Presentation on theme: "Outline of the Joseph Story 37:2a This is the story (toledoth) of the family of Jacob 37:2-36 Joseph is sold into Egypt 38:1-30 Tamar and Judah 39:1-20."— Presentation transcript:
Outline of the Joseph Story 37:2a This is the story (toledoth) of the family of Jacob 37:2-36 Joseph is sold into Egypt 38:1-30 Tamar and Judah 39:1-20 Joseph, Potiphar, and Potiphar’s wife 39:21-40:23 Joseph in prison (with butler and baker)
Outline (continued) 41:1-57 Joseph in the palace (interprets dreams; develops strategy against hunger) 42:1-38 First visit of ten brothers to Egypt 43:1-45:28 Second visit of eleven brothers to Egypt (bring double money; steward: I received your money; silver cup in Benjamin’s sack)
Outline (continued) 46:1-47:31 Jacob and descendants go to Egypt (Joseph acquires money, livestock, and Egyptians themselves for Pharaoh) 48:1-50:26 Last days of Jacob (taken back to land for burial) and Joseph
How to tell a story A little novel (contrast with the rest of Genesis) Dreams in pairs; strong on symbolism, no words (first two get him into trouble; second two get him out of trouble) –sheaves (no interpretation needed) –heavenly bodies (no interpretation needed) –Butler and baker (Joseph interprets) –7 fat/7 lean cows; 7 full.lean ears of grain (Joseph interprets; God alone gives dreams)
God’s hidden causality God was with Joseph (39:5 Yahweh blessed Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake) God prospered his affairs in prison God-given ability to interpret dreams 45:5-8 God sent me to preserve life; 50: you meant evil; God intended good
Joseph interprets events For God sent me to preserve life…So it was not you who sent me here but God; he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. Do not be afraid! Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good in order to preserve a numerous people, as he is doing today.
“Bow Down” 37:7 Your sheaves bowed down to my sheaf 37:9 The sun, the moon, and the eleven stars were bowing down to me 37:10 Jacob: Shall we indeed come, I and your mother and your brothers, and bow to the ground before you? 42:6 Joseph’s brothers bowed down to him on their first trip (cf. 43:26, 28) 47:31 Israel bowed to Joseph
Significance of potential wrong endings Joseph could have been killed in the pit Joseph could have succumbed to sexual temptation Joseph could have been executed because of the accusations of Potiphar’s wife Unjust imprisonment could have ended the story
Potential wrong endings The butler forgot him 40:23 Jacob might have refused to let Benjamin go on a second trip Brothers could have let Benjamin hold the bag when cup found.
The role of Chapter 38 Joseph sold…Judah buys Kills time while Joseph travels to Egypt Tamar plays a role parallel to Potiphar’s wife Reminds the reader that Judah is the other main character You are more righteous than I!
The Role of Judah 37:26 Judah saves Joseph: Let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites 38 The adventures of Judah –Judah’s poor eyesight –Judah sires twins as Joseph does later –Perez beats out Zerah, just as Ephraim beats out Manasseh 43:1ff. Judah takes full responsibility for Benjamin with his father Jacob
Judah (continued) 44 Judah surpasses Joseph in love for his father. “Let me stay as a slave in Benjamin’s place.” (v 33) 46:28 Judah goes ahead when his father and brothers go down to Egypt 49:7-12 The scepter shall not depart from Judah…until tribute comes to him; and the obedience of the peoples is his. Genesis ends with focus back on Judah.