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Joseph (Old Testament)

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"You look bloody gorgeous, Joseph!"
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The Old Testament character Joseph grew up in a family which had been dysfunctional for several generations.

Abraham[edit]

The great grandfather of Joseph, Abraham, was a God-fearing man. Abraham drove one son, Ishmael, into the desert with his mother, Hagar, and came close to sacrificing the other son, Isaac, to Yahweh.

Isaac and Jacob[edit]

His grandfather, Isaac, was probably traumatized by the near-sacrifice. He blesses one son, Jacob, and cursed the other son, Esau. Jacob only got a blessing by deception.

Joseph[edit]

His father, Jacob, loved Joseph's mother Rachel and Joseph more than he loved his other wives and sons. Further, Joseph was a fortune teller. He could also interpret dreams. Joseph had two dreams predicting that his father Jacob and two brothers would bow down to him. Despite this, Jacob loved Joseph and gave him an Amazing Technicolor DreamcoatWikipedia's W.svgTM. All his bad brothers envied Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor DreamcoatTM. They envied the prediction that they would have to bow down to him. The bad brothers attacked Joseph. He was sold as a slave in Egypt.

Joseph became an overseer to an important Egyptian called Potiphar. Potiphar’s wife wanted an affair with Joseph, but Joseph loved Yahweh more than Potiphar’s wife.[1] Potiphar’s wife was humiliated that Joseph liked Yahweh more than he liked her. She had Joseph thrown into prison.

Joseph's fortune telling got him released, and he became an overseer to Pharaoh. Joseph foresaw that there would be seven years of plenty. Afterwards, lovable Yahweh planned seven years of famine. Joseph got to oversee storing corn to last the seven years of famine. The famine affected Canaan, where Jacob and his family were, as well as Egypt. The family found out that there was corn in Egypt. Joseph, as overseer to Pharaoh, got to see his brothers when they came to buy corn.

The brothers did not recognize Joseph and bowed and grovelled. It looks like Joseph was feeling vindictive. He hid a silver cup among the belongings of his younger brother, Benjamin. Then he accused his innocent brother of theft and threatened to enslave him. Such things happen in dysfunctional families. Later, Joseph revealed his true identity, and they all forgave the wrongs that they had done each other.

See also[edit]

Four separate men called "Joseph" are relevant to Abrahamic religions:

Don't see also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. This was a bit paradoxical, as Yahweh was inclined to do things like drowning most of mankind, including innocent children and babies, because he thought they were sinners.