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Transcript
Bible 110 Old Testament
Joseph Stories
Genesis 37-45
The Joseph stories are the finest example of a novel (well developed plot
with well drawn characterization) in the OT. Joseph stories differ from Jacob
cycle: no theophanies (but overriding providence), no cult legends, no tribal
interests, characterization of Joseph emphasizes many ideals, not just one. This
is a hero legend.
A.
Young Joseph – Ch 37 favorite of his father; jealousy of older brothers;
ability to interpret dreams
Special favor for Joseph – coat of many colors
Brothers sell him to Ishmaelite traders, who take him to Egypt
B.
Ch 38 – Judah and Tamar; explains the separateness of the Judah tribe.
Tamar, a widow, disguises herself so that her widowed father-in-law, Judah,
thinking her a harlot, went in to her and had sex. She conceived and Judah did
not know at first that it was she. When he heard that Tamar was with child of
harlotry, he was about to burn her until she showed him his staff, cord, and signet
which he had given her. She gave birth to twins, Perez and Zerah.
C.
Ch 39 – Joseph taken to Egypt, sold to the Potiphar. Joseph became
successful in the house; the Lord was with him. Joseph was in charge of the
Potiphar’s house.
Joseph was handsome and good-looking. Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce
him. Joseph refuses to lie with her. Day after day he refuses to lie with her.
Finally one day, frustrated, she catches him by the garment and begs him to lie
with her. He leaves his garment and flees. She then accuses him of trying to
rape her, having his garment as proof. Potiphar throws Joseph into prison.
While he was in prison, the Lord cared for him.
D.
Ch 40 – Pharaoh’s Butler and Baker thrown into prison; Joseph waited on
them. They each had dreams which troubled them. Joseph interpreted the
dreams. Butler would be restored to his position in three days. Baker would lose
his life in three days. It happened as Joseph foretold.
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Bible 110 Old Testament
E.
Ch 41 – Two years later, Pharaoh dreamed – seven fat cows followed by
seven lean cows came out of the Nile. The gaunt cows ate up the fat cows.
There was a second dream – seven good ears of grain followed by seven thin
and blighted ears growing on a stalk. The seven thin ears ate up the seven good
ears. Pharaoh troubled; searched for someone to interpret. Butler remembers
Joseph. Pharaoh summons him. Joseph interprets the dreams: seven good
prosperous years followed by seven years of famine. Pharaoh should appoint an
overseer to store up all the food during the good years. This would be a reserve.
Pharaoh appointed Joseph over this business. He gave him a new name and
wife. Joseph was 30. He proceeded to store the food in reserves. Joseph had
two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. When famine came there was food in the
land of Egypt.
F.
Ch 42 – Jacob hears about the food in Egypt, sends the sons (without
Benjamin) to purchase grain. Joseph knew the brothers, but they did not know
him. He accused them of being spies and refused to let them go until they got
their youngest brother. Simeon remained bound in Egypt; the others went home
with grain; and they discovered money in the sacks of grain. They were
dismayed.
Jacob did not want Benjamin to return to Egypt; already Joseph and
Simeon were gone; he could not bear to lose Benjamin
G.
Ch 43 – Severe famine; grain eaten; the brothers returned to the land of
Egypt. They took Benjamin along with a double portion of money and food gifts.
Jacob prayed that Simeon could be released. Brothers showed Benjamin to
Joseph; told Joseph about the money being in the sacks. Joseph ascribed the
act to God. He inquired about their father. Heart yearned for his brothers; he
went out and wept. Then he shared a meal with them.
H.
Ch 44 – Egyptian steward filled their sacks with grain, returned their
money , and put Joseph’s cup in Benjamin’s sack. When the brothers started on
their way, Joseph sent the steward after them to reclaim the cup. He did and he
accused them of wrong doing. They returned to Joseph. Joseph wanted only
Benjamin, in whose sack the cup had been found, to be his slave. The others
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Bible 110 Old Testament
could return to their father. Judah rehearsed for Joseph their experiences. Also
he told him of their father’s loss of his son by his beloved wife. They would have
to bring Benjamin back to their father or he would die.
I.
Ch 45 – Joseph could stand it no longer. He put out everyone else but the
brothers and then revealed himself to be their brother Joseph. When Pharaoh
heard that Joseph’s brothers had come, he invited all of them, their father, and
their families to come to Egypt. So they did come to Egypt. Jacob rejoiced to be
restored to his beloved son Joseph. The Lord “Okayed” their move to Egypt.
J,
Ch 46 – They settled in Goshen (A list of those who settled). Pharaoh
Okayed the move.
K.
Ch 47 – Joseph’s provision for his family and for the land of Egypt – He
bought all the land for Pharaoh and then gave the people seed to sow (13-26).
They would give 20% of what they grew to Pharaoh, keep 80% for themselves.
The people became slaves of Pharaoh, but they had food to eat. Jacob’s family
multiplied in the land of Goshen and gained possession of it (27-28).
When Jacob neared death, he told Joseph that he did not want to be
buried in Egypt but in the place of his fathers. Joseph swore to do this.
Ch 48 – Jacob ill; summons Joseph; repeats to Joseph God’s earlier
covenant blessing to him. Jacob claims Joseph’s sons, Ephraim and Manasseh,
as his own. Any additional offspring born to Joseph would be Joseph’s. For
Jacob buried his beloved Rachel on the way to Ephrath (Bethlehem).
Ephraim and Manasseh come near to Jacob while Jacob blesses Joseph
and his two sons. Jacob’s right hand was on the head of Ephraim rather than the
elder Manasseh. Joseph tried to get him to move the hand to the head of the
older son. He refused. The younger would be greater than the older. Jacob
gives to Joseph a mountain slope which he took from the Amorites with
weapons.
Ch 49 – Jacob called the sons together to hear what would befall them.
Names each one:
Reuben – mighty, strong, powerful, prideful; unstable
Simon and Levi – weapons of violence are swords; cursed be their great anger
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Bible 110 Old Testament
Judah – brothers praise him; hand will be on neck of enemies; scepter will not
depart from Judah until it comes to whom it belongs. Obedience of people will be
to him.
Zebulon – dwell at the shore of the sea; he will be a haven for ships
Issachar – a strong ass; became a slave at forced labor
Dan – judge his people; a serpent on the path, in the way; bites horses heels so
that its rider falls backward
Gad – will be attacked by a band of raiders but will attack them at their heels
Asher – food will be rich
Naphtali – a doe let loose, bears beautiful fawns
Joseph – a fruitful bough; he was harassed and attacked but he remained firm by
the hands of God above; blessings of his father are upon his head
Benjamin – a ravenous wolf
After the blessing, Jacob died and was buried in the field which was
purchased by Abraham from the Hittites.
Ch 50 – Joseph’s grief over his father; Jacob embalmed over 40 day
period. Egyptians mourned him seventy days. Joseph carried his father to the
place of burial (with permission of Pharaoh); great mourning for Jacob.
Joseph’s brothers asked him to forgive them their transgressions against
him. He said that although they had meant it for evil, God meant it for good – so
that many people could be kept alive. He assured them of his continued care for
them.
Joseph lived 110 years and died, was embalmed and buried in Egypt. He
promised his sons that they would go up out of this land to the land of
inheritance.
Historicity of Joseph Novella
1. Tribal history; a tribe of Joseph may at one time have divided into tribes of
Ephraim and Manasseh.
2. hero legend – Semites rose to place of high authority in Egypt, saving
Egypt from famine; also saving his own people and making land reform.
1500-1200 BC Syrian slaves did rise in position in Egypt. One Yankhamu,
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Bible 110 Old Testament
a Syrian slave, did in 14th century to the position held by Joseph. Was he
actually the Biblical Joseph?
3. Egyptian reminiscences and folklore – context and customs mentioned are
essentially correct for Egypt; Egyptian background in the story.
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