Genesis 37:3-11 New International Version
3 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[a] robe for him. 4 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.
5 Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. 6 He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: 7 We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.”
8 His brothers said to him, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said.
9 Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”
10 When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” 11 His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.
The study of Joseph is a fascinating adventure.
The life of Joseph is considered to be a “type” of Christ or symbolic of the future Christ Jesus.
Joseph was the son of Jacob (Israel) and Rachel and lived in the land of Canaan. He had ten half brothers and one full brother. Of all of the sons, Joseph was the favorite son of his father, as he was born in Jacob’s old age. Because Jacob preferred Joseph, he gave him a long coat of many colors (Genesis 37:3).
Joseph had many dreams which he shared with his brothers. The dreams angered the brothers as they seemed to imply that Joseph was superior to them. Because of these dreams and the knowledge that Joseph was favored by their father, the brothers were envious and jealous of him.
The brothers plotted to kill Joseph when he was about 17 years of age and would have done so had not the oldest brother Reuben intervened.
Reuben convinced them to put Joseph in an old cistern, but secretly planned to rescue him when the others were not around.
However, when Reuben was not present, Ishmaelite/Midianite merchants came by and the other brothers pulled Joseph from the pit and sold him to the merchants for 20 pieces of silver.
They then dipped Joseph’s coat of many colors in goat’s blood and took it to their father who assumed that Joseph had been mutilated by wild animals.
The Midianite merchants then sold Joseph in Egypt, to Potiphar who was one of Pharaoh’s officials.
Joseph found favor in the eyes of Potiphar and was placed in charge of Potiphar’s household.
As you further your study of Joseph, you will find that he had setbacks, but God was always with him and had a plan for him. Joseph was in the center of God's will.
Your study should include the following chapters in Genesis;
- Chapter 37
- Chapter 39
- Chapters 40-50
As you study, you will find the following;
- Joseph was falsely imprisoned
- Joseph interpreted dreams for Pharaoh that no one else could interpret
- Joseph became second in power in Egypt
- Joseph saved his family from a famine in Canaan
- Joseph forgave his brothers
Genesis 45:3-9 New International Version
3 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still living?” But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence.
4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! 5 And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. 6 For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. 7 But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.[a]
8 “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt. 9 Now hurry back to my father and say to him, ‘This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; don’t delay.
I hope you are inspired to study the life of Joseph, who God used to save his family and the nation that was charged with showing the world who He is.
As you study this fascinating life, ponder and make notes as to how Joseph is indeed symbolic of our Lord and Savior who is to come many years later.