The Biblical Story of Joseph - Verses and Meaning (2023)

Joseph in the Bible

The biblical story of Joseph from the book of Genesis is about heroic redemption and forgiveness. Joseph was the beloved son of his father Israel, as he received the famous robe of many colors. When Joseph reported that he had dreams of his brothers and even of the stars and moon bowing down to him, her jealousy of Joseph grew. 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 prison keeper. With God's help, Joseph interprets the dreams of two prisoners and predicts that one of them will be reinstated, but the other will be executed. Joseph then interprets Pharaoh's dreams, which foresee seven years of plenty, followed by seven years of famine. Pharaoh recognizes Joseph's divine ability and arranges for his promotion to chief administrator of Egypt.

Lack of food in Canaan forces Jacob to send his sons to buy grain from the Egyptians. Benjamin, Joseph's younger brother, stays at home as Jacob fears losing him as he did Joseph. When Joseph finally meets his brothers again, he consciously 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 dinner at Joseph's house. Joseph then tests his brothers' character by placing a silver cup in Benjamin's sack and falsely accusing him of stealing. When Judah offers to stay in Benjamin's place, Joseph knows his character has changed and reveals that he is her brother. Joseph explains that they don't have to feel guilty for betraying him since it was God's plan for him to be in Egypt to save his family. He told them to take their father and his entire household to Egypt to live in Goshen province because five years of famine were still to come. Joseph provided them with Egyptian carts, new clothes, silver, and twenty additional donkeys carrying provisions for the journey. Jacob is then joyfully reunited with his son Joseph.

Bible Commentary on JosephGenesis 37

Joseph is loved by Jacob but hated by his brothers. In Joseph's story we see something of Christ first humbled and then exalted. It also shows the lot of Christians who must enter the Kingdom through many tribulations. It is a story second to none in showing the diverse workings of the human mind, both good and bad, and God's unique providence to use them to fulfill His purposes. Although Joseph was his father's favorite, he did not grow up in idleness. Those who don't really love their children, who don't use them in business, at work, and in need. Petting children is called pampering, and with good reason. Those trained to do nothing are probably good for nothing. But Jacob showed his love by dressing Joseph more finely than the rest of his children. It is wrong for parents to make a distinction between one child and another unless there is an important reason for doing so, because of the children's duty or non- duty. When parents make a difference, the children quickly notice and quarrels ensue within the family. Jacob's sons did that when they were under his eyes, which they should not have done at home with him; but Joseph reported their bad behavior to his father, that he might restrain them. Not as a storyteller to sow discord, but as a faithful brother.

Joseph's dreams.God gave Joseph the prospect of his ascension in time to sustain and comfort him in his long and difficult troubles. Notice, Joseph dreamed of his promotion, but he didn't dream of his imprisonment. So many young people, when they go out into the world, think only of wealth and pleasure and never dream of difficulties. His brothers correctly interpreted the dream, although they detested its interpretation. While they committed crimes to defeat them, they themselves were the instruments to achieve them. This is how the Jews understood what Christ said of his kingdom. Determined that he should not rule over them, they conspired to kill him; and by his crucifixion made way for the exaltation they wished to prevent.

Jacob sends Joseph to his brothers, they conspire to kill him.How willingly Joseph awaits his father's orders! The children who are most loved by their parents should be the most willing to obey them. See how deliberately Joseph's brothers were against him. They contemplated killing him deliberately and in cold blood. Whoever hates his brother is (1 John 3:15) because their father loved him. New opportunities, like his dreams and the like, kept drawing her; but that gnawed at their hearts until they decided to kill him. God has all hearts in his hands. Reuben had every reason to be jealous of Joseph, for he was the firstborn; nevertheless, he proves to be a best friend. God overruled everything to serve His own purpose of making Joseph an instrument to save many people. Joseph was a type of Christ; for though he was his father's beloved son and hated by a wicked world, yet the father sent him out of his womb to visit us in great humility and love. He came outheavento earth to seek and save us; but then malicious plans were laid against him. His people not only received him, but crucified him. He submitted to this as part of His plan to redeem and save us.

Joseph's brothers sell him.They threw Joseph into a pit to perish of hunger and cold; so cruel were her tender graces. They offended him when he was in distress, and were not grieved at Joseph's distress, behold (Amos 6:6); for when he languished in the pit, they sat down to eat bread. They felt no remorse for sin. But the anger of men will praise God, and the rest of the anger he will withhold, (Psalms 76:10). Joseph's brothers were miraculously kept from murdering him and sold him as miraculously turned to the praise of God.

Jacob deceived, Joseph sold to Potiphar.If Satan has taught men to commit one sin, he teaches them to cover it with another; to hide theft and murder with lies and false oaths; but he who covers his sin will not prosper for long. Joseph's brothers held their own and each other's counsel for some time, but their villainy eventually came to light, and it is published here for the world to see. To mourn their father they sent him Joseph's coat of colors; and he thought hastily, seeing the bloodied robe, that Joseph was torn to pieces. Let those who know a parent's heart embrace poor Jacob's torment. His sons wickedly pretended to comfort him, but they were all pathetic, hypocritical comforters. If they really wanted to comfort him, they might have done so immediately by telling the truth. The heart is strangely hardened by the deception of sin. Jakob could not be comforted. Great affection for any creature prepares us for still greater suffering when it is taken from us or made bitter for us: improper love usually ends in improper grief. It is the wisdom of parents not to raise children with tenderness, they do not know what hardships they will face before they die. Throughout this chapter we see with wonder the ways of Providence. The evil brothers seem to have achieved their goal; the merchants, who do not care what they trade to gain, have also preserved their property; and Potiphar, who got a handsome young slave, got his! But God's purposes are carried out in this way. This event will end with Israel going down into Egypt; that ends with their liberation by Moses; that in setting up the true religion in the world; and that in spreading among all peoples through the gospel. So the anger of man will praise the Lord, and the rest of it he will withhold. (Excerpts fromMatthew Henry Kommentar)

Significance of Joseph's Biblical Story

The life of Joseph is a testimony of the sovereignty and grace of God to those who live faithfully and righteously. Although Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, he remained faithful, trusting that God would deliver him from the tribulation. Furthermore, this story shows how God's plan may not be obvious to our limited perspective, but in fact "all things work together for good to those who are called according to His purpose." Let's take inspiration from the biblical story of Josephtrustthrough our trials, knowing that God will deliver us in the glory of His righteousness.

"For I hold that the sufferings of this time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed in us."~Romans 8:18

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose."~Romans 8:28

Read the full Bible story of Joseph in the scriptures below and find articles, videos, and audio sermons related to this inspiring story.

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