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Author: Ron Graham

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Facts About Joseph
—A simple list

Joseph’s Story

  • The story of Joseph is told in Genesis chapters 37-50, one quarter of the book of Genesis.
  • Joseph was the first son of Rachel and Jacob, and the 11th of Jacob’s 12 sons (Genesis 30:22-24). Jacob’s sons, including Joseph, are listed at the end of this page.
  • Joseph was sold by his brothers into slavery in Egypt (Genesis 37).
  • Joseph became the slave of Potiphar a very high official in Egypt. Joseph did very well with God’s help. Joseph was fully trusted by his master (Genesis 39).
  • Potiphar’s wife took a fancy to Joseph, but he refused to sin with her. She became angry and told lies about him, so he was put in jail (Genesis 39).
  • Joseph’s ability to interpret dreams got him out of jail and into great favour with Pharoah. Joseph was made a ruler over Egypt second to Pharoah. (Genesis 41).
  • When the famine came which Pharoah had dreampt of, and Joseph had predicted, Joseph's father, brothers, and their families, settled in Egypt where there was food. So Joseph was reunited with his family (Genesis 42-50).
  • Joseph lived to the age of 110, having known his sons’ children and even their children (Genesis 50:22-26).
  • Stephen provided a brief summary of Joseph’s Story (Acts 7:9-19 ). This is quoted at the end of this page.
  • Other Facts About Joseph

  • Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath‑Paneah and gave him Asenath, daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, to be his wife (Genesis 41:45).
  • Jacob, before he died, gave his blessing to Joseph’s two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. However Jacob gave the greater blessing to the younger Ephraim (Genesis 48).
  • Moses, before he died, gave a similar blessing to the house of Joseph, which he called "the ten thousands of Ephraim and the thousands of Manasseh" (Deuteronomy 33:13-17).
  • Joseph’s Bones

  • Jospeh had great faith in God. For example, just before his death he predicted that God would visit the children of Israel and lead them out of Egypt and into the promised land (Genesis 50:22-26).
  • "By faith Joseph, when he was dying, said confidently that the children of Israel would leave Egypt. He even instructed them to take his bones with them." (Hebrews 11:22).
  • "The bones of Joseph which the children of Israel had brought up from the land of Egypt, they buried at Shechem in the plot of ground that Jacob had purchased from the sons of Hamor..." (Joshua 24:32).

Jacob’s Sons

The twelve sons of Jacob (Israel) from oldest to youngest were as follows.

Acts 7:9-19

¶“9The fathers, moved by jealousy against Joseph, sold him into Egypt as a slave; but God was with him. 10God saved Joseph from all his afflictions, and gave him favor and wisdom before Pharaoh, king of Egypt. Pharaoh made Joseph governor over Egypt and all Pharaoh’s house. 11Then a famine came over all the land of Egypt and Canaan, causing great affliction. Our fathers found no food. 12Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, so he sent our fathers there for the first time. 13When they went the second time Joseph was recognized by his brothers, and Joseph’s origins were revealed to Pharaoh.” (Acts 7:9-13).

¶“14Joseph sent for his father Jacob and his whole family, seventy-five souls, to come and live in Egypt. 15So Jacob moved down into Egypt, and lived there till he died, as did our fathers. 16Their remains were brought back to Shechem, and laid in the tomb that Abraham, for a price in silver, purchased from the children of Hamor in Shechem.” (Acts 7:14-16).

¶“17As the time of the promise drew near, the promise that God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt. 18A new Pharaoh arose in Egypt, who knew nothing of Joseph. 19The new king took advantage of our people, and mistreated our fathers. He even forced them to throw out their babies to die. At that time Moses was born...” (Acts 7:17-19).

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