Heroes of Israel - Lawton Evans

Joseph is Sold into Egypt

Jacob was living in the land of Canaan and his flocks and his herds fed upon the rich grass of the plains and valleys. He had twelve sons, the youngest of whom was Benjamin who was born after Jacob had come back to Canaan. The next to the youngest was Joseph whom his father loved very tenderly. He made him a coat of many colors and showed him other favors above his brethren. Seeing that his father loved him more than all the others, his brothers hated Joseph and would not speak peaceably to him.

Now Joseph was a dreamer and one night he dreamed a dream and told it to his brethren. He said: "We were binding sheaves in the field and my sheaf arose and stood upright, and your sheaves stood round about and bowed down to my sheaf."

"Will you reign over us, and will you have dominion over us?" asked his brethren. And they hated him more for his dreams and for his words.

Joseph dreamed again and told his brethren his dream. He said: "I dreamed that the sun and the moon and eleven stars all bowed down to me." And he told this dream to his father also. His father rebuked him and said: "Shall I and your mother and your eleven brethren bow ourselves down to you?" And his brothers envied him all the more but his father did not forget the dream that Joseph had told him.

One day the sons of Jacob went to feed their father's flocks in a far off land and Jacob said to Joseph: "Go and see whether it is well with your brothers and well with the flocks and bring me word again." And Joseph went looking for his brothers in the place where he thought they were.

A stranger found him wandering in the fields, looking for his brothers and asked Joseph: "For what are you seeking?" Joseph replied: "I am seeking for my brethren. I pray you tell me where they feed their flocks."

"Your brethren have departed from this place and have gone to Dothan," answered the stranger. And Joseph went to Dothan seeking for his brothers.

As he came across the fields, his brothers saw him approaching. They said one to another: "Behold the dreamer comes. Let us slay him and cast him into some pit and then we will say to our father, Some evil beast has devoured him, and then we shall see what will become of his dreams."

Then they took the young Joseph who was only seventeen years of age and began to carry out their threats. One of the brothers named Reuben, however, would not allow them to kill the young Joseph but took him from the hands of his angry brothers, for he did not want to shed the blood of the lad. Reuben said to the others: "Let us cast him into this pit alive, then we will be rid of him."

So they took Joseph and stripped him of his coat of many colors and cast him into the pit. Perhaps they thought there was water in the bottom of the pit and the lad would drown, but there was no water in the pit and Joseph remained alive.

After a while the brethren sat down to eat, and while they were at their meal they saw a company of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead with their camels loaded with spices and other things which they were going to carry into Egypt.

"What profit is it if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? Let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, let us not kill him for he is our brother and our flesh," Judah said to his brothers. With this the brothers were content. They lifted Joseph out of the pit, washed the dirt from his body, and put on his clothes, though they kept the coat of many colors in their own hands.

When the Ishmaelites drew near the brothers stopped them and offered to sell Joseph for twenty pieces of silver. The Ishmaelites were glad of this bargain because they could sell Joseph in Egypt for a slave, so they bought the lad and passed on their way.

Joseph and brothers

Then the brothers took Joseph's coat of many colors and dipped it in the blood of a kid which they killed. When they returned to their homes, they went to Jacob and said to him: "We have found this coat, do you know whether it is Joseph's coat or not?" And Jacob looked at the coat and said: "It is my son's coat; an evil beast had devoured him, and Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces." The brothers said nothing and the old Jacob believed that Joseph had been killed in the wilderness.

Jacob was heartbroken at the loss of his son and went into mourning for him many days. His sons and his daughters tried to comfort him but he would not be comforted and cried out in his sorrow: "I will go down into the grave mourning for my son," by which he meant that he would mourn for him the rest of his life.

The Ishmaelites traveled many days until at last they came to Egypt and there they sold Joseph to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh the king, and also a captain of the guard. Joseph became Potiphar's servant and lived in his house. He was such a good servant that his master was much pleased with him and gave him authority over his other servants.

Joseph had not only the care of the house but also everything in it and Potiphar trusted him with all things. The Lord took care of Joseph in the land of Egypt and of all the household of Potiphar because Joseph was a faithful servant.


Front Matter

The Garden of Eden
The First Great Crime
The Flood
The Tower of Babel
Abraham Moves into Canaan
Sodom and Gomorrah
The Trial of Abraham's Faith
Searching for a Wife for Isaac
Isaac and Rebekah
Esau Sells his Birthright
Jacob Serves for Rachel
Jacob Returns to Canaan
Joseph is Sold into Egypt
Pharaoh's Dream
Joseph's Brethren Buy Corn
Jacob Moves into Egypt
The Early Life of Moses
Egyptians Smitten with Plagues
Egyptians Drowned in Red Sea
The Lord Provides for Israel
Plan to Build the Tabernacle
The Golden Calf
Wanderings of the Israelites
Spying Out the Land of Canaan
Punishing the Israelites
Balaam is Made to Prophesy
Border of the Promised Land
Last Days of Moses
Rahab Saves the Spies
The Destruction of Jericho
The Capture of Ai
Joshua Conquers Canaan
Gideon is Given a Sign
Gideon Overcomes Midianites
The Punishment of Abimelech
Jephthah's Daughter
The Young Samson
Samson and the Philistines
The Death of Samson
Naomi and Ruth
Ruth and Boaz
The Young Samuel
Philistines Capture the Ark
Philistines Return the Ark
Saul in Anointed King
Jonathan and the Philistines
The Disobedience of Saul
Samuel Anoints David
David and Goliath
Saul is Jealous of David
David and Jonathan
The Madness of Saul
David Spares the Life of Saul
The Last Days of King Saul
David Becomes King
The Rebellion of Absalom
The Death of Absalom
Solomon Becomes King
The Wisdom of Solomon
Solomon Builds the Temple
Queen of Sheba Visits Solomon
Revolt of the Ten Tribes
The Wickedness of Jeroboam
Elijah Begins His Ministry
Elijah Destroys the Prophets
Elisha is Made a Prophet
Death of Ahab
Sickness of Ahaziah
Last Days of Elijah
Miracles of Elisha
Naaman is Cured of Leprosy
Flight of the Syrians
Jehu is Appointed King
The Story of Joash
Last days of Elisha
Destruction of Sennacherib
Judah Led into Captivity
Destruction of Jerusalem
Daniel Interprets the Dream
The Fiery Furnace
Madness of Nebuchadnezzer
Handwriting on the Wall
Daniel in the Lion's Den
Jonah Swallowed by a Fish
Jonah Warns Nineveh
Esther Becomes Queen
The Vengeance of Haman
Esther Saves Her People
The Return from Captivity
Nehemiah Rebuilds Jerusalem