The Life of Joseph, The Story of Faith - Lesson 1
Terah died in Haran at the age of 205, Abram was born when Terah was 70 and Abram left Haran at 75 so Terah lived in Haran 60 years after Abram left.
How God kept Israel together by bringing them to Egypt and making of them a people for his name.
Acts 15:14, Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.
Deuteronomy 14:2, For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.
Deuteronomy 26:18, And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments;
Acts 7:2-15, And he (Stephen) said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran, And said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall show thee. Then came he out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and dwelt in Charran: and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell. And he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on: yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child. And God spake on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil four hundred years. And the nation to whom they shall be in bondage will I judge, said God: and after that shall they come forth, and serve me in this place.
And he gave him the covenant of circumcision: and so Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat the twelve patriarchs. And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him, And delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house. Now there came a dearth over all the land of Egypt and Chanaan, and great affliction: and our fathers found no sustenance. But when Jacob heard that there was corn in Egypt, he sent out our fathers first. And at the second time Joseph was made known to his brethren; and Joseph's kindred was made known unto Pharaoh. Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls.So Jacob went down into Egypt, and died, he, and our fathers,
Hebrews 11:8-22, By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son. Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure. By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff. By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.
Hagar - 1. Ishmael
Sarai - 2. Isaac
Keturah - 3. Zimran, 4. Jokshan, 5. Medan, 6. Midian, 7. Ishbak, 8. Shuah
Rebechah - 1. Esau, 2. Jacob
Leah - 1. Reuben, 2. Simeon, 3. Levi, 4. Judah
Bilhah - 5. Dan, 6. Naphtali
Zilpah - 7. Gad, 8. Asher
Leah - 9. Issachar, 10. Zebulon
Rachel - 11. Joseph, 12. Benjamin
Abraham's Migration From Ur Abraham was born nearly 4,100 years ago in the renowned Mesopotamian city of Ur, the center of the great Sumerian culture. There he rejected the worship of "other gods" (Josh 24:2) to give himself to Jehovah alone, who summoned him to leave his homeland. Abraham's journey took him along well-established trade routes, first to Haran and then, after the death of his father, into Canaan.
During the course of Abraham's migration, God makes a covenant promise to him, known as the Abrahamic Covenant. A covenant (berit) was a binding statement of relationship. Between nations, a covenant was a treaty; between a ruler and those he ruled, it served as a constitution; between individuals, a covenant was a pact or contract. God made a formal contract with Abraham in which he pre-announced what he would do for and through Abraham.
The elements of God's covenant with Abraham are first stated in Genesis 12 and then confirmed and expanded in Genesis 15 and 17. These are:
And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee,
And make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee:
And in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (Genesis 12:2-3)
Unto thy seed will I give this land. (Genesis 12:7)
Abraham's life spanned 175 years and took him from Mesopotamia to Canaan, from one end of the Fertile Crescent to the other. The events of his life are both personal and national, involving the kings of neighboring nations as well as his own family. The NT uses several of these events to illustrate spiritual truths.
CONTRIBUTIONS OF ARCHAEOLOGY
Unusual conditions existed in Canaan during the age of the patriarchs. During the Early Bronze Age (3150-2200 B.C.), Canaan was comprised of flourishing and powerful city-states. In the later Middle Bronze Age II (2000-1500 B.C.), urban civilizations again developed. But for 200-300 years between these two eras, for reasons still unknown to archaeologists, some of the cities of Canaan were abandoned or less populated and people took up a pastoral way of life. Excavations at Ur, tablets found at Mari, and texts from Nuzi have illuminated many events reported in Genesis. Inheritance laws of that day permitted a childless man to adopt a slave as an heir (Genesis. 15:2-4). Later Sarah gave her slave Hagar to Abraham as a concubine (Genesis. 16). Was this immoral? Not according to contemporary laws and customs. One marriage contract found at Nuzi stipulates that if a certain woman named Giliminu does not give birth, she will get her husband a slave as a concubine and will have authority over any children produced by her. When Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham, she was acting in harmony with established social custom. But by those same customs Abraham had no legal right to send away Hagar and her son and therefore was reluctant to do so (Genesis. 21:12-21). He took that step only when commanded to do so by God, who promised Abraham that Ishmael would become a great nation as well (Genesis 21:18).
In these and many other instances, the findings of archaeologists have provided fresh insights into the biblical text.
ABRAHAM'S SPIRITUAL JOURNEY
Genesis focuses attention on three great tests of Abraham's faith. But it does not hesitate to describe situations in which his faith wavered.
1. Faith to risk (Genesis 12:1-5). Abraham's great wealth suggests that he lived a comfortable life in one of the world's great cities when God spoke to him, telling him to "go to the land I will show you." Faith is willing to risk all on God's faithfulness, and to venture into the unknown.
2. Faith to trust (Genesis 17:1-27). Abraham was 99 and Sarah had long ceased menstruating when God promised that the two of them would have a child. Romans 4:19-21 says that Abraham "faced the fact that his body was as good as dead ... and that Sarah's womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was ... fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised." Faith is not limited to the evidence of the senses, knowing that God is more real than anything we can see or feel.
3. Faith to surrender (Genesis 22). Commanded to sacrifice his son Isaac, Abraham got up "early the next morning" and set out for Mount Moriah. On the third day, he went on with Isaac after telling his servants, "Stay here. We will come back to you." The NT explains that Abraham was ready to surrender his son to God, reasoning "that God could raise the dead" (Hebrews 11:19) and would do so, for God had promised that Isaac would inherit God's covenant promises. Faith surrenders all to God, sure that he will return even more than we can give.
But Abraham's spiritual journey, like our own, was marred by failures. Genesis 12:10-20 and Genesis 20:1-18 tell us that Abraham lied to protect himself, fearing he would be killed for his beautiful wife Sarah, who was also his half-sister or niece. Twice he begged Sarah to lie for him. Abraham thought "surely there is no fear of God in this place" (Genesis 20:11). In this Abraham failed to realize that, whether or not the people feared the Lord, God was present. Abraham responded with faith when God spoke to him, but when God was silent his faith faltered.
LEARNING FROM ABRAHAM'S LIFE
Both the OT and NT emphasize Abraham's faith in God. Note that in each Genesis incident faith (a) involved specific response to God's revelation and (b) was expressed through obedience. This pattern, in which God initiates and man responds, is seen throughout Scripture. Romans 4 contains the NT's commentary on Abraham as a man of faith.
While Abraham's faith provides a model for our own, Abraham's failures contain a seed of comfort. Rather than being discouraged when we fall short, we can take heart: Abraham's greatest act of faith (Genesis 22) followed his failures.
Another theme worth exploring is the role of prayer in Abraham's experience. His prayer is often linked with sacrifice (Genesis 12:8; Genesis 13:4). Abraham felt free to share his concerns with the Lord (Genesis 15:2-3; Genesis 17:17-18), and even to intercede with God on behalf of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18:16-33). It was on the basis of Abraham's prayer that God later spared Abimelech (Genesis 20:7).
1. Genesis 13:8-9. Abraham surrenders his right as the elder to choose first in order to maintain peace with his nephew Lot.
2. Genesis 18:19. Abraham establishes a pattern of living that his descendants are to be taught to follow the Lord (compare Jon 8:33-39 and Rom 9:6-8).
3. Genesis 18:32. Abraham's prayer that Sodom might be spared if as few as ten righteous persons could be found is in harmony with God's heart, yet underestimates his grace. Only one good man could be found in the cities of the plain--and God removed him before he destroyed the rest.
4. Genesis 22:3. Abraham does not delay when told by God to sacrifice his son Isaac, but rises "early the next morning" to obey.
5. Genesis 24:7. Abraham reveals that at last he has learned to expect God to work in and through circumstances as well as on occasions of special revelation.
Biblically and theologically, Abraham is a towering figure, even though in some ways he was a very ordinary person. As a true believer, he struggled successfully with doubt, found comfort and strength in prayer, and met life's greatest challenges by acting on the conviction that God's Word is trustworthy, to be believed, and to be obeyed.
Abraham Left Ur Abraham's great wealth suggests that he lived a comfortable life in one of the world's great cities when God spoke to him, telling him to "go to the land I will show you." Abraham had faith to risk. Faith is willing to risk all on God's faithfulness, and to venture into the unknown. Genesis 12:1-5.
Abraham Arrived in Bethel Abraham pitched his tent near Bethel and built and altar to the Lord between Bethel and Ai. Genesis 12:8
Abraham to Egypt and Back Because of a famine in Canaan, Abram went to Egypt and while there attempted to portray his wife as merely his sister in order to preserve his life (Genesis 12:10-20). In Hurrian society, the culture of Haran, special privileges were attached to a man who married his natural or adoptive sister. The wife-sister relationship suggests that Abram was high in Hurrian society and that
Sarai also enjoyed superior status. Later the scripture states that she was indeed his half sister (Genesis 20:12). Yet his use of half of the truth to conceal the other half was clearly a lie. Abram resorted to a cultural expedient but found that the expedient did not work well. Without God's intervention, Sarai could have been absorbed into the royal harem, and the promise of offspring for Abram would have gone unfulfilled. Abram left Egypt and went back to his "altar-pulpit" near Bethel and to a renewal of his relationship with God.
In Canaan, family strife developed between Abram and his nephew Lot (Genesis 13:2-18). Both had become so wealthy in livestock that their herdsmen were constantly quarreling. Abram's magnanimous affirmation, "we are kinsmen" (Genesis 13:8), and his subsequent action in allowing Lot his choice of land demonstrate his wisdom and faith. Lot's choice of the fertile Jordan valley was viewed ominously by the writer: "Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the Lord" (Genesis 13:13). Abram's choice showed his faith in God and led to a reaffirmation of God's covenant with him, with emphasis on the guarantee of land and descendants (Genesis 13:14-17). Abram then moved to Hebron by the oaks of Mamre, where again he built an altar to worship God. Here he could see the whole land stretched out
Abram and Pharaoh Because of a famine in Canaan, Abram went to Egypt and while there attempted to portray his wife as merely his sister in order to preserve his life. In Hurrian Society, the culture of Haran, special privileges were attached to a man who married his natural or adoptive sister. Later the Scripture states that she was indeed his half-sister. Yet his use of half of the truth to conceal the other half was clearly a lie.
Pharaoh took Sarai into the palace and gave Abram a large amount of sheep , cattle, slaves and other goods. Without God's intervention, Sarai would have been absorbed into the royal Harem. God struck Pharaoh and his house with plagues. Pharaoh confronted Abram about concealing the truth. Then Pharaoh's men escorted Abram, Sarai and all their goods out of Egypt.
Abraham Journeyed to the Negev From Bethel Abraham left for the Negev. After famine struck the Negev Abraham traveled to Egypt. See the map " Abraham to Egypt and Back". Genesis 12:9-10
Battles of the Kings Abram rescued Lot in a daring military action, demonstrating a strong bond to his nephew as well as leadership capacity. Abram routed the armies of the Kings of the North that had plundered Sodom and Gomorrah. Genesis 14
Abraham's Defeat of the Kings Much attention has received from archaeologists and biblical historians, as it concerns multinational confederations and wide geographical boundaries. The names of the kings cannot be identified accurately with known rulers of the period, but the geographical dimensions are detailed and accurate. The cities of the plain were attacked by raiders from the north under Kedorlaomer, and their populations were taken prisoner. Abram rescued Lot in a daring military action, demonstrating a strong bond to his nephew as well as leadership capacity. Abram also routed the armies that had plundered Sodom and Gomorrah.
On his victorious return to Canaan, Abram was met by two kings, a study in contrasts: the king of Sodom and the king of Salem. Abram refused all offers of gifts from the king of Sodom on the basis of a solemn. Genesis 14
Abraham and Abimelech While traveling through Gerar, the capital of Abimelech, king of the Philistines, Abraham lied to Abimelech to protect himself, fearing he would be killed for his beautiful wife Sarah, who was also his half-sister or niece.Abimelech took Sarah into his harem, but did not go near her. In a dream God revealed to Abimelech Abraham's lie. Abimelech restored Sarah to Abraham. Sometime thereafter while in Beersheba, Abraham & Abimelech formed a treaty at Abimelech's request. The particulars of the treaty stated that Abraham was to avoid falsehood and to show kindness when dealing with Abimelech and his offspring.
Genesis 20:1-18; Genesis 21:2-33
Abraham's Journey to Mt. Moriah Commanded to sacrifice his son Isaac, Abraham got up "early the next morning" and set out for Mount Moriah. On the third day, he went on with Isaac after telling his servants, "Stay here. We will come back to you." The NT explains that Abraham was ready to surrender his son to God, reasoning "that God could raise the dead" (Heb 11:19) and would do so, for God had promised that Isaac would inherit God's covenant promises. Faith surrenders all to God, sure that he will return even more than we can give.
Isaac on the Altar Abraham obeyed God and went to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, in the mountains of Moriah. Abraham left his servants behind and he and Isaac walked up the mountain.
As they climbed Isaac asked, "Father? The fire and wood are here," Isaac said, "but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?"
Abraham replied, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." And they continued up the mountain.
At the top Abraham built an altar and bound Isaac upon it. As he took the knife to slay Isaac, the angel of the Lord intervened. Abraham had passed God's test of faith. In a nearby thicket he saw a ram trapped by its horns. God had indeed provided a lamb.
Isaac Meets Rebekah Eliezer returns to Hebron from Nahor with Rebekah. While meditating in the field one evening, Isaac sees the camels approaching with Rebekah. The two were married in the tent of Isaac's mother Sarah. Genesis 24:62-67
Isaac Marries Rebekah Eliezer, Abraham's servant, traveled from Hebron to Nahor to find a wife for Abraham's son Isaac. Before Eliezer finished praying for success he saw Rebekah while watering his camels at a well outside of Nahor. Eliezer returned to Hebron from Nahor with Rebekah. While meditating in the field one evening, Isaac saw the camels approaching with Rebekah. The two were married in the tent of Isaac's mother Sarah. Rebekah was a great comfort to Isaac who recently mourned the death of his mother Sarah. Genesis 24:1-67
Jacob's Well A well near Sychar where Jesus met the Samaritan woman. A tradition from OT times identifies it with the portion of land near Shechem, purchased by Jacob and later given to his son Joseph (Genesis. 33:19; Genesis. 48:22). It is modern Bir Yakub, located at the base of Mt. Gerizim.
Genesis 33:19; Genesis 48:22; John 4:6
Jacob's Vision of the Ladder at Bethel During Jacob's trip to Paddan Aram God met him in a dream at Bethel, confirming the passage of Abraham's covenant to Jacob.
Jacob's Journey to Haran and Back to CanaanJacob, [JAY-kuhb; "supplanter"], the younger son of Isaac and Rebekah, lived about 2006-1859 B.C. Inheriting the covenant promise initially given Abraham, he passed it on to his twelve sons. Jacob's name was changed by God to Israel.
Jacob, the younger of twin sons, purchased the birthright of his
brother Esau for the price of a savory stew (Genesis 25). Later Jacob conspired with his mother to steal the blessing the twins' father intended for Esau (Genesis 27). Jacob then fled to relatives in Paddan Aram. On that trip God met him in a dream at Bethel, confirming the passage of Abraham's covenant to Jacob (Genesis 28).
In Paddan Aram Jacob fell in love with his cousin Rachel. He
worked seven years to earn the dowry for his bride, but on the
wedding night Rachel's older sister, Leah, was substituted for
Rachel. After seven more years of labor, Jacob was given Rachel
as a wife also (Genesis 29). In a competition motivated by jealousy, each wife gave Jacob a maidservant as a secondary wife (Genesis 30). The twelve sons that Jacob had by these four women became the ancestral heads of the tribal groups into which the Jewish people were divided. In a final, six-year period Jacob built up a large flock of sheep, and God caused Jacob's flocks to multiply more than those of his father-in-law, Laban, stirring up enmity. So Jacob and his family moved out, toward Canaan (Genesis 30,31). Laban angrily pursued them, but a truce was worked out (Genesis 31). As an anxious Jacob prepared to meet his brother Esau (who had promised to kill him 21 years before), he was confronted on Mount Peniel by someone described both as a man and as God. After a nocturnal wrestling match, Jacob was given the name Israel (Genesis 32). The meeting with Esau went well (Genesis. 33), and Jacob returned to a nomadic life in Canaan. Appearing to Jacob again, God reconfirmed transmission of the Abrahamic covenant to and through him (Genesis 35). The biblical story then follows one of Jacob's sons, Joseph, whom God used to bring the family of Jacob to Egypt. Secure in this fertile land, the family multiplied.
Theologically significant, the story of Jacob establishes the
right of his descendants to the covenant relationship that God
first granted to Abraham. Through the covenant people,
descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, God uniquely revealed himself and his plans for humankind. And through this people, humanity's Redeemer, Christ Jesus, was born. Genesis 25-49
Jacob wrestles with God As an anxious Jacob prepared to meet his brother Esau (who had promised to kill him 21 years before), he was confronted on Mount Peniel by someone described both as a man and as God. After a nocturnal wrestling match, Jacob was given the name Israel Genesis 32
Jacob Marries Leah and RachelJacob fled to relatives in Paddan Aram. On that trip God met him in a dream at Bethel, confirming the passage of Abraham's covenant to Jacob (Genesis. 28). In Paddan Aram Jacob fell in love with his cousin Rachel. He worked seven years to earn the dowry for his bride, but on the wedding night Rachel's older sister, Leah, was substituted for Rachel. After seven more years of labor, Jacob was given Rachel as a wife also (Genesis. 29). In a competition motivated by jealousy, each wife gave Jacob a maidservant as a secondary wife (Genesis. 30). The twelve sons that Jacob had by these four women became the ancestral heads of the tribal groups into which the Jewish people were divided. In a final, six-year period Jacob built up a large flock of sheep, and God caused Jacob's flocks to multiply more than those of his father-in-law, Laban, stirring up enmity. So Jacob and his family moved out, toward Canaan (Genesis. 30,31). Laban angrily pursued them, but a truce was worked out (Genesis. 31).
The making of a nation, commonality of experience. Joseph was God's agent to bring God's people to the same place to be molded into a nation. One of the great benefits of getting older is being able to see how life decisions of families have worked out. The wise man learns from observation and from others observations. We are allowed to observe the lifespan of Joseph and see when the providence of God and his decisions led him and what resulted.
JOSEPH (Joh' sihf) Personal name meaning, "adding." Name of several men in the Bible, most importantly a patriarch of the nation Israel and the foster father of Jesus.
Old Testament 1. Joseph in the Old Testament primarily refers to the patriarch, one of the sons of Israel. Joseph was the eleventh of twelve sons, the first by Jacob's favorite wife, Rachel. His name, "may he [the Lord] add," was a part of Rachel's prayer at his birth (Genesis. 30:24).
As the child of Jacob's old age and Rachel's son, Joseph became the favorite and was given the famous "coat of many colors" (Genesis. 37:3; "long robe with sleeves," NRSV, NEB; "richly ornamented robe" NIV) by his father. This and dreams which showed his rule over his family inspired the envy of his brothers, who sold Joseph to a caravan of Ishmaelites (Genesis. 37).
Joseph was taken to Egypt where he became a trusted slave in the house of Potiphar, an official of the pharaoh. On false accusations of Potiphar's wife, Joseph was thrown in the royal prison, where he interpreted the dreams of two officials who had offended the pharaoh (Genesis. 39-40). Eventually Joseph was brought to interpret some worrisome dreams for the pharaoh. Joseph predicted seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine and recommended a program of preparation by storing grain. Pharaoh responded by making Joseph his second in command (Genesis. 41:39-45).
With the famine, persons from other countries came to Egypt to buy food, including Joseph's brothers. They did not recognize him, but Joseph saw the fulfillment of his earlier dreams in which his brothers bowed down to him. After testing their character in various ways, Joseph revealed himself to them on their second visit (Genesis. 42-45). Under Joseph's patronage, Jacob moved into Egypt (Genesis. 46:1-47:12). Joseph died in Egypt but was embalmed and later buried in Shechem (Genesis. 50:26; Ex. 13:19; Josh. 24:32).
That the influential Joseph (Genesis. 47:13-26) is not known from Egyptian records would be expected if he served under a Hyksos pharaoh, as seems likely. See Hyksos. Later Egyptians tried to erase all evidence of that period. The pharaoh "who did not know Joseph" (Ex. 1:8, NRSV) did not "know" of him in a political or historical sense.
While in Egypt, Joseph became the father of two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim (Genesis. 41:50-52), who were counted as sons of Jacob (48:5-6) and whose tribes dominated the northern nation of Israel. The name Joseph is used later in the Old Testament as a reference to the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh (Num. 1:32; 36:1,5; 1 Kings 11:28) or as a designation for the whole Northern Kingdom (Psalm 78:67; Ezekiel. 37:16,19; Amos 5:6,15; 6:6; Obadiah. 18; Zech. 10:6).
Four other men named Joseph are mentioned in the Old Testament: 2. the spy of the tribe of Issachar (Num. 13:7); 3. a Levite of the sons of Asaph (1 Chronicles. 25:2); 4. a contemporary of Ezra with a foreign wife (Ezra 10:42); and 5. a priest in the days of high priest Joiakim (Neh. 12:14).
New Testament 6. Several Josephs are mentioned in the New Testament, the most important being the husband of Mary, mother of Jesus. He was a descendant of David, a carpenter by trade (Matt. 13:55), and regarded as the legal or foster father of Jesus (Matthew 1:16,20; Luke 2:4; 3:23; 4:22; John 1:45; 6:42). Upon learning of Mary's pregnancy, Joseph, being a righteous man, sought to put her away without public disgrace. His response to God's assurances in a dream further demonstrated his piety and character (Matthew 1:18-25). Joseph took Mary to his ancestral home, Bethlehem, was with her at Jesus' birth, and shared in the naming, circumcision, and dedication of the child (Luke 2:8-33). Directed through dreams, Joseph took his family to Egypt until it was safe to return to Nazareth (Matt. 2:13-23). As dedicated father, he was anxious with Mary at the disappearance of Jesus (Luke 2:41-48). Joseph does not appear later in the Gospels, and it is likely that he died prior to Jesus' public ministry.
7. Also important in the New Testament is Joseph of Arimathea, a rich member of the Sanhedrin and a righteous man who sought the kingdom of God (Matt. 27:57; Mark 15:43; Luke 23:50). After the crucifixion, Joseph, a secret disciple of Jesus, requested the body from Pilate and laid it in his own unused tomb (Matt. 27:57-60; Mark 15:43-46; Luke 23:50-53; John 19:38-42). Arimathea is probably the same as Ramathaim-zophim (1 Sam. 1:1) northwest of Jerusalem.
Two Josephs are mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus (Luke 3:24,30). Another was a brother of Jesus, apparently named after His father (Matthew 13:55; KJV "Joses" as in Mark 6:3). It likely but uncertain that the brother of James (Matt. 27:56; Joses in Mark 15:40,47) is a different person. Joseph was also another name of both Barsabbas (Acts 1:23) and Barnabas (Acts 4:36).
Daniel C. Browning Jr.
HYKSOS (Hihk' sohs) Racial name from the Greek form of an Egyptian word meaning "rulers of foreign lands" given to kings of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Dynasties of Egypt. The word, which does not appear in the Bible, was later misinterpreted by Josephus as meaning "shepherd kings."
With the decline of the Middle Kingdom of Egypt (about 2000-1786 B.C.) large numbers of Asiatics, mostly Semites like the Hebrew patriarchs, migrated into the Nile Delta of northern Egypt from Canaan. These probably came initially for reasons of economic distress, such as famine, as did Abraham (Genesis. 12:10). Unlike Abraham, many groups stayed in Egypt as permanent settlers. Under the weak Thirteenth Dynasty, some Asiatics established local independent chiefdoms in the eastern Delta region. Eventually, one of these local rulers managed to consolidate the rule of northern Egypt as pharaoh, thus beginning the Fifteenth Dynasty. The Sixteenth Dynasty, perhaps contemporary with the Fifteenth, consisted of minor Asiatic kings. As these dynasties of pharaohs were not ethnic Egyptians, they were remembered by the native population as "Hyksos."
While the Hyksos pharaohs ruled northern Egypt from Avaris in the eastern Delta, the native Egyptian Seventeenth Dynasty ruled southern Egypt from Thebes. This period is known as the Second Intermediate or Hyksos Period (about 1786-1540 B.C.). The status quo was maintained until war erupted between the Hyksos and the last two pharaohs of the Seventeenth Dynasty. About 1540 B.C., Ahmose I sacked Avaris and expelled the Hyksos. As the first pharaoh of a reunited Egypt, Ahmose I established the Eighteenth Dynasty and inaugurated the Egyptian New Kingdom or Empire.
Joseph's rise to power (Genesis. 41:39-45) as pharaoh's second-in-command would have been far more likely under a Hyksos king. Joseph was related ethnically to the Semitic Hyksos rulers, while the native Egyptians regarded Semites with contempt. Ahmose I is very likely the pharaoh "who did not know Joseph" (Ex. 1:8 NRSV). If Joseph served a Hyksos pharaoh, an Egyptian king would not have "known" of him in a political or historical sense, nor would he have regarded him as significant in an ethnic sense.
Daniel C. Browning, Jr.