Tissot Joseph and His Brethren Welcomed by Pharaoh

Joseph was the eleventh son of Jacob, and one of two born by one of his wives, Rachel, who had died in bearing the other, Benjamin. Joseph was Jacob's favorite son because he had been born while he (Jacob) was old.

Because he was favored, Joseph was given a coat of many colors, much to the envy of his older half-brothers, six of whom had been born to Joseph's aunt Leah, and four of whom had been born to Rachel's maid. Of course, Joseph had a half-sister named Dinah, but it is unknown which woman was her mother.

Joseph had two dreams, both being in which 11 of something bowed to the 12th, which is about stalks of wheat and stars, while in the latter dream, so do the sun and the moon, which meant his own parents.

Out of jealousy, the bigger brothers then caught Joseph and took away his coat, and (according to firstborn Reuben's idea) instead of killing him, threw him into a hole in the ground. Then they sold him to Ishmaelites, killed a goat and used it as false evidence of Joseph's "death".

Joseph was then bought by an Egyptian leader named Potiphar, who ended up liking him. His wife, also liking Joseph, in fact, tried to get him to lie with her, but he refused and ran away; however, she took his cloak and used it as false evidence that he tried to make out with her, which ended up having Joseph unfairly imprisoned.

In jail, Joseph was put in charge of his fellow prisoners and got the gift of explaining dreams' meanings. He explained the meaning of the dreams of a butler (who was set free and asked to promise to remember him) and a baker (who not only wasn't set free; in fact, he was executed).

Two years later, Joseph is freed, but only to explain the meaning of the Pharaoh's dreams, both of which not only were similar, but in fact, had the same meaning: the seven fat ears of corn and seven fat cows both meant seven years of abundant crops; whereas, the seven withered ears of corn and skinny cows eating their respective fat counterparts both meant seven following years of famine not only in Egypt, but in fact, all over the world. This had meant Pharaoh was supposed to store their plentiful food until the famine came. So, before it was done, Joseph became Pharaoh's governor.

In Culture

Joseph is the protagonist of Dreamworks direct-to-video prequel "Joseph: King of Dreams" (where he is voiced and sung by Ben Affleck and David Campbell, respectively) and of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's sung-through musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat".