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The Joseph Theory

Chapter 2:   Joseph, Son of Light

"Joseph tells us that he is the author of Genesis."

The story begins with Joseph.
Everything begins with Joseph.
Joseph wrote Genesis.
Joseph wrote Genesis in a particular way.
In the end... Joseph's secrets lie in the "treasure cities" of Egypt...
      the ones that the Israelites built.
In the end... we will find the untold story of God.

Joseph was not just a prophet who dreamed dreams...
he was a prophet who interpreted dreams.

37:5 --   "And Joseph dreamed a dream"
37:9 --   "And he dreamed yet another dream."
37:19 --   "... behold, this dreamer cometh"
40:8 --   "And Joseph said unto them, 'Do not interpretations belong to God? tell me then, I pray you.' And the chief butler told his dream to Joseph."
40:22 --   "But he hanged the chief baker, as Joseph had interpreted to them."
41:13 --   "And it came to pass, as he interpreted to us, so it was; me, he restored unto mine office, and him he hanged."
41:16 --   "And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying 'It is not in me; God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace."

And... not only did he dream dreams, and interpret dreams... he was such an able administrator... and so trustworthy... that time after time... he was set in charge of the management and the security of everything.

39:3 --   "And his master (Potiphar, captain of the king's guard, who had bought Joseph from the Midianite caravan) saw that the Lord was with him, and the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand. And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put in his hand."

39:22 --   "And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it. The keeper of the prison looked not to anything that was under his hand; because the Lord was with him, and that which he did, the Lord made it to prosper."

41:37 --   "And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants. And Pharaoh said unto his servants, 'Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is? And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, 'Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art: Thou shall be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled; only in the throne will I be greater than thou. And Pharaoh said to Joseph, 'See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt."

Joseph was a man of extreme brilliance and honor. Not even his heritage as a Hebrew kept him from being named to the highest administrative level in the whole of Egypt...
nor kept him from being married to the daughter of a priest of Egypt.

43:32 --   "because the Egyptians might not eat bread with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians."

46:34 --   "...for every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians."

41:45 --   "And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnathpaaneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath, the daughter of Potipherah, priest of On."

45:8 -- Joseph said, "... he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all of Egypt."

It is tempting to say here that it would fit better if Joseph had said that he had been made son of Pharaoh. After all, Joseph was a lone man whose own family had sold him into slavery. He no longer had a home. If he was thirty years old, it would not fit to be a grown person's father.

To marry the daughter of a priest... to marry into the royalty of Egypt... when Hebrews could not even sit at the same table as Egyptians... also suggests that he might well have been adopted by the king... making him legally an Egyptian. But, be it as it may... the text says "father."

In a manner of speaking, Joseph conquered the known world with the power of Egypt's grain. He had bought it.

41:54, 56, 57 -- "And the seven years of dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said; and the dearth was in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread."
"And the famine was over all the face of the earth."
"And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands."

47:13-26 -- "And there was no bread in all the land; for the famine was very sore, so that the land of Egypt and all the land of Canaan fainted by reason of the famine."

47:20 -- "And Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh; for the Egyptians sold every man his field, because the famine prevailed over them: so the land became Pharaoh's."

Once the drought began, the world sought out Egypt. It does not appear as though it was sold to the caravans, or Jacob surely would have had his grain.

            The world was compelled to go to Joseph... and bargain.

Under Joseph's personal administration of this grain, Egypt bargained well... and became rich. When people had no more to give... no gold... no herds... no land... they offered themselves into servitude. Joseph gave them the grain they needed for their lives, and his manner of repayment was fair and workable... a fifth of all that was yielded... which thereafter became a standard. The people were grateful to Joseph.

And surely... Joseph bargained for more than gold, land, and servitude. The clever manipulation of the circumstances with his brothers when they came to Egypt for grain Genesis 42-44 describes a man who used even under-handed methods to achieve a desired end. If he had desired, he could well have enlisted the favors of nations and kings in exchange for Egypt's grain. He had the power to determine the course of history.

We can know that Joseph wrote Genesis because he tells us.
He includes details... private details... of events that only he (or few others) would know... including a private conversation with his father, Jacob. These are non-essential details that might only be written by the person himself... rather than disclosed by the hand of another.

42:24 -- "And he turned himself about from them, and wept; and returned to them again, and communed with them, and took from them Simeon, and bound him before their eyes."

43:30 -- "And Joseph made haste; for his bowels did yearn upon his brother: and he sought where to weep, and he entered into his chamber, and wept there. And he washed his face, and went out, and refrained himself, and said, 'Set on bread.'"

39:6 --"And he left all that he had in Joseph's hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat."

37:2 -- "And Joseph brought unto his father their evil report."

37:15 -- "And a certain man found him, and behold, he was wandering in the field: and the man asked him, saying, 'What seekest thou?' And Joseph said, 'I seek my brothers; tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks?'"

50:17 -- "And Joseph wept when they spake to him."

45:2 -- "And he wept aloud; and the Egyptians and the whole house of Pharaoh heard."

Genesis only provides bits and pieces of the stories of characters... until we get to the story of Jacob. Then... the stories immediately become expanded with detail. For both Jacob and Joseph we are given information that only they would personally know.

Another assurance that Joseph is the author of Genesis... is that...
he would have never left the preservation of the legacy of Abraham...
of his beloved father, Jacob...
of the entire line of this family's history...
to happenstance.

He had the ability to seek it out, to document it, and to preserve it...
so it could not and would not... have been left undone.

But more than Abraham's legacy... Genesis is the story of God.

Joseph wrote these stories...
and he wrote them in a particular way...
and Jacob helped him.

Chapter 3:   Writing Genesis

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