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Joseph is Reunited with his Family

(Back to OT Junior Seminary Overview)

Old Testament Lesson 20: We are combining Genesis 42-43 and Genesis 44-46.

To Prepare: Read Genesis 42, Genesis 43, Genesis 44, and Genesis 45; print a copy of the activity below for each child participating. Choose between a coloring page and a word search!

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To Teach: Begin with a prayer. Remind children that there was famine in all the land. Jacob and his family needed food, and so he sent his sons to Egypt to buy some. He sent all of his sons except Benjamin, because Benjamin was the last child he had from Rachel, and his youngest son, and he was afraid something bad would happen to him. Read Genesis 42:6-8. How do you think Joseph felt when he recognized his brothers? How do you think he felt when he realized the prophecy in his dream had been fulfilled?

Joseph accused them of being spies, and they protested they were not. They told him about their family, their father and younger brother, to try and convince him. Joseph put them in prison for three days, then told them they could go home but must return with their youngest brother to prove that they were who they said they were. Read Genesis 42:21-24 to see what his brothers thought about this. He made them leave Simeon behind in Egypt to make sure they would come back, and they left.

Joseph had commanded his servant to secretly put the money they had used to pay for their food back into their sacks. When his brothers realized they still had their money, they were afraid. They told their father everything that had happened, and that they needed to take Benjamin to Egypt to get food again and to get Simeon back. Read Genesis 42:36-38 to see what Jacob said.

When they had eaten all the food from Egypt, they had to go back to get more. Jacob had his sons bring gifts for the Egyptian (Joseph) and had them bring the money from the first time plus money for the second time, in case their money had been returned by accident and they hadn’t paid. He agreed to send Benjamin, and his brothers promised to take care of him and bring him back safely.

When they returned to Egypt, Joseph ate with them. He told them that God had returned their money. When they were ready to leave, Joseph had his servants return the money to his brother’s sacks again. He also had his servant hide his cup in Benjamin’s back. He did not want his brothers to leave. Joseph sent a servant to follow his brothers and ask them where the cup was. When the servant found it in Benjamin’s bag, he said Benjamin needed to return to Egypt and be Joseph’s servant for stealing the cup. All the brothers came back with Benjamin and begged him not to make Benjamin stay. They said their father would die of a broken heart if Benjamin did not come home. Judah even offered to stay in Benjamin’s place.

Read Genesis 45:1-4 to see what Joseph said. His brothers were frightened. They thought Joseph would be angry with them. Joseph explained that the Lord had sent him to Egypt to help protect people from the famine by preparing for it. Joseph invited his brothers to come and live in Egypt. When Pharaoh heard that Joseph’s family was there, he sent wagons of food and gifts back to Joseph’s father. He wanted them to come and live in Egypt, too. Joseph’s brothers went home and told their father what had happened. They told him Joseph was still alive. Read Genesis 45:28.

End by letting kids color or complete the word search. Great job!

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Joseph Interprets Dreams

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Old Testament Lesson 19: Genesis 40-41

To Prepare: Read Genesis 40 and Genesis 41; print a copy of the activity below for each child participating.

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To Teach: Begin with a prayer. Remind the children that Joseph was in prison. The keeper of the prison was so impressed with Joseph that he put him in charge of all the other prisoners.

One day Pharaoh became angry with his butler and his baker and threw them into prison with Joseph. The baker and the butler each had a dream on the same night. In the morning, they were very disturbed. When Joseph asked why, they told him their dreams, and he told them their meanings. Read or summarize Genesis 40:9-15 about the butler’s dream and Joseph’s interpretation of it. Do the same for the baker’s dream in Genesis 40:16-19. On the third day, everything happened the way Joseph said it would: the baker was hanged and the butler returned to Pharaoh’s house, but he forgot about Joseph.

Two years later, Pharaoh had a pair of dreams that disturbed him (Genesis 41:1-7). In his first dream, seven fat, healthy cattle came up from the river, followed by seven thin, starving cattle. The seven starving cows ate the seven healthy cows. In his second dream, he dreamed that seven ears of plump, tasty corn came up on one stalk, and after that seven withered, shriveled ears of corn came up. Then, the seven thin ears devoured the seven full ears. He called all the wise men and magicians in the land to tell him what they meant, but no one could.

Once all the wise men failed, Pharaoh’s butler remembered Joseph. Pharaoh called Joseph out of prison and Joseph interpreted the dreams with help from God (Genesis 41:25-36). He said that there would be seven years of plenty (lots of food to harvest) followed by seven years of famine. Joseph suggested that Pharaoh gather extra food for each of the seven years of plenty and save it for the seven years of famine.

Pharaoh was so pleased that he put Joseph in charge of it. Joseph became wealthy and powerful, and was given a woman as his wife. He had two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. The seven years of plenty passed, and famine descended not just on Egypt, but on many lands around. People began to come to Egypt from all around because it was the only place to buy food.

Finish up by drawing one of Pharaoh’s dreams. You did it again!

(Go to Lesson 20)

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Joseph is Sold into Egypt

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Old Testament Lesson 18: We will be combining Genesis 35-37 and Genesis 38-39

To Prepare: Read Genesis 35, Genesis 37, and Genesis 39; print a copy of the activity below for each child participating. There’s a scripture mastery scripture in this lesson, so if desired, have scriptures and red pencils ready!

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To Teach: Begin with a prayer. Tell children that Jacob/Israel was told to move to a new home. While they were traveling, Rachel became pregnant a second time and had another son, Benjamin, but then she died. (Genesis 35:16-19) Jacob’s father, Isaac, also died.

Read Genesis 37:3-4. How did Jacob feel about Joseph? How did his brothers feel about him? Read or summarize Genesis 37:5-11 and explain Joseph’s dreams. How did his brothers feel when they heard these dreams?

One day Joseph’s father sent him to check on his brothers, who were tending the flocks. Read or summarize Genesis 37:18-36 (this is the story of how Joseph’s brothers sold him into Egypt).

Summarize Genesis 39:1-4 by explaining the Joseph was sold as a slave into the house of a man named Potiphar. Potiphar saw that Joseph was good and that he did good work, so he put Joseph in charge of taking care of his house and money. Joseph was also a handsome young man, and when Potiphar’s wife saw this, she wanted him to kiss her. (Don’t look at me, that’s how they phrase it in the illustrated scripture story, which you can certainly use here.) Joseph knew this was not right. Read verse 9 and if desired, help children mark it in their own scriptures in red.

Read or summarize Genesis 39:11-18. One day when there was no one else in the house, Potiphar’s wife tried to make Joseph kiss her. Joseph ran away so fast that he left part of his clothes in her room. Potiphar’s wife was angry. She lied and told Potiphar that Joseph had tried to kiss her, but she shouted and he got scared and ran away so fast that he left part of his clothes behind. Potiphar believed his wife and was angry with Joseph. He sent Joseph to prison.

Color Joseph’s beautiful coat. Get creative! You’re done!

(Go to Lesson 19)

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