Joseph in Prison
A completely new life lay ahead for Joseph.
After arriving in Egypt, Joseph was soon sold as a slave.
A man called Potiphar, the commander of Pharaoh's army, bought
him. Pharaoh was the supreme ruler of Egypt.
From then on Joseph had to learn to live like
an Egyptian and to be able to speak their language, but he
never forgot his father and the lessons he had taught him.
Joseph continued to believe in and to trust God and to live
his life in a manner pleasing to God. He did not grumble or
try to escape, but was brave and patient. He worked hard to
please his master and to give of his best. As a result God
blessed his work and all that Joseph did prospered. Potiphar
soon realised that he could trust Joseph completely and he
put him in charge of all his affairs, giving him complete
control over the running of his house.
Sadly, however, Joseph was to find himself in
trouble again. Potiphar's wife liked Joseph and took to following
him around whenever she could. Joseph tried to keep out of
her way but, one day when he went into the house, Potiphar's
wife grabbed hold of him. Joseph immediately pulled himself
free and ran out of the house, leaving his coat in her hand.
Potiphar's wife was furious and, when her husband
arrived home, she accused Joseph of attacking her. She even
showed her husband Joseph's coat as 'proof'. Unfortunately,
Potiphar believed his wife and Joseph was arrested and thrown
into prison. He was no longer a trusted slave but a common
criminal with shackled on his ankles and an iron collar around
God, however, remained with Joseph even in the
dark prison and Joseph did not forget God! He continued to
behave well and, in time, the chief jailer realised Joseph
was a man who could be trusted and so placed him in charge
of all the other prisoners.
Some time after Joseph arrived in prison, two
other men were arrested and put in the same prison, this time
by Pharaoh. One was his cupbearer and the other was his baker
- two very important people in Pharaoh's court, especially
the cupbearer. He had the job of pouring Pharaoh's wine and
tasting it to make sure that it was not poisoned. If it were,
he would die instead of Pharaoh!
One morning Joseph found them looking puzzled
and asked them what the problem was. They told him that during
the night they had each had a strange dream. They believed
the dreams meant something but they did not know what and
so were frightened at what the interpretations could possible
"God can explain dreams," Joseph said.
"Tell them to me and I will let you know what they mean."
"I saw a vine" said the cupbearer.
"It had three branches on which grapes grew. I picked
the grapes, squeezed their juice into Pharaoh's cup and gave
it to Pharaoh."
Joseph then explained. He told the cupbearer
that the three branches stood for three days. After three
days the cupbearer would be set free and be given his job
The baker then told his dream. "I carried
three baskets on my head," he said. "In them were
all kinds of cakes but the birds flew down and ate them all
Alas, the baker's dream had a sad meaning. Joseph
told him that three days later Pharaoh would bring him out
of prison but not to give him his job back. Instead Pharaoh
would hang him and the birds would peck the flesh from off
Everything happened as Joseph said. Three days
later Pharaoh had a feast to celebrate his birthday and he
sent for the cupbearer and the baker. He gave the cupbearer
his job back, but the baker he sent to the gallows.
Joseph meanwhile remained in prison. One day
he would be released