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JOSEPH BIBLE VERSES
Christianity Oasis Ministry has provided you with this Joseph Bible Verses study on the Joseph Bible Verses quotes. This Joseph Bible Verses study on the Joseph Bible Verses lesson looks at the Joseph Bible Verses message and asks what are the Joseph Bible Verses about, who is the Joseph Bible Verses character, what is the Joseph Bible Verses purpose, who do the Joseph Bible Verses affect, why is the Joseph Bible Verses message important, what is the Joseph Bible Verses message and how does the Joseph Bible Verses message affect you. Most have heard of the Joseph Bible Verses but most are not aware of the Joseph Bible Verses importance. This Joseph Bible Verses study will share the truth of the Joseph Bible Verses. Let us seek and find the truth of the Joseph Bible Verses with Joseph Bible Verses message in this Joseph Bible Verses study, shall we?


 

JOSEPH

 

Joseph was Jacob's (Israel's) 11th son. Jacob loved Joseph very much and made him a coat of many colors. Joseph had dreams that his family would one day bow to him. His brothers were very jealous and wanted to kill him. Instead, they sold him to some people who took him to Egypt and sold him to the Pharaoh's highest officer. The officer's wife told a lie about Joseph and he was put in prison. But God was with Joseph and made him able to tell what people's dreams meant. The Pharaoh had a dream that Joseph explained to him and he was let out of the prison and the Pharaoh made Joseph a very important person in Egypt. Years later there was a famine (shortage of food) and Joseph's brothers went to Egypt for help. In the end, the brothers did bow to Joseph, just like in his dream and he saved his family during the famine. Here is the story in detail:
 

THE BOOK OF GENESIS

CHAPTER 37

One day when Joseph was seventeen, he was out feeding the flock with his brothers Dan, Naphtali, Gad and Asher.  He told Israel that the others were behaving badly.  Joseph was Israel’s favorite, being the son of his old age and Israel made Joseph a coat of many colors.  When his brothers saw that Joseph was Israel’s favorite, they were jealous and hated Joseph and never had a kind word to say to him.

Joseph had an awesome dream.  He was so excited about it he wanted to tell others. He told his brothers about it and they hated him all the more.  He explained his dream to them.  He said ... We were tying bundles in the field and my bundle stood up and yours all bowed in respect to mine.  His brothers said, That’ll be the day when you’ll ever rule over us.  And they hated him even more for his dream and for telling it.

Joseph had another dream and told it to his Dad, Israel and his eleven brothers.  He dreamt that the sun, the moon and the eleven stars bowed to him.  Israel said, Honestly, do you really think that I and your mother and your brothers will bow ourselves to you?

His brothers were jealous, but Israel kept Joseph’s dream in the back of his mind and pondered on it.

Shortly after that, Joseph’s brothers went to feed Israel’s flock in Shechem.  Israel sent Joseph to check up on them, almost 50 miles away, to see if everything was alright, and to bring him word back.  A man found Joseph wandering in the field and asked, What are you looking for?

Joseph said, I’m looking for my brothers, can you tell me where they’re feeding their flocks?  The man said he heard them say they were going to Dothan, which was another 15 miles further.  Joseph found them there, but when they saw Joseph coming from far off, they made a plan to kill him.

Knowing they were far enough away from home for anyone to find out, they said, Here comes the dreamer, let’s kill him and throw him in a pit, then we’ll say that some wild animal attacked him, and then we’ll see what becomes of his dreams!

Reuben, Joseph’s oldest brother, heard the plan, but didn’t agree with it.  He said, Let’s not kill him, it’ll be enough to just throw him in this pit in the wilderness.  Reuben planned to go back to the pit later to rescue Joseph and return him to their father.

When Joseph reached his brothers, they grabbed him and took his coat of many colors and threw him into an empty pit with no water.  They sat down to eat and a group of Ishmaelites from Gilead happened by with their camels, carrying spices and perfumes to Egypt. 

Judah said, What do we have to gain by killing Joseph and hiding his blood?  Let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites, not kill him, he’s our brother and our flesh.

The others liked the idea of profiting from their brother, but before they knew it, some tradesmen from Midian found Joseph, pulled him out of the pit and sold him for 20 pieces of silver to the Ishmaelites who took him to Egypt.

When Reuben returned to the pit to rescue Joseph, he was gone.  Reuben tore his own clothes in sorrow.  He told his brothers that Joseph was gone and didn’t know what to do.

The other brothers killed a goat and soaked Joseph’s coat with the blood.  Then they brought it to their Dad, Israel and asked, Isn’t this Joseph’s coat?

Israel said, It is my son’s coat.  A wild animal has devoured him; Joseph is without a doubt torn to pieces.  Israel tore his clothes and wore sackcloth and mourned for Joseph for a long, long time.  (Sackcloth is a course cloth of goat or camel’s hair or of flax, hemp or cotton, worn as a sign of mourning.)

Israel’s children tried to console him, but he couldn’t be comforted.  He said, I’ll be sad until I die, over Joseph’s death. 

Meanwhile, Joseph was sold again in Egypt to a man named Potiphar, who was an officer of the Pharaoh and captain of the guard.

And that’s just the beginning of the story.  There’s much more coming up in the next several chapters!
 

THE BOOK OF GENESIS

CHAPTER 39
 

The last thing we knew, Joseph was sold as a slave.  His master was an Egyptian named Potiphar, who was an officer of the Pharaoh, and captain of the guard. 

As you may have guessed, the Lord looked after Joseph and he was successful.  His master noticed that the Lord was with him and that everything he did was prosperous. Potiphar appreciated Joseph and made him manager of all that he had, so the Lord blessed everything Potiphar had.

He trusted Joseph so much that he didn’t ever check on his own wealth except for what he ate.  Joseph was a good person and well liked.

After a while, Potiphar’s wife took an interest in Joseph and wanted to be unfaithful to her husband Potiphar with him.  When she approached Joseph with her indecent proposal, Joseph said, No, my master trusts all he has to me.  I’m his most valued servant and he hasn’t kept anything from me but you, because you’re his wife.  How could I ever do such a thing and sin against God?

Day after day she tried to persuade him, but he didn’t listen to her.  Then one day when Joseph went into the house to do his work, none of the other servants were inside.  She caught him by his shirt, and he loosened out of it and left it in her hand and ran out.  When she saw that he left his shirt, she called the other servants and told them that her husband brought in a Hebrew to mock them.  She said that Joseph tried to defile her, but she screamed and when he heard her scream he left his shirt and ran out. 

She repeated her lie to Potiphar and he was very angry.  He took Joseph and put him into the prison where the king’s prisoners were held.

But the Lord was still with Joseph, and made Joseph well liked by the keeper of the prison, who put Joseph in charge of all the other prisoners.  The prison keeper didn’t have to worry about anything with Joseph managing things because the Lord made everything he did prosper.

It looks like the Lord is going to take care of Joseph, no matter where he finds himself, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t more unusual situations ahead. 
 

THE BOOK OF GENESIS

CHAPTER 40
 

We’ve been following the story in the book of Genesis about Joseph, Israel’s son, who has found himself being done wrong by others and yet found Grace in God's sight and God took care of him.  Let's see if God continues to do so. The last time, his master Potiphar’s wife accused him of seducing her, when in fact is was quite the opposite.  Consequently, Joseph has been thrown in prison where the king’s (Pharaoh's) prisoners were held. 

Joseph has the Lord on his side though, and everywhere he goes, things prosper because he is blessed.  The prison keeper had no worries after putting Joseph in charge of all the prisoners there.

One day the Pharaoh was offended by his butler and his baker.  He was sorely angry at them and ordered that they be imprisoned where Joseph was being held in jail.  There was a night when both the butler and the baker each had strange dreams.  When Joseph saw them the next morning they both looked sad so he asked them what was wrong.  They told him that they both had dreams, but there was nobody to interpret them.  Joseph said, Don’t interpretations belong to God?  Tell me your dreams.

The butler began, In my dream there was a vine with three branches.  And it budded and blossomed and grew clusters of ripe grapes.  And Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, so I took the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup and put the cup in his hand. 

God gave Joseph the gift of interpreting dreams and he explained to the butler, The three branches are three days, and within three days Pharaoh will pardon you and give you your job back.  Then you’ll serve him just as you did before. 

Then Joseph added, Please remember me with kindness when you are freed and mention me to Pharaoh so I can get out of here too.  I was stolen out of the land of the Hebrews and I haven’t done anything here either to deserve being put into prison.

When the baker heard that the interpretation of the butler’s dream turned out so well, he told Joseph his dream, saying, In my dream I had three white baskets on my head and in the top basket there was all kinds of pastries for Pharaoh, and the birds ate them out of the basket.

The news wasn’t so wonderful for the baker.  Joseph said, The three baskets are three days, and within three days Pharaoh will cut off your head and hang you on a tree and the birds will eat your flesh off of you.  The baker must have had the wrong kind of daily bread ... ;)

Three days later, it was Pharaoh’s birthday and he made a feast for all his servants.  He gave the butler his job back, but he hung the baker, just as Joseph had interpreted … However, the butler forgot all about mentioning Joseph to the Pharaoh.

In the next chapter, the Pharaoh himself had a dream that needs interpretation.  Who do you think will fit the bill for that job? 
 

THE BOOK OF GENESIS

CHAPTER 41
 

In our last chapter, we had Joseph in the Pharaoh’s prison, in charge of all the prisoners.  Joseph interpreted some dreams for the Pharaoh’s butler and baker who were in the jail with him.  It was a happy ending for the butler but for the baker, things didn’t turn out so well.  Joseph asked the butler to put in a good word for him with Pharaoh when he got his old job back, but alas ... The butler forgot all about it until ...

It’s been two whole years since the butler was given back his position, and Joseph is still in the prison.  It came to pass that Pharaoh had two dreams, and he was troubled about what these dreams meant.  He called for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt and told them his dreams, but none of them could interpret them for Pharaoh.

Finally, the butler remembered Joseph.  He told Pharaoh how Joseph interpreted his and the baker’s dreams and how things turned out exactly as he explained, so Pharaoh had Joseph brought out of the prison to him.  He told Joseph that nobody could interpret his dreams but he had heard that Joseph could.  Joseph said, It isn’t me who can interpret them, but God will give you an answer to ease your mind.

Pharaoh told Joseph his dreams.  In my dream, I was standing on the bank of the river and seven fat cows came up out of the river and fed in the meadow.  Then seven scrawny cows, such skinny cows I have never seen in Egypt, came up out of the river and ate up the first seven fat cows.  But when they had eaten them, they were still as scrawny as before, so I woke up.  When I fell back to sleep, I saw in my dream seven fat ears of corn sprang up on one stalk.  Then seven withered, and blasted with the east wind sprung up after them.  The seven withered ears devoured the seven fat ears. 

Joseph said, Both dreams have the same meaning.  God has showed you what He’s about to do.  The seven fat cows are seven years and the seven fat ears are seven years.  They are one and the same.  The seven scrawny cows and the seven withered ears will be seven years of famine.  That’s what I meant when I said God has showed you what He’s about to do. 

There will be seven years of great plenty throughout Egypt and after that there will be seven years of famine.  All the plenty will be forgotten in Egypt and the famine will be so serious that it will consume the land.  Because of how terrible it will be, is the reason why you had two dreams about it.  God has prepared it to happen and it will come to pass.

Pharaoh should look for a person who is cautious and wise and put him in charge over the land of Egypt.  Then hire people to store up one fifth of what the land produces during the seven good years.  That food will be for the seven years of famine, so that the land of Egypt can survive.

Pharaoh and all his servants believed Joseph’s interpretation.  Pharaoh said to Joseph, Since God has shown you all this, there isn’t anyone as cautious and wise as you are.  You will be in charge and by your ideas my people will be ruled.  Only in the throne will I be greater than you. 

Pharaoh took off his ring and put in on Joseph’s hand, dressed him in royal clothes and put a gold chain around his neck.  Joseph rode in the chariot behind Pharaoh’s and people bowed as he passed.  Pharaoh made Joseph ruler and said nobody will do anything without Joseph’s permission in all the land of Egypt.

Pharaoh gave Joseph a wife named Asenath and he traveled all over Egypt.  Joseph was thirty years old now.  The seven years of plenty produced abundantly and Joseph gathered up so much food to store that he stopped keeping track of it because there was so much.

Joseph had two sons before the famine came.  He named the firstborn Manasseh, which means Forgetting, because he said God made him forget all his labor and his father’s family.  He named the second Ephraim, which means, Fruitful, because he said God has made him fruitful in the land of his affliction.

The seven years of plenty ended, and when the seven years of famine began, but there was food in the land of Egypt.  When people asked Pharaoh for food, he sent them to Joseph and told them to do what he said.  The famine covered the whole earth and people from all other countries came to Egypt to Joseph to buy corn because it was so severe.

So almost fifteen years has passed since Joseph was sold into the land of Egypt, and has become a very prominent man in the land.  People from countries all over are coming to buy food from him.  Now speaking of dreams, remember Joseph’s dreams about his brothers bowing before him?  Who do you think will show up in Egypt looking for food and end up bowing before him?  Oh, my!  God sure does have a way of balancing things, doesn’t He?  Look for the beginning of that story in the next chapter!
 

THE BOOK OF GENESIS

CHAPTER 42
 

Let’s refresh our mind's a lil, shall we?  Joseph interpreted the Pharaoh’s dreams.  For his blessed insight, he was put in charge of the land of Egypt, second only to Pharaoh.  There were seven years of plenty and Joseph stored food for Egypt for the anticipated famine.  Then the famine struck the whole earth.  People from other countries came to Joseph in Egypt to buy corn. 

Right about now you’re probably wondering how Israel and Joseph’s brothers are faring back in Canaan, so let’s take a look in on them and find out.  As we said once before, you can have all the money in the world, but money can’t make the land grow food … however, it can buy it.  Now, when Israel heard that there was corn in Egypt, he said to his sons, Don’t just stand there staring at one another, there’s corn in Egypt.  Go down there and buy some so we don’t starve to death.  So Joseph’s ten brothers left for Egypt, but Israel didn’t let Benjamin, Joseph’s youngest brother, go with them in case anything bad happened.

When Joseph’s brothers got there, they bowed down in front of him with their faces to the ground.  Joseph knew who they were, but they didn’t recognize him.  He didn’t reveal his identity to them, but talked through an interpreter to them and asked roughly, Where are you from?  They answered him, From the land of Canaan to buy food. 

Joseph remembered the dreams he had about them, and said to them, You’re spies!  You’ve come to see the weakness of the land.  They replied, No, my lord, your servants have come to buy food.  We are all the sons of one man, we are honest men, your servants aren’t spies.  Joseph repeated himself, No, to see the weakness of the land is why you’re here.  They told Joseph, Your servants are twelve brothers, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan.  The youngest stayed home with our father, and one has died.

Joseph said to them, Prove that you aren’t spies by bringing your youngest brother here.  One of you will go and get him and the rest will stay in prison until they return.  He put all of them together in jail for three days.  On the third day he said to them, Do this and live, because I respect God.  If you are honest men, let one of your brothers be held in prison. Go take corn to your houses, but bring your youngest brother back to me, then you will prove your innocence and you will not die.  

In their minds, they were remembering what they did to Joseph and knew that it was coming back to haunt them.  Thinking that Joseph could not understand them because of the interpreter, they said to one another, We are so guilty about what we did to Joseph.  We saw the anguish in his soul when he pleaded with us and we wouldn’t listen.  That’s why this is happening.  Reuben said, I warned you not to sin against him, but you wouldn’t listen, so now we’re paying for it.

Joseph turned his back to them so they couldn’t see his face, and wept.  Then he faced them again and tied Simeon up in front of them all.  He gave orders to his servants to fill their sacks with corn and put every man’s money back in his sack along with food for the way.

They left for Canaan and when they came to the inn on the way, one of them opened his sack to get food for his donkey, and saw his money.  He said to his brothers, The money that I used to pay for the corn is still in my sack!  This worried them terribly, and they said to one another, Why has God done this to us?

When they got home, they told Israel everything that happened, and when they emptied their sacks, each and every man’s money was back in his sack.  When they and their father saw it, they were all afraid.  Israel said, Joseph is gone, Simeon is gone and you will take Benjamin away too.  All these things are against me. 

And Reuben said, Kill my two sons if I don’t bring Benjamin home to you.  Let me take him and I will bring him back again.  But Israel couldn’t part with Benjamin, even with Reuben’s solemn promise.  Israel said, My son will not go down with you.  His brother is dead and he’s left alone.  If anything happens to him, you’ll send me in sorrow to my grave.

If you stop and think about this story, not many people would have blamed Joseph if he put all his brothers in prison and left it at that.  He could have sold all of them as slaves, just as they did to him.  He could have done many things in revenge of how they wronged him.  But this man, blessed by God through the many years since it happened, and through many circumstances, both fortunate and unfortunate, chose to act differently.  We’ll continue this story in our next chapter.
 

THE BOOK OF GENESIS

CHAPTER 43
 

In our last chapter, Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt to buy food from Joseph, but they didn’t recognize him.  He accused them of being spies and kept his brother Simeon imprisoned while the other brothers returned home to get their youngest brother Benjamin.  Joseph told them to bring him back in order to prove that they weren’t spies.  But alas, in fear of losing another son, Israel wouldn’t let Benjamin return with them. 

The famine remained severe in the land, and when Israel and his family ate up all the food that they brought back from Egypt, Israel told them to go back to buy a little more food.

Judah repeated to Israel what Joseph said before they left Egypt.  You will not see my face unless your youngest brother is with you.  If you’ll send him with us, we’ll go and buy food, but if you won’t, we won’t go.  In anguish, Israel said, Why did you do me so wrong by telling the man you had another brother?  They replied, He asked us where we were from and about our family.  He asked, Is your father still alive?  Do you have another brother?  We certainly didn’t know that he’d say, Bring your brother here to me.

Judah added, Send Benjamin with me and we’ll go so we can buy food, then we and all our children can stay alive and not starve to death.  I guarantee I’ll bring him back or the blame will be on me for ever.  If you had let us go before, we’d be back by now. 

Israel conceded and said, If it must be, then take the best fruits in the land and take the man a present, a little balm, honey, spices, myrrh, nuts and almonds and twice as much money as you brought back in your sacks.  Maybe it was a mistake.  Take Benjamin and go again to the man, and may God Almighty give you mercy in his eyes so he’ll send Simeon and Benjamin back home.  If I am left childless, I am left childless.

So they did as Israel said, and went back to Egypt and stood before Joseph.  And when Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he told his steward to bring them to his home and make a feast so they could eat with him.

They were all afraid being brought to Joseph’s house.  They thought they’d be accused of stealing the money that was returned in their sacks and they’d be taken prisoners.

When they arrived at Joseph’s door they explained to the steward that when they were returning home to Canaan and stopped at the inn on the way, they were surprised to see that the money they used to pay for the food was replaced in their sacks, so they brought it back with them again along with more money to buy food.

The steward said, Peace be with you, don’t be afraid.  Your God and the God of your father, has given you treasure in your sacks.  I received your money.  And he brought Simeon out to them.  Then he brought them into Joseph’s house and gave them water.  They washed their feet and the steward gave their mules food.

They got their present ready to give Joseph.  When Joseph got home, they brought him the present and bowed themselves to him.  Joseph asked how they were and said, Is your father well, the old man that you talked about?  Is he still alive?

They answered, Our father is alive and well.  And they bowed again in respect.  Then Joseph noticed his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, and said, Is this your younger brother that you spoke of?  And he said to Benjamin, God be gracious to you, my son.

Joseph hurried away to where he couldn’t be seen because his soul was so moved at the sight of his little brother that he wanted to cry.  He went to his room and wept there, then he composed himself, washed his face, returned to his brothers and told the steward to set out the meal.

Joseph sat separately from his brothers, and the Egyptians that ate with him sat separately because the Egyptians thought it was a disgrace to eat with Hebrews.

The brothers sat according to their age, from the firstborn to the youngest.  They marveled at each other and Joseph sent their servings to them, but Benjamin’s serving was five times as much as any of the others.  And they all drank and had a joyous time together.

There is relief in the air as the brothers are confident that they’ve proven they aren’t spies.  Now they can return to Israel with Benjamin and Simeon safe and sound … but the story isn’t over yet. We’ll find out what happened after that in our next chapter.
 

THE BOOK OF GENESIS

CHAPTER 44
 

The last thing we talked about was a meal that Joseph had for his brothers when they brought Benjamin down to Egypt to prove that they weren’t spies and to get Simeon released from prison.  They all ate drank and were merry.  End of story?  Nope.

Joseph ordered his steward to fill his brother’s sacks again with as much food as they could carry and again to put every man’s money back.  But this time he said, Put my silver cup in the youngest one’s sack with his money.

When morning had broken, the brothers were sent on their way.  When they were outside of the city, but not too far away, Joseph told his steward to follow after them and ask them why they repaid good with evil by stealing his silver cup. 

The steward caught up to them and said what Joseph rehearsed to him.  They answered, How can you say such a thing?  God forbid that your servants would do what you are accusing us of.  The money that we found in our sacks the first time, we brought back to you, why would we steal silver or gold out of your lord’s house?  Whoever you find it with, let him die and the rest of us will be your slaves.  But the steward said, Whoever is found with it will be my servant, and the rest of you will be innocent.

They each quickly put their sack on the ground and opened them.  The steward began with the oldest and finished with the youngest, and found the silver cup in Benjamin’s sack.  They tore their clothes in sorrow and returned with the steward to the city.  They went back to Joseph’s house and fell to the ground in front of him. 

And Judah said, How can we prove our innocence?  God has found out the sin of your servants, both us and the one who had the cup.  Joseph said, God forbid that I should do this, but the man in whose hand the cup is found, he will be my servant.  As for the rest of you, go in peace back to your father.

Then Judah, remembered that he promised Israel Benjamin’s safe return.  He pleaded with Joseph, and said, Oh my lord, let your servant explain, I beg you, and please don’t be angry.  You asked us if we had a father or a brother, and we said yes, we have a father, an old man, and a child of his old age, a little one; and his brother is dead.  His father loves him so.  And when you said to bring him down, we told you he can’t leave his father or his father would die.  But you said, unless you bring him, you’ll never see my face again.  We told our father.  He said, Go again, and buy us a little food.  So we told him we couldn’t return without our youngest brother, as you said.  And my father said to us, You know that my wife bare me two sons, and the one went away from me and I never saw him again, and if you take this one from me too, and something bad happens to him, you’ll bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.  If I go back to my father and the boy isn’t with us, being that his soul lives for the boy’s life, he’ll die of sorrow.  I guaranteed him that I would bring the boy back home to him or I would be to blame for ever.  I beg you now, let me become a slave for you and let the boy go back home with his brothers.  How can I return to my father without him?  I wouldn’t be able to bear watching him suffer.

Well, things sure have changed over the years, haven’t they?  It was Judah who had the idea to sell Jacob as a slave in the first place, and here he is with a truly touching plea to become a slave himself to avoid anguishing his father.  How do you think Joseph will react to his brother’s request?  Ah, you’ll have to read on to find out the answer to that!
 

THE BOOK OF GENESIS

CHAPTER 45
 

I bet ya can’t wait to find out what happens between Joseph and all his brothers, can you?  Well, let’s review what’s been happening.  There was a terrible famine.  Joseph's brothers had to buy food directly from Joseph, who they didn’t recognize, however he recognized them. He had his steward hide his silver cup in Benjamin’s sack so he could use this to keep his little brother with him.  He told them that Benjamin would become his servant, but Judah made a tender plea to let him take Benjamin’s place, to avoid breaking their father’s heart.  That brings us up to date.

As you can well imagine, being the favorite and then hearing the pain your father is enduring would certainly tug on anyone’s heart strings.  And that at any moment, you have the power to ease his pain, and indeed, bring him immeasurable joy by revealing that you’re alive, was no doubt flooding Joseph’s mind.

Finally, he couldn’t stand it any longer.  He broke down and cried in front of everyone.  He ordered all his servants to leave while he talked to his brothers, but his sentiment was so deep that everyone could hear him. 

He said, I’m Joseph, Is my father still alive?  His brothers were so shocked that they couldn’t answer.  And Joseph said, come close to me.  I’m Joseph, your brother, who you sold into Egypt.  Don’t be sad or angry with yourselves.  God sent me here to save peoples lives.  The famine has been in the land for two years now, but there are five more years coming with no food.  God knew what was going to happen, so He sent me to save future generations in the earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.  So you see, it wasn’t you that sent me here, it was God.  And Pharaoh made me a ruler in all the land of Egypt.

Now go to my father and tell him to come to me quickly, and you and your families and your flocks and herds will live in the land of Goshen and be near me.  I’ll take care of you and the famine won’t hurt you. 

Joseph could tell that they recognized him again and he hugged Benjamin’s neck and Benjamin hugged him back, and they wept.  Then he hugged all his brothers and there was peace between them.

The news spread through Pharaoh’s kingdom and it made Pharaoh and his servants happy that Joseph’s brothers were there.  The Pharaoh told Joseph to bring his father and all his family down to live in Egypt and gave them all gifts, but Benjamin got the most.  Joseph sent them on their way and knew that the whole thing was an unusual and emotional situation, so he told them not to be angry on the way. 

When they got home and told Israel that Joseph was still alive, he didn’t believe them and his heart was heavy, but when he saw the wagons that Joseph sent to bring him back, Israel’s spirit revived and he said, My son Joseph IS still alive.  I will go and see him before I die.

A happy ending is always a pleasant thing, but even more so is when God works through people.  It’s always inspiring and we can all find analogies in our own lives of when we were put into situations that were troublesome, but after all was said and done, we saw God’s purpose in it.  Never forget to give Him glory for His infinite wisdom. 
 

THE BOOK OF GENESIS

CHAPTER 46 & 47:1-13
 

In this chapter we join Israel as he takes his entire family to Egypt to live, where he has just learned that Joseph is still alive and rules over Egypt for Pharaoh.  Israel stopped on the way in Beersheba, the place where he grew up, where he received his blessing from his father Isaac, and where God had spoken to both Abraham and Isaac before.  He offered sacrifices to God there and God spoke to him in a vision of the night.

God said to Israel, I am God, the God of your father.  Don’t be afraid to go down into Egypt, I will make you a great nation there.  I will go with you and I will bring you back again and Joseph will put his hand on your eyes.

If you remember from the end of our last story, Israel wants to see Joseph before he dies.  When God said that Joseph will put his hand on your eyes, He was assuring Israel that he would see Joseph again before he died. (Joseph would be the one to close Israel’s eyes when he dies.)

So Israel left Beersheba and his sons took him and their children and their wives in wagons that Pharaoh had sent to bring them.  All the people who came from Israel who were in Egypt were 70 souls.  Israel sent Judah ahead of them to get directions to Goshen, where Joseph said they would live and he met them there.

When Joseph saw Israel, you can imagine it was quite a reunion.  Joseph embraced Israel and cried for a long time.  Israel said, Now let me die, since I have seen your face, because you are still alive. 

Now Joseph knew that the Egyptians didn’t like shepherds. He told his brothers that he would go and tell the Pharaoh that all his fathers family had arrived in Egypt, that they’re shepherds and that they’ve brought all their herds and flocks and everything that they own with them.  He told them that when the Pharaoh asks them what their occupation is, they should say, Your servants trade has been about cattle from our childhood until now, both us, and our fathers.

Pharaoh didn’t seem to mind that they were shepherds.  In fact, when they told him their occupation and that they didn’t have any pasture for their flocks because the famine was so bad in Canaan, Pharaoh told Joseph to let them live in the best of the land, in the land of Goshen, and if any of them were good enough, to make them rulers over his own cattle.

Joseph gave them the land of Goshen, which is in the land of Rameses, the best of the land, as Pharaoh ordered.  He made sure they were all comfortable and fed, even though the famine was starting to affect Egypt. 

How will Joseph manage things now?  He has just brought his entire family down to Egypt and settled them into the best of the land, but the food that he had the Egyptians store during the seven years of plenty is running out now. 
 

THE BOOK OF GENESIS

CHAPTER 47:14-31
 

In this chapter we’re joining Joseph in Egypt, and the seven years of famine are beginning to take its toll on the food supplies that Joseph had stored in the previous seven years of plenty. 

Joseph took all the money that people paid Joseph for food to Pharaoh, and when everyone’s money was spent, all the Egyptians came to Joseph and begged for more food.  Joseph said, If you have no money, trade your cattle for food.  So Joseph gave them bread in exchange for horses and flocks and herds and mules and it lasted the people for that year.

They returned to Joseph again and said, It’s no secret that our money is gone and you have our herds.  There isn’t anything left but ourselves and our land.  Buy us and our land for bread and we’ll be servants to Pharaoh.  Give us seed, so we can plant and live and the land won’t be barren. 

So Joseph bought the entire land of Egypt for Pharaoh.  He spread the people out from one end of Egypt to the other.  Only the priests and their land were not bought.  Joseph said to the people, Today I have bought you and your land for Pharaoh.  I give you seed to plant in the land.  When it is harvested, you will give one fifth to Pharaoh and keep the rest for your own, for seed and for food for your households. 

The Egyptians were grateful.  Joseph made it a law that Pharaoh get one fifth of their increase, except for the land of the priests only. 

Joseph's Dad, Israel lived in the land of Goshen, and his family grew remarkably.  He lived in Egypt for seventeen years and the time was getting close for him to die.  He called Joseph and made him promise that he would not bury him in Egypt, but in the burying place of his father’s.  Joseph gave Israel his solemn promise.

Now we all know from what we’ve read so far, that when a father died in those times, things seem to get very interesting. 
 

THE BOOK OF GENESIS

CHAPTER 48
 

Traditionally in Bible times, the oldest born son inherits the birthright and the blessing of his father.  Now, that doesn’t mean that the rest of the children are out of luck but the position as the head of the family and the majority of the wealth, whether it be flocks or herds or family business or money, went to the eldest son.  The eldest son also acquired the best of the blessings which was like a prophetic prayer for God to shower the receiver with an abundant life.

Now, Joseph heard that Israel was sick, so he took his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim with him to see his father.  When Israel heard that Joseph was coming to see him, he gathered up enough strength to sit up.

He told Joseph that God appeared to him and blessed him in Bethel, and that He would make him a multitude of people and give the land of Canaan to his descendants for an everlasting possession.

Then Israel said, Your two sons are mine, just as Reuben and Simeon are mine.  Any children that you have after them will be yours.

Israel’s could not see because of his old age and he asked Joseph, Who is with you?  And Joseph answered, They are my sons.  Israel told Joseph to bring them near so that he could bless them.  He hugged and kissed them and said to Joseph, I thought I’d never see your face again, and look, God has shown me your children too.  Joseph bowed down in front of Israel, then took his sons and set Manasseh near Israel’s right hand and Ephraim near his left hand. 

But Israel reached over and purposely put his right hand on the younger son Ephraim’s head, and his left hand on the firstborn Manasseh’s head.  And he blessed Joseph, and said God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, the Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.

When Joseph noticed that Israel’s right hand was on Ephraim’s head, it upset him and he held up Israel’s hand to move it to Manasseh’s head.  Joseph said, Not so, my father, this is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.  But Israel refused and said, I know it, my son, I know it.  He will also become a people and he’ll be great, but truly, his younger brother will be greater than him and his descendants will become a multitude of nations.

Then Israel set Ephraim in front of Manasseh and said to Joseph, God make you like Ephraim and like Manasseh.  He was telling him that even though he was younger than all but Benjamin, he would be before them.

And Israel said to Joseph, I am dying, but God will be with you and bring you to the land of your fathers again.  Also, I have given you one share more than your brothers.   

And now here’s a little Daily Bread Crumb to finish with.  Notice that Isaac was younger than Ishmael, and Jacob was younger than Esau.  Both the younger sons received the birthright.  Now Israel has chosen to give the firstborn’s blessing to the Ephraim instead of Manasseh, and to Joseph instead of Reuben.  Just an interesting little fact to think about.  Jesus said, There are last which shall be first, Luke 13:30.

In the next chapter Israel blesses each of his twelve sons.  Will there be surprises ahead for them? 
 

THE BOOK OF GENESIS

CHAPTER 49
 

We’ll start off with a couple of little interesting tidbits.  In Bible times, there weren’t formal distributions of property when a person died, as it is today which are called a last will and testament.  Back then, before a dad died, he gave blessings to his children and usually passed the birthright (the major portion of the inheritance and power in the family also a spiritual power) down to the firstborn son.

Also, you may be wondering what all the hype is about the firstborn.  Over and over we’ve read about it and it still may not be clear as to what’s so exceptional about them.  One way to describe why they are so special is to use analogies.  The first of something is always the purest.  Is a freshly brewed cup of coffee better than one from the bottom of the pot?  Each time gold is melted it becomes weaker.  When food grows on a plant, the first harvest is better quality because the plant is younger and stronger.  Remember God was pleased with Abel’s gift, a firstling of his flock.  Back in Bible times, people were much more concerned about things of this nature.  Purity was something that was respected and the “firstfruits” of anything was special to God.

Now, back to the birthright going to the firstborn, we’ve seen a few instances where things haven’t exactly happened that way, and in our last segment, we found that Israel won’t be following that tradition either.  That doesn’t mean that he’s going against God, because remember, these people who we’ve been talking about who have deviated from this custom, have been God inspired.  So let’s find out what happened. In other words ... God chooses whom He will.

Israel said to all of his sons, Gather yourselves together and I’ll tell you what will happen to you in the last days.  Now what do you suppose he meant by that … last days?  Frequently in the Bible, the End Times is referred to as the last days.  If you guessed that he was going to tell them what would happen to their descendants throughout history until the end of this world, then you’re a pretty good guesser. 

Israel continued ... Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power (his firstfruits).  You are unstable as water and you will not do extremely well because you went up to your father’s bed. Israel is referring to Reuben having slept with his dad's concubine years ago.

Simeon and Levi are alike, cruelty is in their character.  Israel was remembering when they killed all the men in Shechem.  He went on, O my soul, let me not be remembered for what they did, because in their anger they killed and without advice they destroyed an entire city.  Cursed be their anger, for it was terrible and their fury was cruel.  I will separate them and scatter them in Israel. 

Judah, you are the one who your brothers will praise.  You will be stronger than your enemies.  Your brothers will bow down before you.  Judah is a lion's young, protected from the prey by the old lion.  Who will bother him?  The power will not leave Judah, and no lawgiver will come from Judah until Shiloh (the One who is sent - Jesus) comes; and to him will the gathering of the people be.  (This is prophecy of the Messiah.)

Zebulun will live at the seaside and he shall be a harbor for ships.

Issachar is like a strong mule slumped down with two loads on either side.  And he saw that rest was good and the land was  
pleasant and was willing to become a servant to authority.

Dan will judge his people.  He will be a serpent that bites the horse heels so that its rider will fall backwards.  

As for Gad, a troop will overcome him, but in the end, he will win.

Asher will be rich, and he will produce kingly luxuries.

Naphtali is a deer set free, he giveth goodly words.  goodly = comely, handsome, considerable.

Joseph will be like a fruitful branch by a well, whose branches grow over the wall.  You have been deeply grieved and hated, but you were strong and your arms and hands were made strong by God who will bless you with abundant blessings.  The blessings I give you are greater than the blessings of my forefathers unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills they will be on you who was separated from your brothers.

Benjamin will be like a hunting wolf.  In the morning he will devour the prey, and at night he will divide the spoil. 

All of these are the twelve tribes of Israel.  These are the blessings that he gave them.  And he told them to bury him in the cave in the field of Ephron where Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, and Leah were buried.  And when he had finished talking to his sons, he pulled his feet up into the bed and died. And Israel was gathered to his people. 

For some of the children of Israel, things sound very promising according to the blessings they received from their father while others don’t sound so honorable.  In any case, these are God’s chosen people and we’ll just have to keep reading on to find out exactly what the future holds for each of them. 
 

THE BOOK OF GENESIS

CHAPTER 50
 

In the last chapter we read about the blessings that Israel gave to his twelve children. In this chapter we will complete the book of Genesis. That's right ... If you have followed along with us from the first study CREATION ... You will have completed the Book of Genesis after this study.

Let's begin ... When we ended our last Daily Bread story, Israel had just died.  All of his children were with him when he died.  Remember that the Lord told him that Joseph would be with him at his death, back in Chapter 46:

Genesis 46:4
 I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again: and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes.

Joseph loved Israel very much.  He fell on his dad’s face and wept on him and kissed him.  He had Israel embalmed and the Egyptians mourned for him for 70 days.  After that Joseph spoke to Pharaoh and asked him if he could go and bury his father in Canaan. 

The Pharaoh consented and all of Pharaoh’s servants and all the elders of the land of Egypt went with him.  All of Joseph’s family and his brothers and Israel’s family went, only the children and the livestock stayed back in the land of Goshen.  Chariots and horsemen accompanied them as well.  Many people mourned at the death of Israel and when the people of Canaan saw them coming, they remarked about how terribly sad it must have been to the Egyptians.  Israel was buried in the cave in the field of Ephron, as he willed. 

Joseph returned to Egypt with all his brothers and all those that went with him to Canaan.  Then Joseph’s brothers began to worry that because Israel was gone, Joseph would now want revenge for all that they did to him.  They said to him, Before he died, our father told us to tell you to forgive us for all the evil we did to you. 

Joseph cried when they said this.  His brothers all bowed in front of him and said, We are your servants.  Joseph was kind in his heart and told them, Don’t be afraid, Am I God?  You wanted to harm me, but God had other plans.  He made it all turn out good, so that many people were saved because of it.  So don’t worry, I will take care of you and your little ones.

Joseph lived 110 years and he saw his children’s children’s children.  And he said to his brothers.  I am going to die.  God will be with you and bring you back to the land that He promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  He made his brothers promise that they would take his bones out of Egypt.  Joseph died, and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt. 

Congratulations friends!  You have just finished studying the story of Joseph!  It has been a wonderful and enlightening journey!


 

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