Guide to the Scriptures

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Joseph, Son of Jacob 

In the Old Testament, the firstborn son of Jacob and Rachel (Gen. 30:22–24; 37:3).

Joseph obtained the birthright in Israel because Reuben, the firstborn son of Jacob’s first wife, lost the privilege by transgression (1 Chr. 5:1–2). Because he was worthy, Joseph, as the firstborn son of Jacob’s second wife, was next in line for the blessing. Joseph also received a blessing from his father shortly before Jacob died (Gen. 49:22–26).

Joseph was a man of great character, an individual “discreet and wise” (Gen. 41:39). His rejection of Potiphar’s wife is an example of faith, chastity, and personal integrity (Gen. 39:7–12). In Egypt, when Joseph revealed his true identity to his brothers, he thanked instead of blamed them for how they had treated him. He believed their actions had helped to accomplish God’s divine will (Gen. 45:4–15).

Latter-day revelation reveals the larger mission of the family of Joseph in the last days (JST, Gen. 50:24–38 [Appendix]; 2 Ne. 3:3–24; 3 Ne. 20:25–27).