Lesson 35: Joseph Sold to the Ishmaelites
Joseph's brothers often travelled many miles away from home taking care of the flocks. One day Jacob sent Joseph out to the fields to find out how his brothers were getting along. When Joseph's brothers saw him coming they planned to kill him. The oldest brother, Reuben, did not want to kill Joseph. Reuben wanted them to put Joseph in a pit, then he planned to save him by getting him out later.
While Reuben was away, some travellers passed by. The travellers were Ishmaelites on their way to the land of Egypt. The brothers agreed to sell Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. (Genesis 37:26-29)
When Reuben came back, he learned that the other brothers had sold Joseph for twenty pieces of silver. This made Reuben very sad. The wicked brothers took Joseph's coat, his coat of many colors, and dipped it into the blood of an animal. Then they took the coat home to Jacob. Jacob knew that the coat was Joseph's, and Jacob thought that the wild animal had killed Joseph. Jacob was very sad and wept for his son, Joseph. The brothers tried to comfort Jacob (make him feel better), but they could not. Jacob said that he would always be sorrowful for his son Joseph. The brothers did not tell their father, Jacob, the truth about Joseph, that he had been sold to the Ishmaelites. Jacob thought Joseph was dead.
The Ishmaelites took Joseph down to Egypt and there they sold him to Potiphar. Potiphar was a captain of Pharaoh's guard. Potiphar put Joseph to work for him. Soon Potiphar saw that Joseph was a very good worker and an honest man. Potiphar knew, too, that God was with Joseph and blessed whatever Joseph did. Potiphar soon gave Joseph charge over all his house and trusted him with all that he had.
Joseph was getting along very nicely in Egypt when Potiphar's wife made trouble for Joseph. She told Potiphar lies about Joseph, and Potiphar sent Joseph to prison. Poor Joseph! He had suffered for the wrong doing of his brothers and now he had to suffer again because of Potiphar's wife. But Joseph had learned to be patient and wait for God to help him.
- Why did Jacob send Joseph out to the fields?
- What did the wicked brothers plan to do with Joseph?
- What brother wanted to save Joseph?
- How much did they sell Joseph for?
- What did the brothers do with Joseph's coat?
- Could the brothers comfort Jacob?
- Who did the Ishmaelites sell Joseph to?
- Who was Potiphar?
- Did Potiphar trust Joseph?
- Why was Joseph sent to prison?