Joseph and the Beautiful Coat
Joseph was one of twelve sons. His father was Jacob. They lived in the land of Canaan. Jacob was very fond of his son Joseph. Benjamin, the youngest brother looked up to Joseph, but his older brothers disliked him for bragging about the gifts his father gave him.
When Joseph was seventeen years old, Jacob gave him a coat made of many colors of cloth. It was a beautiful coat. Joseph's brothers became jealous and hated him. "Our father loves Joseph more than he loves us," they grumbled. "Look at that coat. It is finer than any of our coats."
One night Joseph had a dream. When he told his brothers about the dream the next day, they hated him even more. In his dream all the brothers had been cutting wheat in the fields and each one bound what he had cut into a bundle. Then Joseph's sheaf of wheat stood up and all the others bowed down to it.
A few nights later Joseph dreamed again. Once more he told his brothers what he had dreamed. This time he saw the sun and the moon and eleven stars bowing down to him. And then even his father was angry. "What is this?" Jacob said. "Am I and your mother and your brothers all to kneel before you?"
Later all the brothers except Joseph and Benjamin went out to look after sheep. When they had been away several days, Jacob sent out Joseph to see them and to find out how they were getting along.
As his brothers saw him coming toward them, but still a long way off, they decided that they would kill him. The brothers took Joseph's coat from him and then threw him into a hole. Then they noticed an Ishmaelite camel train on its way to Egypt with all kinds of spices to sell there. One of the brothers, Judah, had a plan. He suggested that they sell Joseph to the Ishmaelites to be sold again as a slave in Egypt.
The brothers took Joseph's coat and tore it. Then they dipped it in the blood of a goat they had killed. They sent this blood-stained coat back to Jacob. When Jacob saw the coat he was terribly upset. He believed that a wild animal had killed his favorite son.
Joseph the Slave
When the merchants reached Egypt, they took Joseph to the slave market. Captain Potiphar, who was the head of the palace guard, found Joseph in the slave market. He liked Joseph the minute he saw him. Potiphar paid the price the traders asked for Joseph.
Joseph's life was different now. Once he had been the favorite son of a Hebrew chief. Now he was only a slave! Joseph, the country boy, was in Egypt, living in a big house full of servants in a city of big houses. At first he was angry and thought how wicked his brothers had been. But after a while he remembered the stories he had told and how boastful he had been. He asked God to forgive him and help him to be brave. Through all his troubles Joseph remembered to pray to God as his father had taught him.
Joseph worked hard for Potiphar. As the years passed his master trusted him more and more. Joseph was careful and faithful. When he finished a job it was well done.
When he was old enough, Potiphar made Joseph head of all the servants in the house. Then Captain Potiphar made Joseph head of the work that was done outside the house in the fields. At last Joseph was promoted to be superintendent of all of Potiphar's business.
Then something terrible happened. Potiphar's wife told her husband lies about Joseph. Potiphar believed all his wife said and threw Joseph into prison. But Joseph knew he had done nothing wrong and prayed that God would help him.