Joseph The Deliverer of His People (Genesis 37 to 50)
In Joseph we have a character of wonderful charm, one of the few eminent men of the Bible against whom no special sin is
(1) Sold into Egypt
Jacob’s partiality to his son Joseph, as manifested in the gift of the “coat of many colors,” was a fruitful cause of envy and bitterness in the family. By indiscreetly telling his dreams, Joseph aroused further the enmity on the part of the brothers and they first plotted his death and afterward, persuaded by Reuben, cast him into a pit instead. Later they sold him to Midianitish merchantmen, who in turn sold him to Potiphar , an officer of Pharaoh in Egypt .
(2) A High Officer in Egypt
When Pharaoh was perplexed by his two dreams, that of the seven lean kine devouring the seven fat kine, and that of the seven thin ears consuming the full and fat ears, Joseph was called to interpret these dreams. The fat kine and the full ears were seven years of plenty, when the earth should bring forth in handfuls. The lean kine and the thin ears were seven years of famine, which should utterly consume the land. Joseph wisely counseled that plans should be made to gather up stores during the years of plenty in preparation for the years of famine. This met the
king’s favor, and Joseph was selected to be the overseer of the task.
(3) Delivered Israel from famine
The predicted famine prevailed in Egypt and in the surrounding countries. Canaan , the home of Jacob’s household, suffered severely. When the sons of Jacob went down into Egypt to buy corn, Joseph discovered himself to them and in order that he might better care for them and their families, he sent for Jacob and the members of his household, and caused them to be brought down into Egypt . Here they were warmly welcomed by Pharaoh and given the rich pasture land known as Goshen .
(4) Last days in Egypt
When Joseph was one hundred and ten years old, he gathered the elders of Israel about him and declared that God would lead the people out of Egypt to the land promised to Abraham. He further exacted a promise that they would carry his bones with them out of Egypt and give them burial in Canaan. Thus, after a long and useful life, Joseph was gathered to his fathers.