Joseph (from the Old Testament)
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
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
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
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 a group of
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. Joseph
would become that man's servant.
And that's just the beginning of the Joseph's Coat story. Joseph's
brother's jealousy over the dream and the coat had them do a horrible
thing to their brother but when the world abandons you, God has a
tendency to bring you into His fold. There's much more coming up so
be sure to come back and find out what happens next in your Daily
The Book of Genesis
Greetings to you, Daily Bread readers. We've just begun a story about
Israel's son, named Joseph. Before we carry on with that story,
Chapter 38 has a little story about Joseph's brother Judah, and a
little bit about his life while Joseph was down in Egypt. But before
we take that little detour, here's another Daily Bread Crumb!
Back in Biblical days, as we've said before, it was a blessing, and
honorable to have a large family. Remember, God said that they should
be fruitful and multiply. In fact, it was so important that if a
man's brother died but had no children, out of duty, his brother
would marry his widow and the firstborn would carry the deceased
brother's name so that his name would continue in Israel. If the
brother chose not to be dutiful, it was a very shameful thing and
everyone knew it (Deuteronomy
25:5-10). So with that in mind, let's get on with our
Judah had a friend who lived in Adullam, about a dozen miles outside
of Hebron, and his name was Hirah. While visiting Hirah, Judah met a
Canaanite girl, married her and they had a son. They called his name
Er. They had another son and named him Onan. And they had a third son
that they named Shelah.
When Er was old enough, Judah chose a wife for him whose name was
Tamar. Er was wicked in the sight of the Lord, so the Lord killed
him. Judah told Onan to marry his brother's wife to have a child in
his brother's name. Onan knew that the child wouldn't be his, so he
made sure Tamar didn't conceive by him. This made the Lord angry so
He killed Onan too.
Then Judah told Tamar to remain a widow at her father's house until
Shelah was old enough to father a child for Er, unless he died too.
So, Tamar lived at her father's house.
After a time, Judah's wife died and in time his soul was consoled.
Shelah, his youngest son was grown now, but he was not given to Tamar
as promised. Tamar heard one day that Judah was going to shear his
sheep, so she took off her widow's clothes and dressed up, covered
her face with a veil and sat in an open place where Judah was going
When Judah saw her, he thought she was a harlot because she hid her
face. Judah approached her and she said, What will you give to be
with me? Judah said he would send her a kid from his flock. But Tamar
said, Give me something to keep until you send it. She asked for his
ring, his bracelets and his staff. Judah gave it to her. She
conceived and went away and took off her veil and put her widow's
clothes back on.
Judah sent Hirah with the kid to exchange it for his ring and
bracelets and staff from the woman, but Hirah couldn't find her. He
asked the men of the area, about her, but they said there was no
harlot there. Hirah went back and told Judah that he couldn't find
her. So Judah said, I tried to send this kid and he couldn't find
her, so let her keep the other things or we'll look dishonorable.
About three months later, Judah heard that it was Tamar who had
pretended to be a harlot and that she was pregnant with someone's
child. Judah said, Bring her here and let her be burnt for doing such
a thing. However, he did not know that it was he that she did it
with. She sent a message to Judah saying, The man who these items
belong to is the dad of the child I carry. Figure out who this ring,
these bracelets and this staff belong to and you will know the dad.
Judah admitted they were his and said, She's been more righteous than
I have because I didn't give her Shelah, my son. And Judah had no
further contact with her.
When Tamar went into labor, she was carrying twins. One put out his
hand and the midwife tied a scarlet thread around it so they would
know who was born first. But the baby pulled his hand back in and his
brother was born first. The midwife said, How did you break ahead?
This breach be on you, so his name was called Pharez, which means,
Rupture. And next, his brother was born with the scarlet thread on
his hand and he was named Zerah, which means, brightness.
Well now, we've learned a little bit about Judah's history, and about
the ancient traditions of raising a child to a deceased brother. An
interesting tidbit ... Old Testament Bible prophecy says that after
Times, that 7 women will take the name of one man.
And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We
will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be
called by thy name, to take away our reproach.
And for those of you who have been following the Daily Bread crumbs,
our detour is now completed. The next time we'll resume with the
story of Joseph and see what is going on with him in Egypt.
The Book of Genesis
Greetings ... And a pleasure to be back with you at Daily Bread.
Here's something new for you today. You may have noticed in some of
our stories that we include little "crumbs" of interesting
information that we refer to as Daily Bread "crumbs." We'd like to
add something new today, called Daily Bread "sticks." Bread sticks
are things that will be helpful if they "stick" in your mind.
Today's Daily Bread Stick is about our last story concerning Judah.
For those who concluded that Judah is a dirty rotten scoundrel,
consider these things: Jesus sprang out of the tribe of Judah. Hebrews
5:5. Jesus once said to a group of scribes and Pharisees who
condemned a harlot, He that is without sin among you, let him first
cast a stone at her. John
8:7. And finally, you just never know who God will choose for
His many plans. Just ask Paul. 1
Timothy 1:15. Suppose God chose all perfect people. We would all
lose hope, and our faith in grace would be lost. Just one more thing
about the matter before we continue on with our story about Joseph.
Judah did something that most people find very difficult to do. He
said, I was wrong. And he left it at that. He didn't let his pride
add any excuses, ifs, ands or buts. Just few bread sticks for
Now, on with the story. 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
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. In short, She accused Jacob of
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
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
It looks like the Lord is going to take care of Joseph, no matter
where he finds himself, but that doesn't mean there are not more
unusual situations ahead. Just as it has been, is and will be in most
Christian's lives. It is the Trials
and Tribulation that all Christians endure at one point or
another. But, remember that God is always there. Right on time. Join
us next time when Joseph interprets some of his fellow prisoner's
dreams. That's our Daily Bread for this time.
The Book of Genesis
A pleasant day to all of you. 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
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
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 story, the Pharaoh himself had a dream that needs
interpretation. Who do you think will fit the bill for that job? Come
back and see next time in your Daily Bread.
The Book of Genesis
We hope today's Daily Bread finds you in good health and spirits and
ready for another story from the book of Genesis. In our last story,
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
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
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
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? We should remember that truth when
dealing with others who we come upon as we sojourn along our
Christian walk path. Look for the beginning of that story next time,
in Daily Bread.
The Book of Genesis
Aha! There you are! Knew you'd be back soon to find out what happened
after our last story. Let's refresh our mind's a little, 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 for what they did to him when he was younger. 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 Daily Bread, so
come back and join us.
The Book of Genesis
A friendly hello to you from Daily Bread. It's good to have you join
us for the continuation of our story about Israel's son Joseph and
the famine in Egypt. In our last segment, 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
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
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.
You may think Joseph wrong for deceiving his brothers, but remember
what they did to him first. Sold him as a slave. 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 Daily Bread.
The Book of Genesis
Nice to be with you again to enjoy some Daily Bread, where you always
find plenty of food for your soul. Speaking of food, 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 come back next time to find
out the answer to that, so keep your bookmark set on Daily Bread and
we'll see you soon!
The Book of Genesis
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
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
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. When we come back, we'll find out what happened next, so keep
your Daily Bread close at hand.
The Book of Genesis
Chapter 46 - 47:1-13
Glad you're back to share another story at Daily Bread. Today 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
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.
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
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. You'll have to come back and see next
time, in your Daily Bread.
The Book of Genesis
Delighted to have you back at Daily Bread. Today we're joining Joseph
in Egypt, and the seven years of facing famine are beginning to take
their 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. Come back and
join us again at Daily Bread, and see what's in store.
The Book of Genesis
Great to have you back again at Daily Bread. Today we're going to
start off with a Daily Bread Stick. 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 were out
of luck, but rather that 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
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 (Jacob) 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 that, he would be before.
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
God knows who each soul is going to be, despite what man believes. We
have seen a lot of that thus far and there is more to come. Join us
next time as Israel blesses each of his twelve sons. Will there be
surprises ahead for them? Come back and see in your Daily Bread.
The Book of Genesis
Greetings to all of you fellow Daily Bread readers. Today we'll start
off with a couple of little Daily Bread crumbs. 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
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
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,
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
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
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. So keep your Daily Bread
close at hand and we'll be back next time with the last chapter of
the Book of Genesis.
The Book of Genesis
How great to see you have returned to share another story with Daily
Bread. The last time we read about the blessings that Israel gave to
his twelve children.Today we will complete the book of Genesis.
That's right ... If you have followed along with us from the first
... 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:
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.
Although Joseph had a life filled with trials and tribulation his
death was filled with peace and he was surrounded by loved ones.
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