Story of Joseph in the Bible summary

Image of Joseph's Story

In the Old Testament, "Book of Genesis" 37-50 consists of a story centering on Joseph, and this story is called the "Joseph Story".

This Joseph Story is the life of a man named Joseph, and well, it is a tumultuous one....

The Birth of Joseph

Let's start with Joseph's birth.

  • Father: Jacob
  • Mother: Raquel

Born as the eldest son of these parents.

He is the 11th son including his half-siblings, which means that he is a very late child for Jacob.

The story of his father Jacob is also in another article, so please take a look.

Who is Jacob?

Jacob's father, Jacob, was very fond of Joseph.

Prophet image

Joseph, I think these clothes look good on you.

Ancient male image

Thank you very much. Father

Jacob loved Joseph more than anyone else and even sent him glittering clothes.

Of course, some people don't find that funny. 

They are half-brothers.

Joseph also had the ability to have strange dreams.

One day, Joseph told a story about his dream.

Joseph image

Ancient male image

In the dream, I was bundling bundles in the field with my brothers. Suddenly, only my bundle stood up and my brothers' bundle started bowing to my bundle. It was a strange dream.

This dream implies that Joseph will rise in the future and his brothers will kneel to him, but no brother would feel good about being told such the thing.

People image

Don't get carried away!

The brothers threw Joseph into a pit and eventually sold him to the merchants.

To their father Jacob, they put sheep's blood on Joseph's clothes, and the beast attacked Joseph and declared him dead.

Thus, Joseph was forced to leave his home and even crossed over to Egypt by the merchants.

Joseph is imprisoned

Joseph was imprisoned by the merchants and became a servant of Potiphar, the chief chamberlain of the Egyptian royal court.

There, Joseph worked hard.

Whether it was because of his hard work or because he was a wise man, Joseph was given the position of chief servant by Potiphar.

He even came to be in a position to manage all the property of the family.

Then, one person took notice of Joseph.

It was Potiphar's wife.

Cleopatra image

Joseph, will you come to my room for a moment?

Ancient male image

Yes, ma'am.

When Joseph went to her room, he found Potiphar's wife half-naked...

Ancient male image

No, ma'am. Please put on some clothes.

Joseph did not respond at all to the sexual advances of Potiphar's wife.

This scene has been the subject of many works of art.

However, if a woman is tempting you and you don't take her up on it at all,

Scholarly image

It must have hurt her pride considerably.

It is thought so.

In fact, Potiphar's wife was quite angry.

Cleopatra image

Oh my God...! My darling. Josef raped me.

She testified falsely that Joseph had raped her.

Joseph was imprisoned in an Egyptian prison because of this testimony.

Against such the pitiful Joseph,

Scholarly image

Since the death penalty was common for rape at that time, and Potiphar did not put Joseph to death in this story, did he have suspicions about his wife?

One scholar suggests this idea.

Joseph unravels his dream

Joseph began his life in prison due to the false testimony of Potiphar's wife, but to his surprise, the warden liked Joseph enough to make him the keeper of the prison.

Joseph's father, Potiphar, and the jailer, Joseph, are all favored by men in higher positions.

The head of drinking and chief cook, who had committed a crime against the Egyptian pharaoh, came to Joseph, who had become such a jailer.

They were talking about something.

Blonde hair male image

Yesterday, I had a very strange dream.

Brown hair male image

You too? Me too.

Joseph decides to ask them about their dreams.

First, let's talk about the head of drinking's dream.

Blonde hair male image

In my dream, there was one grapevine in front of me, and it had three vines on it. When those vines sprouted, mysteriously, they immediately flowered and even bore grapes at a great rate. So I picked the grapes, rushed to Pharaoh, squeezed the grapes into Pharaoh's cup, and gave the cup to Pharaoh.

Ancient male image

I see, I see. Then, what about you?

Joseph turned to the chief cook and said so.

Then the chief cook began to talk about the dream he had last night.

Brown hair male image

My dream was that for some reason there were three cages of branch netting above my head. Then a bird came and ate Pharaoh's meal in the top basket.

Ancient male image

Hmmm... I see.

Joseph seemed to have figured something out, and the two men asked him to explain the dream.

Joseph responded it.

Ancient male image

First of all, the dream of the head of drinking, the three vines mean that after three days, Pharaoh will restore you to your former position, and you will be allowed to give the cup to Pharaoh as before.

Blonde hair male image


The head of drinking was surprised by Joseph's words.

Ancient male image

And now the dream of the chief cook...the three cages also mean three days later, and prophesy that in three days Pharaoh will hang you on a tree to kill you, and birds will flock to your corpse.

Brown hair male image


Again, the chief cook was surprised by Joseph's words.

And they both met their fate as Joseph's dream unraveled.

This ability of Joseph soon spread by rumor and came to the ears of Pharaoh.

Then Pharaoh came to Joseph.

Pharaoh image

Are you the man named Joseph who claims to be the dream revealer?

Ancient male image

Yes, I am.

Pharaoh image

I have a dream that I want you to solve. It is my dream.

Joseph listened to Pharaoh's dream.

Pharaoh image

I was standing on the bank of the Nile, and from across the river came up seven fleshy and shiny cows, grazing among the reeds. Then seven weak, thin, and very ugly cows came up after them and ate all seven of the fattened cows. And even though the ugly cows ate the fattened cows, their appearance did not change at all. What does this all mean?

Joseph immediately advised Pharaoh's dream.

Ancient male image

Seven cows means seven years. A fat heifer means a good harvest, and an ugly heifer means famine. It means that for seven years from now there will be a great harvest, and then for seven years there will be a great famine. King, you must take immediate action!

Pharaoh image

I see, I didn't realize my dream had such the meaning.... It seems your power is real. All right, Joseph. I grant you the position of Vizier of Egypt. And I will give you the name Safenet Panea.

Ancient male image

Thank you very much.

Joseph then rose to an unusually high position as vizier of Egypt, and he would use his abilities in the government of the country to prepare for the famine that would occur seven years later.

A reunion with his brothers

It was not only Egypt that was hit by a seven-year famine.

It also affected the land of Canaan.

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We are running out of food.... No matter, we have to go to Egypt to buy grain.

Joseph's 10 half-brothers left his youngest brother, Benjamin (The only brother of the same mother of Joseph), in Canaan and headed for Egypt.

Ancient male image

Are those...brothers?

Joseph was surprised to meet his half-brothers unexpectedly in Egypt.

However, his half-brothers never dreamed that Safenet Panea, the vizier of Egypt, was Joseph.

Ancient male image

My brothers don't seem to recognize me. Okay, then, let's give it a little try.

Against his half-brothers,

Ancient male image

You are spies!

Joseph decided so.

Ancient male image

Bring your youngest brother (Benjamin) to Egypt.

He demanded it.

People image

Okay.... We will bring Benjamin to you, and in the meantime, we will leave Simeon, one of our brothers, as a hostage.

The half-brothers made the promise to Joseph and returned to the land of Canaan with grain.

Prophet image

Welcome back, my sons.

Jacob, the father, welcomed his sons.

People image

Dad, the Egyptian vizier actually mistook us for spies and we had to take Benjamin with us. Simeon is now in Egypt as the hostage.

Prophet image

What the heck is that! I am absolutely against taking Benjamin!

Jacob, the father, was adamantly against taking Benjamin to Egypt.

But in the end, the famine did not prevail, and when the grain ran out, the half-brothers took Benjamin to Egypt again.

Ancient male image

(Be, Benjamin!)

When Joseph saw Benjamin, he was so moved that he treated his half-brothers to a feast.

Joseph plots against his brothers

Later, the brothers were to return to the land of Canaan.

Joseph quietly put his own silver cup into Benjamin's sack of grain.

And as soon as he saw that they were leaving,

Ancient male image

My silver cup is gone!

He exclaimed so.

Ancient male image

Those men must have taken it!

Thus, by his own making, he has cornered his brothers.

Ancient male image

You have taken my silver cup!

People image

What are you talking about, Your Highness? We would never do such a thing!

Ancient male image

Then show me the bag!

Examining Benjamin's sack, they naturally found the silver cup.

Boy image

I don't know!

Naturally, Benjamin was not stealing, but Joseph sternly told him off.

Ancient male image

Then why did the silver cup come out of your bag? You are too clever. As punishment, I will make you my slave.

At Joseph's words, the brothers threw themselves down to protect Benjamin.

People image

We will be your slave in his place. So please let him go home.

People image

Please let him go, Your Highness!

Joseph was moved by the sight of his brothers like that.

Thinking back to his childhood, Joseph was thrown into a pit by his brothers and sold to a trading company, so the sight of his brothers protecting each other must have been very moving.

Ancient male image

Brothers... It's me. It's Joseph.

Joseph finally told his brothers what happened to him.

People image


Ancient male image

It's your brother, Joseph.

The brothers were surprised by Joseph's words, but embraced him one after another.

People image


Joseph also hugged his brothers back.

Thus, the long gap between the brothers was successfully bridged.

The brothers then told their father, Jacob, about Joseph.

Prophet image

I thought Joseph was dead...?

Jacob did not believe that Joseph was alive at first because he had thought that he died for many years.

However, he eventually met Joseph and they had a dramatic reunion.

In addition to this Joseph story, there are also articles that summarize various stories from the Old Testament "Book of Genesis".

What is Genesis?

You can read more about it here if you like!

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