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Joseph - son of Jacob.

Just about every Christian knows the story of Abram who became Abraham.
He had two sons. Ishmael and Isaac.
Isaac also had two sons. Esau and Jacob. There is a lot to say about Jacob and Esau, and we may eventually get around to that, but not here.

Jacob met a man named Laban.. who was perhaps not the most honest individual around. He
had two daughters... Leah and Rachel. Jacob wanted to marry Rachel, but was tricked into marrying Leah first. ( Gen 29; )

Jacob.. had two wives. His two wives had servant women. Leah had Zilpah and Rachel had Bilhah.
( Gen 29:24; Gen 29:29; ) between these four women, Jacob had a number of sons. Most of this is recorded in Gen 30; Apparently sharing a husband wasn't that un-common in those days.

Rachel had a hard time having children, but eventually she had Joseph. (Gen 30:24; )

All of that to get us here.... the story of Joseph.

Gen 37:2; These are the records of the generations of Jacob. Joseph, when seventeen years of age, was pasturing the flock with his brothers while he was still a youth, along with the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives. And Joseph brought back a bad report about them to their father.
Gen 37:3; Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons, because he was the son of his old age; and he made him a varicolored tunic.
Gen 37:4; His brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers; and so they hated him and could not speak to him on friendly terms.

In Gen 32:28; God changed Jacob's name to "israel". Because he "prevailed against God".

When Joseph was 17 years old, he was something of a spy or tattletale depending on your perspective.
He gave his father a "bad report" about his brothers. The assumption here is that they were goofing off.
It says that Israel (Jacob) loved Joseph more than all his other sons. (because he was a son received in old age). It seems that Israel made Joseph a coat of many colors.

It seems that because of this coat, his brothers (rightly) thought that Israel loved Joseph more than the rest of them. Because of this they hated him... and could not even be friendly to him.
It's possible that his "bad report" about them didn't help matters.

As much as they hate him now... they will hate him more in the next few verses.

... next Joseph's first dream...

Gen 37:5; Then Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more.
Gen 37:6; He said to them, "Please listen to this dream which I have had;
Gen 37:7; for behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and lo, my sheaf rose up and also stood erect; and behold, your sheaves gathered around and bowed down to my sheaf."
Gen 37:8; Then his brothers said to him, "Are you actually going to reign over us? Or are you really going to rule over us?" So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.

Joseph has a dream, and he tells it to his brothers... a sheave is simply a bundle of wheat tied together in a tall "stack" of sorts.
But all of the sheaves in this dream that represented his brothers bowed down to a taller sheave in the center which represented Joseph.
His brother are pretty good at interpreting the dream. They assume it means he will "reign" over them. So this dream makes them hate him even more
than they did before.

... next, the second dream ...

Gen 37:9; Now he had still another dream, and related it to his brothers, and said, "Lo, I have had still another dream; and behold, the sun and the moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me."
Gen 37:10; He related it to his father and to his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, "What is this dream that you have had? Shall I and your mother and your brothers actually come to bow ourselves down before you to the ground?"
Gen 37:11; His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the saying in mind.

So Joseph has another dream. I wonder if he knew how his dreams made his family feel? Have you ever had this type of dream?
In this dream, the sun (his father) and the moon (his mother) and eleven stars (his brothers) all bow down to him again. This time even his father
isn't really too happy about this dream. As you can imagine, the brother hated him all the more. It says they were jealous of him.
But his father (Israel/Jacob) remembered these words.

... next, sold into slavery...

Before we get to the "sold into slavery"... I thought it might be a good idea to take a look at Joseph's brothers.

The four oldest were sons of Leah.

Gen 29:32; Leah conceived and bore a son and named him Reuben, for she said, "Because the LORD has seen my affliction; surely now my husband will love me."
Gen 29:33; Then she conceived again and bore a son and said, "Because the LORD has heard that I am unloved, He has therefore given me this son also." So she named him Simeon.
Gen 29:34; She conceived again and bore a son and said, "Now this time my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons." Therefore he was named Levi.
Gen 29:35; And she conceived again and bore a son and said, "This time I will praise the LORD." Therefore she named him Judah. Then she stopped bearing.

Rueben, (who makes a great sandwich) was the oldest.
Levi... the priests of the old testament were descendants of Levi.
Judah... Jesus is through the lineage of Judah... (therefore Leah).

There are several verses that speak on Jesus's lineage being through Judah. ( Matt 1:2-3; Matt 2:6; Luke 3:30; Luke 3:33; Hebrews 7:14; and Rev 5:5; )

The next two sons came through Bilhah ( Rachel's maid)

Gen 30:5; Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son.
Gen 30:6; Then Rachel said, "God has vindicated me, and has indeed heard my voice and has given me a son." Therefore she named him Dan.
Gen 30:7; Rachel's maid Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son.
Gen 30:8; So Rachel said, "With mighty wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister, and I have indeed prevailed." And she named him Naphtali.

Dan... (God has vindicated me)
Naphtali... ( I have prevailed )

The next two sons came through Zilpah ( Leah's maid)

Gen 30:10; Leah's maid Zilpah bore Jacob a son.
Gen 30:11; Then Leah said, "How fortunate!" So she named him Gad.
Gen 30:12; Leah's maid Zilpah bore Jacob a second son.
Gen 30:13; Then Leah said, "Happy am I! For women will call me happy." So she named him Asher.

Gad... (fortunate)
Asher... (happy ) ... it's difficult to resist jokes about the seven dwarves here...

Leah's fifth son... came through a "deal" because Rachel wanted some mandrakes. So she "hired out" her husband.

Gen 30:14; Now in the days of wheat harvest Reuben went and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them to his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, "Please give me some of your son's mandrakes."
Gen 30:15; But she said to her, "Is it a small matter for you to take my husband? And would you take my son's mandrakes also?" So Rachel said, "Therefore he may lie with you tonight in return for your son's mandrakes."
Gen 30:16; When Jacob came in from the field in the evening, then Leah went out to meet him and said, "You must come in to me, for I have surely hired you with my son's mandrakes." So he lay with her that night.

One thing about the Bible, it pulls no punches. It isn't always pretty, people are people... but the Bible always tells it like it is.

Gen 30:17; God gave heed to Leah, and she conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son.
Gen 30:18; Then Leah said, "God has given me my wages because I gave my maid to my husband." So she named him Issachar.

Issachar would be Leah's fifth son.. or the ninth son altogether. Issachar ( God has given me my wages )

Gen 30:19; Leah conceived again and bore a sixth son to Jacob.
Gen 30:20; Then Leah said, "God has endowed me with a good gift; now my husband will dwell with me, because I have borne him six sons." So she named him Zebulun.

As we see here Zebulun was Leah's sixth son. Or the tenth overall.

What are the odds, that someone would have 10 sons without having a daughter? And so it finally happens that Leah has a daughter.

Gen 30:21; Afterward she bore a daughter and named her Dinah.

I suppose women's rights groups wouldn't be happy to know that Dinah isn't recognized as a Matriarch of Israel in the same sense that the sons are.
Most Christians can name at least a few of the twelve tribes... but many don't even realize there was a daughter as well.

Unfortunately Dinah has some bad circumstances later in life. ( Genesis chapter 34 )

Finally Rachel has Joseph, (the 11th son)

Gen 30:23; So she conceived and bore a son and said, "God has taken away my reproach."
Gen 30:24; She named him Joseph, saying, "May the LORD give me another son."

There were of course more than 11 sons. We'll get to Benjamin later... but I just realized something here. In Joseph's second dream
about the eleven sheaves of what bowing to the tall sheave of wheat in the center.... I think everyone in the family assumed that the eleven
stars were the ten other sons and the daughter Dinah bowing to Joseph here. Benjamin wasn't born yet when Joseph told his family these dreams.
So was the 11th "star" Dinah or Benjamin?

(We haven't gotten to Manasseh and Ephraim, either)

Gen 37:12; Then his brothers went to pasture their father's flock in Shechem.
Gen 37:13; Israel said to Joseph, "Are not your brothers pasturing the flock in Shechem? Come, and I will send you to them." And he said to him, "I will go."
Gen 37:14; Then he said to him, "Go now and see about the welfare of your brothers and the welfare of the flock, and bring word back to me." So he sent him from the valley of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.
Gen 37:15; A man found him, and behold, he was wandering in the field; and the man asked him, "What are you looking for?"
Gen 37:16; He said, "I am looking for my brothers; please tell me where they are pasturing the flock."
Gen 37:17; Then the man said, "They have moved from here; for I heard them say, 'Let us go to Dothan.'" So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan.

Shechem is an important place in Jewish history. It is between Mt. Ebal and Mt. Gerizim. This is one places God spoke to Abraham about ( Deut 11:29; )
It is also the first place that the 10 commandments were read to the people. (not just Jews, but foreigners living with them) Joshua 8:30-33;

Dothan is thought to be about 12 miles north of Samaria. It is still a place you can go today. There is a well there called Joseph's well. Whether it was really Joseph's well or just tradition I'm not sure.

Earlier I said Joseph was a tattletale. But it seems that sometimes Jacob sent him out to check up on his brothers.
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I always wondered how Dinah coped with being the only daughter with 12 brothers.

Well obviously she wasnt too happy cos she ran away and got into trouble....I recall she went with her boyfriend and cos he wasnt circumcised her brothers didnt like that. He went and got circumcised cos he loved Dinah but her brothers wouldnt have a bar of it and killed her boyfriend and his family. Pretty harsh.

I dont know what happened to her after that?
It seems Simeon and Levi avenged Dinah, after she was raped by Shechem. After that we don't hear any thing else about Dinah.

Gen 34:24; All who went out of the gate of his city listened to Hamor and to his son Shechem, and every male was circumcised, all who went out of the gate of his city.
Gen 34:25; Now it came about on the third day, when they were in pain, that two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, each took his sword and came upon the city unawares, and killed every male.
Gen 34:26; They killed Hamor and his son Shechem with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah from Shechem’s house, and went forth.
Gen 34:27; Jacob’s sons came upon the slain and looted the city, because they had defiled their sister.
Gen 37:18; When they saw him from a distance and before he came close to them, they plotted against him to put him to death.
Gen 37:19; They said to one another, "Here comes this dreamer!
Gen 37:20; "Now then, come and let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits; and we will say, 'A wild beast devoured him.' Then let us see what will become of his dreams!"
Gen 37:21; But Reuben heard this and rescued him out of their hands and said, "Let us not take his life."
Gen 37:22; Reuben further said to them, "Shed no blood. Throw him into this pit that is in the wilderness, but do not lay hands on him"—that he might rescue him out of their hands, to restore him to his father.
Gen 37:23; So it came about, when Joseph reached his brothers, that they stripped Joseph of his tunic, the varicolored tunic that was on him;
Gen 37:24; and they took him and threw him into the pit. Now the pit was empty, without any water in it.
Gen 37:25; Then they sat down to eat a meal. And as they raised their eyes and looked, behold, a caravan of Ishmaelites was coming from Gilead, with their camels bearing aromatic gum and balm and myrrh, on their way to bring them down to Egypt.
Gen 37:26; Judah said to his brothers, "What profit is it for us to kill our brother and cover up his blood?
Gen 37:27; "Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh." And his brothers listened to him.

It seems Joseph's brothers can hold a grudge. They saw him coming and plotted to kill him. I know siblings don't always get along, but killing seems a bit excessive.
If you remember, Rueben was the oldest brother. Perhaps he had the most sense, or the most mercy. He talked the other brothers out of killing Joseph, and just wanted to put him in a pit for a while to teach him a lesson.

So the brother rip off his fancy coat of many colors and threw him in the pit. The Bible makes a point of telling us the pit had no water in it.
Joseph likely would not have lasted long there. It's possible they realized they were past the point of no return here. They couldn't let Joseph go back
to Jacob and tattle this time. They had to get rid of him somehow. Luckily (unless you're Joseph) there happened to be some Ishmaelite's coming by.

It is assumed these Ishmaelites were descendents of Ishmael, Abraham's son from only 4 generations ago. Apparently they knew the Ishmaelites were
slave traders or at least were willing to buy a human from them. However the brother's weren't quite fast enough to make a profit out of this deal..

... next the Midianites are faster...

Gen 37:28; Then some Midianite traders passed by, so they pulled him up and lifted Joseph out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. Thus they brought Joseph into Egypt.
Gen 37:29; Now Reuben returned to the pit, and behold, Joseph was not in the pit; so he tore his garments.

Joseph was cheaper than Jesus. Judas got thirty pieces of silver. ( Matt 26:15; Matt 27:3; Matt 27:9; )
Now Rueben, the oldest was the one who didn't want the brothers to kill Joseph, but apparently he was gone during the period of time when Joseph was
sold. Because when he returned, Joseph was gone.

Gen 37:30; He returned to his brothers and said, "The boy is not there; as for me, where am I to go?"
Gen 37:31; So they took Joseph's tunic, and slaughtered a male goat and dipped the tunic in the blood;
Gen 37:32; and they sent the varicolored tunic and brought it to their father and said, "We found this; please examine it to see whether it is your son's tunic or not."

So Rueben asks the brothers.... Joseph is gone.. now what are we going to do? Apparently they didn't sell Joseph's coat, they still had it in their possession.
So they kill a goat, smear blood all over it and bring it to Jacob.

I don't know if you remember the story of Jacob and Esau and how Jacob took Esau birth-right, inheritance blessing... for a bowl of soup ( Genesis chapter 25; )
Jacob dressed up like Esau, and smelled like Esau, and pretended to be Esau.... it seems there was a lot of deception in this family.

Of course Jacob thinks Joseph was killed by a wild animal.

Gen 37:33; Then he examined it and said, "It is my son's tunic. A wild beast has devoured him; Joseph has surely been torn to pieces!"

Gen 37:34; So Jacob tore his clothes, and put sackcloth on his loins and mourned for his son many days.
Gen 37:35; Then all his sons and all his daughters arose to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. And he said, "Surely I will go down to Sheol in mourning for my son." So his father wept for him.

Because Joseph was his favorite son.. he refused to be comforted for quite a long while.
Meanwhile... Joseph males it to Egypt.

Gen 37:36; Meanwhile, the Midianites sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, Pharaoh's officer, the captain of the bodyguard.

.. next Potiphar's wife.

Gen 39:1; Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an Egyptian officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the bodyguard, bought him from the Ishmaelites, who had taken him down there.
Gen 39:2; The LORD was with Joseph, so he became a successful man. And he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian.
Gen 39:3; Now his master saw that the LORD was with him and how the LORD caused all that he did to prosper in his hand.
Gen 39:4; So Joseph found favor in his sight and became his personal servant; and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he owned he put in his charge.
Gen 39:5; It came about that from the time he made him overseer in his house and over all that he owned, the LORD blessed the Egyptian's house on account of Joseph; thus the LORD'S blessing was upon all that he owned, in the house and in the field.
Gen 39:6; So he left everything he owned in Joseph's charge; and with him there he did not concern himself with anything except the food which he ate. Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance.

I find it interesting how God orchestrates things some times. Joseph is sold to Potiphar. The captain of the bodyguard.
I imagine Potiphar as something like a modern day secret service agent. A no-nonsense guy in a black suit and sun-glasses. Possibly an ex-military guy, an expert in weapons and martial arts. But he isn't just any bodyguard, he is an officer of Pharaoh. Possibly even Pharaoh's own personal bodyguard.

The next verse says "The LORD was with Joseph".... even when we are going through hard times (even if someone sells you into slavery) that doesn't
mean God isn't with you. In fact it is likely God who allowed you to be put into that circumstance to begin with. Maybe you think where you are in life
isn't very significant right now, but I guarantee God knows where you are and why you're there. But because God was with Joseph... he became a successful man.

A great many people think they are successful because they are smart or talented or somehow got there on their own merit. While those things are
important, they aren't as important as having God with you. He makes all the difference, even in our daily lives and jobs. In it says that his master
(Potiphar) "saw that the LORD was with him" (Joseph). ... and how the LORD caused all that he (Joseph) did to prosper.

What a great testimony. Can people around you see God in you? Is your relationship with God such that people know your success comes from God?
Do you know your success comes from God? Are you letting him guide your decisions? (Not just the work-related ones)

Because of this Potiphar makes Joseph an overseer... over "all" he owned. Not bad for an ex-tattletale slave boy. It says all of this in a couple of verses,
but I imagine a few years of time go by here. I doubt Joseph is still seventeen years old anymore.

"So he left "everything" he owned in Joseph's charge. That is a lot of trust.
This passage leaves off with... Joseph was handsome in form and appearance. Some people take the fact that it separates "form" and "appearance"
to mean Joseph wasn't only good looking (handsome) but also had a nice body (form). While this might seem like something we all want, it ends up getting
Joseph is trouble, as we will see.

Gen 39:7; It came about after these events that his master's wife looked with desire at Joseph, and she said, "Lie with me."
Gen 39:8; But he refused and said to his master's wife, "Behold, with me here, my master does not concern himself with anything in the house, and he has put all that he owns in my charge.
Gen 39:9; "There is no one greater in this house than I, and he has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do this great evil and sin against God?"
Gen 39:10; As she spoke to Joseph day after day, he did not listen to her to lie beside her or be with her.
Gen 39:11; Now it happened one day that he went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the household was there inside.
Gen 39:12; She caught him by his garment, saying, "Lie with me!" And he left his garment in her hand and fled, and went outside.
Gen 39:13; When she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled outside,
Gen 39:14; she called to the men of her household and said to them, "See, he has brought in a Hebrew to us to make sport of us; he came in to me to lie with me, and I screamed.
Gen 39:15; "When he heard that I raised my voice and screamed, he left his garment beside me and fled and went outside."
Gen 39:16; So she left his garment beside her until his master came home.
Gen 39:17; Then she spoke to him with these words, "The Hebrew slave, whom you brought to us, came in to me to make sport of me;
Gen 39:18; and as I raised my voice and screamed, he left his garment beside me and fled outside."
Gen 39:19; Now when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spoke to him, saying, "This is what your slave did to me," his anger burned.

There are several things that catch my attention here. First was the character of Potiphar's wife.
She seems very at ease here. I can't help but wonder if she's done this before... maybe the gardener or the milk-man?
It says "she spoke with Joseph day after day".... and yet he didn't listen to her or sleep with her. She seems to be very persistent.
The other thing I can't help but wonder, is didn't the other servants see anything? Because it says "one day".. none of the other men "was there inside".
This just goes to show, it's never a good idea to be alone with someone else spouse. Even if you have their permission.

The last and probably most common thing I see here is how Potiphar's judge of character is split. But I think 99.99% of people are this way.
So he has come to trust Joseph so much over the last few years, and he puts him in charge of everything. He is even aware that "God was with him".
But yet all it takes is one sentence from his wife.... and there goes the reputation.

It's amazing how well we can see the character of people we know... friends, co-workers, acquaintances, people in church, neighbors, etc...
But we often refuse to see the character of those we love. Wives, Husbands, our children, very close friends.... sometimes the people we love the
most are the people we should be trusting the least and we don't even see it.

I wonder how many mothers tell themselves their children are "just little angels" but in reality, everyone else thinks they are hellions.
We tend to believe the people we are close to, even when all the evidence is pointing the other direction.

It says Potiphar's "anger burned". I suppose mine would also if I was in the same place. But would I be discerning enough to weigh the
character of the two people before I made a decision. This lying about someone is also called "bearing false witness". ( Exod 20:16; )

.. next, go to jail, do not pass go...

Gen 39:20; So Joseph's master took him and put him into the jail, the place where the king's prisoners were confined; and he was there in the jail.
Gen 39:21; But the LORD was with Joseph and extended kindness to him, and gave him favor in the sight of the chief jailer.
Gen 39:22; The chief jailer committed to Joseph's charge all the prisoners who were in the jail; so that whatever was done there, he was responsible for it.
Gen 39:23; The chief jailer did not supervise anything under Joseph's charge because the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made to prosper.

Of course Potiphar throws Joseph in jail on the sole testimony of his wife.

But even here, even in jail.. God is with Joseph. God extend kindness and give him "favor" in the eyes of the jailer.
So once again Joseph s put in charge of a lot of things. I suppose kind of a "trustee".

... and whatever he did... the LORD made to prosper.

...next... two dreams.

I was looking for a way to divide this passage up to read more easily, but it seems to work better all-together.

Gen 40:1; Then it came about after these things, the cupbearer and the baker for the king of Egypt offended their lord, the king of Egypt.
Gen 40:2; Pharaoh was furious with his two officials, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker.
Gen 40:3; So he put them in confinement in the house of the captain of the bodyguard, in the jail, the same place where Joseph was imprisoned.
Gen 40:4; The captain of the bodyguard put Joseph in charge of them, and he took care of them; and they were in confinement for some time.
Gen 40:5; Then the cupbearer and the baker for the king of Egypt, who were confined in jail, both had a dream the same night, each man with his own dream and each dream with its own interpretation.
Gen 40:6; When Joseph came to them in the morning and observed them, behold, they were dejected.
Gen 40:7; He asked Pharaoh's officials who were with him in confinement in his master's house, "Why are your faces so sad today?"
Gen 40:8; Then they said to him, "We have had a dream and there is no one to interpret it." Then Joseph said to them, "Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell it to me, please."
Gen 40:9; So the chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, "In my dream, behold, there was a vine in front of me;
Gen 40:10; and on the vine were three branches. And as it was budding, its blossoms came out, and its clusters produced ripe grapes.
Gen 40:11; "Now Pharaoh's cup was in my hand; so I took the grapes and squeezed them into Pharaoh's cup, and I put the cup into Pharaoh's hand."
Gen 40:12; Then Joseph said to him, "This is the interpretation of it: the three branches are three days;
Gen 40:13; within three more days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your office; and you will put Pharaoh's cup into his hand according to your former custom when you were his cupbearer.
Gen 40:14; "Only keep me in mind when it goes well with you, and please do me a kindness by mentioning me to Pharaoh and get me out of this house.
Gen 40:15; "For I was in fact kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing that they should have put me into the dungeon."
Gen 40:16; When the chief baker saw that he had interpreted favorably, he said to Joseph, "I also saw in my dream, and behold, there were three baskets of white bread on my head;
Gen 40:17; and in the top basket there were some of all sorts of baked food for Pharaoh, and the birds were eating them out of the basket on my head."
Gen 40:18; Then Joseph answered and said, "This is its interpretation: the three baskets are three days;
Gen 40:19; within three more days Pharaoh will lift up your head from you and will hang you on a tree, and the birds will eat your flesh off you."
Gen 40:20; Thus it came about on the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday, that he made a feast for all his servants; and he lifted up the head of the chief cupbearer and the head of the chief baker among his servants.
Gen 40:21; He restored the chief cupbearer to his office, and he put the cup into Pharaoh's hand;
Gen 40:22; but he hanged the chief baker, just as Joseph had interpreted to them.
Gen 40:23; Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.

These days it seems everyone is "offended" by this or that. But in those days, if you offended the king of Egypt (Pharaoh) he would throw you in jail.
Such it was for the cup-bearer and the baker. While they are in jail each of them has a dream. Both of them on the same night.

It was the custom in those days for the cup bearer to test any drink before the king drank of it. In case it was bitter or poisoned.
If the king wasn't well liked, I wonder what the job turnover rate was for this position.

Maybe the baker didn't have a good gluten-free donut recipe, but for whatever reason... Pharaoh wasn't happy with him.

Joseph interprets their dreams, for one of them it's good news. For the other one... not such good news.
Still Joseph doesn't pull any punches, he tells the baker the bad news. So much for "offending" the king.

In verse 14 Joseph tells the cup bearer to mention him to Pharaoh so that he can get out of jail. Yet in verse 23, it says the cup-bearer forgot about him
and left him in jail. It's easy for me to say this as an outsider reading the story, but it seems to me, if I saw the results of how both dreams were interpreted,
I would have remembered Joseph.

Pharaoh's first dream...

Gen 41:1; Now it happened at the end of two full years that Pharaoh had a dream, and behold, he was standing by the Nile.
Gen 41:2; And lo, from the Nile there came up seven cows, sleek and fat; and they grazed in the marsh grass.
Gen 41:3; Then behold, seven other cows came up after them from the Nile, ugly and gaunt, and they stood by the other cows on the bank of the Nile.
Gen 41:4; The ugly and gaunt cows ate up the seven sleek and fat cows. Then Pharaoh awoke.

Have you ever had a dream that affected you to the point you woke up and remembered it?
Or maybe it was a dream you've had more than once, but you didn't know what it meant. If only there was someone to tell you what these dreams meant..

Seven fat and healthy cows are "eaten up" by seven skinny and sickly cows.... what can it mean?

... next the second dream..

Gen 41:5; He fell asleep and dreamed a second time; and behold, seven ears of grain came up on a single stalk, plump and good.
Gen 41:6; Then behold, seven ears, thin and scorched by the east wind, sprouted up after them.
Gen 41:7; The thin ears swallowed up the seven plump and full ears. Then Pharaoh awoke, and behold, it was a dream.

So Pharaoh has a second dream... it is similar to the first. Seven fat and healthy ears or corn are eaten by seven thin and sickly ears of corn.

Gen 41:8; Now in the morning his spirit was troubled, so he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all its wise men. And Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was no one who could interpret them to Pharaoh.

I've had a few of these dreams in my own life. Not so much about cows and corn. But persistent dreams that did not make sense to me. That caused my "spirit to be troubled". In some cases there have been people who gave me an accurate interpretation of these.

Gen 41:9; Then the chief cupbearer spoke to Pharaoh, saying, "I would make mention today of my own offenses.
Gen 41:10; "Pharaoh was furious with his servants, and he put me in confinement in the house of the captain of the bodyguard, both me and the chief baker.
Gen 41:11; "We had a dream on the same night, he and I; each of us dreamed according to the interpretation of his own dream.
Gen 41:12; "Now a Hebrew youth was with us there, a servant of the captain of the bodyguard, and we related them to him, and he interpreted our dreams for us. To each one he interpreted according to his own dream.
Gen 41:13; "And just as he interpreted for us, so it happened; he restored me in my office, but he hanged him."

So two years ( Gen 41:1; ) after the baker is set free, he finally remembers Joseph.

Gen 41:14; Then Pharaoh sent and called for Joseph, and they hurriedly brought him out of the dungeon; and when he had shaved himself and changed his clothes, he came to Pharaoh.
Gen 41:15; Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I have had a dream, but no one can interpret it; and I have heard it said about you, that when you hear a dream you can interpret it."
Gen 41:16; Joseph then answered Pharaoh, saying, "It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer."

I guess you could say this was Joseph's Proverbs 18:16; moment. I suppose after a few years in jail, you would need a shower, a shave and a change of clothes before
you see the king. When you have a reputation for being good at something, important men will seek to find you. Now the great thing about Joseph here is... he realizes this gift is from God.

.. next, the interpretation of the dreams.

Now Pharaoh explains the two dreams to Joseph... ( Gen 41:17-24; )

... and Joseph has the meaning of the dreams...

Gen 41:25; Now Joseph said to Pharaoh, "Pharaoh's dreams are one and the same; God has told to Pharaoh what He is about to do.
Gen 41:26; "The seven good cows are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years; the dreams are one and the same.
Gen 41:27; "The seven lean and ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, and the seven thin ears scorched by the east wind will be seven years of famine.
Gen 41:28; "It is as I have spoken to Pharaoh: God has shown to Pharaoh what He is about to do.
Gen 41:29; "Behold, seven years of great abundance are coming in all the land of Egypt;
Gen 41:30; and after them seven years of famine will come, and all the abundance will be forgotten in the land of Egypt, and the famine will ravage the land.
Gen 41:31; "So the abundance will be unknown in the land because of that subsequent famine; for it will be very severe.
Gen 41:32; "Now as for the repeating of the dream to Pharaoh twice, it means that the matter is determined by God, and God will quickly bring it about.

It kind of makes sense after you hear the interpretation. Some dreams and even some things in life make a lot more sense once you understand them.
I'd like to take a moment and talk about dreams for a second. If seems the "major events" of Joseph's life circled around dreams, not just his own, but other people's dreams also. The cup-bearer and the baker. Pharaoh...

Acts 2 quotes the book of Joel.

Joel 2:28; "It will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions.


I've never been anyone's daughter. :) and I'm too old to be called a "young man". So that leaves just one thing... "an old man".
The old men shall dream dreams. Have any of you other "old men" ever dreamt dreams? Anyone ever see visions or prophesy?
Are these the "last days"? If they are.. why aren't you doing this?

Gen 41:33; "Now let Pharaoh look for a man discerning and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt.
Gen 41:34; "Let Pharaoh take action to appoint overseers in charge of the land, and let him exact a fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven years of abundance.
Gen 41:35; "Then let them gather all the food of these good years that are coming, and store up the grain for food in the cities under Pharaoh's authority, and let them guard it.
Gen 41:36; "Let the food become as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which will occur in the land of Egypt, so that the land will not perish during the famine."

Finding a wise and discerning man... that can be difficult some times. Egypt becomes an important world power during this time. But God has a purpose for it.
Interestingly.. it's because of an Israelite that Egypt becomes so powerful during this time. Partially because of this interpretation...

next... Joseph rises to power.

Gen 41:34; "Let Pharaoh take action to appoint overseers in charge of the land, and let him exact a fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven years of abundance.
Gen 41:35; "Then let them gather all the food of these good years that are coming, and store up the grain for food in the cities under Pharaoh's authority, and let them guard it.
Gen 41:36; "Let the food become as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which will occur in the land of Egypt, so that the land will not perish during the famine."

Not only does Joseph interpret the dream, he knows what should be done about it. He has a plan (I don't doubt this is also from God).
Sometimes knowing what the problem is doesn't help unless you know what to do about it.

Gen 41:37; Now the proposal seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his servants.
Gen 41:38; Then Pharaoh said to his servants, "Can we find a man like this, in whom is a divine spirit?"
Gen 41:39; So Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Since God has informed you of all this, there is no one so discerning and wise as you are.
Gen 41:40; "You shall be over my house, and according to your command all my people shall do homage; only in the throne I will be greater than you."
Gen 41:41; Pharaoh said to Joseph, "See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt."
Gen 41:42; Then Pharaoh took off his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph's hand, and clothed him in garments of fine linen and put the gold necklace around his neck.
Gen 41:43; He had him ride in his second chariot; and they proclaimed before him, "Bow the knee!" And he set him over all the land of Egypt.

Pharaoh doesn't seem to know anyone else as wise as Joseph. So he makes Joseph in charge of everything. (This is kind of like where he was in Potiphar's house).
Except now instead of being over just one house. He is over an entire nation. The only person who doesn't bow to Joseph is Pharaoh.
Remember the dream where the small sheaves of wheat bowed to the large sheave of wheat?

This is quite the life change from being in prison, to being given a gold necklace and signet ring from Pharaoh. A nice new set of wheels (chariot) to go along
with the job.

Gen 41:44; Moreover, Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Though I am Pharaoh, yet without your permission no one shall raise his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt."
Gen 41:45; Then Pharaoh named Joseph Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, as his wife. And Joseph went forth over the land of Egypt.
Gen 41:46; Now Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh, king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh and went through all the land of Egypt.

Even though Pharaoh is.. well... Pharaoh... he says no one will do anything in Egypt unless you (Joseph) say it is OK. How is that for responsibility?
He also gives Joseph about 5 more syllables to pronounce in his name. One thing I find interesting here... is Pharaoh gives Joseph a wife... daughter of a preist of On.
Not much is known about the religion of "On". But this woman Asenath... ends up being the mother of Mannasseh and Ephraim.

The last thing about this passage... it tells Joseph age. Thirty years old (verse 46).. He was seventeen when his brothers sold him. ( Gen 37:2; )
So thirteen years have gone by since Joseph has seen his family.

next... the seven years of plenty.

Gen 41:47; During the seven years of plenty the land brought forth abundantly.
Gen 41:48; So he gathered all the food of these seven years which occurred in the land of Egypt and placed the food in the cities; he placed in every city the food from its own surrounding fields.
Gen 41:49; Thus Joseph stored up grain in great abundance like the sand of the sea, until he stopped measuring it, for it was beyond measure.

Its turns out Joseph was right about the seven years of plenty. So he takes the extra food and starts storing it. In fact there is so much he can't even measure it.

Gen 41:50; Now before the year of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, bore to him.
Gen 41:51; Joseph named the firstborn Manasseh, "For," he said, "God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father's household."
Gen 41:52; He named the second Ephraim, "For," he said, "God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction."

Asenath has two sons during this time. Ephraim and Mannasseh. (more about them later)

Gen 41:53 When the seven years of plenty which had been in the land of Egypt came to an end,

Twenty years have gone by now.. since Joseph was seventeen... That would make him about 37 when the famine starts.

Gen 41:54 and the seven years of famine began to come, just as Joseph had said, then there was famine in all the lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.
Gen 41:55 So when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried out to Pharaoh for bread; and Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, "Go to Joseph; whatever he says to you, you shall do."
Gen 41:56 When the famine was spread over all the face of the earth, then Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold to the Egyptians; and the famine was severe in the land of Egypt.
Gen 41:57 The people of all the earth came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe in all the earth.

There are a few times in this passage it says "all the earth". Was it really "all" the earth, or was it the known civilization around Egypt. This is sometimes debated
but to me it doesn't make that much difference, as far as this story is concerned. One thing is for sure... many people came from outside to Egypt to buy food here.

Have you ever stopped to think about... why is this story even in the Bible? Well there is a lot here... the twelve tribes, and the lineage of Jesus...
but why the dreams? Why the famine here? Why did God do all of this? We will see the answer soon.
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Great story..would make a great west end musical ;-) can you explain the significance of Manessah and ephraim I'm not sure I understand the big picture weren't they twins? Or was I thinking of some other sons? Joseph's wife was an Egyptian?
Great story..would make a great west end musical ;-) can you explain the significance of Manessah and ephraim I'm not sure I understand the big picture weren't they twins? Or was I thinking of some other sons? Joseph's wife was an Egyptian?
I don't think Manasseh and Ephraim were twins. They are never called twins in the Bible. It does say Manasseh is older than Ephraim.
Joseph's wife was an Egyptian, but then... Rahab was a Canaanite from Jericho, Ruth was a Moabite, Moses's wife was a Midianite. Although the Israelites weren't
suppose to intermarry with other races, it seemed to happen quite frequently. Jacob and Esau were twins.

A lot of people think of Jacob's sons being the twelve tribes, but that isn't 100% correct.
However Joseph two son's are part of the twelve tribes. The twelve tribes change slightly through the old testament
(that's anther story) but by the time we get to Revelation these are the twelve tribes.

Judah, Rueben, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, Benjamin. (Rev 7:5-8; )

But the sons of Jacob are....
Rueben, Judah, Simeon, Levi, Dan (Gen 30:6; ) notice Dan isn't mentioned in Revelation... that's another story.
Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Joseph and Benjamin.

Jacob had eleven sons... and a daughter. Dan was removed from the list... so there were ten tribes... but Manasseh and Ephraim
(Joseph's sons) were added to make twelve. There is a decent map on Wikipedia about how the land was divided up according to Joshua.


Notice Levi was not given a land territory. This was because the Levites were the priests, their blessing was from the sacrifice, not the land.

Also the tribe of Joseph was not given land territory... well not yet.
Hmm... you're right, I left Zebulun out of the first list. Benjamin wasn't born yet when Joseph went to Egypt.

Ephraim is also missing from Revelation.

Gen 42:1; Now Jacob saw that there was grain in Egypt, and Jacob said to his sons, "Why are you staring at one another?"
Gen 42:2; He said, "Behold, I have heard that there is grain in Egypt; go down there and buy some for us from that place, so that we may live and not die."
Gen 42:3; Then ten brothers of Joseph went down to buy grain from Egypt.
Gen 42:4; But Jacob did not send Joseph's brother Benjamin with his brothers, for he said, "I am afraid that harm may befall him."
Gen 42:5; So the sons of Israel came to buy grain among those who were coming, for the famine was in the land of Canaan also.
Gen 42:6; Now Joseph was the ruler over the land; he was the one who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph's brothers came and bowed down to him with their faces to the ground.

The way I see this story, there are (at least) three plots happening here at roughly the same time.
We see that Jacob sends ten of the brothers, but he does not send Benjamin.

In verse 6 above it says... Joseph's brothers came and bowed down to him... of course they didn't know who he was at this time.
But it seems that his dreams back in Gen 37-7-9; are coming true here.

Gen 42:7; When Joseph saw his brothers he recognized them, but he disguised himself to them and spoke to them harshly. And he said to them, "Where have you come from?" And they said, "From the land of Canaan, to buy food."
Gen 42:8; But Joseph had recognized his brothers, although they did not recognize him.
Gen 42:9; Joseph remembered the dreams which he had about them, and said to them, "You are spies; you have come to look at the undefended parts of our land."
Gen 42:10; Then they said to him, "No, my lord, but your servants have come to buy food.
Gen 42:11; "We are all sons of one man; we are honest men, your servants are not spies."
Gen 42:12; Yet he said to them, "No, but you have come to look at the undefended parts of our land!"

I'm pretty sure Joseph knows they aren't spies... but he needs a reason to do what he is about to do.

Gen 42:13; But they said, "Your servants are twelve brothers in all, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and behold, the youngest is with our father today, and one is no longer alive."
Gen 42:14; Joseph said to them, "It is as I said to you, you are spies;
Gen 42:15; by this you will be tested: by the life of Pharaoh, you shall not go from this place unless your youngest brother comes here!
Gen 42:16; "Send one of you that he may get your brother, while you remain confined, that your words may be tested, whether there is truth in you. But if not, by the life of Pharaoh, surely you are spies."
Gen 42:17; So he put them all together in prison for three days.

The brothers tell Joseph.... one is still with our father, and the other one "no longer lives". Of course the one that no longer lives is Joseph.
So tells them, they have to bring the youngest brother. Joseph has never met Benjamin, and didn't even know he existed until this moment.

Then he puts them all in prison for 3 days.

Gen 42:18; Now Joseph said to them on the third day, "Do this and live, for I fear God:
Gen 42:19; if you are honest men, let one of your brothers be confined in your prison; but as for the rest of you, go, carry grain for the famine of your households,
Gen 42:20; and bring your youngest brother to me, so your words may be verified, and you will not die." And they did so.
Gen 42:21; Then they said to one another, "Truly we are guilty concerning our brother, because we saw the distress of his soul when he pleaded with us, yet we would not listen; therefore this distress has come upon us."
Gen 42:22; Reuben answered them, saying, "Did I not tell you, 'Do not sin against the boy'; and you would not listen? Now comes the reckoning for his blood."
Gen 42:23; They did not know, however, that Joseph understood, for there was an interpreter between them.
Gen 42:24; He turned away from them and wept. But when he returned to them and spoke to them, he took Simeon from them and bound him before their eyes.
Gen 42:25; Then Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain and to restore every man's money in his sack, and to give them provisions for the journey. And thus it was done for them.
Gen 42:26; So they loaded their donkeys with their grain and departed from there.

One of the brother has to stay in Egypt in prison, while the others go get "the youngest brother". They seem to realize this is for "the reckoning for his blood".
Of course Joseph is dressed liked an Egyptian talks like an Egyptian... so they think he is an Egyptian. They don't realize he understands what they are saying.

It says Joseph turned away from them and wept. He realizes they still feel guilty for what they did to him.

As their bags are being filled with grain, Joseph has their money put back in their sacks. Hmmm... is he just being a nice guy.. or is there more to the story?

Gen 42:27; As one of them opened his sack to give his donkey fodder at the lodging place, he saw his money; and behold, it was in the mouth of his sack.
Gen 42:28; Then he said to his brothers, "My money has been returned, and behold, it is even in my sack." And their hearts sank, and they turned trembling to one another, saying, "What is this that God has done to us?"

...so they head back to Canaan to tell Jacob what happened. In the meantime one of the brothers is still in prison. (Simeon)

Gen 42:29; When they came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan, they told him all that had happened to them, saying,
Gen 42:30; "The man, the lord of the land, spoke harshly with us, and took us for spies of the country.
Gen 42:31; "But we said to him, 'We are honest men; we are not spies.
Gen 42:32; 'We are twelve brothers, sons of our father; one is no longer alive, and the youngest is with our father today in the land of Canaan.'
Gen 42:33; "The man, the lord of the land, said to us, 'By this I will know that you are honest men: leave one of your brothers with me and take grain for the famine of your households, and go.
Gen 42:34; 'But bring your youngest brother to me that I may know that you are not spies, but honest men. I will give your brother to you, and you may trade in the land.'"
Gen 42:35; Now it came about as they were emptying their sacks, that behold, every man's bundle of money was in his sack; and when they and their father saw their bundles of money, they were dismayed.
Gen 42:36; Their father Jacob said to them, "You have bereaved me of my children: Joseph is no more, and Simeon is no more, and you would take Benjamin; all these things are against me."
Gen 42:37; Then Reuben spoke to his father, saying, "You may put my two sons to death if I do not bring him back to you; put him in my care, and I will return him to you."
Gen 42:38; But Jacob said, "My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he alone is left. If harm should befall him on the journey you are taking, then you will bring my gray hair down to Sheol in sorrow."

verse 30... "the man" .. "the lord of the land". It's still hard to believe they didn't recognize who this was.
Why did Joseph make them leave one of the brothers behind? I suspect it was to test their loyalty to their brother. They sold one brother off into slavery.
What will they do when another one is taken away? Will they betray him also?

From Jacob's perspective... Joseph is dead, Simeon is gone forever, and now they want to take Benjamin. (verse 36)
You might begin to think maybe Jacob doesn't trust some of his sons.

Reuben says... you can kill both of my sons if I don't bring Benjamin back to you. But even after that vow, Jacob says no.... at least for now.

Gen 43:1; Now the famine was severe in the land.
Gen 43:2; So it came about when they had finished eating the grain which they had brought from Egypt, that their father said to them, "Go back, buy us a little food."
Gen 43:3; Judah spoke to him, however, saying, "The man solemnly warned us, 'You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.'
Gen 43:4; "If you send our brother with us, we will go down and buy you food.
Gen 43:5; "But if you do not send him, we will not go down; for the man said to us, 'You will not see my face unless your brother is with you.'"
Gen 43:6; Then Israel said, "Why did you treat me so badly by telling the man whether you still had another brother?"
Gen 43:7; But they said, "The man questioned particularly about us and our relatives, saying, 'Is your father still alive? Have you another brother?' So we answered his questions. Could we possibly know that he would say, 'Bring your brother down'?"
Gen 43:8; Judah said to his father Israel, "Send the lad with me and we will arise and go, that we may live and not die, we as well as you and our little ones.
Gen 43:9; "I myself will be surety for him; you may hold me responsible for him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame before you forever.
Gen 43:10; "For if we had not delayed, surely by now we could have returned twice."

I think sometimes we think all the families in the Bible were godly all the time and never had any disagreements.
It seems the famine was "severe" in Canaan. By now they have eaten everything that they "bought" from Joseph (they didn't actually
pay for it). So Jacob says... go to the grocery store and get some more food.
But they him that "the man" (Joseph) said they could not come back and buy any food unless they bring Benjamin with them.

They tell Jacob, they won't go unless he lets them bring Benjamin with them. These people must be hungry. It's funny how hunger changes
your perspective sometimes. Judah says... let us go... "so that we may live and not die". Now even Judah makes a similar promise as Rueben
did. "You may hold me responsible for him" (Benjamin)

I can picture Judah saying to Jacob... "if we wouldn't have been arguing about this, we could already been to the store twice by now".

You have to wonder... where is Simeon? Has he been in Joseph's prison all this time? The family doesn't seem real concerned about him.
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Lol sometimes its hard to keep track there were so many brothers. Cheaper by the dozen! It is like that movie 'home alone' where the family all go away on holiday and suddenly the mum realises on the airplane that Kevin is left behind.

No, families aren't perfect!

Where did Joseph come in the order of this family? Yes sometimes it seems the youngest always gets away with everything and is usually the most favoured. Speaking as a number two, and the second daughter to boot! That's why I always wonder about Dinah. Being the only daughter could have benefits as well as drawbacks. Your brothers can protect you but they can also gang up on you.

My boss says hes got six brothers in his family and one sister. From what hes shared, she never gets a say in any of the family goings on. Cos shes only a girl, what does she know kind of thing. I have a bit of righteous indignation about that. But yea, if married out, she doesnt actually belong to that family anymore but to her husband's. Thats the thing, you dont seem to count as part of the family if you are a woman. Anyway...carry on.

At this stage we might presume or assume none of these brothers are married or maybe they are but their wives and children are not mentioned? (By name) Although Judah does talk about little ones.

Joseph must have been pretty good at being egyptian if his brothers dont even recognise him. But then he got banished when he was quite young, only a boy really and now they seeing him as a grown man.

I cant imagine as never had any kind of long lost relations in my family. Can count all my siblings on one hand. I'm sure there arent any others I don't know about. My sister may now have an english accent but she cant fool me lol. Even if she spoke French I would know its her!
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Gen 43:11; Then their father Israel said to them, "If it must be so, then do this: take some of the best products of the land in your bags, and carry down to the man as a present, a little balm and a little honey, aromatic gum and myrrh, pistachio nuts and almonds.
Gen 43:12; "Take double the money in your hand, and take back in your hand the money that was returned in the mouth of your sacks; perhaps it was a mistake.
Gen 43:13; "Take your brother also, and arise, return to the man;
Gen 43:14; and may God Almighty grant you compassion in the sight of the man, so that he will release to you your other brother and Benjamin. And as for me, if I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved."

At least Jacob is an honest man here. He tells the sons to take double the money.. "perhaps it was a mistake". He finally gives them permission to take Benjamin with them. It seems Jacob thinks "the man" will release their brother Simeon, who has been captive all this time if they do this.

Gen 43:15; So the men took this present, and they took double the money in their hand, and Benjamin; then they arose and went down to Egypt and stood before Joseph.
Gen 43:16; When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to his house steward, "Bring the men into the house, and slay an animal and make ready; for the men are to dine with me at noon."
Gen 43:17; So the man did as Joseph said, and brought the men to Joseph's house.
Gen 43:18; Now the men were afraid, because they were brought to Joseph's house; and they said, "It is because of the money that was returned in our sacks the first time that we are being brought in, that he may seek occasion against us and fall upon us, and take us for slaves with our donkeys."

It's funny, when you are feeling guilty.. you are suspicious even when people are trying to be nice to you.

Gen 43:19; So they came near to Joseph's house steward, and spoke to him at the entrance of the house,
Gen 43:20; and said, "Oh, my lord, we indeed came down the first time to buy food,
Gen 43:21; and it came about when we came to the lodging place, that we opened our sacks, and behold, each man's money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full. So we have brought it back in our hand.
Gen 43:22; "We have also brought down other money in our hand to buy food; we do not know who put our money in our sacks."
Gen 43:23; He said, "Be at ease, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has given you treasure in your sacks; I had your money." Then he brought Simeon out to them.

The brother tell Joseph about the money, and he tells them not to be concerned about it.

Gen 43:24; Then the man brought the men into Joseph's house and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their donkeys fodder.
Gen 43:25; So they prepared the present for Joseph's coming at noon; for they had heard that they were to eat a meal there.
Gen 43:26; When Joseph came home, they brought into the house to him the present which was in their hand and bowed to the ground before him.
Gen 43:27; Then he asked them about their welfare, and said, "Is your old father well, of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?"
Gen 43:28; They said, "Your servant our father is well; he is still alive." They bowed down in homage.
Gen 43:29; As he lifted his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother's son, he said, "Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me?" And he said, "May God be gracious to you, my son."
Gen 43:30; Joseph hurried out for he was deeply stirred over his brother, and he sought a place to weep; and he entered his chamber and wept there.

Joseph finally sees his younger brother Benjamin for the first time. Joseph is overwhelmed and has to leave the room for a few moments.
I have never been in those shoes, I can't imagine how he felt.. but still family is family.

Gen 43:31; Then he washed his face and came out; and he controlled himself and said, "Serve the meal."
Gen 43:32; So they served him by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because the Egyptians could not eat bread with the Hebrews, for that is loathsome to the Egyptians.
Gen 43:33; Now they were seated before him, the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth, and the men looked at one another in astonishment.

I suppose the brother were wondering... how does he know the order of our age? I find it interesting that the Egyptians didn't eat with the Israelites because they "were beneath them". And yet, later in the new testament some of the Jews (even Peter) would not eat with Gentiles for the same reason.

Gen 43:34; He took portions to them from his own table, but Benjamin's portion was five times as much as any of theirs. So they feasted and drank freely with him.

Joseph gives Benjamin fives times as much as the other brothers... again I wonder if this was a test.

Gen 44:1; Then he commanded his house steward, saying, "Fill the men's sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put each man's money in the mouth of his sack.
Gen 44:2; "Put my cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest, and his money for the grain." And he did as Joseph had told him.
Gen 44:3; As soon as it was light, the men were sent away, they with their donkeys.
Gen 44:4; They had just gone out of the city, and were not far off, when Joseph said to his house steward, "Up, follow the men; and when you overtake them, say to them, 'Why have you repaid evil for good?
Gen 44:5; 'Is not this the one from which my lord drinks and which he indeed uses for divination? You have done wrong in doing this.'"
Gen 44:6; So he overtook them and spoke these words to them.
Gen 44:7; They said to him, "Why does my lord speak such words as these? Far be it from your servants to do such a thing.
Gen 44:8; "Behold, the money which we found in the mouth of our sacks we have brought back to you from the land of Canaan. How then could we steal silver or gold from your lord's house?
Gen 44:9; "With whomever of your servants it is found, let him die, and we also will be my lord's slaves."
Gen 44:10; So he said, "Now let it also be according to your words; he with whom it is found shall be my slave, and the rest of you shall be innocent."
Gen 44:11; Then they hurried, each man lowered his sack to the ground, and each man opened his sack.
Gen 44:12; He searched, beginning with the oldest and ending with the youngest, and the cup was found in Benjamin's sack.

To me... Genesis 44 is really the crux of the story of Joseph in the Bible. This is where he finds out the character of his brothers.
They sold him into slavery. Would they do that again to another brother? They have already told him that Benjamin is the favorite now.

There is a bit of trickery here... Joseph has his personal "silver" cup put into Benjamin's sack. The cup from "which he gets the power of divination".

He lets the brothers go... and then he has his men chase them and search their bags. They accuse them of stealing Joseph's cup. They deny it.
They even say .."With whomever of your servants it is found, let him die" (verse 9 )
Of course the cup is found in Benjamin's bag.

Some of brother have made vows to Jacob about returning Benjamin to Jacob. Even that he can kill their sons. Now it looks like those vows are in trouble.

So now Joseph has a chance to get even with his brothers for what they did to him all those years ago... but what does he do?

Gen 44:16 So Judah said, "What can we say to my lord? What can we speak? And how can we justify ourselves? God has found out the iniquity of your servants; behold, we are my lord's slaves, both we and the one in whose possession the cup has been found."
Gen 44:17 But he said, "Far be it from me to do this. The man in whose possession the cup has been found, he shall be my slave; but as for you, go up in peace to your father."

Judah offers that "all" of the brothers can be Joseph's servants (some Bibles say "slaves")
But Joseph says... "no just the one who had the cup will be my slave". The rest of you can go back to your father.

Verses 18 to 34 are Judah telling David how much Benjamin means to Jacob. He retells all of the events leading up to this encounter.
At the end of his story he tells Joseph....

Gen 44:31; when he sees that the lad is not with us, he will die. Thus your servants will bring the gray hair of your servant our father down to Sheol in sorrow.
Gen 44:32; "For your servant became surety for the lad to my father, saying, 'If I do not bring him back to you, then let me bear the blame before my father forever.'
Gen 44:33; "Now, therefore, please let your servant remain instead of the lad a slave to my lord, and let the lad go up with his brothers.
Gen 44:34; "For how shall I go up to my father if the lad is not with me—for fear that I see the evil that would overtake my father?"

If Benjamin does not come back with us... our father will surely die. Judah says I have become "surety" ( a guarantee or a vow ) that I am liable to Benjamin.
How can I go back to my father without him? Let me be a slave here instead of him.

Wow... that's quite a difference from selling him into slavery. Judah is willing to take his place. I'm not sure Joseph was expecting that.
Maybe he thought they would sell Benjamin out.

Gen 45:1; Then Joseph could not control himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried, "Have everyone go out from me." So there was no man with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers.
Gen 45:2; He wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard of it.
Gen 45:3; Then Joseph said to his brothers, "I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?" But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed at his presence.
Gen 45:4; Then Joseph said to his brothers, "Please come closer to me." And they came closer. And he said, "I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt.
Gen 45:5; "Now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life.
Gen 45:6; "For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting.
Gen 45:7; "God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance.
Gen 45:8; "Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh and lord of all his household and ruler over all the land of Egypt.

Joseph can't hold it in any longer. Here come the tears. All the emotions of the last thirty something years. So he has all of his servants leave him.
When he is alone with his brothers, he reveals himself to them and tells them who he is. He asks if their father is still alive... but the brothers can not
answer because they are "dismayed" (I suspect that is a severe understatement).

Joseph tells the brothers it wasn't them who sent him here, but it was Gods plan all along so that he would be in a place to take care of them.
Verse 7 is interesting... "a remnant in the earth"... at that time... they were the only Israelites. They ddn't have thousands of descendants yet.

Gen 45:11; "There I will also provide for you, for there are still five years of famine to come, and you and your household and all that you have would be impoverished."'
Gen 45:12; "Behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see, that it is my mouth which is speaking to you.
Gen 45:13; "Now you must tell my father of all my splendor in Egypt, and all that you have seen; and you must hurry and bring my father down here."
Gen 45:14; Then he fell on his brother Benjamin's neck and wept, and Benjamin wept on his neck.
Gen 45:15; He kissed all his brothers and wept on them, and afterward his brothers talked with him.

There are still five more years of famine to come. You guys can see it's really me talking to you.

Now a lot of people think that's the end of the story here.... but not quite yet.
Why did God lead all of Jacobs sons and family to Egypt? It turns out the israelites will be there a very very long time.

The brothers go back to Canaan and tell Jacob about Joseph, and he brings the whole clan, all of the sons, and servants and wives and sons and daughters
to Egypt (the land of Goshen). and they live there until they die. In fact many generations live there for a long time. Why?

Part of the answer is in Exodus 1... to be continued ...
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At this stage we might presume or assume none of these brothers are married or maybe they are but their wives and children are not mentioned? (By name) Although Judah does talk about little ones
That is a good point. Rueben does mention he has two sons. ( Gen 42:37; ) I'm not sure about the others at this time.
Gen 37:9; Now he had still another dream, and related it to his brothers, and said, "Lo, I have had still another dream; and behold, the sun and the moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me."
Gen 37:10; He related it to his father and to his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, "What is this dream that you have had? Shall I and your mother and your brothers actually come to bow ourselves down before you to the ground?"
Gen 37:11; His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the saying in mind.

So Joseph has another dream. I wonder if he knew how his dreams made his family feel? Have you ever had this type of dream?
In this dream, the sun (his father) and the moon (his mother) and eleven stars (his brothers) all bow down to him again. This time even his father
isn't really too happy about this dream. As you can imagine, the brother hated him all the more. It says they were jealous of him.
But his father (Israel/Jacob) remembered these words.

... next, sold into slavery...
I am a dreamer by nature and have been given many dreams from God and there are some of them which I should not have shared. People don't understand that tje dreamer has to suffer and grow and wait upon God for the dream to come to be. It is human nature to become envious and vengeful.
Hmm... you're right, I left Zebulun out of the first list. Benjamin wasn't born yet when Joseph went to Egypt.

Ephraim is also missing from Revelation.
And Dan is missing from Revelation chapter 7.

Hmm... you're right, I left Zebulun out of the first list. Benjamin wasn't born yet when Joseph went to Egypt.

Ephraim is also missing from Revelation.
What I underlined is at least questionable. Rachel died giving birth to Benjamin [Gen 35:17-19]. He was her second son and Jacob's twelfth.

While it is not so easy to trace in scripture, at a guess, from what I have been able to glean from date estimates made by others, Benjamin was about 3 years old when Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers. If you have something showing that he was not yet born I would like to be made aware of it.

Joseph had apparently become strongly attached to his only full brother in those 3 years before they were forcibly separated. The record of Joseph's sale by his brothers begins in chapter 37. Joseph was 17 when sold, 30 when given power by Pharaoh and 39 when Jacob entered Egypt with the rest of this family to live. Joseph died at age 110. I don't believe there is record in scripture of Benjamin's death or his age at death.
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Exod 1:1; Now these are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob; they came each one with his household:
Exod 1:2; Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah;
Exod 1:3; Issachar, Zebulun and Benjamin;
Exod 1:4; Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher.
Exod 1:5; All the persons who came from the loins of Jacob were seventy in number, but Joseph was already in Egypt.
Exod 1:6; Joseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation.
Exod 1:7; But the sons of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly, and multiplied, and became exceedingly mighty, so that the land was filled with them.

When we read the story of Joseph, it is his forgiveness toward his brothers that always stands out. God made a way for the Israelites to continue to survive, even through the famine. God's plan keep moving forward.

Exod 1:8; Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.
Exod 1:9; He said to his people, "Behold, the people of the sons of Israel are more and mightier than we.
Exod 1:10; "Come, let us deal wisely with them, or else they will multiply and in the event of war, they will also join themselves to those who hate us, and fight against us and depart from the land."
Exod 1:11; So they appointed taskmasters over them to afflict them with hard labor. And they built for Pharaoh storage cities, Pithom and Raamses.
Exod 1:12; But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread out, so that they were in dread of the sons of Israel.
Exod 1:13; The Egyptians compelled the sons of Israel to labor rigorously;
Exod 1:14; and they made their lives bitter with hard labor in mortar and bricks and at all kinds of labor in the field, all their labors which they rigorously imposed on them.

It's funny how fast things change. A new king arose... "who did not know Joseph".
I don't know how many generations have passed by when when verse 9 was written. But the Israelites are starting to grow as a people.
The Egyptians turn the Israelites into a force labor force of sorts. There is a fine line between forced labor and slavery and somewhere along the
way the Egyptians changed their perspective of the israelites. By the time we get to verse 14, their lives are bitter, making mortar and bricks.

When we see the wonders of Egypt, the Pyramids, Sphinx's, and other things... I wonder which of those things the Israelites may have built.

This is pretty much the state of things when we start reading about Moses. (which is another story) He comes along in Exodus 2.

But how long were the Israelites in Egypt? This is often debated. Here are a few scriptures that may have the answer.

Gen 15:13; God said to Abram, "Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years.
Gen 15:14; "But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out with many possessions.

This passage from the old testament is quoted in Acts 7.


Exod 12:40; Now the time that the sons of Israel lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years.
Exod 12:41; And at the end of four hundred and thirty years, to the very day, all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.

Gal 3:17; What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise.

Some people debate whether it was 400 years or 430 years. But I'm Ok with God giving an indirect answer. If he says somewhere around 400 years, 30 years
one way or another doesn't matter to me.

But all of this started because Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers.
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Interesting that the slavery they got sold into was making bricks for the Egyptians. Well look at the pyramids today...they are still there. Heaps of bricks! Backbreaking work for the Hebrews and nobody even lives in them they are mausoleums for the dead!

And then you look at world cities today, which are always building something...its no different. Like Dubai.

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