The Bible clearly says Joseph’s age at the time of taking food to his older brother shepherds; he was seventeen.
I’m glad that he was established sufficiently in his Hebrew tongue, so that he didn’t forget it even though he most likely didn’t use it until the second year of famine, which would put Joseph to be 39 years of age; thus, for 22 years, he constantly heard the Egyptian language, Arabic.
I’ve heard that a person can learn a foreign language much more easily, if he learns it before he is 12-years-old, and I can imagine that, as one’s lingual muscles establish with maturity.
In my life, I came to the U.S. at age ten or so. Then I concentrated on learning English, German, some Italian and French, along with some bits of other Romanic languages. For 17 years, I didn’t do Korean; thus, by the time of my first trip back to Korea 17 years later, I had forgotten Korean and had to pray the Lord help me resurrect enough of it at least to sing some hymns and give a simple testimony in Korean.
Clearly, the LORD was with Joseph no matter the position or placement. Gen.39:2-5:
“And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand. And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand. And it came to pass from the time that he had that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for JOSEPH’s sake; and the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field.”
Even with such good stewardship and service, Joseph was put into prison before the end of this same chapter, because of the conniving lie of Potiphar’s wife.
“And Joseph’s master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison. But the LORD was WITH Joseph, and showed him mercy, and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it. The keepr of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the LORD was with him, and that which he did, the LORD made it to PROSPER.”
Since Joseph is obviously a TYPE of Jesus, of course, things would prosper as Joseph always wanted to be godly. It really strikes me this time through Genesis how the Bible repeats the point that God WAS WITH Joseph. No wonder he always rose to the top—like cream does!
In the prison, when he interpreted correctly the dream for Pharaoh’s butler, who was restored to his butlership at Pharaoh’s birthday party, that butler FORGOT about Joseph, although he had been asked to remember to mention Joseph after obtaining his freedom and job.
Praise God that “God then gave DREAMS to Pharaoh, which his men couldn’t interpret. It was THEN that the butler remembered Joseph, after TWO whole YEARS of restoration to his butlership. I’m thinking that the butler most likely wouldn’t ever have remembered Joseph, IF Pharaoh hadn’t had the dream, or if he had had the dream, but his own magicians could interpret.
Almost 2000 years later, Romans 8:28 was written in which we’re told that “ALL THINGS work together for good” to them who love God.
We don’t know how long Joseph served Potiphar before getting thrown into prison via Potiphar’s wife’s deception.
The Bible DOES, however, say that
“Joseph was THIRTY years old when he stood before king of Egypt.” (Gen. 41:46)
This means 13 years had past from Joseph’s being sold into Egyptian slavery till this time of quickly changing garment from dungeon clothes to receiving royal apparel from Pharaoh. I’m reminded of Proverbs that says that a man’s GIFT shall make ROOM for him. Joseph was faithful to HELP people with his obvious gift of administration, logic, and interpreting dreams, even when he didn’t necessarily have to help the butler and the baker in prison.
For that matter, he didn’t even have to help Pharaoh, but thak the Lord that he willingly DID!
Apparently, it takes about 30 years for us humans to experience enough of life and to develop into that which God put us on earth to do. Joseph was BEFORE Mosaic law, which doesn’t come until Exodus 20 after the NATION of Israel got out of Egypt and into the wilderness.
In the LAW, the priests, and some other categories of workers, reach their full position by age THIRTY.
That’s why then Jesus Himself was baptized and began His public ministry, when He himself “began to be about thirty years of age.”
(Luke 3:23 is the above verse.)
In my life, I had sung full-time for the Lord ever since the Fulbright year, traveling constantly and staying at friends’ home for more than two years.
Then we had the first Kim’s Ministries meeting after the 29th birthday, heading to 30. God’s timing is always so right.
Joseph went all over Egypt gathering corn during the 7 years of PLENTY, knowing there were going to be 7 years of FAMINE. After TWO years of famine, his brothers finally learned from Joseph that indeed it was their little brother, who was ruler right undr Pharaoh. In the discourses with the brothers, he spoke through an interpreter; thus, Pharaoh’s court apparently had an educated person, who could speak both Arabic AND Hebrew to be the interpreter.
Yes, the dream was fulfilled EVEN THOUGH the brothers didn’t KNOW it was Joseph to whom they were bowing and calling “lord.”
This would bring Joseph’s age to 39.
No wonder folks often say “39 and holding.”
I think it is so tender that Joseph NURSED his old father and older brothers and all they had.
When the dad, Jacob, was dying, he told JOSEPH to carry him and bury him in Canaan; he didn’t tell it to the OLDER sons—intresting to me. Some of the older ones had done disappointing acts throughout lifetime, and Jacob reminded of that in his prophecies about each son in Genesis 49.
It seems, if one wanted to have a job done “right”, tell JOSEPH.
I want to be dependable like that. Jesus is always dependable, and Joseph was a good picture of Jesus.
Also, I find it interesting that Jacob lived 17 years in Egypt, from his age 130 to dying age of 147. Joseph was 17, when he was sold into slavery and thus expelled from Canaan.
Incidentally, one never thinks of the fact that Isaac’s GRANDFATHER, Terah, didn’t die until age 205. This means Abraham would have been just 135 at the time of his father’s death; thus, Isaac would have already been 35 years old.
Back then, since traveling was harder and took longer, I don’t know if Isaac’s granddad, Abraham’s dad in land Haran, ever got to see the miracle child, Isaac, or not. Bible doesn’t mention it one way or the other.
Oh, while I’m on this subject, I once figured out that Shem didn’t die until Jacob and Esau were FIFTEEN, and Isaac would have been 75, and Abraham would have been 175, the age of his death. I sort of suspicion maybe then Abraham and Shem died in the same year, but don’t know what TIME of the year.
Back later now to Joseph:
Joseph died at age 110, which means he lived 71 more years after bringing his whole family from Canaan.
When he instructs that his BONES be taken up, because God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Jacob would surely take them back to that promised land, I imagine he probably would have thought it wouldn’t be for another
THREE hundred fifty-nine more years plus FORTY more years of desert wandering!
Wow! That’s one and half times older than the entire life of our land, U.S.A. is!
I’m writing this 7/7/2017, when we’ve just celebrated Independence Day 241st three days ago; thus, since Israel was in Egyptian bondage for 430 years, this means Joseph’s bones awaited the trip to promised land 359 years, when you take 430 minus 71 years.
I marvel that the children of Israel kept track of all that, took the bones of Joseph through the 40 years of wilderness wandering, and waited to get it to the correct place in Canaan land to bury the bones.
Lord, please always be with US, with our leaders and pastors, and do REMEMBER us, as Thou didst remember the children of Israel in Egypt!
Blessings to each of you in your capacity of serving the Lord! May He always be glorified and prosper us to be the best possible, as was Joseph!