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People of the Bible: Joseph

Book of the Bible: Genesis 37-50

Who was Joseph?

  • Joseph was the 11th son of Jacob.

  • He was Jacob’s favorite son because he was born to him in his old age.

  • Joseph wore a coat of many colors that his father had made especially for him.

God gave Joseph dreams and the ability to interpret them. Joseph would tell his older brothers that those dreams depicted them bowing and serving him. This angered his older brothers and one day they sold Joseph as a slave to the Egyptians.

Before they sold him, they took his coat of many colors and poured goat's blood on it to make it look like he had been killed by an animal in the wilderness. When his brothers brought the coat back to Jacob, Jacob mourned for his son because he thought he had died.

After Joseph got to Egypt, he was thrown in prison for something he didn’t do. While in prison he helped to interpret the other prisoner's dreams and word began to spread about the gift Joseph had. One day the Pharaoh of Egypt had dreams that no one could interpret.

Pharaoh had heard of Joseph’s ability to interpret dreams, so he had Joseph brought from prison to help him understand his dreams. Joseph told Pharaoh that his dreams were telling them that Egypt would experience 7 years of plentiful harvest and then 7 years of drought. To be able to survive, they would need to save food from the first 7 years to eat in the second 7 years.

Joseph was put in charge of the food and its storage. Joseph was second in command, he only answered to Pharaoh himself. When the drought came along, Joseph’s family needed food so they went to Egypt to buy some. At first, his brothers didn’t recognize Joseph but when they did they were all scared that Joseph would be mad at them for the way they treated him when they were younger.

But Joseph showed mercy on his brothers, in fact, he was extremely happy to see them and he gave them food and places to live in Egypt. Eventually, Joseph’s whole family came to Egypt and he was reunited with everyone, including his dad Jacob, who loved him very much.

Instead of being mad at his brothers, Joseph saw how God used their situation to bring about something good: the saving of their whole family. Sometimes bad things will happen to us, but if we love God, He’ll always use those things for our good.

It is similar to our relationship with Jesus. Jesus is like Joseph and we’re all like his big brothers. Because of our sin, Jesus died on the cross. But God used that to give us all the chance to be saved and live with Him in Heaven forever.

Key Takeaways:

  • When we seek him, God will use bad things for our good (Romans 8:28)

  • We must trust in God’s plan

Parents, 3treesKIDS will be covering “Joseph", both in-person and online this week.

Be sure to check out their lesson at

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