Daily Bible Reading for March 3, 2014, with Commentary: Genesis 36-39
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Context: Today's reading starts with a list of the descendants of Esau before returning to the story of Jacob and his favorite son, Joseph. During this time, dreams were considered to be God (or gods) giving you a revelation about the future. Joseph dreamed of a time when his family would bow down and worship him. This angered Joseph's older brothers, who perhaps thought that Joseph was going to try and strip them of their birthright and/or inheritance, as Jacob did to Esau. The brothers, out of anger, plotted to kill Joseph; however, Joseph's life was spared at the request of the eldest. While Reuben, the eldest, was away, the remaining brothers sold Joseph as a slave. Joseph was eventually sold to Potiphar, a high ranking official in Egypt. The narrative suddenly shifts to Judah and his family, before returning to Joseph. Joseph is successful and quickly rises in prominence in Potiphar's house. Potiphar's wife falsely accused Joseph of attempting to rape her, which resulted in Joseph being thrown in prison. The Lord continued to bless Joseph, even in prison, where he rose to the highest position he could.
World History: The name Potiphar has appeared in numerous Egyptian texts as a high ranking Egyptian official.