Going Down Into Egypt—Joseph

Intermediate Bible Studies, Lesson 6 of 15

Our last lesson dealt with the beginning of the nation of Israel, when we studied the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Let us look at how the nation develops further by studying the life of Joseph.

Jacob had twelve sons, but his favourite one was Joseph. The fact that he was the one who was given the coat of many colours shows this (Gen. 37:3,4).


Joseph's brothers were jealous of him. One day they sold Joseph to some merchants who were on their way to Egypt. They took his coat and dipped it in the blood of a goat and took it to their father. When Jacob saw it, he thought his favourite son had been killed by a wild beast and was deeply grieved.


When Joseph arrived in Egypt he was bought as a slave by a man named Potiphar, an officer of the king, Pharoah. Joseph was a very good young man and God blessed everything that he did. Potiphar liked him very much and made him overseer of his house.


A very evil thing happened. Potiphar's wife tried to get Joseph to commit sin with her, but Joseph would not. This made her so angry that she lied about Joseph and caused him to be cast into prison.

But even while in prison God was with Joseph and blessed him. When Joseph was able to tell the meaning of dreams (with the help of God), it led him to be appointed Pharoah's special helper, second in charge of the whole country.


There was a great famine (not enough food to eat) throughout the whole world. Because of Joseph's wisdom Egypt had stored up enough food before the famine came.

When Jacob and his sons heard of the food in Egypt the sons came to Egypt to buy food Joseph was very happy to see them, though they did not know who he was.

Finally, Joseph told his brothers who he was and then sent and brought his father to live in Egypt. Pharoah gave them a special part of Egypt called Goshen for them to live in. When Jacob died, Joseph took his body back into Canaan to bury him. When Joseph died (he lived to be 110 years old) he told the Israelites that some day they would leave Egypt and when they did they were to take his body back into Canaan to bury it. Our next lesson will study about this.

This lesson has covered Genesis, chapters 34-50. Study these chapters carefully and you will be thrilled in seeing how God has worked with His people.

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