THE TWELVE SONS OR THE TWELVE TRIBES OF ISRAEL
One of Israel’s sons was called Joseph.
Israel loved Joseph more than the others.
But Joseph’s brothers hated the favourite.
One night Joseph had a dream. Joseph’s sheath of corn stood up and his brother’s sheaves bowed down to it.
When Joseph told his brothers, they became very angry.
In another dream, the sun, moon and eleven stars, bowed down to Joseph.
This time he told his brothers and his father, who also became angry.
The brothers travelled with the sheep to find good pasture.
Israel asked Joseph to visit his brothers.
Eventually he found them. When the brothers saw Joseph they said;
“Look! It’s the dreamer let’s kill him.”
“No don’t kill him, put him in the well and leave him.”
They planned to cover Joseph’s coat with blood and say that he had been killed by a wild beast.
Then they put him down a well.
Soon merchants came by travelling to Egypt.
“Why don’t we sell him?”
So they agreed a price and the deal was done.
Then they bought the blood stained coat to their father.
“My son has been killed by some wild beast.” cried Israel.
Joseph arrived in Egypt
And was taken to the slave market.
He was purchased by a very important man called Potiphar.
Joseph was taken to Potiphar’s home, where he became a servant.
As time passed, Potiphar put Joseph in charge of his whole household.
Joseph was very handsome and refused the advances of Potiphar’s wife saying, “My master trusts me.”
One day Potiphar’s wife, accused Joseph of attacking her.
Joseph was taken to prison.
In prison the Pharaoh’s butler and baker both had dreams.
The butler saw a vine with three branches and three clusters of grapes. The juice ran into a cup and he handed the
up to the Pharaoh.
Joseph said, “The three branches are three days, then you will be restored to your position as butler.” And that is exactly what happened.
The baker said, “In my dream I had three baskets and the birds ate the cakes from the top basket.”
Joseph replied, “The three baskets are three days and in three days time the Pharaoh will hang you from a tree ” And it happened as Joseph said.
One night the Pharaoh had a dream; he saw seven fat healthy cows.
Then he saw seven thin cows and the thin cows ate the fat cows, but the thin cows remained thin.
The Pharaoh also saw, seven good ears of corn and seven thin ears of corn and the seven thin ones, swallowed the seven good ones, but still the thin ears remained thin.
The Pharaohs magicians and wise men, couldn’t interpret the dream.
But the butler remembered Joseph.
So the Pharaoh explained the dream, Joseph responded;
“There are to be seven years of plenty, then seven years of famine. You must store one fifth of all produce during the first seven years, to sell to the people during the famine.”
The Pharaoh made Joseph the prime minister of Egypt.
And Joseph stored grain for the next seven years.
When the famine began, Joseph sold grain to the people.
Israel sent ten of his sons to Egypt to buy grain.
The brothers arrived in Egypt.
And as they bowed to Joseph, he recognised them.
Joseph had the brothers arrested for spying and through an interpreter said;
“I have decided to let you all go except one. He will remain here, until you return with your brother.”
As the brothers talked, Joseph wept as he understood every word.
When the brothers told their father, they wouldn’t let Benjamin go Israel said;
“Joseph dead, Simeon arrested, if Benjamin is taken I’ll die.” But the famine continued, so Israel said;
“Take Benjamin with you and buy some more corn.”
When the brothers arrived, they were taken to Joseph’s palace.
Where they were invited to a banquet.
Joseph arranged for a silver cup to be hidden in Benjamin’s sack.
When the brothers left, the Egyptian guard searched them and found the cup.
So they were arrested and interrogated. Then Joseph spoke in his own language;
“I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold as a slave.”
When the Pharaoh heard of this, he invited the whole family to Egypt.
So the brothers went home and told their father.
On the journey to Egypt, Israel built an altar and worshipped the Lord. That night God spoke to Israel;
“In Egypt I will make you into a great nation, before I bring you out.”
So it was that the whole family travelled to Egypt.
When they arrived, Israel prayed for God to bless the Pharaoh.
Seventeen years passed and Israel made Joseph promise not to bury him in Egypt.
So finally when Israel died.
They buried him in Canaan.
When Joseph returned from the burial.
The brothers thought he would seek revenge, but he forgave them saying;
“What you planned for evil, God used for good.”
Joseph said to his children, “Bury my body in Canaan.”
And they did, when Joseph died at the age of one hundred and ten years.