Genesis Week 9 – Joseph’s Slavery, God’s Promises

We are nearing the end! Thank you for reading Genesis with us! Here are the readings from last week (late post!):

Genesis 36 – 41
□ 36-37 Joseph’s Dreams and Slavery
□ 38 Judah and Tamar
□ 39 Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife
□ 40 Joseph in Prison
□ 41 Joseph Interprets Pharoah’s Dreams


Main Topic – Joseph’s Slavery, God’s Promises
While the story of Jacob introduced us to the twelve tribes of Israel, the story of Joseph shows how God preserved Israel outside of the promised land. The story of Joseph is the longest individual person’s story in the Old Testament and serves as a bridge from the patriarchs in early Genesis to the nation of Israel and the events in the book of Exodus. In this section the dreamer Joseph is sold into slavery and forgotten in prison, but God providentially preserves him and his family.

Questions for Reflection and Discussion

1.    The Generations of Esau (Gen 36) – While we usually think of our lives in terms of our own accomplishments, stories in Genesis are primarily told in the lives of one’s children. What implications might this have for the orientation of our lives?

2.    Joseph’s Dream (Gen 37) – Joseph’s dreams turn out to be prophetic and accurate. What do we learn of Joseph here, early on? Does he display relational wisdom?

3.    Joseph Sold into Slavery (Gen 37) – This chapter is marked by unexpected suffering. How does suffering strike Jacob/Israel? Joseph? Reuben? How do you see the hand of God providing and preserving?

4.    Judah and Tamar (Gen 38) – This challenging story is full of cultural details that may seem strange (you might need to do some extra research!) How many ways does Judah fail? Who is declared righteous and why? How is Judah’s line preserved?

5.    Joseph in Prison (Gen 39-41) – How does Joseph stand strong in the face of temptation? Describe the journey Joseph endures – What emotions might he have faced? What marks of Joseph’s integrity and ongoing trust in God are evident? How is Joseph’s character developed in this time? How does God show favor to Joseph?