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Jacob, the son of Issac, had 12 sons.

Joseph was married more than once,

so his sons had different mothers.

Jacob had many sheep, therefore his

sons were all shepherds. They were

all very strong and sometimes they

were violent. But, there was one son,

named Joseph, who was a thoughtful boy.

His mother was Rachel. His older

brothers didn't like him. They

believed he was the favorite

in the family, and was

treated better than them.

When Joseph was about 17 years of age,

his father gave him a long robe that

was made of many colors.

This made his brothers even

more jealous than before.

To make matters worse, Joseph began

telling stories of dreams that he

was having. In one of these dreams,

his brothers were working in the

fields binding grain into sheaves,

or bundles as we call them. In his

dreams Joseph saw the bundles that his

brothers had tied bow down to his

sheaf. In his second dream, he

dreamed that the sun, the moon,

and 11 stars all bowed down to him.

Jacob was very angry at this dream.

He told Joseph, "Shall I and thy mother,

and thy brethren indeed come to bow

down ourselves to thee to the earth?"

One day, Jacob sent Joseph to deliver

a message to his brothers out

in the fields. The sight of Joseph

with that coat of many colors was

more than they could stand. They

plotted to kill Joseph and throw his

body in a pit. The oldest brother, Reuben,

did not want to do this terrible

thing. He thought that he

would come back

and rescue Joseph later. They tore

off his beautiful robe and threw him

in a pit. Before they had time to do

this horrible deed, they saw some merchants

coming down the road. They decided they

would sell Joseph instead. It was common

in those days to sell the children

they could not take care of.

The brother's then took a young goat

and killed it. They put the

blood on Joseph's coat and took

it to Jacob. They told their

father that Joseph had been

killed by a wild animal.

Jacob was very heart broken.

The merchants took Joseph to Egypt.

There they sold him to a man

named Potiphar. He was an important

officer of the Pharoah. The Pharoah

was the king of Egypt. Because

Joseph was very well liked by the

Pharoah and did as he was asked, he was

put in charge of his household. After

a time, the Pharoah's wife made

trouble for Joseph and he

was put in prison.

But, God watched over Joseph. He gave

him the ability to know the meaning

of dreams. In prison with Joseph was

the Pharoah's butler and his cook.

One night both of them had dreams.

They told Joseph their dreams. The

butler dreamed there was 3 branches

with buds on them. The buds turned to blossoms,

and the blossoms ripened into grapes.

The butler dreamed that he pressed the

grapes into the Pharoah's cup and

placed the cup into the Pharoah's

hand. Joseph told the butler that

his dream meant that in 3 days the

Pharoah would free him from prison.

He would get his old job back and

would hand Pharoah his cup

as he did before.

The baker dreamed there was 3 cake

baskets on his head. In the top basket

there was all kinds of baked food for the

Pharoah, but birds were eating out of

the basket. Joseph told the baker that

his dream meant that in 3 days time the

Pharoah would hang him from a tree

full of birds.

Joseph was right on both occassions.

The things he had told them happened

just as he said. Joseph asked the butler to

help him get out of prison. He said he

would, but once out he forget about

his promise. He didn't remember

for 2 years.

One day the Pharoah told his servant

about a dream he had had. He

asked the butler if he knew anyone

that could interpret dreams. That

is when he remembered about Joseph.

He told the Pharoah how Joseph had

interpreted his and the baker's dreams.

The Pharoah immediately sent for Joseph.

The Pharoah told Joseph that he

dreamed that 7 fat cattle were grazing

in a field, and 7 lean cattle came up

and ate the fat cattle. Then there

was 7 good ears of corn on a stalk, and

7 withered ears grew up and ate

the good ears.

Joseph told the Pharoah that God

was telling him through the dream

that there would be 7 years of rich

harvests, followed by 7 years of famine.

This meant that there would not be

enough rain and food would not grow

for 7 years. Joseph advised the Pharoah that they

get all the spare food they could during

the 7 good years. And store it for use in the

7 bad years.

The Pharoah was very impressed

with Joseph. He made him the overseer

of this important task. When the famine

hit, Egypt was the only land that had food.

People had to send other people to Egypt

to buy food to keep them

and their families alive.

This famine had also struck Caanan,

the land where Joseph was from.

His family still lived there. Jacob had

to send his sons to Egypt to buy grain.

He kept his youngest son, named

Benjamin, with him in Caanan. Benjamin

was Joseph's only full brother. They had

the same mother and father, where the

other brothers were half-brothers

because they had a different mother.

When the brothers appeared before

Joseph they did not know him.

Joseph knew who they were from

the first time he saw them. He also

noticed that Benjamin was not with them.

Joseph had his brother put in prison

and accused them of being spies.

Joseph still treated his brothers harshly.

He tied up his brother Simeon, and told

his other brothers that he would keep

Simeon in prison until they returned with

their younger brother Benjamin.

The brothers returned to Caanan. There,

they pleaded with their father to let them

take Benjamin to Egypt with them. They

promised to protect him with their lives.

Simeon was still in prison, they still

had no food, so Jacob finally agreed

to allow Benjamin to go.

When Joseph saw Benjamin he was so

moved that he left the room and wept.

In the morning, Joseph instructed his servants

to fill the brothers bags with grain.

In Benjamin's bag they were to put

Joseph's silver cup. Then Joseph demanded

that all bags be searched until his

missing cup was found. They searched

them all and when they came to

Benjamin's bag, they found the cup.

The brothers refused to part with Benjamin.

They told Joseph that their father would

be in deep sorrow if they did not

return with Benjamin. Then they

told Joseph that they had allready

lost one brother who was torn

to bits by a wild animal.

Then one of the brothers, Judah,

pleaded with Joseph to let Benjamin

go back. He offered to become

Joseph's slave in exchange. Moved by

this display of brotherly love, Joseph

said, "I am your brother, Joseph,

whom you sold into Egypt."

His brother's wept for joy at seeing

him again.

Joseph then sent for his father.

His father was very suprised and very

happy to see his son alive and well.

Joseph brought all of his family to Egypt

to live. There they lived for many

years. They were treated very well.

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