Genesis 39-40 — Joseph, the original Miss Cleo

Friday, May 22, 2009

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Genesis 39-40 — Joseph, the original Miss Cleo

I’m going to combine two chapters in one here.

Joseph’s story continues. God loves Joseph so much, that after he allows him to be enslaved, he lets him be falsely imprisoned for a rape he didn’t commit.

Joseph becomes top dog among slaves and is trusted by his master Potiphar with everything except his wife. Well, Potiphar’s wife has the hots for Joseph, but he repeatedly refuses to sleep with her. So to get her revenge, one day she grabs Joseph’s robe and shows it to everyone as alleged proof that he came in and tried to rape her. Everyone takes her at her word, including her husband, so Joseph is falsely sent to prison.

But, don’t worry about Joseph. God is looking out for him, and the warden lets him be in charge of everything at the prison. Sure, God could have kept him out of prison, kept him from being falsely accused, or kept him from being a slave in the first place, but at least he lets him be head prisoner!

In Genesis 40, we find out that not only can Joseph dream, but he can reveal the meaning of other people’s dreams! (I kind of thought fortune-telling was frowned on in Christianity, but since Joseph is God’s main man at the time, I guess it’s okay.) Joseph correctly interprets two fellow prisoners’ dreams: in 3 days, the cupbearer will be restored to his old job, while the baker will be killed. Why these two are in prison, and whether it’s just or not, we’re not told. Maybe it’s because God loves them as much as he loves Joseph.

Joseph asks the cupbearer to put in a good word about him with the Pharaoh, to let Pharaoh know that he belongs with the Hebrews and doesn’t deserve to be in prison. 3 days later, the cupbearer is once again cupbearer, the baker gets butchered (while God just watches, we assume), but the cupbearer neglects to speak on behalf of good ole Joseph. Once again, God doesn’t seem to be looking out that much for poor  Joseph, here.

But fear not! As we’ll see in the next instalment (spoiler alert!) God will remember Joseph again two years later, when Joseph puts his Miss Cleo -esque powers of divination to use for Pharaoh to warn of more death that God causes or just sits and lets happen.

What moral or spiritual purpose is all this serving, anyway? I wish they had told me in Sunday School.

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