From far across the fields, Joseph’s 10 older brothers saw him coming. He was wearing that colorful coat of his. Their father had given a coat of many colors only to Joseph, and all of his brothers were jealous.
What made his brothers even angrier was that Joseph told them about his dreams. He said his dreams meant that someday his brothers would bow down to him. They didn’t want to bow down to their younger brother.
“Here comes the dreamer,” Joseph’s angry brothers said, and they plotted what they would do. When Joseph reached his brothers, they tore off his coat and threw him into a deep pit. They sold him as a slave to some merchants who were traveling to Egypt.
The brothers ripped Joseph’s coat, dipped it in goat’s blood, and took it to their father. Their father, Jacob, thought a wild beast had eaten Joseph. He was heartbroken.
In Egypt, a man named Potiphar bought Joseph as a slave. Then Potiphar’s wicked wife lied about Joseph, and he was put in prison. But Jehovah did not forget faithful Joseph.
In prison, Joseph interpreted the dreams of two servants of Pharaoh. Later, Pharaoh had some dreams that worried him. His servant remembered that Joseph could interpret dreams. Pharaoh sent for Joseph to come to the royal court to listen to his dream.
Joseph said Pharaoh’s dream was a warning from God. It meant there would be seven years when a lot of food would grow in the fields, but then there would be seven years of famine when no food would grow. Joseph said the people needed to store food to be ready for the famine.
Pharaoh listened. He put Joseph in charge of storing food. Joseph was given good clothing, a chariot, and a fine home.
Just as Joseph had said, for seven years plenty of food grew, and the people in Egypt stored extra food. Then the famine came, and the people ate the food they had stored.
In Canaan, where Joseph’s father and brothers lived, the people did not store any food. When the famine came, they were hungry. Joseph’s father, Jacob, sent his 10 older sons to Egypt to buy food.
When the brothers arrived in Egypt, they went to the house of an important man. They bowed down to him and asked him to sell them corn. None of the brothers realized they were bowing to their brother Joseph. But Joseph knew they were his brothers.
“I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt,” he said. The brothers were speechless and frightened. Would Joseph be angry with them?
Joseph forgave his brothers. He explained that Jehovah had provided a way for all of their family to be saved during the famine. Joseph’s father and brothers and their families came to live in Egypt. There they had plenty to eat. Joseph knew his family had been blessed by Jehovah.
Jehovah is another name for Jesus Christ. He is Heavenly Father’s oldest son. Heavenly Father asked Him to create the world and to help people return to Heavenly Father’s presence. When Jehovah speaks to people, He is usually representing Heavenly Father. In the Old Testament, Jehovah is usually referred to as LORD. After He was born in Bethlehem, He was known as Jesus Christ.
God, our Heavenly Father, is the father of our spirits. He loves and watches over us always. We worship Him and pray to Him.
In ancient Egypt, the king was called the pharaoh.
Jehovah told Jacob he would be called by the name Israel. He was the father of 12 sons and one daughter, and his posterity were called “the children of Israel.”
Illustrations by Sam Lawlor and Steve Kropp