Joseph in Egypt
Joseph in Egypt: Keeping Faith in God
The story of Joseph begins in Genesis 37. Joseph was the son of Jacob and his favorite wife, Rachel. Because of Jacob's love for Rachel, he showed great favors to Joseph, including giving him a many-colored coat. This present, which probably signified that Joseph did not have to work outside (a coat in a hot climate), enraged his brothers. They sold him into slavery and told his parents that he had died. This begins the story of Joseph in Egypt.
Joseph was taken to Egypt, where he was bought by Potiphar, one of Pharaoh's top officials (Genesis 39). God guided Joseph in Egypt, and Joseph became the chief of Potiphar's household. This brought him great honor and responsibility. However, Joseph caught the attention of Potiphar's wife. When Joseph resisted her sexual advances, she accused him of rape and he was thrown in prison.
In prison, Joseph rose up to be the chief prisoner, which also brought Joseph honor and responsibility. He predicted the future using the dreams of his fellow prisoners, including a prisoner who was later given a high position in Pharaoh's court (Genesis 40).
Later, Pharaoh has two bizarre dreams with no one to interpret them (Genesis 41). Fortunately, the former prisoner remembered Joseph and brought him to Pharaoh. Joseph interpreted Pharaoh's dream and correctly predicted that Egypt would experience seven years of good harvests, followed by seven years of famine. Pharoah believed this interpretation and put Joseph in charge of preparing for the coming famine. As a result of his work in Egypt, Joseph saved many people from dying of hunger. In reward for his service to Pharaoh, Joseph was made second in command of all Egypt.
Later, Joseph's brothers came to Egypt to receive food during the famine. While they were there, Joseph concealed his identity and played a few tricks on them. However, he eventually revealed himself and reconciled with them. He was reunited with his surprised father, as well (Genesis 42-46).
Thus, God blessed Joseph in Egypt. What started as a bad event (being sold into slavery) turned into something positive thanks to the faith and perseverance of Joseph in Egypt. He is a great model for following God and it is appropriate that the name of the foster father of Jesus is also Joseph.
Updated 02-07-2023 by Elizabeth Craig