Genesis 37: Jacob loves and favors Joseph, who is hated by his brothers—Joseph dreams that his parents and brothers make obeisance to him—His brothers sell him into Egypt.
Genesis 38: Judah has three sons by a Canaanite woman—Er and Onan are slain by the Lord—Tamar, disguised as a harlot, bears twins by Judah.
Genesis 39: Joseph, prospered by the Lord, becomes ruler of Potiphar’s house—He resists the advances of Potiphar’s wife, is falsely accused, and is cast into prison—The keeper of the prison commits the prison’s affairs into Joseph’s hands.
Genesis 40: Joseph interprets the dreams of Pharaoh’s chief butler and chief baker—The butler fails to tell Pharaoh about Joseph.
Genesis 41: Pharaoh dreams of the cattle and the ears of grain—Joseph interprets the dreams as seven years of plenty and seven of famine—He proposes a grain storage program—Pharaoh makes him ruler of all Egypt—Joseph marries Asenath—He gathers grain as the sand upon the seashore—Asenath bears Manasseh and Ephraim—Joseph sells grain to Egyptians and others during the famine.
Joseph is Sold Into Egypt (Week 11, Part 2/7) Genesis 37–41 | Mar 7 – Mar 13 – powered by Happy Scribe
So let’s actually listen to what goes on in the story in Genesis 37, where Joseph’s brothers, who have come to really hate him, decide to throw him in a cistern, basically a big underground pit and leave him there to die. They take mercy on him when their second or third cousins, the Ishmaelites, who are caravanners, come through with all the spices that they’ve gotten from Saudi Arabia on their way to Egypt. And the brothers get the bread idea like, well, let’s just sell them into slavery. We’ll make some money, and then they actually tear up this beautiful clothing that Joseph was wearing and dip it in blood and take it back to their father to convince Jacob that his beloved son Joseph had been killed by animals. Now, there’s a couple of interesting things here.
What I think is interesting is the price of selling their brother into slavery. 20 shekels of silver. In the New Testament, we have Jesus being sold or betrayed by Judas for 30 shekels of silver. Now, this was essentially the going rate for a slave in these societies. And what’s really sad about this is it was actually almost a proverbial phrase to say that something was worthless, to say it was worth 20 or 30 shekels.
We actually have in the ancient culture of the time of Joseph, lots of documents have been discovered where, again, people would say something that was trifling amount. It was of almost no worth. You’d say, yeah, it’s worth 20 or 30 shekels. And this just suggests what Joseph’s brothers thought about him at this point. They didn’t think he was worth a lot.
Now, what’s interesting is we all know how the story ends, that Joseph ends up being savior to hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions. How well, to give the story away, he goes into Egypt and he finds a way to serve so well that he becomes second in command in Egypt and convinces people to preserve their grain so that they can weather the famine that is coming. And we’ll get to that in future videos. What’s interesting is that somebody who was deemed worthless was of great value to so many. Now, I don’t know about you.
There have been times in my life I have felt really worthless for a variety of reasons, either because of stories I’ve told myself or stories other people have told. And I believe these things. And whether or not they’re true, I end up starting to think that maybe I’m not worth a whole lot to anybody. And yet God has put each one of us on this Earth right now. And we do value.
We matter to him. We have infinite worth. We have friends and others who care about us and we care about them. And even though there are moments in life we may not feel particularly valued, we can show love and care and concern to others and show that they are valued. And we can choose to remember that as children of God we are valued by Him and we do not need to live in a false narrative that we aren’t valued either by ourselves or by others.