"Great Catch of Fish," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Genesis 37:3-8, 26-34; 50:15-21 Commentary
by Dennis Olson
The story of Joseph and his brothers in Genesis 37-50 is a story of jealousy and sibling rivalry...
... a story of dramatic changes of fortune, revenge and forgiveness, and God working behind the scenes to make good out of human suffering. The story touches on human realities that touch all of our lives, whether in families, congregations, or nations.
The Joseph story begins with a familiar theme in the book of Genesis. In the ancient world, the oldest son was usually the one favored by parents. The eldest child would typically grow up to lead the family and inherit the largest share of the family resources. In Genesis, however, it is the younger child who is repeatedly favored over the elder (4:1-16; 17:20-21; 25:23-26; 29:16-18; 37:2-8; 48:1-22).
Joseph and Benjamin were two sons born to Jacob and Jacob's favored wife, Rachel (30:22-24); they were the youngest of Jacob's twelve sons. The story reports that Jacob [also known as Israel] loved Joseph "more than any other of his children" (37:3). To make matters worse, Jacob made his affection for the seventeen-year-old ...
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Summer 2020 Readings
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
Narrative Lectionary 046: Joseph
September 23, 2012
Join Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Kathryn Schifferdecker, and Craig Koester for "I Love to Tell the Story," a weekly conversation on the narrative lectionary. This week's reading is Joseph, Gen. 37:3-8, 26-34; 50:15-21