An overview so far…
Joseph was his father’s favourite son. He was the twelfth child, but the eleventh son. His father favoured him highly and to the resentment of the brothers was given a multi-coloured robe, setting him apart from the others.
Jacob had sent Joseph to see that his brothers who were grazing the flocks in Shechem were well with them and with the flocks and bring back word to him. Genesis 37: 13
When Joseph arrived there, his brothers and the flocks had moved on. A great excuse to go home? No, Joseph wandered around looking for them. (It seems if his father gave him a task, he did it conscientiously.) A man found him and told the young man where his brothers had gone. (See note that this is the angel Gabriel). http://jaymack.net/genesis-commentary/Ja-Joseph-in-the-Pit.asp
Whoever it was, Joseph set off, determined to complete the task his father had set him.
Then it all happened quickly when he arrived. His brothers set upon him, stripped him of his prized multi-coloured robe and threw him in a cistern/pit.
So what did this favoured young man think? Genesis 37: 25 reports that they sat down to eat a meal. Joseph knew his brothers hated him but it is doubtful he imagined this! Did he call out to them? The Bible doesn’t say. Perhaps as time passed he might have called out to them to let him out. When they finally did let him out… it was to sell him as a slave to traders travelling between Gilead and the coast of Egypt.
What did he think? Did he protest? Again we are not told. The next time we encounter Joseph is in Egypt, being bought by Potiphar. Genesis 39:1
Let’s pause for a moment and consider the brothers. They had sold their brother, had they started to wonder how they would explain this yet? Then Reuben came back to the pit and Joseph wasn’t there. He returned to his brothers and told them that ‘the lad is no more’.
- Did he believe Joseph was dead?
- It seems he did.
- Did the other brothers not tell him?
- It doesn’t look like it.
It seems as if they involved Reuben in the plot to fool their father though. They killed a kid of the goats, dipped the tunic in it, and sent it to their father.
Remember how the previous episode finished? However, God had a plan for Joseph that none of the other family members knew, nor indeed did Joseph. We are about to see this start in earnest.
Genesis 39:1, 2, 3 Joseph arrived in Egypt and was sold to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh… “The Lord was with Joseph and he was a successful man”… “And his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all he did prosper in his hand…”
It seems Joseph either had a great deal of faith in God, or, over time, he came to see that God had a purpose for all that had happened. He settled down to enjoy the blessings of being the overseer in his master, Potiphar’s house.
But there was more testing to come…
Till next week
Tread softly… you might be treading on someone’s dreams.