Joseph had not saved anyone, we know that God would have still used him to save millions of souls by doing what He did through Joseph, who was predestined from birth to do just that.

Story Of Joseph In The Bible

The Bible Story of Joseph, from the Book of Genesis, is one of heroic redemption and forgiveness. Joseph was the most loved son of his father, Israel, given the famous robe of many colors. When Joseph reported having dreams of his brothers, and even the stars and moon, bowing before him, their jealousy of Joseph grew into action.  The brothers sold him into slavery to a traveling caravan of Ishmaelites who took him to Egypt and sold him to Potiphar, the captain of Pharaoh’s guard.

In Egypt, the Lord’s presence with Joseph enables him to find favor with Potiphar and the keeper of the prison.  With God’s help, Joseph interprets the dreams of two prisoners, predicting that one of them will be reinstated but the other put to death.  Joseph then interprets the dreams of the Pharaoh, which anticipate seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine. Pharaoh recognizes Joseph’s God-given ability and prompts his promotion to the chief administrator of Egypt.

Shortage of food in Canaan forces Jacob to send his sons to buy grains from the Egyptians.  Benjamin, Joseph’s younger brother remains at home as Jacob fears losing him, as he did Joseph.  When Joseph finally encounters his brothers again, he deliberately conceals his identity. He accuses them of being spies and tells them to return with Benjamin or he will not sell them grain.  The ongoing famine forces Jacob to reluctantly send his sons back to Egypt with Benjamin, and they are unexpectedly invited to dine at Joseph’s house. Joseph then tests the character of his brothers by placing a silver cup in the sack of Benjamin and falsely accusing him of theft.  When Judah offers to stay in place of Benjamin, Joseph knows that his character has changed and reveals that he is their brother. Joseph explains they need not feel guilty for betraying him as it was God’s plan for him to be in Egypt to preserve his family.  He told them to bring their father and his entire household into Egypt to live in the province of Goshen because there were five more years of famine left.  Joseph supplied them with Egyptian transport wagons, new garments, silver, and twenty additional donkeys carrying provisions for the journey.  Jacob is then joyously reunited with his son Joseph.

Story Of Joseph In The Bible

Joseph was the second youngest of twelve brothers born to Jacob, who was called Israel. In Genesis 37:3–4 we read, “Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate robe for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.” The same passage also discusses two dreams Joseph had that angered his brothers; the dreams indicated his brothers would someday bow to him. Joseph’s brothers also despised him due to their father’s overt favoritism toward him.

One day, Joseph traveled to check on his brothers while they were watching their sheep. His brothers plotted against him, threw him in an empty well, and later sold him as a slave to some traveling Midianites. Applying animal blood to his “ornate robe,” they returned home and made Jacob believe his son had been killed by wild animals.

In the meantime, Joseph was taken to Egypt and sold to the captain of the guard, Potiphar, as a household slave. Joseph was later falsely accused of attempting to rape Potiphar’s wife and thrown into prison. While in prison, Joseph accurately interpreted the dreams of two of Pharaoh’s servants, who were also incarcerated. Later, Pharaoh had a disturbing dream no one could interpret. One of the servants Joseph had previously helped then suggested to Pharaoh that Joseph could interpret the dream. Joseph was summoned from prison, and he interpreted Pharaoh’s dream in such a powerful way that he was appointed second-in-command over Egypt.

Pharaoh’s dream predicted seven years of famine. During the famine, Joseph’s older brothers came to Egypt to buy food. They did not recognize Joseph, now twenty years older, and he treated them harshly, pretending that he thought they were spies. Joseph kept one brother in prison until the others brought their youngest brother, Benjamin, back to Egypt to prove they were not spies. They brought Benjamin with them on a return trip, and, after a series of twists that included his brothers bowing before him—in fulfillment of Joseph’s dream of long ago—Joseph revealed himself to his brothers. They were shocked, yet soon glad to be reunited. Joseph sent word for the entire family to join them in Egypt until after the famine.

Later, when their father, Jacob, died, Joseph’s brothers feared that Joseph would take revenge against them for their prior treatment of him. They came to Joseph and begged for his forgiveness, appealing to a request their father had made before he died (Genesis 50:16–17) Joseph wept when he heard their appeal. Revenge was the last thing on his mind. Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:19–20).

In the story of Joseph and his brothers, we see the themes of forgiveness, the father-son bond, sibling rivalry, brotherly love, God’s sovereignty, and God’s greater good in times of suffering. Just like Joseph, we are called to forgive those who have offended us and see life’s experiences as part of God’s plan to help us serve others.

Leave a Reply