Notes for Joseph:
His name in Hebrew is: יוסף Yôwçêph (yo-safe’) Strongs #: 3130; let him add. His
name in Greek is: Ίωσήφ Iōsēph (ee-o-safe’) Strongs #: 2501.
Jacob, Joseph’s father was 91 when Joseph was born.
Jacob had already been living in Haran for fourteen years when Joseph was born.
At the age of 6, Joseph left with his family to return to where Jacob came from and
met with a few hardships along the way. (1)
The place of abode upon arriving in Canaan from Haran was outside the town of Shechem
where they stayed 18 months. (2)
Upon the kidnapping of Joseph’s half-sister, Dinah, (when Joseph was 7), Simeon and
Levi laid the city of Shechem to waste, but Joseph had no part of it.
With the city of Shechem destroyed by Simeon and Levi, the neighboring Canaanites
formed together to war against his father and brothers but the Canaanites soon decided
it was a bad idea. (3)
At 8, Joseph and his family moved to Bethel for a six month stay.
At 9, Joseph finally got a brother, but in the process, he lost his mother in bringing
Benjamin into the world. (4)
At 14, Joseph and his family came again to Shechem but their arrival made headline
news amongst the Canaanites since they didn’t want to lose their city again. This
time war was inevitable!
With the approach of war with the Canaanites, Joseph remained at home for he was
too young to go to battle, although his half-brother Dan was a year older. (5)
Joseph’s step-mother, Leah died when Joseph was 15, and since he saw the strength
of his half-brothers at the destruction of the seven cites of Canaan, he began praising
his brothers but ranked himself better than them. When the opportunity arose, he
would bring evil reports concerning his brothers to his father.
Actually, Joseph was a spoiled brat, but even through all the evil reports Joseph
brought to his father, Joseph was greatly loved by Jacob. (6)
With Jacob’s great love for Joseph, he made his son a colorful coat (which may have
had long sleeves), it brought an everlasting bitterness toward Joseph from his brothers,
and they could no longer talk peaceably to him.
Two years later when Joseph was 17, he was still elevating himself above his brothers
and he dreamed two dreams, one about the sheaves of wheat bowing to him, and the
other was the sun, moon and stars bowing to him. Since his brothers could interpret
dreams, they knew exactly what it meant, and it made them hate him all the more.
When Joseph’s half-brothers left for Shechem to look after the flock, Jacob sent
Joseph after them to see how they were doing. Joseph went, but ended up finding
his brothers 15 miles north of Shechem in Dothan.
Upon Joseph’s arrival at his half-brothers’ camp, he was seized, stripped of his
colorful coat and thrown into a nearby pit. (8)
Although Joseph cried out to his brethren to release him from the pit, he was only
drawn out of the pit to be sold to some passing Ishmaelites (Jasher says Midianites
At Joseph’s arrival in Egypt, he was sold as a slave to Potiphar the captain of the
Egyptian guard. (9)
Joseph remained in Potiphar’s house for one year, and during that time Potiphar’s
house prospered through Joseph’s workmanship, but with Joseph’s fairness of skin
and other traits, it attracted Potiphar’s wife, (♪) Zelicah to lust after Joseph
although Joseph showed no affection for her.
As Zelicah’s affections for Joseph increased, she tried everything to get Joseph
to heed to her lustful wishes, but to no avail.
At a last effort, Zelicah grabbed Joseph’s garment to force Joseph to do her request,
but ended up tearing Joseph’s garment as he fled from her. (10)
Upon Potiphar’s arrival at home, Zelicah had a different tale to tell about Joseph
which caused Joseph to be put in prison. (11)
Joseph remained in prison for ten years until the baker and butler from Pharaoh’s
court were placed into the same prison as Joseph. At this time Joseph had taken
over as a warden in the prison although he was still a prisoner.
The baker and butler both dreamed dreams in which Joseph interpreted the dreams for
them. The baker was hanged and the butler was to resume his services in Pharaoh’s
court. However, Joseph asked the butler if he could get him out of prison, but the
butler ended up forgetting, making Joseph stay in prison an additional two years.
When Pharaoh (♪) Sesostris I had two dreams which consisted of fat and lean cattle
and corn, the butler remembered Joseph and mentioned to Pharaoh that Joseph could
interpret dreams for Pharaoh, so Joseph was brought forth out of the prison. (13)
When Joseph accurately interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams, Pharaoh Sesostris I made Joseph
governor over all of Egypt because of Joseph’s wisdom. Joseph’s name was now known
as (♪) Zaphnathpaaneah.
Joseph interpreted the two dreams as if it were one dream. He interpreted that there
would be seven years of plenty of seven years of famine. (14)
In ancient Egyptian antiquities, Joseph may also be known as (♪) Mentuhotep the vizier
under Sesostris I. ***
Soon after Joseph’s interpretation of Pharaoh’s dreams, Joseph prepared for the upcoming
famine by storing grain during the plenteous years, and when the famine started,
there was plenty of grain to go around. (15)
When the famine started, Joseph finally met up with his brothers when they came down
to buy corn. The brothers did not recognize Joseph, but Joseph knew for who they
were, and decided to test them and accuse them for spies. The brothers were allowed
to go home with their corn, but they had to leave Simeon behind, and they had to
bring their youngest brother with them to prove they weren’t spies. (16)
After a year had expired, the brothers returned to Egypt to buy more corn, and they
brought Benjamin with them.
Joseph prepared a feast for his brothers in his house, in which he reviled himself
to Benjamin but still continued to make his identity a secret to other brothers.
Upon the brothers’ departure, Joseph had instructed his cup to be placed in Benjamin’s
corn sack. Joseph let them travel a short distance and then ordered them back accusing
Benjamin for the theft of the cup. Benjamin knew of Joseph’s plan but was instructed
to say nothing to his brothers. (17)
With the brothers’ forced return to Joseph, Joseph resolved to take Benjamin as a
slave, but the older brothers were willing to fight for Benjamin, so with great deliberation,
Joseph revealed himself to his brothers. (18)
Now that Joseph’s brothers knew who he was, Joseph sent them back to Canaan to bring
back his father since the famine would continue for about five years.
It is not known on how long Joseph had to wait for the arrival of his father, but
when Jacob did arrive, it was a grand reunion, for Joseph had not seen his father
in 22 years!
Seventeen years later, when Joseph was 56, his father died and requested to be buried
in the Cave of Machpelah, but the funeral procession was halted for short time while
by Joseph’s Uncle Esau. (19)
Because of the battle at the Cave of Machpelach, another one ensued with the Edomites
in which some Edomites were taken captive and taken to Egypt. Having captive Edomites
in Egypt for slaves to the Israelites was considered a shame to the Edomites, so
war was waged against the Children of Jacob as well as the Egyptians, but the Edomites
ended up losing the battle the third time. (20)
After Joseph had lived in Egypt for 93 years and reigned for 80 years, he died at
the age of 110. (21)
FOOTNOTE: Author’s note: I am not an Egyptologist and have to rely on the research
of others in their basis of who Joseph may have been and what Pharaoah was reigning
at the time. The pharaoh I had acknowledged as the reigning pharaoh who appointed
Joseph as governor (or vizier) is suggested from David Down’s book, Unwrapping the
Pharaohs. Other researchers suggest Imhotep under Pharaoh Djoser (research by Ron
Wyatt and in Lennart Möller’s book The Exodus Case.) Moreover, David Rohl, in his
book A Test of Time suggests Joseph was appointed vizier during Amenemhat II although
Joseph’s alternative name is not mentioned throughout the book. Either one of these
could be the real Joseph; for none of them are rejected until substantial evidence
arises to support one of the three.
More About Joseph:
Burial: 1387BC in Shechem, Canaan