Joseph Overseer of the Pharaoh's Granaries (1874) by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema
Born2170 AM (c. 1590 BC)
Resting placeJoseph's Tomb, Nablus, West Bank
32°12′47″N 35°16′58″E / 32.2130268°N 35.2829153°E / 32.2130268; 35.2829153
Other namesZaphnath-Paaneah (צָפְנַת פַּעְנֵחַ)

Joseph (/ˈzəf, -səf/; Hebrew: יוֹסֵף, romanizedYōsēp̄, lit.'He shall add')[2][a] is an important Hebrew figure in the Bible's Book of Genesis and in the Quran. He was the first of the two sons of Jacob and Rachel (Jacob's twelfth named child and eleventh son). He is the founder of the Tribe of Joseph among the Israelites. His story functions as an explanation for Israel's residence in Egypt. He is the favourite son of the patriarch Jacob, and his jealous brothers sell him into slavery in Biblical Egypt, where he eventually ends up incarcerated. After correctly interpreting the dreams of Pharaoh, however, he rises to second-in-command in Egypt and saves Egypt during a famine. Jacob's family travels to Egypt to escape the famine, and it is through him that they are given leave to settle in the Land of Goshen (the eastern part of the Nile Delta).

Scholars hold different opinions about the historical background of the Joseph story, as well as the date and development of its composition.[6] Thomas Römer argues that "The date of the original narrative can be the late Persian period, and while there are several passages that fit better into a Greek, Ptolemaic context, most of these passages belong to later revisions."[7]

In Jewish tradition, he is the ancestor of a second Messiah called "Mashiach ben Yosef", who will wage war against the forces of evil alongside Mashiach ben David and die in combat with the enemies of God and Israel.[8]


The Bible offers two explanations of the name Yosēf: first, it is compared to the triliteral א־ס־ף (ʾ-s-p), meaning "to gather, remove, take away":[9] "And she conceived, and bore a son; and said, God hath taken away my reproach" (Genesis 30:23);[10] Yosēf is then identified with the similar root יסף (y-s-p), meaning "to add":[11] "And she called his name Joseph; and said, The LORD shall add to me another son." (Genesis 30:24).[12][13]

Biblical narrative

Birth and family

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, who gave him a "long coat of many colors".[b] When Joseph was seventeen years old, he shared with his brothers two dreams he had: 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) and made the brothers plot his demise.

Plot against Joseph

See also: Jacob in Hebron

Joseph's Bloody Coat Brought to Jacob by Diego Velázquez, 1630

In Genesis 37, Vayeshev, Joseph's half-brothers were jealous of him. Most of them plotted to kill him in Dothan, except Reuben,[14][15] who suggested they throw Joseph into an empty cistern; he intended to rescue Joseph himself later. Unaware of this plan to rescue Joseph, the others agreed with Reuben.[c] Upon imprisoning Joseph, the brothers saw a camel caravan carrying spices and perfumes to Egypt, and sold Joseph to these merchants.[d] The guilty brothers painted goat's blood on Joseph's coat and showed it to Jacob, who therefore believed Joseph had died.

Potiphar's house

In Genesis 39, Vayeshev, Joseph was sold to Potiphar, the captain of Pharaoh's guard. Later, Joseph became Potiphar's servant, and subsequently his household's superintendent. Here, Potiphar's wife (later called Zulaykha) tried to seduce Joseph, which he refused. Angered by his running away from her, she made a false accusation of rape so he would be imprisoned.[e]

Joseph in prison

Joseph in prison, by Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, 17th century

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. Both men had dreams, and Joseph, being able to interpret dreams, asked to hear them. 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 Pharaoh'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 hanged 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 surplus grain.

Vizier of Egypt

The triumph of Joseph (1657), Toulouse Cathedral

Following the prediction, Joseph became Vizier, under the name of Zaphnath-Paaneah (Hebrew: צָפְנַת פַּעְנֵחַ Ṣāp̄naṯ Paʿnēaḥ),[f][16] and was given Asenath, the daughter of Potipherah, priest of On,[g] 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 and later themselves (as slaves) 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).

Brothers sent to Egypt

See also: Seven-year famine

Joseph gave orders to his servants to fill their sacks with wheat: illuminated Bible by Raphaël de Mercatelli, Ghent, late 15th century.

In the second year of famine,[17] 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.[18] 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.[h] 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 silver cup

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 deprived of successive sons: Joseph, Simeon, and (prospectively) Benjamin. 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).

Joseph's cup found in Benjamin's sack, illustration by Philip De Vere

Upon their return to Egypt, the steward of Joseph's house received the brothers. 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 to confiscate their possessions. So they immediately informed the steward of what had transpired. 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, thus 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 had brought was double what they had offered on the first trip. Deceptively, Joseph also ordered the steward to put his silver cup 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 to 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 that he himself be kept in Benjamin's place as a slave (Genesis 44).

Family reunited

See also: Jacob in Egypt

Joseph recognized by his brothers, 1863 painting by Léon Pierre Urbain Bourgeois

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[19] 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.[i] 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,[20] 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.

Father's blessing and passing

Main article: Blessing of Jacob

Joseph weeps.

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:

Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall. The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him: But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob (From thence is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel), Even by the God of your father who shall help thee; and by the Almighty who shall bless thee With blessings of heaven above, Blessings of the deep that lieth under, Blessings of the breasts and of the womb. The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills. They shall be on the head of Joseph, And on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.

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's burial

Burying the Body of Joseph (illustration from the 1890 Holman Bible)

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.

Composition and literary motifs

See also: Tale of Two Brothers

Joseph interprets the dream of Pharaoh in a 19th-century painting by Jean-Adrien Guignet.

In 1970, Donald B. Redford argued that the composition of the story could be dated to the period between the 7th century BCE and the third quarter of the 5th century BCE.[21] By the early 1990s, a majority of modern scholars agreed that the Joseph story was a Wisdom novella constructed by a single author and that it reached its current form in the 5th century BCE at the earliest—with Soggin suggesting the possibility of a first or early second century BCE date.[22] Some scholars argue that the core of the story could be traced back to a 2nd millennium BCE context.[23][24] Thomas Römer argues that “The date of the original narrative can be the late Persian period, and while there are several passages that fit better into a Greek, Ptolemaic context, most of these passages belong to later revisions.”[7]

The motif of dreams/dream interpretation contributes to a strong story-like narrative.[25][26] The plot begins by showing Joseph 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.[27] 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).

Jewish tradition

Selling Joseph

See also: Vayeshev, Miketz, Vayigash, and Vayechi

Children of Jacob sell their brother Joseph, by Konstantin Flavitsky, 1855.

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.[28] Maimonides comments that even the villager in Shechem, about whom Joseph inquired his brother's whereabouts, was a "divine messenger" working behind the scene.[29]

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)

Potiphar's wife

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.[30] However, punishment could not have been avoided because of her class status and limited public knowledge of her scheme.

According to Legends 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.[31]

Silver cup for divination

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[32] and as Joseph himself claimed in Genesis 44:15.[33]

Raising Joseph

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.

Christian tradition

Mosaic depicting Joseph in the Cathedral of Evangelismos

Joseph is mentioned in the New Testament as an example of faith (Hebrews 11:22). 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.[34] This tendency is represented in John Chrysostom who said that Joseph's suffering was "a type of things to come",[35] Caesarius of Arles who interpreted Joseph's famous coat as representative of the diverse nations who would follow Christ,[36] Ambrose of Milan who interpreted the standing sheaf as prefiguring the resurrection of Christ,[37] 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,[38] writes "in the person of Joseph, a lively image of Christ is presented."[39]

In addition, some Christian authors have argued that this typological interpretation finds its origin in the speech of 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.[40]

Gregory of Tours claimed that Joseph built the pyramids and they were used as granaries.[41]

Islamic tradition

Main article: Joseph in Islam

Persian miniature depicting Joseph with his father Jacob and brothers in Egypt from Zubdat-al Tawarikh in the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum in Istanbul, dedicated to Sultan Murad III in 1583

Joseph (Arabic: يوسُف, Yūsuf) is regarded by the Quran as a prophet (Quran 6:84), and a whole chapter Surah Yusuf 12 is devoted to him, the only instance in the Quran in which an entire chapter is devoted to a complete story of a person. It is described in the Quran as the 'best of stories'.[42] 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."[43] The story has a lot in common with the biblical narrative, but with certain differences.[44] In the Quran the brothers ask Jacob ("Yaqub") to let Joseph go with them.[45] Joseph is thrown into a well, and was taken as a slave by a passing caravan. When the brothers claimed to the father that a wolf had eaten Joseph, he observed patience.[46]

In the Bible, Joseph discloses himself to his brethren before they return to their father the second time after buying grain.[47] But in Islam they returned leaving behind Benjamin because the King’s measuring cup was found in his bag.[48] Similarly, the eldest son of Jacob had decided not to leave the land because of the oath taken to protect Benjamin beforehand.[49] When Jacob learned their story after their return, he cried in grief for so long that he lost his eyesight because of sorrow.[50] He thus charged his sons to go and inquire about Joseph and his brother and despair not of God's mercy. It was during this return to Egypt that Joseph disclosed his real identity to his brothers. He admonished and forgave them, he sent also his garment which healed the patriarch's eyes as soon as it was cast unto his face.[51] The remaining verses describe the migration of Jacob's family to Egypt and the emotional meeting of Jacob and his long lost son, Joseph. The family prostrated before him hence the fulfilment of his dream aforetime.[52]

The story concludes by Joseph praying,

“My Lord! You have surely granted me authority and taught me the interpretation of dreams. ˹O˺ Originator of the heavens and the earth! You are my Guardian in this world and the Hereafter. Allow me to die as one who submits and join me with the righteous.”

Baha'i tradition

There are numerous mentions of Joseph in Bahá'í writings.[53] 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.[54]

Literature and culture

See also



  1. ^ Standard: Yōsef, Tiberian: Yōsēp̄; alternatively: יְהוֹסֵף,[3][4] lit. 'Yahweh shall add'; Standard: Yəhōsef, Tiberian: Yŏhōsēp̄;[5] Arabic: يوسف, romanizedYūsuf; Ancient Greek: Ἰωσήφ, romanizedIōsēph
  2. ^ Another possible translation is "coat with long sleeves" (Jastrow 1903)
  3. ^ According to Josephus, Reuben tied a cord around Joseph and let him down gently into the pit. Josephus. Antiquities of the Jews. 2.3.2., Perseus Project AJ2.3.2, .
  4. ^ The Septuagint sets his price at twenty pieces of gold; the Testament of Gad thirty of gold; the Hebrew and Samaritan twenty of silver; the Vulgar Latin thirty of silver; Josephus at twenty pounds
  5. ^ Josephus claims that Potiphar fell for his wife's crocodile tears although he did not believe Joseph capable of the crime.Josephus. Antiquities of the Jews. 2.4.1., Perseus Project AJ2.4.1, .
  6. ^ Josephus refers to the name Zaphnath-Paaneah as Psothom Phanech meaning "the revealer of secrets" Josephus. Antiquities of the Jews. 2.6.1., Perseus Project AJ2.6.1, .
  7. ^ Josephus refers to Potipherah (or Petephres) as the priest of Heliopolis. Josephus. Antiquities of the Jews. 2.6.1., Perseus Project AJ2.6.1, .
  8. ^ William Whiston comments that Simeon was chosen as a pledge for the sons of Israel's return to Egypt because of all the brothers who hated Joseph the most, was Simeon, according to the Testament of Simeon and the Testament of Zebulun. Josephus. Antiquities of the Jews. 2.6.4., Perseus Project AJ2.6.4, . Note 1.
  9. ^ Josephus has Joseph meeting his father Jacob in Heliopolis, a store-city with Pithom and Raamses, all located in the Egyptian country of Goshen. Josephus. Antiquities of the Jews. 2.7.5., Perseus Project AJ2.7.5, .


  1. ^ Genesis 46:20
  2. ^ Gesenius & Robinson 1882, p. 391.
  3. ^ "Psalms 81:6". Sefaria.
  4. ^ "Strong's Hebrew Concordance - 3084". Bible Hub.
  5. ^ Khan, Geoffrey (2020). The Tiberian Pronunciation Tradition of Biblical Hebrew, Volume 1. Open Book Publishers. ISBN 978-1783746767.
  6. ^ Binder, Susanne (2011). "Joseph's Rewarding and Investiture (Genesis 41:41-43) and The Gold Of Honour In New Kingdom Egypt". In Bar, S.; Kahn, D.; Shirley, J. J. (eds.). Egypt, Canaan and Israel: History, Imperialism, Ideology and Literature: Proceedings of a Conference at the University of Haifa, 3-7 May 2009. BRILL. pp. 52–53. ISBN 978-90-04-19493-9.
  7. ^ a b T. Römer, “How “Persian” or “Hellenistic” is the Joseph Narrative?”, in T. Römer, K. Schmid et A. Bühler (ed.), The Joseph Story Between Egypt and Israel (Archaeology and Bible 5), Tübinngen: Mohr Siebeck, 2021, pp. 35-53
  8. ^ Blidstein, Gerald J. (2007). Skolnik, Fred; Berenbaum, Michael; Thomson Gale (Firm) (eds.). Encyclopaedia Judaica. Vol. 14. pp. 112–113. ISBN 978-0-02-866097-4. OCLC 123527471. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  9. ^ "Strong's Hebrew Concordance - 622. asaph". Bible Hub.
  10. ^ "Genesis 30:23". Bible Hub.
  11. ^ "Strong's Hebrew Concordance - 3254. yasaph". Bible Hub.
  12. ^ "Genesis 30:24". Bible Hub.
  13. ^ Friedman, R.E., The Bible With Sources Revealed, (2003), p. 80
  14. ^ Genesis 37:21–22
  15. ^ Josephus. Antiquities of the Jews. 2.3.1., Perseus Project AJ2.3.1, .
  16. ^ "Strong's Hebrew: 6847. צָפְנַת (Tsaphenath Paneach) -- "the god speaks and he lives," Joseph's Eg. name".
  17. ^ Genesis 45:11
  18. ^ Genesis 42:23
  19. ^ Genesis 46:27
  20. ^ Genesis 44:18
  21. ^ Redford 1970, p. 242: "several episodes in the narrative, and the plot motifs themselves, find some parallel in Saite, Persian, or Ptolemaic Egypt. It is the sheer weight of evidence, and not the argument from silence, that leads to the conclusion that the seventh century B.C. is the terminus a quo for the Egyptian background to the Joseph Story. If we assign the third quarter of the fifth century B.C.E. as the terminus ante quem, we are left with a span of two and one half centuries, comprising in terms of Egyptian history the Saite and early Persian periods."
  22. ^ Soggin 1993, pp. 102–103, 336, 343–344.
  23. ^ Binder 2011, p. 60.
  24. ^ Shupak 2020, p. 352.
  25. ^ Kugel 1990, p. 13.
  26. ^ Redford 1970, p. 69.
  27. ^ Lang 2009, p. 23.
  28. ^ Scharfstein 2008, p. 124.
  29. ^ Scharfstein 2008, p. 120.
  30. ^ Scharfstein 2008, pp. 125–126.
  31. ^ Ginzberg, Louis (1909). The Legends of the Jews. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society. pp. 44–52. 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.".
  32. ^ Genesis 44:15
  33. ^ Scharfstein 2008, pp. 138–139.
  34. ^ Smith, Kathryn (1993), "History, Typology and Homily: The Joseph Cycle in the Queen Mary Psalter", Gesta, 32 (2): 147–59, doi:10.2307/767172, ISSN 0016-920X, JSTOR 767172, S2CID 155781985
  35. ^ Chrysostom, John (1992), Homilies on Genesis, 46-47, trans. Robert C. Hill, Washington DC: Catholic University of America Press, p. 191
  36. ^ Sheridan, Mark (2002), Genesis 11-50, Downers Grove: InterVarsity, p. 231
  37. ^ Sheridan, Mark (2002), Genesis 11-50, Downers Grove: InterVarsity, p. 233
  38. ^ Blacketer, Raymond (2006), "The School of God: Pedagogy and Rhetoric in Calvin's Interpretation of Deuteronomy", Studies in Early Modern Religious Reforms, vol. 3, pp. 3–4
  39. ^ Calvin, John (1998), Commentaries on the First Book of Moses Called Genesis, vol. 2, Grand Rapids: Baker, p. 261
  40. ^ Lunn, Nicholas (March 2012), "Allusions to the Joseph Narrative in the Synoptic Gospels and Acts: Foundations of a Biblical Type" (PDF), Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society: 27–41, ISSN 0360-8808
  41. ^ A history of the Franks, Gregory of Tours, Pantianos Classics, 1916
  42. ^ Quran 12:3
  43. ^ Tottoli 2002, p. 120.
  44. ^ Quran 12:1
  45. ^ Quran 12:12
  46. ^ Quran 12:15-18
  47. ^ "JOSEPH -".
  48. ^ Quran 12:72-76
  49. ^ Quran 12:80
  50. ^ Quran 12:84
  51. ^ Quran 12:87-96
  52. ^ Quran 12:100
  53. ^ Stokes, Jim. The Story of Joseph in the Babi and Baha'i Faiths in World Order, 29:2, pp. 25-42, 1997-98 Winter.
  54. ^ Naghdy 2012, p. 563.
  55. ^ "The Story of Joseph and His Brethren". IMDb.
  56. ^ "The Story of Jacob and Joseph". IMDb.
  57. ^ "The New Media Bible: Book of Genesis (Video 1979)". IMDb.


Further reading