Joseph (may he add )


Joseph was the favourite son of Jacob. He was a shepherd together with his brothers.

At the age of seventeen, Joseph got two dreams indicating, that his brothers would bow down to him. Because of this, his brothers became very jealous of him. So when the possibility arose, his brothers plotted to kill Joseph. Eventually they did not kill him, but sold him to Ishmaelite merchants who in turn sold him to Potiphar in Egypt.

In Egypt

Because Joseph was blessed abundantly by the Lord, Potiphar put Joseph over his household. So Joseph was the highest most powerful man in Potiphar's house.

Potiphar's wife wanted to have sex with Joseph, but he always denied to do so. When Joseph and Potiphar's wife were in the house alone, she tried to rape him. But he fled leaving behind his cloak. Shen then told everyone, that Joseph had tried to rape her and Joseph was put into prison because of this.


In prison, Joseph impressed the warder so much, that Joseph was put in charge for the prison. While in prison, the Pharao's cupbearer and baker were inprisoned. They got dreams of which God told Joseph the meanings.

Pharao's dreams

Two years after that, the Pharaoh got dreams. Then the cupbearer remembered Joseph and they brought Joseph before the Pharaoh to interpret the two dreams. The interpretation was, that there would be seven years of abundance in the land and then seven years of famine. Joseph also made suggestions on what to do during this 14 years.

Chief over Egypt

The Pharaoh then put Joseph in charge of the whole country, gave him the name Zaphenath-Paneah and married him to Asenath. At that time, Joseph was 30 years old. During the seven years of abundance, he collected huge quantities of grain. Before the famine, his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim were born.

The Famine

Then during the famine, he opened the store houses and sold the grain.

During the famine, he sold food for money in the whole land of Egypt. When no one had any money left, he exchanged food for the people's livestocks. Then, when this too belonged to the Pharaoh, Joseph continued to give food against the land. After that he gave seed under the condition that one fifth of the crop belongs to the Pharaoh.

This did not apply to the land of the priests, because they were able to buy enough food from the money they got from the Pharaoh.

His Brothers

Among many others, Joseph's brothers came to Egypt to buy grain, because Canaan was also affected. When they came down, Joseph treated them harshly and put them into prison for three days. After that, he let them go under the provision that they must come back with Benjamin. He put Simeon into prison as a ransom.

They all were very distressed, because they did not recognize Joseph. Especially Jacob was afraid and did not let them go with Benjamin, because he did not want to loose yet another son.

Finally after a while, Jacob let Benjamin go as well. When he recognized Benjamin, Joseph wept and was very glad. He treated all of his brothers very well and invited them for a big dinner. But he treated Benjamin a lot better than all the others.

When sending his brothers back, Joseph ordered the silver and one of his cups to be put back into the sacks. After a while, he sent his steward to go and look for the cup and to enslave the one who had stolen it. The cup was found in Benjamin's sack, and thus Benjamin was taken captive. All the brothers came to Joseph together. Judah then pleaded for Benjamin and offered to be imprisoned instead of Benjamin.

Reunion and Jacob's death

Joseph then could not control himself anymore, and revealed to his brothers who he was. He wept with them and forgave them. Then he sent them back to his father Jacob to bring all of them to Egypt. The Pharaoh invited them as well and offered to give them the best place in Egypt. Joseph wanted them to live in Goshen. When Joseph finally saw his father again, he cried for a long time.

Then he went to the Pharaoh and asked for permision to settle his clan in the land. The Pharaoh allowed them to go to the best part of the land, the district of Rameses. He also provided them with food.

When Jacob was dying, he made Joseph promise him to bury him outside of Egypt. Later, Jacob blessed Joseph's two sons Manasseh and Ephraim. But he put Ephraim before the first-born Manasseh. Joseph was given the land, that Jacob had taken from the Amorites.

Before Jacob died, he prophesied over his sons. He basically reminded Joseph, that all he was is only because of God. Jacob then died. Joseph fulfilled an oath and buried Jacob near Mamre in Canaan


Joseph died at the age of 110 years. Before his death he made his brothers promise him, to take his bones out of Egypt when they would move out.

Moses took Joseph's bones with him when the Israelites moved out of Egypt.


Joseph started working for the Pharaoh when he was 30 years old (Genesis 41:46). This was also the beginning of the seven years of abundance. So the famine started when he was about 37 and ended when he was 44 years old. He died at age 110.

We know that Jacob came to Egypt, when he was 130 years old (Genesis 47:9) which would be year 2236. This was during the seven years of the famine, probably just about in the middle (Joseph's brothers had come down to Egypt twice and waited a while between that - Genesis 42/43).

So let's assume, that Joseph was ca. 41 years old, when Jacob came down to Egypt. This would mean, Joseph was born in 2195 and died in 2305.