The 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 (2 Ne. 3:3–24; 3 Ne. 20:25–27; JST, Gen. 50).

  • Jacob loved Joseph very much and gave him a coat of many colors:Gen. 37:3;
  • Because of jealousy Joseph’s brothers grew to hate him and plotted to kill him, but instead sold him to merchants, who were on their way to Egypt:Gen. 37:5–36;
  • In Egypt, the Lord prospered Joseph and he became ruler of Potiphar’s house:Gen. 39:1–4;
  • Potiphar’s wife lied, saying that Joseph attempted to seduce her; Joseph was wrongly condemned and put into prison:Gen. 39:7–20;
  • Joseph interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh’s chief butler and baker:Gen. 40;
  • Pharaoh began to favor Joseph because Joseph had interpreted one of Pharaoh’s dreams; he made Joseph a ruler over Egypt:Gen. 41:14–45;
  • Ephraim and Manasseh were born:Gen. 41:50–52;
  • Joseph was reunited with his father and brothers:Gen. 45–46;
  • Joseph died in Egypt at the age of 110 years:Gen. 50:22–26;