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7. Joseph

My notes for teaching the Old Testament, by Mama Brenda.

Leader’s notes: Lesson 7 - Joseph Genesis 37:39 to end of chapter 50.

This lesson concludes Genesis and leads into Exodus.

Open books and give out notes at the beginning. Work through page 22 as a class, getting the story out as we have in previous lessons.

Emphasise the headings that are printed in bold.

Tell the story of 42:24-50:26.

Use my nine main points with some detail. See the nine references opposite.

Student's worksheet: Lesson 7 - Joseph Genesis 37:39-50

Joseph was the 11th son of Jacob - the second youngest - the first child of Jacob’s beloved wife Rachel.

Genesis 37:1-4

37:5-11 Describe the dreams

37:12-36, 39:1

Genesis 39:2-6 Joseph’s obedience to God showed

Does your obedience to God show? Discuss.

Genesis 39:7-9, 10-20




Genesis 41:1-24 Again Joseph gave credit to God, verse 16

Describe the dreams



Joseph knew that God had helped him to put the sorrows of his lost family and their actions behind him, and he knew that God had worked things out in the present. He was useful and he had two sons - the Hebrew Ephraim sounds like the words meaning twice fruitful.

Genesis 42:1-24









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Leader's notes: Lesson 7 - Joseph

The number and names of the tribes of Israel always seemed to change - so this is a summary in case it confuses you like it easily confuses me! We will be meeting the tribes of Israel later in Exodus, Numbers and Joshua.

Student's worksheet: Lesson 7 - Joseph

Exodus 1:1-8 more than 400 years later.

Compare this with what God had told Abraham in Genesis 15:13.

In lesson 2 we said that the book of Genesis shows us the story of the development of the nation God called to be His people. God is choosing His line, His chosen people.



Isaac - the son of promise


Jacob, later called Israel - not the elder son, Esau


Joseph - one of the 12 sons of Jacob (Israel).

These 12 sons become the names of, the ancestors of, the 12 Tribes of Israel.

But……….just to explain the differences in the lists of names in various parts of the Old Testament………

1. From lesson 5: “During this time Reuben slept with his father’s concubine, Bilhah, and Israel heard of it.” Remember this little fact for another time! Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn, had the right to his father's concubines, but only after his father had died. Here he arrogantly takes what should in future become his.

2. Genesis 48:10-20 Jacob (Israel) blesses Joseph’s sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. He gives the greater blessing to the younger, Ephraim, bypassing the firstborn Manasseh. Just as he himself was the second born but the one God worked through.

3. Genesis 49:1-4 Jacob (Israel) is dying - he blesses his sons, starting with Reuben, the firstborn, “who will no longer excel” verse 4. We need some help from a later historian in the Bible to understand the meaning of this. 1 Chronicles 5:1-2 “The sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel (he was the firstborn, but when he defiled his father's marriage bed, his rights as firstborn were given to the sons of Joseph son of Israel)”.

4. Reuben loses his birthright, his inheritance, but when Israel (the people) take the

Promised Land, and land is allocated to the different tribes, Reuben’s tribe is included

again. The descendants of Reuben were still part of God’s chosen people and needed land to live on. Levi is not included because the tribe of Levi were the priests and they had homes and pasture lands in and around the cities, but no other land allocation.

Joseph’s share is shared between his two sons.

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Leader's notes: Lesson 7 - Joseph

The three sections at the end make us all think hard - but this may be especially so for some ladies who have lived through the frequent turmoil in Sudan and then in South Sudan since its independence.

Walk carefully – this teaching may produce decisions to forgive, of anger, or laying foundations for future decisions.

Student's worksheet: Lesson 7 - Joseph

Have a look at Genesis 41:50-52. What is Joseph saying here - use your own words?

What was the ‘trouble’ he spoke of?

How had he got through it?

(The first two headings on page 22, in heavier type, may help you.)

Now look at Genesis 50:15-21. What has Joseph learned?

Express in your own words how he now responds to those who caused the ‘problem’.

Can you echo Joseph’s thoughts and actions? You may have huge ‘trouble’ in your life - so did Joseph - there is a way through it and there is also God’s way through it - Joseph went God’s way - can you?

Please read Exodus 1:1-4:17; 12:1-42; 13:17-15:21 for next time.

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