Sold into Slavery

Genesis 37 & 39


Jacob had twelve sons, but his favorite was Joseph. To show his love, Jacob gave Joseph a special coat made with many colors. This made the other sons jealous.

Joseph made things worse by telling his brothers about his unusual dreams. “In one dream, we were binding bundles of grain. My bundle suddenly stood upright, and your bundles bowed down to it!” This made his brothers angry. They couldn’t imagine Joseph ruling over them.

“In another dream, the sun, moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me!” Even his father questioned him on this. “Will your mother and I, as well as your brothers bow down to you?” Still, Jacob kept it in mind.

Some time later, the ten older brothers took the flocks to graze in a distant field. Jacob decided to send Joseph to see how they were doing.

When the brothers saw him coming, they said, “Here comes that ‘dreamer.’ Let’s kill him and throw him into a deep pit. Then we’ll see what happens to his dreams!”

Reuben was the oldest brother and said, “Don’t kill him! Just throw him into a pit.” His plan was to rescue the boy later and send him back to his father. So the brothers agreed, and threw Joseph into a pit.

Reuben went on an errand while the others ate a meal. While they were eating, a group
of merchants came by on their way to Egypt. Suddenly one of the brothers, named Judah, had an idea. “Why should we kill Joseph? After all, he’s our brother. Instead, let’s sell him!” So they sold him to the merchants.

Reuben came back later and was shocked to see that the boy was gone. The brothers told him what they had done.

Together they thought of a story to tell their father. They killed a goat and dipped Joseph’s coat in the blood. When they got home, they showed the coat to their father.

Jacob grabbed it and cried out, “Joseph has been killed by wild animals!” He tore his clothes and started crying for his son. The others tried to comfort him, but he mourned for Joseph from the depths of his heart. He said, “I’ll mourn his death for the rest of my life.”

Once Joseph arrived in Egypt, he was sold to a man named Potiphar. Joseph adjusted to his life as a slave and God prospered everything he did. He grew in his abilities and gained the respect of his master.

Eventually, Potiphar put Joseph in charge of the entire household, including the finances. Potiphar didn’t even know what he owned except for the food that was put in front of him.

One day, Potiphar’s wife asked Joseph to go to bed with her. He refused, telling her that this would be a sin to his master—and to God. But she was a determined woman, and wouldn’t take no for an answer. She pursued him every chance she got, but he always refused her.

One day, she saw an opportunity when her husband wasn’t home. She waited until Joseph came into the house, and then grabbed him. He tried to pull away, but she held onto his coat and wouldn’t let go. Finally he left the coat in her hands and ran away.

This made her furious, so she decided to get revenge. She screamed and the household servants came running. She told them that Joseph had come into her room and tried to pull her into bed. She said, “He ran away when I screamed.” She showed them his coat as proof of what she was saying.

When her husband came home, she told him the same story. He was angry and had Joseph put in prison


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