Many scholars and historians are beginning to believe that Joe's Pharaoh was probably one of the Hyksos [pronounce "hick'-sus"] Rulers. These rulers were non-Egyptians who ruled for a short 100 years. They came to power due to their technology (they invented the chariot) . These rulers were more open to having other non-Egyptians rule (like Joe).
Royalty believed that dreams and visions were the way the gods spoke to them. Greeks, Romans, and even American Indians also believed this. The first dream was about 7 fat water cows (maybe hippos) being eaten by 7 shriveled water cows. The second dream was about 7 luscious ears of corn being swallowed up by 7 shriveled ears.
Numerous civilizations have practiced the worship of a king as a god. It was thought in Egyptian worship that Pharaoh was the god's representative on earth who communed directly with his brother and sister gods. The title of "Great Egypt" expressed that, as a god on earth, he was what kept Egypt safe and mad it prosperous.
There are several titles used for the man who was the king's closest adviser. I chose the title "vizier" which is commonly used in the Middle East for one who advises royalty or people of great honor.
Actually, there is no where in the Bible story that speaks of Joe bowing (or not) before the Pharaoh. I found reference to this in the works of the famous historian Josephus and the Talmud. According to Hebrew tradition, Joe refused to bow (like many other Hebrews in the OT).
Reverence is made in the script that Joe was in prison on the charge of rape. The Egyptian law stated that a slave raping a woman of the house was to endure long torture and slow death. Why do we find Joe in prison? My personal opinion is that Potiphar (his master) didn't see evidence to back up his wife's side of the story but removed Joe from the house to save his wife's honor. It's a testimony to character that Joe took NO revenge on either of them when he came to power!
Another interesting thing is the title given to Potiphar. The KJV says he's "the captain of the guard." This title could mean he was over the king's personal bodyguards, he was over the guards guarding Pharaoh's property, or he was over the king's prison. I chose the later for our sketch tonight because it worked with the story.
Most people are either unaware or don't know the name Pharaoh gave to Joseph when he made him vizier. The name is important because it says so much about how Pharaoh felt about Joe. The name is "Zaphenath-Paneah" and in Egyptian it means "he brings salvation to the land" or (more simply) "savior." Many Bible scholars have pointed out Joseph as a prequel (or foreshadowing character) of the great Messiah. I thought about using this name in the sketch but decided not to.
Joseph was the kind of Bible character most people like! He was a godly man who didn't allow his morals to be corrupted by a pagan culture or his circumstances. But I'm truly amazed at how he dealt with authority! All through his story (Genesis 37) (and Genesis chapters 39-50, which is almost half of the book) God is putting him in charge. First his father puts him in charge of his brothers. Second, we have Potiphar putting him in charge of his household. Third, he's put in charge of the prisoners. And forth, we see Pharaoh make him his right-hand man.
Why did God do that?
Authority. The word means (according to Webster) "the right and to command and be ; those ." We're going to see men of God who want to teach us about the different aspects of authority as they come into the presence of different kings.
Tonight Joe want to teach us that we are all under someone's authority (even the Pharaoh)! Joe had respect for authority and knew which authority to listen to. Unfortunately, not everyone is Joseph! Take the NT for example. The church at Ephesus was having problems because the Christians (who had come out of pagan worship) were disrespecting the Christians (who had come out of Judaism with all it rules). One group was sitting in judgment over the other and Paul is writing to them to stop this and to mind what chair of authority they sit in!
God raised Jesus from the dead and (allowed Him to sit) with the Father on His ! The right had is the place of authority, a position of power, a place of honor! Look how 1:21-23 describes it!
The Ephesian Christians, just like you, were (allowed to sit) with Jesus in when salvation took place! Jesus was seated at the Father's right-hand and I'm seated next to Jesus at His right hand.
What Paul shares with the Ephesians is that in God's kingdom there are 3 Seats:
Seat 1: God the Father -
Seat 2: Jesus -
Seat 3: YOU -
Because you are seated at Jesus' right hand, you can in His Authority. You don't have to worry about money or possessions; that's His! God has (past tense) you in heavenly realms with spiritual blessing." (Ephesians 1:3) You aren't save by your efforts (works) but "by grace... through faith." (Ephesians 2:8)
Seat 1: |
Seat 1: |
The more authority I "rest" in Jesus, the more passionate a Christian I become! Maybe the reason you're stuck in dull, boring brand of religion is because you're Seats of Authority!
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