The book of Genesis ends with the stories of Jacob’s(Isreal’s) sons. Of the 12 sons, we get a glimpse of the eventful life of Joseph. God realizes His promise with Abraham through the life of Joseph.
Abraham’s family tree
Let’s look back at the family tree of Abraham. After the Flood, mankind repopulated earth through Noah. After a while, God chose Abraham out of all mankind. God promised that through Abraham He will make a special people.
Abraham had children through 3 women: Hagar(Sara’s servant and mother of Ishmael), Sara(Mother of Isaac), and Keturah.
Not many people know of Keturah, but she is the new wife of Abraham after Isaac was married and Abraham was 140 years old! Some say that Keturah was actually Hagar(Sara chased Hagar away, but Hagar remained faithful to Abraham).
God’s promise with Abraham was passed down through Isaac and Jacob. And Jacob’s children will become the nation of Israel, who are the main characters of the stories in the Bible. But looking at the latter half of Genesis, we see that Jacob’s sons are in no way “Good people”. Joseph, one of the sons, will be the key person to keep the lineage of Abraham alive.
Joseph’s downward spiral life
Joseph was born to Jacob later in his life, and his mother was Rachel whom Jacob loved. Therefore Joseph was obviously very spoiled. Joseph also saw special dreams and had the ability to interpret dreams. We see that Joseph was not someone who could be mindful of others in what he said. Therefore the anger of his brothers burned against him, and Joseph was captured by them and sold as a slave. This is something that would be a big problem in modern day world!
Joseph was sold as a slave in a far-away country of Egypt. Luckily he was sold to a man in a high position, and Joseph’s good attitude as a slave gained his trust. Things were starting to look good.
However tragedy strikes again. Due to the lie of his owner’s wife, Joseph now becomes a prisoner. Life has gone as low as it can go, but Joseph continued to show good attitude even in prison. The servants of Pharaoh were imprisoned in the same prison, and Joseph interpreted the dreams they had. One of the servants were released, and now Joseph had an opportunity to be released through the witness of the servant whom he helped. However, the servant completely forgot about Joseph, and Joseph will continue to live as a prisoner for 2 more years..
When all seemed lost, and Joseph was about to live the rest of his life in prison, the greatest chance arrives. Pharaoh, king of Egypt, has a dream that he does not understand, and his servant remembers about Joseph. Joseph is released from prison for a short time, and he goes before the king, and successfully interprets the dream. In 1 day Joseph goes from a prisoner to number 2 in command in all of Egypt! What a Cinderella story!
A great famine occurs 7 years later, and Joseph will encounter his brothers who come to Egypt seeking food. There is a lot of drama that ensues between Joseph and his brothers, but in the end Joseph welcomes his father and his brothers and all of their families to Egypt, with some help from his newfound authority.
It is said that Joseph was in Egypt around 2,000 – 1,600 B.C., and the Pharaoh is thought to be Sesostris III.
Summary of Genesis
The story written in Genesis is very vast, spanning from the Creation of the universe and beginning of mankind, and the selection of the people of Israel. Genesis ends with the death of Joseph, and he makes the people of Israel promise that they bury his bones in the land of Canaan.
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