Posted by / Sunday 17 January 2016 / No comments

Why Joseph's brothers hated him

Egypt, Papyri, Royals, Egypt, Egypt

Joseph was the eleventh son of Jacob's twelfth sons. Jacob loved Joseph more than all the other eleven sons because he was the son of his old age.

As a result of Jacob’s love for Joseph, he made him a rob with long sleeves. This action implied that Joseph was going to inherit Jacob when he died instead of the eldest son, Reuben. In other words, he was going to lead the brothers. This was the beginning of the hatred Joseph’s brothers had for him.

This was not the only reason why the brothers hated Joseph.
For example, they hated him because he brought evil reports about them to their father anytime he visited them on the field.

Another reason was that Joseph was always at home enjoying the love of his father instead of following the brothers to keep the animals.

One of the most important reasons why the brothers hated Joseph was his dreams. He dreamed that he and his brothers were gathering sheaves on the field and suddenly his sheaf stood upright and the others were bowing down to his. In the second dream, Joseph saw the Sun, the Moon and eleven stars bowing down to him. When Jacob heard this dream, he rebuked Joseph.

Joseph’s brothers were not amused by his dreams. In those days, dreams were means by which God spoke to his people. Joseph’s brother understood the dreams to mean Joseph was going to be their leader one day. They, therefore, looked for an opportunity to get rid of him.

One day, Jacob sent Joseph to the field to see how his brothers were faring. He did not see them at Shechem where they were supposed to be. He was told to go to Dothan and that was where he saw them.

Camel, Egypt, Desert, Sand, Travel
As he was coming from afar, the brothers plotted to kill him so as to truncate him dreams.
Reuben kicked against the plan and rather suggested that they put him in a pit. Reuben advised the brothers not to shed blood. When Joseph got nearer, they seized him and dumped in a pit.

Later, some Ishmaelite traders were passing by and the brothers decided that it was more profitable to sell Joseph than to kill him. So they sold Joseph into slavery for 20 shekels of silver.

The Ishmaelite traders were traveling to Egypt. When they got there, they also sold Joseph to Potiphar, a captain in Pharaoh’s government.

Joseph was so efficient in his duties in Portiphar’s household that, he was finally put in charge of everything in the house.


1.            Joseph ordered his brothers’ sacks to be filled with grains and the money returned.
2.            On their second visit to Egypt, Joseph revealed himself to his brothers.
3.            He encouraged his brothers not to fill guilty for selling him into slavery because God sent him (Joseph) ahead so that he could save the entire family from starvation.
4.            Joseph invited their father, Jacob and the entire family to come and live in Egypt.
5.            Joseph provided for his family until the famine was over.
6.            He shed tears when he saw his little brother, Benjamin. He also kissed his brothers and wept.

1. Why did Joseph's brothers hate him?

Sphinx, Egypt, Monument, Cairo, Giza
Test One
1. Joseph named his first son “Manasseh” because God made him
A. king in Egypt
B. forget his hardships
C. a ruler in Israel
D. fruitful in his father’s land

2. According to Joseph’s interpretation of Pharaoh’s dreams; the seven empty ears blighted by the east wind represented seven years of
A. famine
B. abundant
C. famine
D. harvest

3. Which of the following was not part of the honour done to Joseph when Pharaoh made him a ruler in Egypt?
A. Joseph was made to dress the people.
B. The land of Goshen was given to Joseph.
C. Joseph was dressed in garments of fine linen.
D. A gold chain was put around Joseph’s neck.

4. Which of the following leadership qualities was manifested by Joseph when he told his brothers not to be angry with themselves for selling him?
A. Wisdom.
B. Good judgment.
C. Maturity.
D. Forgiveness.

5. After Joseph had revealed himself to his brothers, he
A. gave his brothers food.
B. fell upon Benjamin’s neck and smiled.
C. kissed Benjamin and departed.
D. kissed all his brothers and wept.

6. Joseph named one of his sons Ephraim, meaning
A. I am a stranger in the land.
B. God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.
C. Yahweh is my hope.
D. Yahweh is my salvation.

Egypt, Woman, Queen, Nefertiti

7. Reuben said “shed no blood’ because
A. he was afraid of the sight of blood.
B. blood is life.
C. Jews do not eat blood.
D. blood is used in sacrifice.

8. Reuben advised his brothers not to kill Joseph but to cast him in a pit because he
A. did not want them to shed blood of the innocent.
B. wanted to rescue him afterward and bring him safely to their father
C. wanted to bury him alive in the pit.
D. wanted them to sell Joseph to the Ishmaelites.

9. Joseph was sold to the Ishmaelites for …………. Shekels of silver.
A. forty
B. thirty-five
C. twenty-five
D. twenty

10. When Joseph was sent to see the welfare of his brothers, he met them pasturing at
A. the wilderness of Zin.
B. Gilead.
C. Shechem.
D. Dothan.

Answers to the objectives questions above>>

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