Sunday, March 15, 2009

Joseph, son of Jacob, is one of the best-known figures in the Torah, famous for his coat of many colors (although this may be a mistranslation of the Hebrew word for "stripes") and his God-given ability to interpret dreams. Due to jealousy, his brother Judah sold him into slavery for 20 pieces of silver. Eventually he worked under the Egyptian official Potiphar, but was freed and became the chief adviser (vizier) to the Egyptian Pharaoh, allegedly during either the Hyksos Era or, according to Kenneth Kitchen, the Middle Kingdom of Egypt.

The shrine called Joseph's Tomb in Nablus/Shechem is traditionally considered to be his tomb.

The eleventh son of Jacob and the elder of the two sons of Rachel was born at Haran.

The meaning given to the name (l.c.) is "shall add": "The Lord shall add to me another son." It seems probable, however, it has God as its first element, and is a contraction, the original form being "Jehoseph", while in Gen. xxx. 23 there is an allusion to the connection of "Joseph".

Upon Joseph centered the love of his father, Jacob, who showered upon "the son of his old age" many tokens of special favor, and arrayed him in a "coat of many colors". This favoritism, however, excited the envy of his older brothers, and Joseph increased their envy by telling them of two dreams which prognosticated his ruling over them (Gen. xxxvii. 2-11).

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