The Man Whose Dream Came True
The story of this young man who went from pit to palace and from rags to riches, never loses its charm for young and old alike. It would take a book itself to fully portray all the vicissitudes and virtues of Joseph, who kept his record clean. All that we can do in our treatment of him is to suggest a few aspects of his character for development.
Joseph was a youthful dreamer and his dream came true .
Joseph labored as a slave, but was faithful in hard places .
Joseph enjoyed the presence of God and won the confidence of his master .
Joseph had physical beauty, but it was never a snare to him .
Joseph resisted temptation. His godless mistress could not seduce him. Grace was his to flee youthful lusts. Thus he did not commit a great wickedness .
Joseph was silent amid foul accusations and the appearance of guilt and unjust punishment .
Joseph was unspoiled by sudden prosperity. When days of honor followed days of humiliation, he did not yield to pride .
Joseph the interpreter of dreams proved that prison walls do not a prison make. He acknowledged his dependence upon God for illumination, proving that he was not a mere dreamer but an interpreter of dreams .
Joseph manifested great wisdom, brotherly love, filial devotion and utter submission to God . He knew how to return good for evil . If we cannot have all the gifts of Joseph, who is a perfect type of Christ, we can certainly covet all his graces. If we cannot have his greatness, we can certainly emulate his goodness.
Bible Commentary On Joseph In Genesis 37
Joseph is loved by Jacob but hated by his brethren. In Joseph’s history, we see something of Christ, who was first humbled and then exalted. It also shows the lot of Christians, who must through many tribulations enter into the kingdom. It is a history that has none like it, for displaying the various workings of the human mind, both good and bad, and the singular providence of God in making use of them for fulfilling his purposes. Though Joseph was his father’s darling, yet he was not bred up in idleness. Those who do not truly love their children, who do not use them in business, and labor, and hardships. The fondling of children is with good reason called the spoiling of them. Those who are trained up to do nothing, are likely to be good for nothing. But Jacob made known his love, by dressing Joseph finer than the rest of his children. It is wrong for parents to make a difference between one child and another, unless there is great cause for it, by the children’s dutifulness, or undutifulness. When parents make a difference, children soon notice it, and it leads to quarrels in families. Jacob’s sons did that when they were from under his eye, which they durst not have done at home with him but Joseph gave his father an account of their ill conduct, that he might restrain them. Not as a tale-bearer, to sow discord, but as a faithful brother.
Joseph Was A Concerned Father
Jesus went to the temple with Joseph and Mary for the first time when He was twelve years old. They attended the Passover festival in Jerusalemand when the events were completed, the caravan of people began moving toward their homes in the towns and the countryside. At one point in the journey, Joseph and Mary discovered that Jesus was missing.
Joseph is sometimes accused of careless neglect, but there is no indication of neglect or carelessness on the part of either Joseph or Mary. It was a common practice for families to travel together, and the families were so well acquainted that the children of one family were like the children of another. The families were so preoccupied with what they had heard in the Temple, and with the joys of returning home againthat they had not discovered immediately that Jesus was missing.
When it was learned that Jesus was not with the group, Joseph and Mary retraced their steps and returned to Jerusalem and found Jesus talking with the learned scribes in the Temple. Their surprise teaches us two lessons:
1) It shows how obedient to His parents Jesus had previously been. He had been so obedient and so loyal in the days of childhood that Joseph and Mary had confidence in His dependability. They were startled and confused on this occasion when He was not with them.
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Who Was Saint Joseph
Venerated as a saint in many Christian sects, Saint Joseph is a biblical figure who is believed to have been the corporeal father of Jesus Christ. Joseph first appears in the Bible in the gospels of Matthew and Luke in Matthew, Joseph’s lineage is traced back to King David. According to the Bible, Joseph was born circa 100 B.C.E. and later wed the Virgin Mary, Jesus’s mother. He died in Israel circa 1 A.D.
Joseph Was Born Virtuous
As far as the canonical Bible goes, Joseph’s appearances are pretty much limited to the last third of the book of Genesis. However, as the Jewish Encyclopedia points out, there is no patriarch who stars in as many traditional legends as Joseph. As you will see, many of those legends center around his time as a slave in the house of the Egyptian captain Potiphar, but the stories about Joseph go all the way back to his birth.
Rabbinical literature notes that Joseph was in many ways the spitting image of his father Jacob, not only in physical appearance but in virtue. As a bodily symbol of Joseph’s complete righteousness, legend says that he was born circumcised that is, already in covenant with God. Commentaries on Genesis say that the only reason the Red Sea parted for Moses later was the presence of the bones of Joseph. Furthermore, when Joseph and his mother met Jacob’s brother Esau in Genesis 33, tradition says that Joseph kept his uncle from looking lasciviously at his mother by blocking her from view, and as a reward Joseph and all his descendants were made immune to the curse of the evil eye, which is no small thing in Jewish culture.
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Joseph Seeks Blessings For His Sons
8 Just then, Israel saw Josephs sons and asked, Who are these?
9 These are my sons, Joseph replied. God gave them to me here in Egypt.
Please bring them close to me, Jacob said, so I can bless them.
10 Now Israels eyesight had become poor from age. Because he couldnt see well, Joseph brought them close to him, and Israel kissed them both and embraced them. 11 Then he told Joseph, I never thought Id see you again, and now God has allowed me to see your children as well!
12 Joseph took them off his knees and then bowed low with his face to the ground. 13 Then he brought them both close to his father, placing Ephraim with his right hand toward Israels left and Manasseh with his left hand toward Israels right. 14 But Israel stretched out his right hand, laying it on Ephraims head and laying his left hand on Manassehs head .
Brothers Sent To Egypt
In the second year of famine, Joseph’s half brothers were sent to Egypt to buy goods. When they came to Egypt, they stood before the Vizier but did not recognize him as their brother Joseph, who was now in his late 30s but Joseph did recognize them and did not speak at all to them in his native tongue of Hebrew. After questioning them, he accused them of being spies. After they mentioned a younger brother at home, the Vizier demanded that he be brought to Egypt as a demonstration of their veracity. This was Joseph’s full brother, Benjamin. Joseph placed his brothers in prison for three days. On the third day, he brought them out of prison to reiterate that he wanted their youngest brother brought to Egypt to demonstrate their veracity. The brothers conferred amongst themselves speaking in Hebrew, reflecting on the wrong they had done to Joseph. Joseph understood what they were saying and removed himself from their presence because he was caught in emotion. When he returned, the Vizier took Simeon and bound him as a hostage. Then he had their donkeys prepared with grain and sent the other brothers back to Canaan. Unbeknownst to them, Joseph had also returned their money to their money sacks .
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Joseph Does Not Weep When:
- Hes thrown in the pit by his brothers
- When he is sold as a slave
- When he becomes a slave to Potiphar
- When hes framed by Potiphars wife and thrown back in prison
- When hes forgotten by Pharaohs cupbearer
- Hes afraid, angry, or uncertain
- When he is stressed
Note that Joseph cries only in personal matters that involve his family that mean the most to him. He is unashamed when he cries. He is resilient. His greatest fear may have been to never see his family again. God made sure that didnt happen. God can make sure none of your fears come true, too.
Joseph A Man Descended From Zerubbabel In The Royal Line Of David
He is also named in the genealogy of Jesus Christ .
Heli Matthat Levi Melchi Joseph Mattathiah Amos Nahum Esli Naggai Maath Mattathiah Semei Joseph Judah Joannas Rhesa Zerubbabel Shealtiel Neri Melchi Addi Cosam Elmodam Er Jose Eliezer Jorim Matthat Levi Simeon Judah Joseph Jonan Eliakim Melea Menan Mattathah Nathan KING DAVID
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The Storyline Of Joseph And Asenath
At the beginning, Asenathlike the heroine of the ancient romanceis the most beautiful Egyptian priestess, desired by all kings but living ascetically in a tower beside her fathers house . She refuses to marry Joseph, whom her father describes as powerful in wisdom and bearer of Gods spirit . But when she sees Joseph for the first time, she realizes her mistake because she sees the son of God, whom nothing hidden escapes . This description of Joseph could be an interpretation of his Egyptian name, Zaphenath-paneah . Joseph, too, is not happy when he first sees her, but then he blesses her and asks God for her renewal . After his departure, she repents for seven days with fasting and self-abasement . On the eighth day, she prays to God with a psalm that picks up many biblical motifs . Then a man appears from heaven in the shape of the angel of Dan 10:510 and tells her that she is heard and renewed by God, who has already given her as a fiancée to Joseph. Her name is no longer Asenath but city of refuge.
At this point , the text describes the heavenly figure Metanoia , who is modelled upon personified wisdom . Her transformation is shown by new shining clothes . Then Asenath shares a honeycomb with the heavenly being before he leaves, like Elijah, in a chariot of fire . This scene and others probably have one or more symbolic meanings, which have not been fully deciphered. In the next chapters, Asenath meets Joseph again, reunites with him, and marries him .
Potiphar’s Wife Had The Hots For Joseph
After being sold somewhere between one and five times, Joseph finds himself a slave in the household of Potiphar, the captain of the Pharaoh’s guard. The account in Genesis 39 tells us that Potiphar’s wife fell in love with the handsome young slave and tried to seduce him. The virtuous young man rejects her, which is both the right and wrong move, as Potiphar’s wife accuses Joseph of assaulting her, which lands him in jail.
The episode of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife is the inspiration for much of the rabbinical and legendary material about Joseph. For example, The Legends of the Jews recounts the various means by which Potiphar’s wife tries to seduce Joseph. And how could she not? Joseph was so handsome that all Zuleika’s maids stare at him and unthinkingly cut their hands while peeling oranges. First Zuleika pretends to want to adopt him , then promises to reward him with power or renounce the worship of idols or murder her husband. When these fail, she tries giving him enchanted food. When Joseph won’t even look at her, she has his head shackled so he can’t turn away. It’s good that Joseph resists, because the Lord appears to him and tells Joseph that if he touches Zuleika, God will cause the world to crumble to dust. Yikes.
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Joseph Was A Protector Of His Family
When Herod pretended that he wanted to worship the newborn Baby in Bethlehem, God warned Joseph in a dream to take the Child and Mary, and flee to Egypt.
Under the cover of darkness , they departed by night. Perhaps the moon was bright and thus helped to make the travel easier. At any rate, Joseph obeyed the Lord, and took his family, and left Bethlehem. They journeyed south to Egypt.
Colonies of Jews lived in most cities of Egypt, and thus Joseph and Mary could find associations among their own people when once they were down in Egypt. But did you ever try to picture what the trip from Bethlehem to Egypt really involved?
The journey involved traveling more than 150 miles across a desert. It was blistering hot by day and chilling cold by night. The area was infested with robbers and bandits. Joseph and Mary traveled mainly by foot. Mary likely rode a donkey at times. There were no sanitation facilities, and the land-surface was marked by high hills and deep valleys and steep cliffs. It was a dangerous journey .
After a stay in Egypt, Matthew 2:22 tells about the return of the family to the land of Israel. Herod had died, and because Herods son was ruling over Judea, Joseph chose to take the family north to Galilee and settle in their home town of Nazareth. Joseph and Mary and Jesus made their home in the town of Nazareth.
Potiphar’s Wife As Mythological Motif
It is not unusual for stories from the Bible to have strangely similar echoes in tales from other ancient mythologies. For example, the story of Noah’s flood is noticeably similar to the account of Deucalion and Pyrrha in Greco-Roman myth and the Mesopotamian tale of Utnapishtim. Likewise, the story of baby Moses has similarities to the infancies of Sargon of Akkad and Oedipus, and so on. The episode of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife is no exception to this phenomenon. The general shape of a woman attempting to seduce a young man and then accusing him of assault when rejected appears as a common motif in ancient myth.
The most notable comparison is the tale of Theseus’s son Hippolytus, whose dedication to chastity puts him at odds with his lustful stepmother Phaedra. The Encyclopedia Britannica says his tragedy ends with a heartbroken Phaedra dead at her own hand and a falsely accused Hippolytus crashing his chariot to death when a giant cow comes out of the ocean . Likewise, the queen Stheneboea falsely accused the hero Bellerophon, the punishment for which was getting sent to kill the Chimera, but at least he got to ride a flying horse instead of being crushed by sea cow like Hippolytus. Other echoes can be found in the stories of Peleus and Cretheis, and Tenes and Philonome.
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God Often Uses Dreams In The Lives Of Biblical Characters
Two Josephs were the most famous dreamers: Joseph of Nazareth and, Joseph, the son of Jacob.
Dreams are what prompted the comparison, but a closer inspection showed many other similarities between the two men.
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The Man Who Gave His Grave To Jesus
This wealthy and devout Israelite, a member of the Sanhedrin, lived in a city of Jews . It is to the provision he made for the body of Christ that Isaiah had reference when he said, He made His grave with the rich . Of this renowned Joseph we discover:
1. He was an honorable counselor . Because of his adherence to the Law and integrity of life he was a member of the governing body known as the Sanhedrin.
II. He looked for the kingdom of God. Immersed in Old Testament Scriptures, he anticipated the reign of the promised Messiah.
III. He was a good man and just . As the Bible never uses words unnecessarily, there must be a distinction between good and just. As a good man we have his own internal dispositionwhat he was in himself. As a just man we have his external conductwhat he was towards others. His just dealings were the fruit of the root of his goodness. His was the belief that knew how to behave.
IV. He was a secret disciple . Joseph of Arimathaea was similar to Nicodemus in his respect for our Lord as a man, admiration for Him as a teacher, belief in Him as the Christ, and yet, till now, his lack of confessing Him before men. Dreading the hostility of his colleagues on the Sanhedrin, he kept his faith secret.
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