While I look at as Joseph as the Cousin Oliver of this section, I will say that he wasn’t a letch. Joseph was bought from the Ishmaelites by Potiphar, the captain of the Pharaoh’s guard. He was made the overseer of Potiphar’s house and God smiled on him. Potiphar had no concerns while Joseph was around, but that was about to change.
Potiphar’s wife (who is nameless) had eyes for Joseph and wanted him to lay with her. He refused because he was entrusted with all that is his master’s and he didn’t want to betray that trust. One day, however, while he was doing chores, she grabbed a hold of his garment and demanded that he lay with her. He ran off, leaving the garment behind. She yelled out that Joseph had attempted to lie with her and ran off when she yelled. She told this to Potiphar as well and he threw Joseph in the king’s slammer.
While in jail, Joseph endeared himself to the chief jailer, who allowed to him to care for all of the prisoners and the chief didn’t pay attention to Joseph because God was with him.
OK, so Joseph isn’t a bad guy here. He didn’t accept the advances of his master’s wife, and he seemed to care for the people in the jail. I think I can safely say that he is a Mary Sue.
One of the many issues I have with this book is that the authors refer to the leader of Egypt as Pharaoh. Pharaoh is not a name, it’s a title. This tells me that these are nothing more than stories rather than a history. If the authors were going for a concise history of the day, they would have given the name of the Pharaoh. Anyway, let’s get on with this chapter.
The Pharaoh’s chief cupbearer and baker were imprisoned for offending their master, and they were put in Joseph’s care. During that time, they dreamt weird dreams having a lot to do with the number three. Joseph, being able to interpret dreams, interpreted each of their dreams. It turns out that the Pharaoh would lift up the cupbearer’s head, figuratively, and he would be restored to his original post in three days. Joseph told the cupbearer to remember him. As far as baker goes, Pharaoh would lift his head up, literally, and hang him from a post.
As it turns out, Joseph was right. Pharaoh gave his cupbearer his job back, but he did not remember Joseph. The baker was hanged. I wonder what he did to offend Pharaoh?
Two years after the previous chapter, Pharaoh has a dream about seven fat cows being eaten by seven skinny cows and seven ears of plump grain being eaten by seven ears of blighted grain. None of the magicians of Egypt are able to interpret the completely obvious metaphors for seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine, but the cupbearer finally remembered Joseph after two freakin’ years and told Pharaoh that he could interpret those dreams. So Joseph was summoned.
Joseph explained the obvious meaning of the dreams, which is as I said above, a seven year boom time followed by a seven year bust. He also tells Pharaoh to select a man who is discerning and wise (hint, hint) to organize the effort to store food for the famine to come.
Obviously there is nobody in Egypt who knows warehouse management and logistics, so he appoints Joseph to do the job and makes him the second in command. Pharaoh blinged him out, gave him a chariot, and made everyone bow before him as he rode by. He also got a wife in Potiphera’s daughter. Joseph had two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim and he was put in charge of food rationing during the seven years of famine.
So Joseph found some success in Egypt. The authors just really made him a way-too-perfect character so far. He can interpret dreams, excels at resource management, and is a real people person. I’ll bet if he was around today. He would be an expert at the game, Sim City.