Joseph (/ˈdʒoʊzɪf, -sɪf/; Hebrew: יוֹסֵף meaning "Increase", Standard Yosef Tiberian Yôsēp̄; Arabic: يوسف Yūsuf or Yūsif; Ancient Greek: Ἰωσήφ Iōsēph) is an important figure in the Bible's Book of Genesis.
In the biblical narrative, Joseph was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, and rose to become vizier, the second most powerful man in Egypt next to Pharaoh, where his presence and office caused Israel to leave Canaan and settle in Egypt. Pharaoh gave him the name "Zaphnath-Paaneah" (Hebrew צָפְנַת פַּעְנֵחַ Ṣāfnaṯ Paʿnēaḫ, LXX Ψονθομφανήχ (p)sontʰ-(ŏm)pʰanêkʰ; Genesis 41:45). The composition of the story can be dated to the period between the 7th century BCE and the third quarter of the 5th century BCE, which is roughly the period to which scholars date the Book of Genesis.
In rabbinic tradition, Joseph is considered the ancestor of another Messiah called, "Mashiach ben Yosef", according to which he will wage war against the evil forces alongside Mashiach ben David and die in combat with the enemies of God and Israel.
Joseph Recognized by His Brothers (1863 painting by Léon Pierre Urbain Bourgeois)
|Born||1 or 27 Tammuz|
|Died||1445 BCE or 1444 BCE (AM 2317 or AM 2318) (aged 110)|
|Resting place||Joseph's Tomb, Nablus|
|Other names||Zaphnath-Paaneah (צָפְנַת פַּעְנֵחַ)|
Joseph, son of Jacob and Rachel, lived in the land of Canaan with ten half-brothers, one full brother, and at least one half-sister. He was Rachel's firstborn and Jacob's eleventh son. Of all the sons, Joseph was preferred by his father, and this is represented by a "long coat of many colors". When Joseph was seventeen years old he had two dreams that made his brothers plot his demise. In the first dream, Joseph and his brothers gathered bundles of grain, of which those his brothers gathered, bowed to his own. In the second dream, the sun (father), the moon (mother), and eleven stars (brothers) bowed to Joseph himself. These dreams, implying his supremacy, angered his brothers. (Genesis 37:1-11)
Joseph's half-brothers were jealous of him; (Genesis 37:18-20) wherefore, in Dothan, most of them plotted to kill him, with the exception of Reuben, who suggested to have Joseph thrown into an empty cistern, intending to rescue Joseph himself. Unaware of this secondary intention, the others obeyed his first. Upon imprisoning Joseph, the brothers saw a camel caravan carrying spices and perfumes to Egypt, and sold Joseph to these merchants. Thereafter the guilty brothers painted goat's blood on Joseph's coat and showed it to Jacob, who therefore believed Joseph dead. (Genesis 37:12-35)
Ultimately, Joseph was sold to Potiphar, the captain of Pharaoh's guard. Later, Joseph became Potiphar's personal servant, and subsequently his household's superintendent. Here, Potiphar's wife (called Zuleika in later tradition) tried to seduce Joseph, which he refused. Angered by his running away from her, she made a false accusation of rape, and thus assured his imprisonment. (Genesis 39:1-20)
The warden put Joseph in charge of the other prisoners, and soon afterward Pharaoh's chief cup-bearer and chief baker, who had offended the Pharaoh, were thrown into the prison.The cup-bearer's dream was about a vine with three branches that was budding. And as it was budding, its blossoms came out and they produced grapes. The cup-bearer took those grapes and squeezed them into Pharaoh's cup, and placed the cup in Pharoah's hand. Joseph interpreted this dream as the cup-bearer being restored as cup-bearer to the Pharaoh within three days. The baker's dream was about three baskets full of bread for the Pharaoh, and birds were eating the bread out of those baskets. Joseph interpreted this dream as the baker being hung within three days and having his flesh eaten by birds. Joseph requested that the cup-bearer mention him to Pharaoh to secure his release from prison, but the cup-bearer, reinstalled in office, forgot Joseph. After two more years, the Pharaoh dreamt of seven lean cows which devoured seven fat cows; and of seven withered ears of grain which devoured seven fat ears. When the Pharaoh's advisers failed to interpret these dreams, the cup-bearer remembered Joseph. Joseph was then summoned. He interpreted the dream as seven years of abundance followed by seven years of famine, and advised the Pharaoh to store a surplus grain.
Following the prediction, Joseph became Vizier, under the name of Zaphnath-Paaneah, and was given Asenath, the daughter of Potipherah, priest of On, to be his wife. During the seven years of abundance, Joseph ensured that the storehouses were full and that all produce was weighed. In the sixth year, Asenath bore two children to Joseph: Manasseh and Ephraim. When the famine came, it was so severe that people from surrounding nations came to Egypt to buy bread. The narrative also indicates that they went straight to Joseph or were directed to him, even by the Pharaoh himself. (Genesis 41:37-57) As a last resort, all of the inhabitants of Egypt, less the Egyptian priestly class, sold their properties to Joseph for seed; wherefore Joseph set a mandate that, because the people would be sowing and harvesting seed on government property, a fifth of the produce should go to the Pharaoh. This mandate lasted until the days of Moses. (Genesis 47:20-31)
In the second year of famine, Joseph's half brothers were sent to Egypt to buy goods. When they came to Egypt, they stood before the Vizier but did not recognize him as their brother Joseph, who was now in his late 30s; but Joseph did recognize them and did not speak at all to them in his native tongue of Hebrew. After questioning them, he accused them of being spies. After they mentioned a younger brother at home, the Vizier (Joseph) demanded that he be brought to Egypt as a demonstration of their veracity. This was Joseph's full brother, Benjamin. Joseph placed his brothers in prison for three days. On the third day, he brought them out of prison to reiterate that he wanted their youngest brother brought to Egypt to demonstrate their veracity. The brothers conferred amongst themselves speaking in Hebrew, reflecting on the wrong they had done to Joseph. Joseph understood what they were saying and removed himself from their presence because he was caught in emotion. When he returned, the Vizier took Simeon and bound him as a hostage. Then he had their donkeys prepared with grain and sent the other brothers back to Canaan. Unbeknownst to them, Joseph had also returned their money to their money sacks. (Genesis 42:1-28)
The remaining brothers returned to their father in Canaan, and told him all that had transpired in Egypt. They also discovered that all of their money sacks still had money in them, and they were dismayed. Then they informed their father that the Vizier demanded that Benjamin be brought before him to demonstrate that they were honest men. Jacob became greatly distressed feeling that they treated him badly. After they had consumed all of the grain that they brought back from Egypt, Jacob told his sons to go back to Egypt for more grain. With Reuben and Judah's persistence, they persuaded their father to let Benjamin join them for fear of Egyptian retribution. (Genesis 42:29-43:15)
Upon their return to Egypt, the brothers were received by the steward of the house of Joseph. When they were brought to Joseph's house, they were apprehensive about the returned money in their money sacks. They thought that the missed transaction would somehow be used against them as way to induct them as slaves and confiscate their possessions. So they immediately informed the steward of what had transpired to get a feel of the situation. The steward put them at ease, telling them not to worry about the money, and brought out their brother Simeon. Then he brought the brothers into the house of Joseph and received them hospitably. When the Vizier (Joseph) appeared, they gave him gifts from their father. Joseph saw and inquired of Benjamin and was overcome by emotion but did not show it. He withdrew to his chambers and wept. When he regained control of himself, he returned and ordered a meal to be served. The Egyptians would not dine with Hebrews at the same table, as doing so was considered loathsome, so the sons of Israel were served at a separate table. (Genesis 43:16-44:34)
That night, Joseph ordered his steward to load the brothers' donkeys with food and all their money. The money they brought was double what they had from the first trip. Deceptively, Joseph also ordered that his silver cup be put in Benjamin's sack. The following morning the brothers began their journey back to Canaan. Joseph ordered the steward to go after the brothers and question them about the "missing" silver cup. When the steward caught up with the brothers, he seized them and searched their sacks. The steward found the cup in Benjamin's sack just as he had planted it the night before. This caused a stir amongst the brothers. However, they agreed to be escorted back to Egypt. When the Vizier (Joseph) confronted them about the silver cup, he demanded that the one who possessed the cup in his bag become his slave. In response, Judah pleaded with the Vizier that Benjamin be allowed to return to his father, and he himself be kept in Benjamin's place as a slave. (Genesis 44)
Judah appealed to the Vizier begging that Benjamin be released and that he be enslaved in his stead, because of the silver cup found in Benjamin's sack. The Vizier broke down into tears. He could not control himself any longer and so he sent the Egyptian men out of the house. Then he revealed to the Hebrews that he was in fact their brother, Joseph. He wept so loudly that even the Egyptian household heard it outside. The brothers were frozen and could not utter a word. He brought them closer and relayed to them the events that had happened and told them not to fear, that what they had meant for evil God had meant for good. Then he commanded them to go and bring their father and his entire household into Egypt to live in the province of Goshen, because there were five more years of famine left. So Joseph supplied them Egyptian transport wagons, new garments, silver money, and twenty additional donkeys carrying provisions for the journey. (Genesis 45:1-28)
Thus, Jacob (also known as Israel) and his entire house of seventy, gathered up with all their livestock and began their journey to Egypt. As they approached Egyptian territory, Judah went ahead to ask Joseph where the caravan should unload. They were directed into the province of Goshen and Joseph readied his chariot to meet his father there. It had been over twenty years since Joseph had last seen his father. When they met, they embraced each other and wept together for quite a while. His father then remarked, “Now let me die, since I have seen your face, because you are still alive.” (Genesis 46:1-34)
Afterward, Joseph's family personally met the Pharaoh of Egypt. The Pharaoh honored their stay and even proposed that if there were any qualified men in their house, then they may elect a chief herdsman to oversee Egyptian livestock. Because the Pharaoh had such a high regard for Joseph, practically making him his equal, it had been an honor to meet his father. Thus, Israel was able to bless the Pharaoh. (Genesis 47:1-47:12) The family was then settled in Goshen.
The house of Israel acquired many possessions and multiplied exceedingly during the course of seventeen years, even through the worst of the seven-year famine. At this time, Joseph's father was 147 years old and bedridden. He had fallen ill and lost most of his vision. Joseph was called into his father's house and Israel pleaded with his son that he not be buried in Egypt. Rather, he requested to be carried to the land of Canaan to be buried with his forefathers. Joseph was sworn to do as his father asked of him. (Genesis 47:27-31)
Later, Joseph came to visit his father having with him his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. Israel declared that they would be heirs to the inheritance of the house of Israel, as if they were his own children, just as Reuben and Simeon were. Then Israel laid his left hand on the eldest Mannasseh's head and his right hand on the youngest Ephraim's head and blessed Joseph. However, Joseph was displeased that his father's right hand was not on the head of his firstborn, so he switched his father's hands. But Israel refused saying, “but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he.” A declaration he made just as Israel himself was to his firstborn brother Esau. To Joseph, he gave a portion more of Canaanite property than he had to his other sons; land that he fought for against the Amorites. (Genesis 48:1-22)
Then Israel called all of his sons in and prophesied their blessings or curses to all twelve of them in order of their ages. To Joseph he declared:
After relaying his prophecies, Israel died. The family, including the Egyptians, mourned him seventy days. Joseph had his father embalmed, a process that took forty days. Then he prepared a great ceremonial journey to Canaan leading the servants of the Pharaoh, and the elders of the houses Israel and Egypt beyond the Jordan River. They stopped at Atad where they observed seven days of mourning. Here, their lamentation was so great that it caught the attention of surrounding Canaanites who remarked “This is a deep mourning of the Egyptians.” So they named this spot Abel Mizraim. Then Joseph buried Israel in the cave of Machpelah, the property of Abraham when he bought it from the Hittites. (Genesis 49:33-50:14)
After their father died, the brothers of Joseph feared retribution for being responsible for Joseph's deliverance into Egypt as a slave. Joseph wept as they spoke and told them that what had happened was God's purpose to save lives and the lives of his family. He comforted them and their ties were reconciled. (Genesis 50:15-21)
Joseph lived to the age of 110, living to see his great-grandchildren. Before he died, he made the children of Israel swear that when they left the land of Egypt they would take his bones with them, and on his death his body was embalmed and placed in a coffin in Egypt. (Genesis 50:22-26)
The children of Israel remembered their oath, and when they left Egypt during the Exodus, Moses took Joseph's bones with him. (Exodus 13:19) The bones were buried at Shechem, in the parcel of ground which Jacob bought from the sons of Hamor (Joshua 24:32), which has traditionally been identified with site of Joseph's Tomb, before Jacob and all his family moved to Egypt. Shechem was in the land which was allocated by Joshua to the Tribe of Ephraim, one of the tribes of the House of Joseph, after the conquest of Canaan.
|Ishmaelites||7 sons||Bethuel||1st daughter||2nd daughter|
The Bible offers two explanations of the name Yosef: first it is compared to the word asaf from the root /'sp/, "taken away": "And she conceived, and bore a son; and said, God hath taken away my reproach"; Yosef is then identified with the similar root /ysp/, meaning "add": "And she called his name Joseph; and said, The LORD shall add to me another son."
19th century source criticism divided the Joseph story between the Jahwist, Elohist and Priestly sources of the documentary hypothesis. In the early 20th century Hermann Gunkel suggested that, unlike the Abraham-Isaac-Jacob stories, the Joseph story formed a single unitary story with literary rather than oral origins. In 1953 Gerhard von Rad made a detailed assessment of its literary artistry and drew attention to its identity as a Wisdom novella, and in 1968 R. N. Whybray argued that unity and artistry implied a single author. All three insights are now widely accepted, and the majority of modern biblical scholars date the Joseph story in its current form to the 5th century BCE Persian era at the earliest. There have been many attempts to trace the story's redaction history including work by Donald Redford. His theory states that a first "Reuben version" of the story originated in the northern kingdom of Israel and was intended to justify the domination by the “house of Joseph” over the other tribes; this was followed by a later “Judah-expansion” (chapters 38 and 49) elevating Judah as the rightful successor to Jacob; and finally various embellishments were added so that the novella would function as the bridge between the Abraham-Isaac-Jacob material in Genesis and the following story of Moses and the Exodus.
The motif of dreams/dream interpretation contributes to a strong story-like narrative. One can see the structure of a story develop with the distinct episodes containing the dream motif. The exposition contains Joseph's beginnings as a dreamer; this leads him into trouble as, out of jealousy, his brothers sell him into slavery. The next two instances of dream interpretation establish his reputation as a great interpreter of dreams; first, he begins in a low place, interpreting the dreams of prisoners. Then Joseph is summoned to interpret the dreams of Pharaoh himself. Impressed with Joseph's interpretations, Pharaoh appoints him as second-in-command (Gen 41:41). This sets up the climax of the story, which many regard to be the moment Joseph reveals his identity to his brothers (Gen 45:3).
The historicity of the Joseph narrative cannot be demonstrated. Hermann Gunkel, Hugo Gressmann and Gerhard von Rad identified the story of Joseph as a literary composition, in the genre of romance, or the novella. As a novella, it is read as reworking legends and myths, in particular the motifs of his reburial in Canaan, associated with the Egyptian god Osiris. Others compare the burial of his bones at Shechem, with the disposal of Dionysus’s bones at Delphi. For Schenke, the tradition of Joseph's burial at Shechem is understood as a secondary, Israelitic historical interpretation woven around a more ancient Canaanite shrine in that area. The reworked legends and folklore were probably inserted into the developing textual tradition of the Bible between the 8th and 6th centuries BCE. Most scholars place its composition in a genre that flourished in the Persian period of the Exile.
Jewish rabbi and scholar Benjamin Scolnic observes that scholars such as Kenneth Kitchen and James K. Hoffmeier have refuted the ″naming conventions″ argument used by those who argue against Joseph's historicity on the basis that they contend that the names of the biblical characters in Joseph's story do not reflect the Egyptian milieu of the 2nd millennium BCE.
In the midrash, the selling of Joseph was part of God's divine plan for him to save his tribes. The favoritism Israel showed Joseph and the plot against him by his brothers were divine means of getting him into Egypt. Maimonides comments that even the villager in Shechem, about whom Joseph inquired his brother's whereabouts, was a "divine messenger" working behind the scene.
A midrash asked, How many times was Joseph sold? In analyzing Genesis Chapter 37, there are five different Hebrew names used to describe five different groups of people involved in the transaction of selling Joseph, according to Rabbi Judah and Rav Huna. The first group identified, are Joseph's brothers when Judah brings up the idea of selling Joseph in verses 26 and 27. The first mention of Ishmaelites (Yishma'elîm) is in verse 25. Then the Hebrew phrase ŉāshîm midyanîm sōĥrîm in verse 28 describes Midianite traders. A fourth group in verse 36 is named in Hebrew as m‘danîm that is properly identified as Medanites. The final group, where a transaction is made, is among the Egyptians in the same verse.
After identifying the Hebrew names, Rabbi Judah claims that Joseph was sold four times: First his brothers sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites (Yishma'elîm), then the Ishmaelites sold him to the Midianite traders (ŉāshîm midyanîm sōĥrîm), the Midianite traders to the Medanites (m‘danîm), and the Medanites into Egypt. Rav Huna adds one more sale by concluding that after the Medanites sold him to the Egyptians, a fifth sale occurred when the Egyptians sold him to Potiphar. (Genesis Rabbah 84:22)
Joseph had good reasons not to have an affair with Potiphar's wife: he did not want to abuse his master's trust; he believed in the sanctity of marriage; and it went against his ethical, moral and religious principles taught to him by his father Jacob. According to the Midrash, Joseph would have been immediately executed by the sexual assault charge against him by Potiphar's wife. Abravanel explains that she had accused other servants of the same crime in the past. Potiphar believed that Joseph was incapable of such an act and petitioned Pharaoh to spare his life. However, punishment could not have been avoided because of her class status and limited public knowledge of her scheme.
According to Legend of the Jews, the name of Potiphar’s wife is Zuleikha and when she was enticing Joseph to give up to her sinful passion, God appeared unto him, holding the foundation of earth (Eben Shetiyah), that He would destroy the world If Joseph touched her.
Jewish tradition holds that Joseph had his steward plant his personal silver cup in Benjamin's sack to test his brothers. He wanted to know if they would be willing to risk danger in order to save their half brother Benjamin. Since Joseph and Benjamin were born from Rachel, this test was necessary to reveal if they would betray Benjamin as they did with Joseph when he was seventeen. Because Joseph the Dreamer predicts the future by analyzing dreams, alternative Jewish tradition claims that he practiced divination using this silver cup as the steward charged and as Joseph himself claimed in Genesis 44:15.
However, according to the Hebrew scriptures, Joseph is never depicted as actually practicing divination. As part of the plan to test his brothers, he placed something small yet valuable in Benjamin's grain sack. A silver cup was a perfect object in this case, as it held great financial and spiritual value in Egypt.
The preferred narrative in Jewish tradition is that Joseph had no need to use a cup for divination. God had enabled him to have prophetic dreams himself and to interpret the dreams of others. After revealing his identity to his brothers and forgiving the wrong they had done him, Joseph sent them back to their father with this report: “God has made me lord of all Egypt”.
In one Talmudic story, Joseph was buried in the Nile river, as there was some dispute as to which province should be honored by having his tomb within its boundaries. Moses, led there by an ancient holy woman named Serach, was able by a miracle to raise the sarcophagus and to take it with him at the time of the Exodus.
Joseph is commemorated as one of the Holy Forefathers in the Calendar of Saints of the Armenian Apostolic Church on 26 July. In the Eastern Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite, he is known as "Joseph the all-comely", a reference not only to his physical appearance, but more importantly to the beauty of his spiritual life. They commemorate him on the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers (two Sundays before Christmas) and on Holy and Great Monday (Monday of Holy Week). In icons, he is sometimes depicted wearing the nemes headdress of an Egyptian vizier. The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod commemorates him as a patriarch on 31 March.
In addition to honoring him, there was a strong tendency in the patristic period to view his life as a typological precursor to Christ. This tendency is represented in John Chrysostom who said that Joseph's suffering was "a type of things to come", Caesarius of Arles who interpreted Joseph's famous coat as representative of the diverse nations who would follow Christ, Ambrose of Milan who interpreted the standing sheaf as prefiguring the resurrection of Christ, and others.
This tendency, although greatly diminished, was followed throughout late antiquity, the Medieval Era, and into the Reformation. Even John Calvin, sometimes hailed as the father of modern grammatico-historical exegesis, writes "in the person of Joseph, a lively image of Christ is presented."
In addition, some Christian authors have argued that this typological interpretation finds its origin in the speech of Saint Stephen in Acts 7:9-15, as well as the Gospel of Luke and the parables of Jesus, noting strong verbal and conceptual collocation between the Greek translation of the portion of Genesis concerning Joseph and the Parable of the Wicked Tenants and the Parable of the Prodigal Son.
Joseph (Arabic: يوسُف, Yūsuf) is regarded by Muslims as a prophet (Qur'an, suras vi. 84, xl. 34), and a whole chapter Yusuf (sura xii.) is devoted to him, the only instance in the Qur'an in which an entire chapter is devoted to a complete story of a prophet. It is described as the 'best of stories'. Joseph is said to have been extremely handsome, which attracted his Egyptian master's wife to attempt to seduce him. Muhammad is believed to have once said, "One half of all the beauty God apportioned for mankind went to Joseph and his mother; the other one half went to the rest of mankind." The story has the same general outlines as the biblical narrative, but with certain differences. In the Qur'an the brothers ask Jacob ("Yaqub") to let Joseph go with them. The pit into which Joseph is thrown is a well, and Joseph was taken as a slave by a passing caravan. When the brothers revealed to the father that a wolf had eaten Joseph, he cried in grief till he became blind.(Qur'an 12:19).
In the Bible, Joseph discloses himself to his brethren before they return to their father the second time after buying grain. The same is true in the Islamic story, but they are compelled to return to Jacob without Benjamin, and the father weeps again. He remains so until the sons have returned from Egypt, bringing with them Joseph's garment which healed the patriarch's eyes as soon as he put it to his face (Qur'an 12:96).
There are numerous mentions of Joseph in Bahá'í writings. These come in the forms of allusions written by The Báb and Bahá'u'lláh. In the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Bahá'u'lláh states that "from my laws, the sweet-smelling savour of my garment can be smelled" and, in the Four Valleys, states that "the fragrance of his garment blowing from the Egypt of Baha," referring to Joseph.
Bahá'í commentaries have described these as metaphors with the garment implying the recognition of a manifestation of God. In the Qayyumu'l-Asma', the Báb refers to Bahá'u'lláh as the true Joseph and makes an analogous prophecy regarding Bahá'u'lláh suffering at the hands of his brother, Mírzá Yahyá.
Then the Lord appeared unto him, holding the Eben Shetiyah in His hand, and said to him: "If thou touchest her, I will cast away this stone upon which the earth is founded, and the world will fall to ruin.".
Asenath, Asenith and Osnat (, Hebrew: אָסְנַת, Modern: ʾAsənat, Tiberian: ʾĀsenaṯ) is a figure in the Book of Genesis (41:45, 41:50–52), an Egyptian woman whom Pharaoh gave to Joseph, son of Jacob, to be his wife. The daughter of Potipherah, a priest of Heliopolis, she had two sons with Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim, who became the patriarchs of the Israelite tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim.Coat of many colors
In the Hebrew Bible, the coat of many colors (Hebrew: כְּתֹנֶת פַּסִּים ketonet passim) is the name for the garment that Joseph owned, which was given to him by his father, Jacob.Ephraim
Ephraim ; (Hebrew: אֶפְרַיִם/אֶפְרָיִם, Efrayim) was, according to the Book of Genesis, the second son of Joseph and Asenath. Asenath was an Egyptian woman whom Pharaoh gave to Joseph as wife, and the daughter of Potipherah, a priest of On. Ephraim was born in Egypt before the arrival of the children of Israel from Canaan.The Book of Numbers lists three sons of Ephraim: Shuthelah, Beker, and Tahan. However, 1 Chronicles 7 claims that he had at least eight sons, including Ezer and Elead, who were killed by local men who came to rob him of his cattle. After their deaths he had another son, Beriah. He was the ancestor of Joshua, son of Nun, the leader of the Israelite tribes in the conquest of Canaan.According to the biblical narrative, Jeroboam, who became the first king of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, was also from the house of Ephraim.Joseph (1995 film)
The Bible: Joseph is a 1995 German/Italian/American television film about the life of Joseph from the Old Testament. It aired on TNT and was filmed in Morocco.Joseph and His Brothers
Joseph and His Brothers (Joseph und seine Brüder) is a four-part novel by Thomas Mann, written over the course of 16 years. Mann retells the familiar stories of Genesis, from Jacob to Joseph (chapters 27–50), setting it in the historical context of the Amarna Period. Mann considered it his greatest work.
The tetralogy consists of:
The Stories of Jacob (Die Geschichten Jaakobs; written December 1926 to October 1930, Genesis 27–36)
Young Joseph (Der junge Joseph; written January 1931 to June 1932, Genesis 37)
Joseph in Egypt (Joseph in Ägypten; written July 1932 to 23 August 1936, Genesis 38–39)
Joseph the Provider (Joseph, der Ernährer; written 10 August 1940 to 4 January 1943, Genesis 40–50)Joseph and Potiphar's Wife (etching)
Joseph and Potiphar's Wife is a 1634 etching by Rembrandt (Bartsch 39). It depicts a story from the Bible, wherein Potiphar's Wife attempts to seduce Joseph. It is signed and dated "Rembrandt f. 1634" (f. for fecit or "made this"), and exists in two states.Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a musical with lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The story is based on the "coat of many colours" story of Joseph from the Bible's Book of Genesis. This was the first Lloyd Webber and Rice musical to be performed publicly; their first, The Likes of Us, written in 1965, was not performed until 2005.
The show has only a few lines of spoken dialogue; it is almost entirely sung-through. Its family-friendly story, familiar themes and catchy music have resulted in numerous stagings. According to the owner of the copyright, the Really Useful Group, by 2008 more than 20,000 schools and amateur theatre groups had staged productions.Joseph was first presented as a 15-minute "pop cantata" at Colet Court School in London in 1968, and was published by Novello and recorded in an expanded form by Decca Records in 1969. After the success of the next Lloyd Webber and Rice piece, Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph received amateur stage productions in the US beginning in 1970, and the first American release of the album was in 1971. The musical had its professional premiere, as a 35-minute musical, at the Edinburgh International Festival in 1972. While still undergoing various modifications and expansions, the musical was produced in the West End in 1973. In 1974, its full modern format was performed at the Haymarket Theatre in Leicester and was also recorded that year. The musical was mounted on Broadway in 1982. Several major revivals, national tours, and a 1999 direct-to-video film starring Donny Osmond followed.Josephslegende
Josephslegende (The Legend of Joseph), Op. 63, is a ballet in one act for the Ballets Russes based on the story of Potiphar's Wife, with a libretto by Hofmannsthal and Kessler and music by Richard Strauss. Composed in 1912–14, it premiered at the Paris Opera on 14 May 1914.Land of Goshen
The Land of Goshen (Hebrew: אֶרֶץ גֹּשֶׁן or ארץ גושן Eretz Gošen) is named in the Bible as the place in Egypt given to the Hebrews by the pharaoh of Joseph (Genesis 45:9-10), and the land from which they later left Egypt at the time of the Exodus. It was located in the eastern Delta of the Nile, lower Egypt.Manasseh (tribal patriarch)
Manasseh or Menashe (Hebrew: מְנַשֶּׁה, Modern: Menaše, Tiberian: Mənaššé Samaritan Manaṯ) was, according to the Book of Genesis, the first son of Joseph and Asenath (Genesis 41:50-52). Asenath was an Egyptian woman whom Pharaoh gave to Joseph as wife, and the daughter of Potipherah, a priest of On (Genesis 41:50-52). Manasseh was born in Egypt before the arrival of the children of Israel from Canaan (Genesis 48:5).Potiphar and his wife
Potiphar () is a person known only from the Book of Genesis' account of Joseph. Potiphar is said to be the captain of the palace guard. In the Quran he is referred to by his title, Aziz. Joseph, sold into slavery by his brothers, is taken to Egypt where he is sold to Potiphar as a household slave. Potiphar makes Joseph the head of his household, but Potiphar's wife, who is not named in the Bible or in Christian tradition, is furious at Joseph for resisting her attempts to seduce him, and falsely accuses him of attempted rape. Potiphar casts Joseph into prison, from where he later comes to the notice of Pharaoh through his ability to interpret the dreams of other prisoners. (Genesis 39-40)
After Joseph's interpretation of Pharaoh's dreams and his subsequent appointment as overlord of Egypt, Joseph (renamed Zaphnath-Paaneah) married Asenath, the daughter of Poti-Pherah priest of On. Poti-Pherah may have been the same person as Potiphar, in which case Joseph would likely have been married to the daughter of the woman responsible for his false imprisonment.
The medieval Sefer HaYashar, a commentary on the Torah, gives Potiphar's wife's name as Zuleikha, as do many Islamic traditions and thus the Persian poem called Yusuf and Zulaikha from Jami's Haft Awrang ("Seven thrones"). Because of the Egyptian location wherein the scene is staged, it is not impossible to detect in this biblical writing also a more recent echo of the very old Egyptian fable of the two brothers Bata and Anpu.The story became very common in Western art in the Renaissance and Baroque periods, usually showing the moment when Joseph tears himself away from the bed containing a more or less naked figure of Potiphar's wife. Persian miniatures often illustrate Yusuf and Zulaikha in Jami's Haft Awrang ("Seven thrones").Potipherah
Potipherah was a priest of the Ancient Egyptian town of On, mentioned in the Genesis 41:45 and 41:50.
He was the father of Asenath, who was given to Joseph as his wife by Pharaoh, (41:45) and who bore Joseph two sons: Manasseh and Ephraim.His name means "he whom Ra has given".Prophet Joseph (TV series)
Prophet Joseph (Persian: یوسف پيامبر) is a 2008 Iranian television TV series directed by Farajollah Salahshoor, which tells the story of Prophet Joseph from the Quran and Islamic traditions. It is also set in the historical context of the Amarna period of ancient Egypt.Slave of Dreams
Slave of Dreams is a 1995 television film based on the story of Joseph in the Bible, directed by Robert M. Young, produced by Dino De Laurentiis and Martha De Laurentiis and written by Ron Hutchinson. The film stars Adrian Pasdar as Joseph, Sherilyn Fenn as Zulaikha and Edward James Olmos as Potiphar.The Story of Joseph and His Brethren
The Story of Joseph and His Brethren (Italian: Giuseppe venduto dai fratelli) is a 1961 Yugoslavian/Italian film directed by Irving Rapper and Luciano Ricci.
The film is also known as Joseph Sold by His Brothers, Joseph and His Brethren (American DVD box title) and Sold Into Egypt in the United Kingdom.Tribe of Joseph
The Tribe of Joseph is one of the Tribes of Israel in biblical tradition. Since Ephraim and Manasseh (often called the "two half-tribes of Joseph") together traditionally constituted the tribe of Joseph, it was often not listed as one of the tribes, in favour of Ephraim and Manasseh being listed in its place; consequently it was often termed the House of Joseph (Beit Yoseph, בית יוסף), to avoid the use of the term tribe. According to the Targum Pseudo-Jonathan, the ensign of both the House of Joseph and the Tribe of Benjamin was the figure of a boy, with the inscription: the cloud of the Lord rested on them until they went forth out of the camp (a reference to events in the Exodus). There were obvious linguistic differences between at least one portion of Joseph and the other Israelite tribes. At the time when Ephraim were at war with the Israelites of Gilead, under the leadership of Jephthah, the pronunciation of shibboleth as sibboleth was considered sufficient evidence to single out individuals from Ephraim, so that they could be subjected to immediate death by the Israelites of Gilead.
At its height, the territory of Joseph spanned the Jordan River, the eastern portion being almost entirely discontiguous from the western portion, only slightly touching at one corner—northeast of the western portion and southwest of the eastern portion. The western portion was at the centre of Canaan, west of the Jordan, between the Tribe of Issachar on the north, and the Tribe of Benjamin on the south; the region which was later named Samaria (as distinguished from Judea or Galilee) mostly consisted of the western portion of Joseph. The eastern portion of Joseph was the northernmost Israelite group on the east of the Jordan, occupying the land north of the tribe of Gad, extending from the Mahanaim in the south to Mount Hermon in the north, and including within it the whole of Bashan. These territories abounded in water, a precious commodity in Canaan, and the mountainous portions not only afforded protection, but happened to be highly fertile; early centres of Israelite religion—Shechem and Shiloh—were additionally situated in the region. The territory of Joseph was thus one of the most valuable parts of the country, and the House of Joseph became the most dominant group in the Kingdom of Israel.Yusuf (surah)
Yūsuf (Arabic: يوسف, "Joseph") is the 12th chapter (sūrah) of the Quran and has 111 verses (āyāt). It is preceded by sūrah Hud and followed by Ar-Ra’d (The thunder).
Regarding the timing and contextual background of the supposed revelation (asbāb al-nuzūl), it is an earlier "Meccan surah", which means it is believed to have been revealed in Mecca, instead of later in Medina. It is said to have been revealed in a single sitting, being unique in this respect. The text narrates the story of Yusuf (the biblical Joseph). While other surahs tend to jump between topics, this sura is special in sticking to its central theme throughout, telling a coherent story in chronological order.The chapter was first translated into Latin by Thomas van Erpe in 1617 and later in the 17th century published synoptically in Arabic and Latin as part of the Lutheran efforts at translating the Qur'an.Yusuf and Zulaikha
"Yusuf and Zulaikha" (the English transliteration of both names varies greatly) refers to a medieval Islamic version of the story of the prophet Joseph and Potiphar's wife which has been told and retold countless times in many languages spoken in Muslim world, such as Arabic, Persian, Bengali Turkish and Urdu. Its most famous version was written in Persian language by Jami (1414-1492), in his Haft Awrang ("Seven Thrones"). The story has by then many elaborations, and is capable of a Sufi interpretation, where Zulaikha's longing for Yusuf represents the soul's quest for God.Zaphnath-Paaneah
Zaphnath-Paaneah (Hebrew צָפְנַת פַּעְנֵחַ Ṣāfnaṯ Paʿnēaḫ, LXX Ψονθομφανήχ (p)sontʰ-(ŏm)pʰanêkʰ) is the name given by Pharaoh to Joseph in the Genesis narrative (Genesis 41:45).
The name may be "Egyptian," but there is no straightforward etymology; some Egyptologists accept that the second element of the name may contain the word ˁnḫ "life."
Jewish tradition provides an explanation of "revealer of secrets."
In his work on Genesis Jerome gives as the Latin translation salvator mundi "saviour of the world."
Children of Jacob by mother in order of birth
|Bilhah (Rachel's servant)|
|Zilpah (Leah's servant)|
Prophets in the Hebrew Bible
|Patriarchs / Matriarchs|
in the Torah
Mentioned in the
Italics indicate persons whose status as prophets is not universally accepted.