THE PATRIARCHAL AGE – Part 4
“And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man;…..” [Genesis 39:2]
Jacob had twelve sons and one daughter. Of all these sons Joseph stands out most in Bible history.
We read in the Bible of the children of Israel. The children of Israel or the Israelites as they are called sometimes are the descendants of Jacob. [Descendants mean someone’s children, their children’s children and so forth]. We also read of the twelve tribes of Israel. These are from Jacob’s twelve sons. The Christ was born many, many years later through the tribe of Judah.
Joseph was Jacob’s favourite son. Jacob showed this by giving Joseph a coat of many colours.
The other brothers were jealous of Joseph. One day they sold Joseph to some merchants who were on their way to Egypt. They took his coat and dipped it in the blood of a goat and told his father that he had been killed by a wild beast. Jacob was deeply grieved at this news.
Joseph was sold in Egypt to a man named Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh. Joseph was a very good young man and worked very hard so the Lord was with him and his master liked him very much. Potiphar made Joseph overseer of his house. In chapter 39 verse 6 of Genesis we read that Joseph was in charge of all that Potiphar had and that he was a “goodly person and well favoured”.
A very evil thing happened. Potiphar’s wife looked at Joseph and she asked him to do an evil thing with her. Because Joseph would not sin with Potiphar’s wife, she told a lie on him and he was cast into prison.
Even in prison though, God was with him [read Genesis chapter 39,40 and 41].After several years in prison, God helped Joseph to tell Pharaoh the ruler of Egypt, what a dream he had meant. Because Joseph helped Pharaoh, he placed Joseph second in charge over the whole country. There was a famine [not enough to eat] throughout the world. Because of Joseph’s wisdom, Egypt stored up food in large storehouses so they would have enough to eat during the time of the famine.
Joseph’s brothers came to him [not knowing it was their brother] to buy corn. Joseph was very happy to see them although he did not tell them at first that he was their brother. He had them bring his brother Benjamin to him, as he had not come with the other brothers.
Finally Joseph told his brothers who he was and then sent for all of his family. They came and lived close by in a place called Goshen. Jacob died in Egypt and Joseph took his body back to Canaan to bury him. Joseph died when he was 110 years old and was put in a coffin in Egypt. Later on when the children of Israel returned to Canaan, they carried Joseph’s body with them.
This lesson has covered from Genesis 34 through Genesis 50. Read, study and enjoy the interesting things about Joseph and his family as you do this lesson.
The next lesson will be from the birth of Moses until the law was given to Moses on Mount Sinai.
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