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Joseph In Egypt

Joseph was an important biblical figure in the history of the Jewish people. God used his life to preserving the Israelites from a devastating famine that had spread throughout the land of Israel. Joseph was an important Egyptian official who was given the responsibility of storing and distributing food to people who were in need. Joseph was not only an important government official he was also a worshipper of God and his life was dedicated to this end. Joseph’s name means to “add to” or to increase or double. His life was a testimony to this definition. He appears on the Bible Timeline circa 1750 BC.

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Joseph and his brothers

Joseph’s story began in Genesis 30 when he was born to Jacob and Rachel. In Genesis 30:22 God remembers Rachel’s prayers. She had been praying for a child of her own to give to Jacob because she was not able to conceive. Jacob had children with her sister Leah (see Genesis 29), and Rachel became jealous. She eventually had Joseph and stated that God had removed her disgrace (Genesis 30:23). In verse 24 she says, “May the Lord add to me another son” and this meaning is attributed to Joseph’s name.

Genesis 37 tells the story of Joseph’s early years and how Jacob favored him over his brothers. Joseph also told Jacob whenever his brothers did wrong and when Jacob made Joseph a special coat his brothers would not speak a kind word to him. In Genesis 37:5-7 Joseph tells his brothers about a dream where they would they bow down to him, and this dream infuriated them. Eventually, Joseph brothers took Joseph and threw him into a cistern (or well) and sold him into slavery. The slavers took him to Egypt where he ended up in the service to an Egyptian official named Potiphar.

Joseph eventually learned the Egyptian culture, customs, and language while he served under Potiphar. God was with him during this period of his life and eventually was placed in a leadership position within his home. Potiphar’s wife wanted Joseph because he was a handsome man, but he refused her advances. She lied and had him arrested for attempted rape. Joseph spent many years in jail where he was placed in charge of the prison because God was with him once again. Whatever Joseph did in Potiphar’s house and the prison was blessed by God. He “added to” the organization and efficiency of the operations of these places.

Eventually, the pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker ended up in prison, and Joseph interpreted their dreams. The Baker lost his life but the cupbearer was spared and though he forgot Joseph he eventually remembered him when Pharaoh had a troubling dream. Joseph was taken from prison to interpret pharaoh’s dream, and he warned him about an impending famine. He also told the Pharaoh what he must do to avoid disaster. His advice was well received, and Pharaoh made him second in charge over all of Egypt. These events take place in Genesis 41.

Joseph had increased the holdings of Pharaoh’s grains during the prosperous period before the famine. Once the famine had arrived, there was more than enough food stored away to feed many people. Soon, his brothers and fellow countrymen came to Egypt looking for food (Genesis 42).

Joseph hadn’t seen them in many years, and he reconciled with them. He realized over time that God had used them so that he could gain the position that he held for second in command over Egypt. Through Joseph’s efforts, knowledge and faith in God he was able to increase the Egyptian’s food while preserving the Israelites and the Egyptians (Genesis 45:5-7). Once again, Joseph’s life was a living testimony about the meaning of his name.

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24 thoughts on “Joseph In Egypt

  1. Please share if you know, is Joseph, Son Of Jacob and Rachel,…. one of Jesus Christ earthly ancientor?

    1. No, Joseph was not a direct ancestor of Jesus. Jesus descended from Joseph’s older half-brother Judah.

      1. From what I know, Joseph married a daughter of an Egyptian High Priest, a pagan, while Judah did marry to one of theirs, hence, the ancestor of Jesus. The pharaoh wanted Joseph to be a true Egyptian and arranged the marriage for it.

    2. No – Mathew 1:2 and Luke 3:33 both show it was thru Jacob’s son by Leah that the Messiah came. – As prophesied in Jacob’s blessing his sons in Genesis 49:10 to Judah he spelicifally said “The scepter will not turn aside from Judah until
      Shiloh comes and to him the obedience of the people will belong.” Judah’s decendents led down to Christ Jesus.

  2. That is correct. Jesus is related through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob’s bloodline but directly related through Judah’s, not Josephs. Matthew records Jesus’s bloodline for us in his first chapter. *Note- it is interesting to find that Tamar and Rahab, who prostituted themselves and Ruth, were not of Abraham’s seed. They would be considered Gentiles or heathen, not orthodox. Yet they are mother’s of the faith.

  3. General question to all believers around the world. What make Joseph more interesting to God’s eye and to our ears when we read?.

    reply me via below

    1. Because I look at scripture with Spiritual Insight, by the power of the Holy Spirit, I can see God at work behind the scenes in Joseph’s life. Joseph was blessed as the first child of Jacob and Rachel, after waiting many years of hard work, Jacob finally had the wife he came so far to get, and their offspring was Joseph. God’s hand was upon Joseph who trusted in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The Lord gave Joseph a glimpse of what was to come through his dream of being a powerful figure that others would bow down to. This angered his brothers and their jealousy grew against this brother that their father Jacob favored. Bad things happened to Joseph, but God was using the bad things to prepare Joseph for the most important role of anyone in that part of the world. This is an exciting story of how God saved His people, through the 12 tribes of Jacob, and prepared them to return in huge numbers to take over the Promised Land of Israel. Fulfilling God’s Covenant with Abraham’s family to inherit the land of Canaan.

  4. you said more interesting, more interesting that what or who?

  5. Joseph was 30 years old when he stood before pharaoh (Gen 41:46). There were 7 years of plenty, then in about the 2nd year of famine his brothers and later his father came to Egypt. When Joseph brought Jacob before pharaoh, Jacob told pharaoh he was 130 years old (Gen 47:9). Joseph then would be 39 or 40; so this indicates Jacob was about 90 years old when Joseph was born.

  6. In response to what makes Jospeh more interesting, I assume you ask because of how much time the Bible spends on his story. I believe it is because he typifies Christ Jesus in many ways: he is called Jacob’s “only son”, his brothers mistreat him and try to kill him, he is sold for the price of a slave, he speaks as a prophet, he becomes ruler over his brothers, he forgives his brothers, he trusts God even in the midst of hardship, there is no record of any sin he committed, his brothers try to cover the truth that he is actually alive, the Lord is with him, it is to save lives that God sends him, he prepares a place for his brothers. There are probably more similarities, but you get the idea.

  7. Joseph reflex Jesus in the his brothers didn’t recognize Him Jesus , Yahoshua. Joseph hid his identity. His breathren bowed down to Joseph and called him Lord. Jesus is revealing Himself to many who will bow the knee to Him. Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Yahoshua Mashiach is Lord.

  8. HA HA HA HA ! ! ! ! !

    Joseph.. You know one of his sons…. King Tutankhamen…..

    Let the idiots chime off now…..

    1. OK. I will bite. While there have been some who believe Tutankhamen was Moses I have never heard of a theory that he was the son of Joseph. Wrong time period as I understand it. I do however believe that one can not separate the histories of Egypt and Israel. They were too close and have too much history together to say that they never took wives or husbands from each other. King Soloman definately took an Egyptian wife and I feel that this had been going on for a long time.

    2. David, try being kind and interacting as a respectful adult with others who are trying to gain understanding.

  9. Does anyone know who was pharaoh during Joseph’s time in Egypt?

    1. This site makes historical and archaeological arguments for who that pharaoh was.

    2. While this is a very contentious subject after much study and thought I THINK that it may have been Queen/Pharaoh Hatshepsut or her father. During their reigns Egypt had a golden age. Because Joseph traded grain for all the land in Egypt and it became owned by the Pharaoh this created a great expansive building project throughout Egypt. The idea of a male pharaoh sharing power is a long stretch but the idea of a queen/pharaoh who has no children is not so much a stretch. This is just my thoughts on the subject as there is no way to prove anything unless something is found in archeological digs in the future.

      1. Egyptis went into an unruly swamp land, draining it for her posterity. Her son Pharoah, she named king of the land which Paroah called Egypt after his mother.
        His son was also named Pharoah(King) and ruled in the place of his father(righteously) as scripture records. Pharoah’s grandson, again named Pharoah was not a good man and led his kingdom not after God.
        This gets to the point that Pharoah or King was meant to be a Patriarchal lineage or order.

    3. Senusret II and Senusret III of the 12th Dynasty.

      They clearly had agricultural issues during their reign. They expanded irrigation systems along the Faiyum Canal System. Today in Egypt, the canal is referred to as the Canal of Joseph. This sounds like work to increase agricultural production during the time of plenty.


      1. If you will do your homework, you will discover that the Lord actually provided Joseph a Hebrew wife when he was 30 and living in Egypt. ( She was actually the illegitimate daughter of his sister Dinah and Shechem who raped her) The child could not be kept and was taken as a small child to the edge of Egypt with instructions for whoever finds her please raise her. But her identity was on a necklace put there by Jacob. She was found by Potiphar whose name was later changed to Potiphera. And he was now the Priest of On.

  10. When Moses was born, where was Joseph ? was he still serving Pharaoh?

    1. I believe there were four centuries between Joseph and Moses’ birth. An over crowding of Israelites had concerned the Egyptian rulers and so decided to use the male child birth as a solution to the growing Israelite population. Thus, the care with baby Moses’ life.

    2. Joseph died around 1805 BC. Moses was born around 1526 BC. That is around 279 years later. By the way, that is a longer period of time than the entire time the United States has existed.


  11. I am very much impressed.

    Please i need a help, can someone help me with the interval between the death of Joseph and the new Pharoah that inflicted Isrealite?

    How many years between the death of Joseph and the new Pharoah that inflicted Isrealite.

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