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joseph Summary and Overview

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joseph in Easton's Bible Dictionary

remover or increaser. (1.) The elder of the two sons of Jacob by Rachel (Gen. 30:23, 24), who, on the occasion of his birth, said, "God hath taken away [Heb. 'asaph] my reproach." "The Lord shall add [Heb. yoseph] to me another son" (Gen. 30:24). He was a child of probably six years of age when his father returned from Haran to Canaan and took up his residence in the old patriarchal town of Hebron. "Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age," and he "made him a long garment with sleeves" (Gen. 37:3, R.V. marg.), i.e., a garment long and full, such as was worn by the children of nobles. This seems to be the correct rendering of the words. The phrase, however, may also be rendered, "a coat of many pieces", i.e., a patchwork of many small pieces of divers colours. When he was about seventeen years old Joseph incurred the jealous hatred of his brothers (Gen. 37:4). They "hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him." Their anger was increased when he told them his dreams (37:11). Jacob desiring to hear tidings of his sons, who had gone to Shechem with their flocks, some 60 miles from Hebron, sent Joseph as his messenger to make inquiry regarding them. Joseph found that they had left Shechem for Dothan, whither he followed them. As soon as they saw him coming they began to plot against him, and would have killed him had not Reuben interposed. They ultimately sold him to a company of Ishmaelite merchants for twenty pieces (shekels) of silver (about $2, 10s.), ten pieces less than the current value of a slave, for "they cared little what they had for him, if so be they were rid of him." These merchants were going down with a varied assortment of merchandise to the Egyptian market, and thither they conveyed him, and ultimately sold him as a slave to Potiphar, an "officer of Pharaoh's, and captain of the guard" (Gen. 37:36). "The Lord blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake," and Potiphar made him overseer over his house. At length a false charge having been brought against him by Potiphar's wife, he was at once cast into the state prison (39; 40), where he remained for at least two years. After a while the "chief of the cupbearers" and the "chief of the bakers" of Pharaoh's household were cast into the same prison (40:2). Each of these new prisoners dreamed a dream in the same night, which Joseph interpreted, the event occurring as he had said. This led to Joseph's being remembered subsequently by the chief butler when Pharaoh also dreamed. At his suggestion Joseph was brought from prison to interpret the king's dreams. Pharaoh was well pleased with Joseph's wisdom in interpreting his dreams, and with his counsel with reference to the events then predicted; and he set him over all the land of Egypt (Gen. 41:46), and gave him the name of Zaphnath-paaneah. He was married to Asenath, the daughter of the priest of On, and thus became a member of the priestly class. Joseph was now about thirty years of age. As Joseph had interpreted, seven years of plenty came, during which he stored up great abundance of corn in granaries built for the purpose. These years were followed by seven years of famine "over all the face of the earth," when "all countries came into Egypt to Joseph to buy corn" (Gen. 41:56, 57; 47:13, 14). Thus "Joseph gathered up all the money that was in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, for the corn which they bought." Afterwards all the cattle and all the land, and at last the Egyptians themselves, became the property of Pharaoh. During this period of famine Joseph's brethren also came down to Egypt to buy corn. The history of his dealings with them, and of the manner in which he at length made himself known to them, is one of the most interesting narratives that can be read (Gen. 42-45). Joseph directed his brethren to return and bring Jacob and his family to the land of Egypt, saying, "I will give you the good of the land of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the land. Regard not your stuff; for the good of all the land is yours." Accordingly Jacob and his family, to the number of threescore and ten souls, together with "all that they had," went down to Egypt. They were settled in the land of Goshen, where Joseph met his father, and "fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while" (Gen. 46:29). The excavations of Dr. Naville have shown the land of Goshen to be the Wady Tumilat, between Ismailia and Zagazig. In Goshen (Egyptian Qosem) they had pasture for their flocks, were near the Asiatic frontier of Egypt, and were out of the way of the Egyptian people. An inscription speaks of it as a district given up to the wandering shepherds of Asia. Jacob at length died, and in fulfilment of a promise which he had exacted, Joseph went up to Canaan to bury his father in "the field of Ephron the Hittite" (Gen. 47:29-31; 50:1-14). This was the last recorded act of Joseph, who again returned to Egypt. "The 'Story of the Two Brothers,' an Egyptian romance written for the son of the Pharaoh of the Oppression, contains an episode very similar to the Biblical account of Joseph's treatment by Potiphar's wife. Potiphar and Potipherah are the Egyptian Pa-tu-pa-Ra, 'the gift of the sun-god.' The name given to Joseph, Zaphnath-paaneah, is probably the Egyptian Zaf-nti-pa-ankh, 'nourisher of the living one,' i.e., of the Pharaoh. There are many instances in the inscriptions of foreigners in Egypt receiving Egyptian names, and rising to the highest offices of state." By his wife Asenath, Joseph had two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim (Gen. 41:50). Joseph having obtained a promise from his brethren that when the time should come that God would "bring them unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob," they would carry up his bones out of Egypt, at length died, at the age of one hundred and ten years; and "they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin" (Gen. 50:26). This promise was faithfully observed. Their descendants, long after, when the Exodus came, carried the body about with them during their forty years' wanderings, and at length buried it in Shechem, in the parcel of ground which Jacob bought from the sons of Hamor (Josh. 24:32; compare Gen. 33:19). With the death of Joseph the patriarchal age of the history of Israel came to a close. The Pharaoh of Joseph's elevation was probably Apepi, or Apopis, the last of the Hyksos kings. Some, however, think that Joseph came to Egypt in the reign of Thothmes III. (see PHARAOH T0002923), long after the expulsion of the Hyksos. The name Joseph denotes the two tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh in Deut. 33:13-17; the kingdom of Israel in Ezek. 37:16, 19, Amos 5:6; and the whole covenant people of Israel in Ps. 81:4. (2.) One of the sons of Asaph, head of the first division of sacred musicians (1 Chr. 25:2, 9). (3.) The son of Judah, and father of Semei (Luke 3:26). Other two of the same name in the ancestry of Christ are also mentioned (3:24, 30). (4.) The foster-father of our Lord (Matt. 1:16; Luke 3:23). He lived at Nazareth in Galilee (Luke 2:4). He is called a "just man." He was by trade a carpenter (Matt. 13:55). He is last mentioned in connection with the journey to Jerusalem, when Jesus was twelve years old. It is probable that he died before Jesus entered on his public ministry. This is concluded from the fact that Mary only was present at the marriage feast in Cana of Galilee. His name does not appear in connection with the scenes of the crucifixion along with that of Mary (q.v.), John 19:25. (5.) A native of Arimathea, probably the Ramah of the Old Testament (1 Sam. 1:19), a man of wealth, and a member of the Sanhedrim (Matt. 27:57; Luke 23:50), an "honourable counsellor, who waited for the kingdom of God." As soon as he heard the tidings of Christ's death, he "went in boldly" (lit. "having summoned courage, he went") "unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus." Pilate having ascertained from the centurion that the death had really taken place, granted Joseph's request, who immediately, having purchased fine linen (Mark 15:46), proceeded to Golgotha to take the body down from the cross. There, assisted by Nicodemus, he took down the body and wrapped it in the fine linen, sprinkling it with the myrrh and aloes which Nicodemus had brought (John 19:39), and then conveyed the body to the new tomb hewn by Joseph himself out of a rock in his garden hard by. There they laid it, in the presence of Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of Joses, and other women, and rolled a great stone to the entrance, and departed (Luke 23:53, 55). This was done in haste, "for the Sabbath was drawing on" (compare Isa. 53:9). (6.) Surnamed Barsabas (Acts 1:23); also called Justus. He was one of those who "companied with the apostles all the time that the Lord Jesus went out and in among them" (Acts 1:21), and was one of the candidates for the place of Judas.

joseph in Smith's Bible Dictionary

(increase). 1. The elder of the two sons of Jacob by Rachel. He was born in Padan-aram (Mesopotamia), probably about B.C. 1746. He is first mentioned when a youth, seventeen years old. Joseph brought the evil report of his brethren to his father, and they hated him because his father loved him more than he did them, and had shown his preference by making a dress which appears to have been a long tunic with sleeves, worn by youths and maidens of the richer class. #Ge 37:2| He dreamed a dream foreshadowing his future power, which increased the hatred of his brethren. #Ge 37:5-7| He was sent by his father to visit his brothers, who were tending flocks in the fields of Dothan. They resolved to kill him, but he was saved by Reuben, who persuaded the brothers to cast Joseph into a dry pit, to the intent that he might restore him to Jacob. The appearance of the Ishmaelites suggested his sale for "twenty pieces (shekels) of silver." ver. 28. Sold into Egypt to Potiphar, Joseph prospered and was soon set over Potiphar's house, and "all he had he gave into his hand;" but incurring the anger of Potiphar's wife ch. #Ge 39:7-13| he was falsely accused and thrown into prison, where he remained at least two years, interpreting during this time the dreams of the cupbearer and the baker. Finally Pharaoh himself dreamed two prophetic dreams. Joseph, being sent for, interpreted them in the name of God, foretelling the seven years of plenty and the seven years of famine. Pharaoh at once appointed Joseph not merely governor of Egypt, but second only to the sovereign, and also gave him to wife Asenath, daughter of Potipherah priest of On (Hieropolis), and gave him a name or title, Zaphnath-paaneah (preserver of life). Joseph's first act was to go throughout all the land of Egypt. During the seven plenteous years there was a very abundant produce, and he gathered the fifth part and laid it up. When the seven good years had passed, the famine began. #Ge 41:54-57| [FAMINE] After the famine had lasted for a time, apparently two years, Joseph gathered up all the money that was found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, for the corn which they brought, and brought it into Pharaoh's house, #Ge 47:13,14| and when the money was exhausted, all the cattle, and finally all the land except that of the priests, and apparently, as a consequence, the Egyptians themselves. He demanded, however, only a fifth part of the produce as Pharaoh's right. Now Jacob, who had suffered also from the effects of the famine, sent Joseph's brother to Egypt for corn. The whole story of Joseph's treatment of his brethren is so graphically told in Gene 42-45 and is so familiar, that it is unnecessary here to repeat it. On the death of Jacob in Egypt Joseph carried him to Canaan, and laid him in the cave of Machpelah, the burying-place of his fathers. Joseph lived "a hundred and ten years," having been more than ninety in Egypt. Dying, he took an oath of his brethren that they should carry up his bones to the land of promise: thus showing in his latest action the faith, #Heb 11:22| which had guided his whole life. Like his father he was embalmed, "and he was put in a coffin in Egypt." #Ge 50:26| His trust Moses kept, and laid the bones of Joseph in his inheritance in Shechem, in the territory of Ephraim his offspring. His tomb is, according to tradition, about a stone's throw from Jacob's well. 2. Father of Igal, who represented the tribe of Issachar among the spies. #Nu 13:7| 3. A lay Israelite who had married a foreign wife. #Ezr 10:42| (B.C. 459.) 4. A representative of the priestly family of Shebaniah. #Ne 12:14| (B.C. after 536.) 5. One of the ancestors of Christ, #Lu 3:30| So of Jonan. 6. Another ancestor of Christ, son of Judah. #Lu 3:26| (B.C. between 536-410.) 7. Another, son of Mattathias. #Lu 3:24| (B.C. after 400.) 8. Son of Heli, and reputed father of Jesus Christ. All that is told us of Joseph in the New Testament may be summed up in a few words. He was a just man, and of the house and lineage of David. He lived at Nazareth in Galilee. He espoused Mary, the daughter and heir of his uncle Jacob,a nd before he took her home as his wife received the angelic communication recorded in #Mt 1:20| When Jesus was twelve years old Joseph and Mary took him with them to keep the passover at Jerusalem, and when they returned to Nazareth he continued to acct as a father to the child Jesus, and was reputed to be so indeed. But here our knowledge of Joseph ends. That he died before our Lord's crucifixion is indeed tolerably certain, by what is related #Joh 19:27| and perhaps #Mr 6:3| may imply that he was then dead. But where, when or how he died we know not. 9. Joseph of Arimathaea, a rich and pious Israelite, probably a member of the Great Council or Sanhedrin. He is further characterized as "a good man and a just." #Lu 23:50| We are expressly told that he did not "consent to the counsel and deed" of his colleagues in conspiring to bring about the death of Jesus; but he seems to have lacked the courage to protest against their judgment. On the very evening of the crucifixion, when the triumph of the chief priests and rulers seemed complete, Joseph "went in boldly unto Pilate and craved the body of Jesus." Pilate consented. Joseph and Nicodemus then, having enfolded the sacred body in the linen shroud which Joseph had bought, consigned it to a tomb hewn in a rock, in a garden belonging to Joseph, and close to the place of crucifixion. There is a tradition that he was one of the seventy disciples. 10. Joseph, called Barsabas, and surnamed Justus; one of the two person chosen by the assembled church, #Ac 1:23| as worthy to fill the place in the apostolic company from which Judas had fallen.

joseph in Schaff's Bible Dictionary

JO'SEPH (he will add). 1. The first son of Jacob and Rachel, born in Padan-aram after his mother had been long barren, but "God hearkened to her." Gen 30:24. The name she gave him indicated her confidence that God would give her another son -- a confidence justified by the birth of Benjamin. Ps 35:17. The two sons of Rachel, Jacob's favorite wife, were the patriarch's delight. In the case of Joseph this fondness led to evil consequences, because it excited the envy of his brothers. The story of Joseph's life is told with so much simplicity and graphic power that he is numbered among our acquaintances. We enter with the liveliest sympathy into all his troubles. He is ever the innocent victim of spite and cruelty, and from the time he comes before us in his long coat with sleeves -- not "coat of many colors" -- down to the day the mourning of Egypt bursts forth over his corpse, his life has for us the interest of a romance heightened by the knowledge that it is truth. Instead of repeating the twice-told tale -- every one knows it, and the inspired record cannot be improved -- we present a condensed translation of the article on "Joseph" by Prof. Ebers, the Egyptologist, in Riehm's Handworterbuch Des Biblischen Altertums, (1878), which interprets the Egyptian setting and shows its complete harmony with modern researches. It is worthy of note that the money paid for Joseph by the Midianites corresponds exactly to the extreme price set by Moses upon a slave of his age. Comp. Gen 37:28 with Lev 27:5. The captains of the guard, of whom Potiphar was one, were commanders of regiments of 2000 men, and so long as they were in office as the king's body-guard the commander was the chief inspector of the state-prisoners, and chief executioner of corporal and capital punishment. Potiphar was a "eunuch." The word, however, may express nothing more than an officer. The Egyptian monuments make us acquainted with the daily life of an "overseer," which Joseph led in Potiphar's household. Everything was conducted with the most scrupulous regularity -- at least, in the pictures -- and the position was one of great responsibility. The story of Joseph's trial of virtue is strikingly illustrated by an Egyptian tale of similar contents written for a son of Rameses II. (See Brugsch, Geschichte AEgyptens, p. 249). The belief in dreams, in revelations of the divine will, the office of chief baker and chief butler, the custom of granting pardons and other favors upon Pharaoh's birthday, -- all are confirmed by the monuments. The magicians and wise men consulted by Pharaoh after his two dreams -- which are thoroughly Egyptian: seven was a sacred number -- belonged to the priest caste. That Joseph, before appearing in the presence of Pharaoh, must shave himself, face and head, and change his raiment, brings out the Egyptian passion for cleanliness. The exaltation of Joseph receives explanation from the fact that the priests shared in the government, particularly- in the allotment of the taxes, and for the latter purpose inspected the material condition of the country. Joseph's rank was described by two terms, "father" and "lord of all Egypt." "Father" was the usual term. Every feature of the following scenes in the narrative, all the circumstances of the investiture, are true to the life. The new name, or rather title, which he received -- Zaphnath paaneah -- is interpreted "creator" or "preserver of life." The name of his wife is the genuinely Egyptian, and very common, feminine name of Sant or Snat. It is impossible to say how far Joseph became an Egyptian. He conformed to many of their customs, but ever retained his belief in Israel's God. His position during the famine resembles that of a certain Baba, who in his epitaph tells us: "I gathered grain, a friend of the god of harvest. I was watchful at the seed-time. And during a famine which lasted through many years, I distributed the grain through the town to every hunger-stricken one." Brugsch, indeed (Gench. AEgyptens, p. 246), believed the famine referred to here is that of Genesis. The charge Joseph brings against his brethren was one often made, doubtless, at a time when there was constant dread of the irruption of the wandering tribes to the eastward of Egypt. That the Egyptians would not eat with the Hebrews and that the latter were regarded with aversion are traits in keeping with the monumental records. But these show us that shepherds formed a separate caste and were not shunned, except the swineherds, who could not enter a temple. But the nomadic shepherds, as the Israelites, were ever looked upon with fear and disgust. Joseph's claim to the gift of divination was just what one would expect. The bubbles and movements of the water of a cup into which one had thrown a coin or a ring, or any other object, were watched, and by certain rules the future read therefrom. The arrangements which Joseph made during the years of plenty and of famine, by which eventually the entire nation became the purchase of Pharaoh, and the land, with the exception of that of the priests, passed to the crown, have been much criticised. But they were not unparalleled in Egypt. Considering the fertility of the land, the fifth part taken up during the plentiful years was not at all excessive, Gen 41:34, Gen 41:47-49; when the famine came it was natural and proper to sell so long as there was any money left to buy therewith. And that it was the case in Egypt that the king and the priests owned all the land is asserted by the monuments and ancient historians. These latter also speak of the priests being free from tax. We see, then, in Gen 47:22, Gen 47:26, the statement of a fact and the explanation of a subsequent phenomenon. The question. Who was the Pharaoh of Joseph? does not admit of a decisive answer. The name "Pharaoh," being a generic title of the sovereigns, does not help us any. The most satisfactory answer is that he belonged to an altogether different dynasty from that of the persecuting Pharaoh of Exodus. This throws the time back to some dynasty of the Shepherd-kings. Of these tradition singles out Apophis, one of the last of them. Manasseh and Ephraim, sons of Joseph by his marriage with Asenath, became the founders of the powerful tribes that bear their name, and Jacob's blessing was fulfilled. Joseph died at the age of 110, but his bones, by express command, were carried with the host, and not buried until the Israelites had conquered Canaan, Gen 50:25, when they were deposited in Shechem. Josh 24:32. His tomb is shown within a stone's throw of Jacob's Well. But the Mohammedans claim that the body of Joseph is in the Machpelah, in Hebron, having been transported thither from Shechem. 1. The father of Igal, who was the spy from Issachar. Num 13:7. 2. One who had married a foreign wife. Ezr 10:42. 3. A priest. Neh 12:14. 5., 6., 7. Three persons in the ancestry of Christ. Luke 3:24, Acts 11:26, 1 Kgs 20:30. 1. The husband of Mary, the mother of Christ, was by occupation a carpenter. Matt 13:55, at which trade our Lord himself labored until he entered upon his public ministry. Mark 6:3. Joseph is called a "just man," "a man of uprightness," Matt 1:19. He was informed by an angel that Mary was to be the mother of the promised Messiah, and accompanied her to Bethlehem to be registered in the tax-books, according to the command of the emperor, when Christ was born. When the babe was 40 days old, Joseph and his wife went with him to Jerusalem, in observance of the Law of Moses; and when about returning again to Bethlehem, he was divinely admonished to go into Egypt, for Herod, the king, was resolved to destroy the infant Redeemer if he could get him into his power. After the death of Herod they set out again for Judaea, but, apprehensive that the king's successor, Archelaus, might be equally cruel, they went into Galilee, and took up their abode at Nazareth, their old home. When Jesus was 12 years of age, Joseph and Mary took him with them on their journey to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of the Passover. After that we find nothing more of Joseph in the sacred history. It is generally supposed he died before Christ began his public ministry, as he is not mentioned with Mary, and as Christ commended her to the care of one of the disciples. John 19:25-27. 1. Joseph of Arimathea, Matt 27:57, Ps 57:59, a wealthy citizen, probably residing in the vicinity of Jerusalem, a member of the Sanhedrin, and a man of eminent wisdom and piety. Mark 15:43; Luke 23:51. He was a disciple of Christ, though he did not appear openly as such. John 19:38. It is said that the Jews, as a mark of ignominy, did not allow the bodies of those executed as malefactors to be deposited in the tombs of their fathers except tne flesh had been previously consumed. It may have been to prevent this use of the body of Christ that Joseph so early asked leave to remove it and place it in his own tomb. 1. A disciple called Barsabas, one of the candidates for Judas's place in the college of the apostles. Acts 1:23.

joseph in Fausset's Bible Dictionary

The older of Jacob's two sons by Rachel. Having been long barren, she said at his birth "God hath taken away (asaph ) my reproach"; "the Lord (I regard this son as the earnest that He) will add (yaacaph ) to me another son," a hope fulfilled afterward in Benjamin's birth. Seventeen years old when sold into Egypt (Jacob being 108, and Isaac living 12 years afterward), 30 when made governor (Genesis 30:23,24; 37:2; 41:46), 39 before Jacob came into Egypt; so born 1906 B. C. He is called" son of Jacob's old age," as the comfort of his father's declining years, when his elder brothers by misconduct grieved their father, and Benjamin as yet was too young to minister to him. While Jacob was with the aged Isaac at Hebron his sons were tending flocks. Joseph reported their evil doings to Jacob, early manifesting moral courage and right principle under temptation (Exodus 23:2). Jacob marked his love to Joseph by giving him a "coat of many colors" (ketonet pacim ), the distinctive mark of kings' daughters who werevirgins (2 Samuel 13:18), strictly a long "tunic reaching to the extremities" or ankles. These robes generally had a stripe round the skirts and sleeves. On the tomb of Chnumhotep at Benihassan, under the 12th dynasty, the Semitic visitors are represented in colored robes, of pieces sewn together. Jacob probably designed hereby to give Joseph, the firstborn of Rachel who, but for Laban's trick, was his rightful first wife as she was his dearest,the primogeniture forfeited by Reuben (1 Chronicles 5:1; Genesis 35:22; 49:4). The Arab chief to this day wears an aba or garment of different colored stripes as emblem of office. The more his father loved the more his brethren hated him, and could not speak peaceably to him (Ecclesiastes 4:4; compare the Antitype John 1:11; 5:17-20; 7:5; 15:23-25). The preeminence given him by his earthly was confirmed by his heavenly Father in two successive dreams. In his simplicity, possibly with some degree of elation, but certainly with the divine approval (for the revelation was given to be made known, Matthew 10:27), he told the dreams to his brethren, which only aggravated their hatred: the first, their sheaves bowing to his sheaf (pointing to his coming office of lord of the Egyptian granaries); the second, the sun, moon, and 11 stars bowing to him (these heavenly bodies symbolizing authorities subject to his chief rule; compare the coming eclipse of the natural luminaries and earthly potentates before the Antitype, Matthew 24:29,30; Revelation 6:12). In the Antitype the Old Testament prophecies answer to Joseph's dreams; the Jewish rulers rejected Him, though knowing, yet practically knowing not, the prophecies concerning Him (Acts 13:27). Leah or else Bilhah, Rachel's handmaid, answers to the "moon," "thy mother," as Jacob to the "sun," and the 11 stars to the 11 brothers (Genesis 37:6-10). He told his second dream to his father as well as to his brethren, because it affected not merely them but Jacob and his mother also. His father at first was displeased with what seemed at variance with a son's submission to his parent. But, like Mary in the case of the Antitype, he "observed the saying"(Luke 2:19,51). Unbelief, along with a secret misgiving that it might prove true after all, and bitter envy, wrought upon the brothers. So upon their father sending Joseph from the vale of Hebron in the S. to Shechem in the N. to inquire after their welfare and the flocks, when they saw him afar off at Dothan, they conspired to slay him, saying "we shall see what will become of his dreams." So as to the Antitype, Matthew 21:38; 27:1. Stephen andthe apostles evidently contemplated Joseph as type of Jesus (Acts 7:9-14; 3:13-18). Jacob's special love shadows God's love to His Only Begotten (Matthew 3:17). Joseph's readiness at his father's calls answers to the good Shepherd, the Son of God's volunteering to come securing our eternal welfare at the cost of His life (Psalm 40:6,7; John 10:11). Providence turned aside their first plan. Reuben persuades them to avoid the guilt of blood by casting him into a dry pit or cistern, intending to return and deliver him. In his absence (the narrative with the artlessness of truth never explains why Reuben was absent at the crisis; a forger would have carefully made all plain) they strip off his coat of many colors (type of the human body with its manifold perfections which the Father "prepared" the Son, and which His unnatural brethren stripped Him of: Hebrews 10:5; Philippians 2:6-8); and while he was in the pit "eat bread"(Proverbs 30:20; compare John 18:28; Zechariah 9:11). Ishmaelite or Midianite merchants from Gilead, with spicery, balm, and myrrh (gum ladanum), for Egypt, the land of embalming the dead (Genesis 50:2,3), passed by; and Judah, type of Judas, proposes the new plan of selling their brother for 20 pieces of silver (Leviticus 27:5) to the strangers (compare Matthew 20:19; Luke 18:32; 20:20, the Jews delivering Jesus to the Gentile Romans). Thus, they thought they had foiled forever the prediction of his elevation, but this was the very means of realizing it, by God's overruling and matchless counsels. Compare the Antitype (Acts 4:25-28; Isaiah 28:29; Proverbs 19:21). Joseph's anguish of soul is noticed incidentally in the brothers'self reproach (Genesis 42:21). Affection for his father is a trait characterizing him throughout, even as the father loved him, so that at his supposed loss through a wild beast (his sons having sent him Joseph's tunic dipped in blood) Jacob refused to be comforted. Severance from his father was the bitterest ingredient in his cup of slavery. So the Antitype, Matthew 27:46. His chief inquiries long afterward were about his father (Genesis 43:7; 45:13,28; 41:51), and the remembrance of "his father" was with him the strongest plea after Jacob's death, that the brothers thought they could urge for their being forgiven (50:16,17). Reuben with characteristic instability forbore to tell his father the truth, while he had not consented to their deed. Jacob's cry, "I will go down into sheol unto my son," implies his belief in a future state, for he thought his son devoured by wild beasts, therefore not in the "grave."The Midianites sold Joseph to Potiphar (= one devoted to the royal house; phar), an eunuch, i.e. court attendant, of Pharaoh, chief of the executioners (Hebrew, or commander of the body guard), the superintendence of executions belonging to the chiefs of the military caste. Potiphar controlled the king's prison (Genesis 39:20), which was in "the house of the captain of the guard" (Potiphar's successor according to some, but see POTIPHAR ), where also Joseph was prisoner (Genesis 40:3). Joseph at first "prospered" as Potiphar's steward ("Jehovah making all that he did to prosper in his hand"), supervising his gardens, lands, fisheries, and cattle. Farming in Egypt was carried on with the utmost system, as the Egyptian monuments attest; the stewards registering all the operations, to check the notorious dishonesty of the workmen. Joseph's knowledge of flocks qualified him in some degree for the post, and his integrity made him trustworthy in it, so that his master felt he could safely entrust to his charge his household and all that he had, and "the Lord blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake" (as in Jacob's case, Genesis 30:27): Psalm signs both Joseph and Nicodemus witnessed at Jesus'crucifixion, and His own divine bearing throughout, changed cowards into brave disciples. God had foretold ages ago (Isaiah 53:9), "they (His enemies) appointed (designed) His grave with the wicked (by crucifying Him between two thieves), but He was with a rich man at His death,"i.e. when He was dead. Up to the end this prophecy seemed most unlikely to be fulfilled; but when God's time had come, at the exact crisis came forward two men, the last one would expect, both rich and members of the hostile body of rulers. The same event which crushed the hopes and raised the fears of the avowed disciples inspired Joseph with a boldness which he never felt before. All four evangelists record his deed. He had the privilege of taking down from the cross the sacred body, wrapping in fine linen which he had bought, and adding spices with Nicodemus' help, and consigning to his own newly hewn rock tomb wherein no corpse had ever lain, and in his own garden near Calvary, and then rolling the stone to the door of the sepulchre. Tradition represents Joseph as sent to Great Britain by the apostle Philip (A.D. 63), and as having settled with a band of disciples at Glastonbury, Somersetshire.