The Story of Joseph 约瑟的故事

(根据圣经《创世纪》第37,39~45章)

这是关于一个年轻人,名叫约瑟夫的故事。他父亲的名字是雅各,他们住在迦南,他的祖父以撒来自迦南。

约瑟夫今年十七岁(在北美这个年龄已经可以开车了),他有十一个兄弟;而且只有一个兄弟比他年轻。

因为约瑟夫是两个最年幼的儿子中的一个,他的父亲花了很多的时间陪伴他,因此他成为他父亲特别宠爱的孩子。所以雅各为约瑟夫制作了一件特别的长袍。 (当时他们没有夹克,所以这是一件非常特别的“夹克”。)它非常漂亮,拥有你能想象到的每一种颜色。

所有的哥哥一看到了这件特别的长袍,就非常嫉恨。约瑟夫的兄弟不喜欢他,因为他们认为他的父亲更喜欢他,因为他有一件特殊的长袍。他们非常嫉恨他,他们以至于不能对他说一句好话。

有一天,约瑟夫做了一个梦,他就去把他所做的梦告诉他的兄弟们。他说,“知道吗?昨晚我做了一个奇怪的梦。我们都在田间捆起一堆谷物,突然我捆扎的那一捆起来站着,你们的捆都来围着我的捆下拜。”他的兄弟们都很反感,但约瑟还继续说, “我还做了一个梦,看见太阳,月亮和十一颗星向我下拜。”

“你以为你是谁啊?”兄弟们说。 “你觉得你比我们所有人都好吗?你认为我们会向你下拜吗?”这就让他兄弟们更加不喜欢约瑟了。

当他把他的梦告诉他父亲的时候,他回答说:“那些梦真是太奇怪了。”但他却把约瑟告诉他的那两个梦存在心里。

几天后,约瑟的父亲让他看看他外出放羊的兄弟。他们在很远的地方放羊。约瑟就去找他们。

当兄弟们远远看见的约瑟时候,他们就想要了杀死他。但是,当约瑟的大哥流便听到这话时就说:“我们不要杀他,只要把他扔进田里的井里。”他说这话是因为他想当其他兄弟离开时,他就可以回来救约瑟。

所以当约瑟夫来到他们身边时,他们脱掉了他那漂亮的长袍,然后把他扔进了一口空井里。不久之后,一群人要去埃及做买卖的人从他们那里经过。其中一个兄弟开口说:“为什么我们不把他卖给这些人,这样我们再也见不到他了,我们不必杀了他。”

其他兄弟喜欢这个想法,所以他们把他卖给了去埃及做买卖的人。

不幸的是流便一直在工作,并没有看到发生了的事。当他回到井里时,他发现约瑟夫已经不在那口井里了。约瑟最后被卖给了一位名叫波提乏的重要人物,他是埃及法老的护卫长。

其余的兄弟带着约瑟漂亮的长袍,将它浸入动物的血液中并然后把沾满血迹的长袍带回给父亲。当父亲看到这个时,他喊叫说,“有动物杀死了我的儿子。”他哭了很多天,以至于没有人能够安慰他。

现在,约瑟夫已经开始在埃及作奴隶了,但上帝仍然与约瑟同在,祂帮助他做正确的事。所以波提乏让约瑟夫成为他的助手,让他掌管他所拥有的一切。

当波提乏的妻子向她的丈夫撒谎时,问题出现了,所以波提乏就把约瑟投入监狱。

在监狱里,上帝仍与约瑟同在,约瑟就在监狱长前蒙恩,监狱长让约瑟掌管所有囚犯。约瑟毫无忧虑,因为上帝和他在一起,帮助他做正确的事。

在约瑟夫坐牢一段时间后,法老的一个酒政和一个厨师被也被关入了监狱。一天晚上他们两个人都做了一个梦想。他们请约瑟解释他们的梦,他告诉酒政,他很快就会从监狱里释放。 当酒政被释放的时候,约瑟就对他说,“请告诉法老关于我的事,请他把我从监狱里救出来。”

当酒政得到了自由,他忘记了约瑟。所以约瑟在监狱又继续呆了两年多。直到有一天,法老也做了一个梦,但是没有人能够向他解释那蒙的意思。然后,酒政才记起约瑟为他解梦的事情,于是约瑟就被带到了法老面前。

“你能解梦吗?”法老问约瑟。 “我不能解梦,但是上帝会帮助我。”约瑟回答说。在法老告诉了约瑟,他的梦是怎么样的。约瑟就解释说:“上帝警告你。将会有七年荒年的时间,那时人们都不会有任何粮食。”

“那我该怎么办呢?”法老问道。 “上帝已经告诉你该怎么做了。在荒年之前会有七年丰收的时间。收成之丰盛,每个人都会有多余的粮食。所以你应该每年都把余量收入仓库,这样做的话,你就足够的粮食度过那些荒年了。“约瑟夫说。

法老相信约瑟所告诉他的一切,并让他掌管埃及的所有土地。

人们来自各国从约瑟夫那里购买粮食,因为各地都因饥荒而需要粮食。其中就包括了约瑟自己的兄弟。当他的兄弟们来的时候,约瑟认出了他们,但他们不知道他是谁。 (他们已经十几年没有见到他了。)

所有兄弟都向他下拜,因为约瑟是埃及的一个重要人物。正如他10多年前所做的梦那样。

在和他的兄弟们几次见面之后,他再也无法忍受了,约瑟对他的兄弟说:“我是约瑟啊!我的父亲还活着吗?”但他的兄弟们无法回答他,因为他们非常害怕。然后约瑟说:“过来。我是那个被你们卖了的那个兄弟!别担心,不要因为卖我而生气,因为上帝把我放在这里,以免人们挨饿。”

因此,他的父亲,他的兄弟和他们的家人都一起来搬到埃及与约瑟在一起了,他们就拥有他们所需要的所有食物,成功地在埃及生活。




讨论问题:

  1. 在这个故事里,你觉得有哪些地方让你感兴趣?

  2. 为什么约瑟的哥哥把他卖到埃及去当奴隶?

  3. 在这个故事里,你是否注意到约瑟有什么特殊的品质?他父亲有什么样的品质?他的哥哥们呢?

  4. 对于不同的情况,约瑟是怎样来对待的?他觉得他是处在什么样的情况之下?

  5. 当约瑟的哥哥发觉法老王的首要大臣居然是他们的弟弟约瑟之后,为什么他们那么惧怕?

  6. 当约瑟再一次面对他的哥哥的时候,他是怎样对待他们的?

  7. 你是否有可能想约瑟那样有饶恕的心?为什么?

  8. 约瑟饶恕了他的哥哥有什么样的结果?




(Based on Genesis 37, 39 - 45)

This is the story about a young man named Joseph.  His father's name is Jacob, and they lived in Canaan where his grandfather, Isaac, was from.

Joseph was seventeen years old (old enough to drive a car in the North America these days), and he had eleven brothers; and only one brother was younger than him.  

Because Joseph was one of the youngest sons, his father spent more time with him, and he became very special and beloved to his father, Jacob.  So Jacob had a special robe made for Joseph. (They didn't have jackets back then, so this was a very special “jacket”.) It was very beautiful and had every color you could imagine in it.

All of Joseph's older brothers saw this and they got very jealous.  Joseph's brothers disliked him because they thought (his) their father liked him more, and because he got the special coat.  They got so jealous they couldn't even say a kind word to him.

One day Joseph had a dream, and he went to go tell his brothers.  He said, "Guess what? Last night I had a strange dream. We were tying up bunches of grain out in the field when suddenly my bunch stood up, while all of yours gathered around and bowed to me."  The brothers looked at each other in disgust, but Joseph continued. "Then I had another dream that the sun, moon, and eleven stars bowed down to me."

"Who do you think you are?"  The brothers said. "Do you think that you are better than all of us?  Do you think that we would ever bow down to you?" This made the brothers dislike Joseph even more.

When he told his father about his dreams he said, "Those are strange dreams."  But he thought carefully about what Joseph had told him.

A few days later Joseph's father asked him to check on his brothers.  They were in the fields quite a distance away. So Joseph went to find them.

When the brothers saw Joseph in the distance, they made a plan to kill him.  But when Reuben, Joseph's oldest brother heard this he said, "Let's not kill him, just throw him in a well out here in the field."  He said this because he was secretly planning to come back and rescue Joseph when the other brothers had left.

So when Joseph came to them, they took off his beautiful robe and they threw him in an empty well.  A little while later a group of people came by that were wanting to sell some things in Egypt. One of the brothers spoke up, "Why don't we sell him to these people, this way we never have to see him again, and we don't have to kill him."

The other brothers liked this idea, so they sold him to the people who were going to Egypt.

Unfortunately Reuben had been working and hadn't seen what happened.  When he returned to the well he noticed that Joseph was gone. He had been sold to an important man named Potiphar, an assistant to the Pharaoh of Egypt.

The rest of the brothers took Joseph's beautiful robe and dipped it in animal blood and took it back to their father.  When the father saw this he cried, "Some animal has killed my son." And he cried for many days, so much that nobody could comfort him.

Now Joseph had started out as a slave in Egypt, but the Lord God was with Joseph and He helped him do everything right.  So Potiphar made Joseph his assistant, and put him in charge of everything that he owned.

The problem came when Potiphar's wife lied about Joseph to her husband, so Potiphar had Joseph put into jail.

The Lord God was still with Joseph in jail, and the warden put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners.  Joseph never worried because the Lord God was with him and helped him do everything right.

After Joseph had been in jail for some time, a cupbearer and a baker to the Pharaoh was sent there.  One night each of them had a dream. They told their dreams to Joseph and he told the cupbearer that he would soon be let out of jail.  "Please tell Pharaoh about me, and ask him to get me out of here." Joseph said.

When the cupbearer was freed he forgot about what Joseph did.  So Joseph stayed in jail for two more years. Until one day the Pharaoh had a dream, and nobody could explain it to him.  The cupbearer then remembered what Joseph had done for him, and Joseph was brought to Pharaoh.

"Can you understand dreams?"  Pharaoh asked. "I can't, but God helps me."  Joseph replied. After Pharaoh had told him his dream Joseph explained, "God is warning you.  There will be seven years when nothing will grow and there won't be any food for anyone."

"What can I do?"  Pharaoh asked. "God has shown you what to do.  There will be seven years before the bad years that will be very good.  So good that there will be extra food for everyone. So you should save a little bit  of each years harvest, that way you will have enough to get you through the bad years."  Joseph said.

Pharaoh believed all that Joseph told him, and put him in charge of all the land of Egypt.

People came from all countries to buy grain from Joseph, because the whole world was in need of food due to famine.  Some of those people were Joseph's own brothers. When his brothers came, Joseph recognized them, but they did not know who he was.  (It had been over 10 years since they had seen him.)

The brothers all bowed to him because he was an important person.  Just as he dreamed they would, 10 years ago.

After a few meetings with his brothers, he could not keep it in any longer and Joseph said to his brothers, "I am Joseph!  Is my father alive?" But his brothers couldn't answer him because they were so afraid. Then Joseph said, "Come here. I am your brother, the one you sold!  Do not worry, and do not be angry at yourselves for selling me, because God has put me here to save people from starving."

So his father, his brothers, and their families came to live in Egypt with Joseph, and they had all the food they needed and prospered.


Discussion questions:

1.  What is interesting to you about this story?

2.  Why did Joseph's brother sell him into slavery in Egypt?

3.  What do you notice about Joseph's character, his father's character, and his brothers' characters from this story?

4.  How does Joseph respond to difficult situations that he finds himself in?

5.  Why were Joseph's brothers so afraid, when they found out that the Pharaoh's right-hand-man is their younger brother, Joseph?

6.  How did Joseph treat his brothers upon meeting them?

7.  Would you be able to forgive like Joseph?  Why or Why not?

8. What was the result of Joseph forgiving his brothers?

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