In this 6th Grade lesson, we study Joseph of the Old Testament.
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Joseph Interpreting Dreams
by Antonio Balestra
Joseph was one of the twelve sons of Jacob, and together they formed what we call the Twelve Tribes of Israel. They were called the twelve tribes of Israel because Jacob’s name was changed to Israel. Joseph was the eleventh son, and his brothers always assumed that he was the most loved of them all. Joseph would not tolerate some of the bad things that the other brothers did. Jacob even gave Joseph a very special tunic (or coat) to wear that had many beautiful colors in it. This made the brothers very jealous.
Joseph often had dreams that had special meaning. One day, he had a dream that he and his brothers were out working in the field. All of the sudden, the sheaves that his brothers had began to bow down to the sheaf that Joseph had. Then he had another dream, and this time he saw the sun, moon, and eleven stars bowing down to him. His brothers thought he was arrogant to put himself in such a superior and important position above them.
Joseph taken to Egypt
One day, when they were watching their sheep in Canaan, the brothers decided to throw Joseph into a well and kill him. Reuben, the eldest , didn’t want Joseph to be killed, however. So he tried to convince the others to throw him in a dry well, so he could sneak back later and save Joseph. Another brother, Judah, suggested that they should sell him to some traveling merchants from Egypt. They sold him for twenty pieces of silver, and Joseph was taken away.
They wanted to trick their father into believing that Joseph was dead. They took Joseph’s fancy tunic and dipped it in goat blood. They took it to their father and reported that Joseph had been killed by a wild animal. Jacob (Israel) was overcome with grief at the loss of his son.
Joseph in Egypt
Joseph grew up into a very smart, handsome, and pleasant young man and was well liked. The master that he worked for liked him a lot. He put him in charge of everything he owned. This worked well for Joseph. Until one day, when he was wrongfully accused of trying to steal from the master. He was put in jail for a crime he didn’t commit.
The man in charge of the jail really liked Joseph and put him in charge of all of the prisoners. Since it was a royal prison, the people who were prisoners had done something to offend the king of Egypt. People like the baker, the cook, and the person who carried the king’s cup were all in jail.
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