The account of Joseph’s life in the Bible begins with a seventeen year old being sold off as a slave and concludes with that same slave becoming second-in-command of all ancient Egypt. If you have always wanted to know what it would have been like for Joseph in the context of that time in Egypt, then this book is for you. Following the Biblical narrative carefully and with research into ancient Egypt of the time, I paint a picture of what Joseph would have experienced. Everything included in this story has a foundation either from the Bible itself or from historical texts.
This book carries you to ancient times. The story begins in Bethel when Joseph was a little boy, and ends with reconciliation with his family. In between are the experiences of his eventful life: the dreams from God, being sold to merchants, the journey to Egypt, life as a slave, in the prison, his promotion by Pharaoh and life as a leader. The Bible account is stirring on its own, but here you will get more detail and new perspectives. What you read will intrigue, inform, move and inspire you. It is a beautiful testament of God’s faithfulness.
Excerpt from Joseph Of Egypt
The great river flowed a short distance from Pharaoh’s palace. The king stood at the banks and looked on. He took pleasure in watching the numerous cattle he possessed from this vantage point but none of his herds were there at the time. The soothing moving water was suddenly interrupted. Something was troubling the river. Moments later the head of a cow emerged. It moved towards the banks and soon the whole animal climbed out. Following closely another cow surfaced and like the first got out of the water. This sequence continued until seven cows had come out of the river. They were large and healthy looking but they were not from any of the king’s herds. Pharaoh watched them graze among the reeds.
Soon seven more emerged but unlike the first, these were ugly and gravely thin, they stood besides the healthy ones.
The king kept his eyes on both groups of cattle and was taken aback when the miserable cows began to devour the healthy ones. They swallowed up each one of them and Pharaoh saw the hind legs of the healthy cows disappear in the mouths the ugly ones. They however remained as thin as they were before. The king was terrified—he awoke from his sleep.
He breathed fast but was relieved: it was only a dream. He had never seen such ugly looking cows; he wondered if this dream had any significance. He placed his head down again and was soon asleep.
Pharaoh walked in the grain fields and observed the crop. He saw seven ears coming up from one stalk; they were healthy and of good appearance, but seven other ears blasted with an east wind, sprung up after them. The thin ears swallowed up the healthy ones and again Pharaoh awoke. This time he was deeply concerned. The dreams were both dreadful and he had them on the same night, which was strange. He needed to know what they meant and was determined to find out in the morning. He could hardly sleep from that time on.
At sunrise, Pharaoh went to the river as was his custom. He washed with its waters and went back to the palace to put on his royal garments. He was soon in the throne room. He called for all his scribes, diviners and advisors and one by one they appeared before him. Pharaoh’s chief servant was among them. When they had all gathered, the king described his strange dreams.
At the end of the narrative, he asked for an interpretation. The Egyptians were perplexed. Thin cattle eating up healthy ones did not make any sense to them. The dream about grain was even more confusing since they had never known ears of grain to have the ability to consume. Pharaoh demanded to know and his servants could tell that his anger was kindled.
The men feared for their lives and no one so much as the chief servant who remembered the last time his master was angry with him, the baker was brutally executed. At that moment, he thought of Joseph. The Hebrew could perhaps interpret Pharaoh’s dreams and keep them from harm.
The cupbearer asked Pharaoh if he could speak. The king gave him permission and he said, “I remember my offenses today. When Pharaoh was angry with his servants and put me and the chief baker in custody in the house of the Chief Executioner, we dreamed on the same night, he and I, each having a dream with its own interpretation. A young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. When we told him, he interpreted our dreams to us, giving one to each man according to his dream. And as he interpreted, so it came about. I was restored to my office, and the baker was hanged.”
Pharaoh was thoughtful and his frustration seemed to subside. There was already evidence that Joseph could interpret dreams so he was credible—even though he was Hebrew and in prison. The king ordered the chief servant to quickly bring the man.
The cupbearer (together with a few servants of the king) set off for Potiphar’s house as fast as they could. It was not far from the palace, so they went on foot.
Joseph was in the dungeon attending to prisoners. That day was like any other, he did what he had always done. As he served, suddenly there was the sound of men speaking urgently to the prison keeper outside the door. He unlocked the door hurriedly and the men followed him down into the dungeon. The cupbearer came to Joseph and asked the prison keeper to remove the fetters. He then held him by the arm, and made him run out of the dungeon.
Joseph still wore an old garment around his waist and had not shaved his hair or beard for a long time. Once they were outside, the cupbearer instructed him to quickly wash and shave. Pharaoh’s chief servant then asked for a fresh garment from Potiphar’s household; the women at the loom provided one. Joseph wrapped himself and covered his head hurriedly, all the while wondering what was required of him so urgently.
The men ran with Joseph, they dared not keep the king waiting. When they reached the outside of the palace, the cupbearer told Joseph that he would be required to interpret the king’s dreams just as he had done for him. He nodded as he tried to catch his breath and calm himself. They climbed the steps that led to the entrance of the building, walked past a few guards and went inside.
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