Jacob lived where Isaac had lived, in Canaan. Joseph was 17 years old when he brought a bad report to his father about his brothers, who were tending the flock. Jacob loved Joseph more than his other brothers and gave him a multi-colored robe. This made his brothers hate him. Joseph had a dream that his brother’s sheaves bowed down to his as well as the sun, moon, and 11 starts bowed down to him. His brothers hated him more, but his father rebuked him. One day, Jacob sent Joseph to his brothers to bring reports about them and the flock, but they planned to kill him to see his dreams amount to nothing when they saw him at a distance. Reuben suggested that they keep him in the cistern and not kill him, with the hope of rescuing him later. Judah soon suggested that they sell Joseph to the Ishmaelite who were going to Egypt (in Reuben’s absence). His brothers killed a goat and deep his coat in its blood. Jacob soon believed that his son was dead, but Joseph was sold to Potiphar, a captain of guards and one of Pharaoh’s officials. It was Judah, the ancestor of Jesus, that laid the foundation for their slavery in Egypt. The enslavement of one brother eventually led to the enslavement of their entire race. The evil we do comes around multiplied.
Judah married a Canaanite (African) woman and she gave him three sons. Judah’s first son was Er and he married Tamar, but God put him to death because he was wicked. Judah told his second son, Onan, to lie with Tamar to make babies for his dead brother, but he did not because it will not be his children, so he would always put his sperms on the ground rather than make babies for his brother. God found this act to be wicked, so God put him to death too. So Judah suggested that Tamar go live in her father’s house as a widow until his last son, Shelah, was old enough to be with her. So God allowed brothers to marry their brother’s wife, but the child will belong to the dead brother while he can marry another to have his own children. Women reproducing for their dead brother through them keeps her married to her in-laws. So God accepted polygamy because God wants all women to belong to a family through marriage and reproduction. It is a sin against God when women do not marry, when women bear children out of wedlock, or when women do not belong to their in-law’s family. God even killed men for this. Judah’s wife dies and he travels to visit his friend. On his way, Tamar dressed up like a prostitute with her face covered and saw that Judah had deceived her because Shelah was now grown up but was not given to her as her husband. So the age of marriage between the genders did not matter. Judah then slept with his daughter-in-law without knowing and she collected his seal, cord, and staff as a pledge for the goat he promised to deliver for sexual payment. Judah did deliver the goat, but she was nowhere to be found. Judah soon discovered that the prostitute he had slept with was the pregnant Tamar, who delivered twins – Perez and Zarah.
Joseph prospered in Egypt in slavery under Potiphar and he was put in charge of all Potiphar had and God blessed the household. Potiphar’s wife asked Joseph to be in bed with her for days, but Joseph refused to betray his master and God. Until one day, when they were alone, she grabbed his cloak as he ran out in refusal. She now used his cloak as evidence against Joseph to the rest of the household and waited for her husband to return. Potiphar then put Joseph in the prison where the king’s prisoners are kept. Even in prison, God favored Joseph and he was put in charge of the other prisoners. Do not worry about wickedness and godlessness because God is always in control wherever the godly is. God allows the abuse of the godly because God’s used it to get you to your destination.
The chief cupbearer and the chief baker of Pharaoh were arrested in the same prison as Joseph. They were assigned to Joseph and they both had a dream on the same night. The cupbearer dreamt that he saw a vine with three branches. The fruits were ripe, he squeezed its juice in Pharaoh’s cup, and handed it to Pharaoh. Joseph told him that the three branches meant that within three days, Pharaoh will reinstate him to his position as chief cupbearer. Joseph then asked the cupbearer to remember him and speak about him to Pharaoh so that he can get out of this prison. The chief baker then said that in his dream, he carried three baskets of bread on his head for Pharaoh, but the birds came to eat from it. Joseph then replied that within three days, Pharaoh would hang him and the birds will eat his flesh. Pharaoh’s birthday was in three days and Pharaoh did exactly as Joseph had interpreted, but the cupbearer forgot all about Joseph. Only rely on God and not humans because people only care about their betterment and not yours.