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Dictionaries :: Joseph

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Below are articles from the following dictionary:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia


  1. Jacob's Age at His Birth. Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh (Genesis 41:46). The seven plenteous years and two years of the famine had passed when Jacob went into Egypt (Genesis 41:46, 53-54; 45:4-6; (30+7+2=39). Jacob was one hundred thirty years old when he entered Egypt (Genesis 47:1-9). (130 - 39 = 91) Jacob was, therefore, ninety-one years old at the birth of Joseph.
  2. Early Life. Joseph was the son of Rachel, born to Jacob in his old age (Genesis 30:1-24), and was therefore the favorite (Genesis 37:3). Joseph had two remarkable dreams, resulting in the estrangement of his brothers and the suspicion of his father (Genesis 37:5-11). His brothers sold him into slavery, and deceived their father by dipping the coat of many colors into the blood of a goat, assuring him that they had found it (Genesis 37:15-35).
  3. Important fact - Lessons from Jacob's Mourning. Jacob mourned for Joseph, believing that he was dead (Genesis 37:31-35). We may learn from this,
    1. to be careful about acting on the testimony of prejudiced witnesses,
    2. and that a lie conscientiously believed and acted upon will produce substantially the same effects as the truth.
  4. Early Life in Egypt. Joseph was sold to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh. (Genesis 39:1; Acts 7:9). On a false charge he was thrown into prison. In prison he enjoyed the confidence of the keeper, and interpreted the dreams of the butler and baker (Genesis 39:21-23; Genesis 40:1-23).
  5. Pharaoh's Dreams. The king had two dreams:
    1. He stood by the river and saw seven well-favored and fat-fleshed kine come up out of the river and feed in a meadow, and seven other kine that were ill-favored and lean-fleshed followed and devoured them.
    2. He beheld seven ears of corn upon one stalk, rank and good, and they were followed by seven thin and blasted ears by which they were devoured (Genesis 41:1-7).
  6. Joseph's Interpretation. The wise men failed to give the king's mind any relief, and Pharaoh, on the suggestion of the chief butler, called for Joseph, who declared that the dreams were one, and predicted that there would immediately follow seven years of plenty, succeeded by seven years of famine (Genesis 41:8-32).
  7. His Elevation. Pharaoh immediately clothed Joseph in royal vestures, made him ride in the second chariot, and required the people to prostrate themselves before him (Genesis 41:33-45).
  8. His Marriage. Pharaoh gave him the name Zaphnath-paaneah (preserver of the age, or revealer of secrets), and also gave him Asenath, the daughter of Poti-pherah, priest of On, to wife. By this union were two sons (Genesis 41:44-52).
  9. Preparation for the Famine. Joseph immediately began to make preparations for the famine. He gathered corn "as the sands of the sea" and stored it in the cities (Genesis 41:47-52).
  10. Famine in Egypt. The famine began as Joseph had predicted and covered the entire land of Egypt (Genesis 41:53-57).
  11. Famine in Canaan. The famine extended to Canaan (Genesis 42:1-2; Acts 7:11). Jacob sent his sons to Egypt to buy corn. Joseph recognized them, but they did not know him. He supplied their wants, and they returned to their home (Genesis 42:3-38). On their return to Egypt, Joseph made himself known to them and sent for his father to come to Egypt (Genesis 43:1-34; Genesis 44:1-34; Genesis 45:1-24; Acts 7:12, 14). Jacob received the news of Joseph's glory with incredulity (Genesis 45:25-28).
  12. Important fact-Lessons from Joseph's Brothers. We may learn from this,
    1. to investigate thoroughly before coming to a conclusion,
    2. and that after a man is once settled in error, it takes a tremendous influence to deliver him from it.
  13. Jacob's Descent into Egypt. Jacob at once departed for Egypt accompanied by his entire family; they also took their possessions (Genesis 46:1-26).
  14. Harmony of Genesis 46:26; Deuteronomy 10:22; Acts 7:14. The first passage counts the direct descendants (sixty-six) of Jacob who went with him into Egypt (Genesis 46:26). The second counts the sixty-six, Jacob, Joseph, and his two sons (Deuteronomy 10:22). The third counts the seventy, and five of Joseph's "kindred" whose names are not given.
  15. Jacob's Introduction to Pharaoh. Joseph introduced his father to Pharaoh, who received him with respect. Jacob in return blessed Pharaoh twice, and departed from his presence (Genesis 47:7-10).
  16. Settled in Goshen. Jacob and his family were given permission to dwell in Goshen where they enjoyed peace, plenty, and general prosperity (Genesis 47:1-27).
  17. Date.
    1. It was twenty-five years from the death of Terah to the birth of Isaac (Genesis 11:32; Genesis 12:1-5; Genesis 21:5; Acts 7:1-4).
    2. It was sixty years from the birth of Isaac to the birth of Jacob (Genesis 25:26).
    3. It was one hundred thirty years from the birth of Jacob to his introduction to Pharaoh. (25 + 60 + 130 = 215) (Genesis 47:7-10).
    The settling of the Hebrews in Egypt was therefore two hundred fifteen years after the death of Terah or Abram's entrance into Canaan.
  18. Last Days of Jacob. The closing of Jacob's life was distinguished by
    1. obtaining a promise from Joseph to bury him with his Fathers (Genesis 47:26-31);
    2. reminding Joseph of the promises of God (Genesis 48:1-4);
    3. adopting Joseph's two sons (Genesis 48:5-6);
    4. placing Ephraim before Manasseh (Genesis 48:8-20);
    5. predicting the restoration of his family to Canaan (Genesis 48:21);
    6. giving Joseph an extra portion of his estate (Genesis 48:21-22);
    7. prophesying of the coming Shiloh (Genesis 48:8-12; Hebrews 7:14; Revelation 5:1-5);
    8. blessing all his sons (Genesis 49:1-28).
  19. Death and Burial of Jacob. Jacob died in Egypt, was embalmed by Joseph's orders, carried to Canaan, and buried with great honors and great lamentation (Genesis 50:1-13; Acts 7:15-16).
  20. Last Days of Joseph. Joseph's last days were distinguished by
    1. forgiving his brothers;
    2. enjoying the pleasures of family relation;
    3. predicting the restoration of his brethren to the land of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob;
    4. and taking a pledge of his brethren to carry his bones with them on their departure (Genesis 50:15-26).

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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