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Joseph in Egypt

Is there any evidence to confirm the Bible’s account of Joseph in Egypt?

The story of the life of Joseph has been an inspiration to millions, but where is the evidence? According to the Bible, Joseph was a dreamer who was sold as a slave and taken to Egypt where he became a household slave of Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh.

One ancient Egyptian papyrus contains some information about Asiatic slaves that relates to Joseph’s experience. It contains at least 95 entries, including names, nationalities and jobs that these slaves carried out. The first thing that we note is that some of the names on this list are similar to those within the Bible, the second, is that the job descriptions given to these slaves can be compared to the story of Joseph. The title of one of the slaves is a ‘House Servant’ - the Bible begins with Joseph as a servant in Potiphar’s house then follows his advancement to become the ‘Overseer of his House,’ Genesis 39. This papyrus now in a Brooklyn museum, serves as a confirmation of the title and duties of Joseph!

The Bible then explains that pharaoh was troubled by dreams and it was Joseph’s ability to interpret these dreams that led to his promotion and the Bible is exactly right when it proposes that dreams and their interpretations were of the utmost importance to leaders in ancient Egypt.

Perhaps one of the most interesting pieces of the puzzle concerning the rise of Joseph to power is the exact detail that the Bible gives us concerning the process of becoming prime minister. Joseph is given the symbol of authority in Egypt – he receives a ring, the royal seal…he is then given garments of fine linen and a gold chain is placed around his neck. In Egypt, this exact process can be found in Egyptian history, as our ancient relief re-creation below shows.

As prime minister of Egypt, Joseph prepared the nation for seven years of plenty, followed by seven years of famine. Today we know that ancient Egypt was one of the very few peoples on earth at that time that had the administrative ability to do such a thing and the ruins of such store houses can be found in Egypt.

When Egyptologists first examined the Ramesseum in Thebes, they discovered all the way around the perimeter of the temple chambers which were used for agricultural surplus – the first explorers even called this Joseph’s storehouse. One text from around 3300 years ago reads that this temple is, “Supplied with every good thing, with granaries reaching the sky.” We now know that this temple dates, as the name suggests, to hundreds of years after Joseph, but it does show that Egypt not only had storehouses, but that they had the ability to hold vast amounts of surplus and distribute it as required – just as the Bible describes.

‘Israel in Egypt - The Exodus Mystery DVD’
Enter ancient Egypt and search for the evidence for the Bible's Exodus. Go.

‘The Exodus Evidence Book’
Experience a photographic search for the Bible’s Exodus. 100+ colour photos. Go.

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