Joseph and his dreams

Stories from the Bible

  • Have you ever had a dream? Can you ever remember your dreams? What kinds of things do you dream about?

    In the Bible there is a story of a man who could not stop dreaming! His name was Joseph. He was part of a huge family. He had 11 brothers, as well as many sisters. Unfortunately, not everybody liked Joseph's dreams. His tales annoyed his brothers so much that they made a plan to keep him quiet - forever. But in the story, God turned their plans to harm Joseph into a happy ending for Joseph, his brothers and thousands of people around them.

    You can find the story of Joseph the dreamer in Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament.

    Joseph 1

    Jacob's family

     

    There was a man called Jacob who had many sons. His favourite was called Joseph. Jacob showed him how much he loved him by giving him fine clothes - including an expensive coat made of many colours. This made Joseph's 10 older brothers very jealous indeed.

    Joseph 2

    Joseph's dreams

     

    Joseph had many dreams which he shared with his brothers. "I dreamt we were all binding corn out in the fields, when suddenly my sheaf of corn stood up - and all of yours bowed down to mine!", said Joseph.
    His brothers were angry. "Are you saying that we should all bow down to you?" they asked.

  • Joseph 3

     

    Joseph had another dream. "I saw the sun, the moon and 11 stars all bowing down to me!" This time, even his father Jacob had words for Joseph.
    "Will your mother and I bow down to you too?" asked Jacob.
    Joseph's brothers were jealous of Joseph and wondered how they might teach him a lesson.

    Joseph 7

    Joseph in the well

     

    Joseph's brothers were shepherds. One day, as Joseph headed out to visit them in their fields, the brothers said "Now is our chance to sort Joseph out!" They decided to put Joseph down a well and leave him there for a little while.

    Joseph 8

     

    But while Joseph waited in the well, the brothers saw a group of merchants trekking past on their way to Egypt. They had an idea. "Why don't we sell Joseph to them?" they asked each other. And so they sold Joseph to the men. But the brothers told their father Jacob that a wild animal had killed Joseph. Jacob was heart-broken.

  • Joseph 10

    Joseph in Potiphar's house

     

    Joseph arrived in Egypt and began working as a slave for an important man named Potiphar. God was with Joseph, and he did everything so well that he soon became a favourite in the household. Potiphar put Joseph in charge of his house and everything he owned.

    Joseph 11

     

    Unfortunately, Potiphar's wife was keen on Joseph. Joseph respected his master and tried to avoid her. This made her angry. Potiphar's wife made up lies about Joseph and Potiphar believed her. He sent Joseph to prison. But even in prison God was with Joseph, and soon he was helping to look after the other prisoners.

    Joseph 13

    Joseph in prison

     

    One prisoner used to work for the Pharoah as his cupbearer. One night he had a dream where he saw a bunch of grapes and a cup belonging to the Pharoah. He saw himself squeeze the juice from the grapes into the Pharoah's hands.
    Joseph told him what it meant. "You will soon become Pharoah's cupbearer again," said Joseph. "Please remember me to the King when you get your job back!"

  • Joseph 14

     

    Sure enough, in 3 days time the prisoner was released from prison and working for the Pharoah again! He was very happy - but he forgot all about Joseph. That is, until the Pharoah started having some disturbing dreams himself...

    Joseph 15

    Pharoah's dreams

     

    Pharoah dreamt he was standing by the River Nile. Seven fat cows came to drink by the river. Suddenly seven thin, ugly cows appeared behind them and ate them up. Whatever could it mean? Pharoah had another dream. Seven fat ears of corn grew on a single stalk. Then another seven ears grew. These thin ears ate up the juicy ones! Pharoah was confused and scared.

    Joseph 17

     

    The cupbearer had an idea. "I know a man who can tell you what the dreams mean!" he said.
    Pharoah sent for Joseph from prison. God was with Joseph. He knew exactly what to say. "You will have seven years of plenty," said Joseph, "but this will be followed by seven years of famine where there will be nothing to eat. God is telling you this so that you may be prepared."

  • Joseph 18

     

    Pharoah was pleased with Joseph. "You are very wise!" he said. "I will put you in charge of all of Egypt and you will see us through the years ahead!" And so Joseph spent seven years travelling throughout the land, collecting and storing food ready for the years of famine.

    Joseph 19

    Joseph's brothers visit Egypt

     

    Meanwhile, back in Canaan, Jacob and his sons were starving. The famine was terrible. Jacob called his sons together. "Go to Egypt," he told them. "They have food there. It is our only hope." And so Joseph's older brothers went to Egypt to beg for food. But Benjamin, Joseph's younger brother, stayed at home.

    Joseph 20

     

    The brothers arrived in Egypt. They did not notice that the powerful leader who was giving out food was their little brother! But Joseph knew who they were. He also noticed that Benjamin was not there. Joseph had an idea.
    "You are all spies!" he said.
    The brothers were scared. "We are not!" they said. "We are brothers, with one left at home."
    Joseph saw his chance. "If you are telling the truth, then come back with this other brother. If you come again without him you will get no more food!"

  • Joseph 21

     

    The brothers spoke amongst themselves. "How can we bring Benjamin?" they asked. "It will break our father's heart to lose him." Joseph overheard them. When he remembered his father and younger brother he wept. He had not seen them for so long.

    Joseph 22

     

    Joseph's brothers returned home. The food they brought with them soon ran out and it was time to find some more. But the brothers knew it would not be easy.
    "The man in charge told us we needed to bring Benjamin or we would get no food," they told Jacob.
    Jacob was sad. "Bring him home to me," he said, "Or I will not be able to live."
    Judah, one of the brothers, promised he would keep him safe.

    Joseph 23

     

    In Egypt, Joseph was pleased to see Benjamin. Benjamin and his brothers still did not recognise Joseph. They were relieved to receive sacks of grain but little did they know, Joseph had secretly put a special cup in Benjamin's sack.
    As they turned to leave, Joseph called out. "Wait! My cup is missing! Guards - look in these men's sacks!"
    When the guards found the cup Joseph acted angrily. "Put the youngest one in jail!" he cried.

  • Joseph 24

     

    "Please!" cried Judah. "It will break our father's heart. He has already lost his dearest son Joseph. If he were to lose his brother Benjamin, our father will die. Take me instead, I beg you."
    Joseph knew that his brothers had changed. He immediately forgave them for the hurt they had caused him. "Your brother is not dead," he said. "I am Joseph! What you intended for bad, God has used for good."

    Joseph 25

     

    Joseph's brothers were amazed but happy. But Joseph had one more thing to say. "Go - bring my father Jacob. You must all live here with me, in Egypt. And you will never be hungry again." And so Jacob and his family settled in Egypt. Joseph's dreams had all come true.

    Bible images

     

    With thanks to freebibleimages.org.

Related Items

nativity

Who’s who in the Christmas Story?

Learn about the people in the Christmas Story

  • Festivals
  • Video

Christmas is probably the best known of all Christian festivals but do you know who is who in the Christian story? Click on each character in the nativity scene to find out who they are.

QP

Question Pod

What is the Bible?

  • Symbols
  • Video

The Question Pod films attempt to answer the big questions around Christianity in a fun and relevant way. In this film The Question Pod team tackle the question ‘What is the Bible?’ and use a film of Cat and Jack to help explain a Christian view […]

creation

Bible Quest – Telling the Creation Story

What does the Bible say about creation?

  • Stories
  • Video

The Bible says: ‘ God looked at everything he had made, and it was very good. ‘ Many Christians believe that the earth and everything on it were planned and created by a loving God. This animated films tells the Christian story of creation as […]

adam and eve

Bible Quest – Exploring The Story of Creation

  • Stories
  • Video

Then God said, “Let there be light!” And there was light. God saw that the light was good. So he divided the light from the darkness. God named the light “day” and the darkness “night.” Evening passed, and morning came. This was the first day. […]

timeline

Bible Quest Timeline

What is the bis story found throughout the Bible?

  • Stories
  • Text

Christians often describe the Bible as ‘God’s Word’ and see it as the most important book ever written. The word Bible comes from a Greek word, biblos, which simply means book. However the Bible is not just one book but it is a library of […]

Noah and the Ark

Noah

Who was this man of faith and what did God promise him?

  • People
  • Video

The Bible says that when God created the world He looked at it and said, ‘It is good.’ Sadly things did not stay that way. People turned away from God and His teachings and began doing all sorts of things that were wrong in His […]

Ruth

Stories from the Bible

  • Stories
  • Timeline
Ruth 5

Ruth

Stories from the Bible

  • Stories
  • Timeline

Who are your best friends? What makes somebody a good friend? There is a story in the Bible about a young woman named Ruth. She was a good friend even when it meant she had to make difficult sacrifices.

An introduction to the Bible

What is so special about the Bible?

  • Stories
  • Video
Bible and girl

An introduction to the Bible

What is so special about the Bible?

  • Stories
  • Video

The Bible is the special book for Christians. Christians believe that it is God’s word and is there to guide and encourage us everyday. But what is the Bible? Is it one book or many books? What types of things are in the Bible? Why […]

The Christmas Story Pairs Game

Find out more about Christmas as you play along.

  • Festivals
  • Video
Christmas

The Christmas Story Pairs Game

Find out more about Christmas as you play along.

  • Festivals
  • Video

Christmas is the most celebrated of all the Christian festivals but who is the real story behind the celebrations? As you play this fun game you can find out more about Mary, Joseph, the wise men and the shepherds but more importantly Jesus – the […]

Christmas

The Story of Christmas in the Bible

  • Festivals
  • Timeline
10_Jesus_Birth_JPEG_1024

Christmas

The Story of Christmas in the Bible

  • Festivals
  • Timeline

You may have seen a nativity play or even been in one yourself. But have you ever had questions about the story? Find out more about how the Bible tells it here.

Jonah – learning about God through nature.

What happened when Jonah tried to run away from the job God had given him?

  • Stories
  • Timeline
25_Jonah_Nineveh_JPEG_1024

Jonah – learning about God through nature.

What happened when Jonah tried to run away from the job God had given him?

  • Stories
  • Timeline

Jonah was asked by God to do a special job. It meant leaving the place he lived in and going to somewhere where people were not doing the right thing. Jonah didn’t want to, so he ran away. This is the story of what happened.

Elijah – learning about God through nature.

What do we learn about God through Elijah's experiences?

  • Stories
  • Text
04_Elijah_Rain_JPEG_1024

Elijah – learning about God through nature.

What do we learn about God through Elijah's experiences?

  • Stories
  • Text

A long time ago, at the time of the Old Testament, God often used people called prophets to tell others what God wanted them to know and do. Elijah was a prophet who loved God and wanted to do all the things God wanted him […]

  • Stories
  • Timeline
03_Abraham_Promise_JPEG_1024

Abraham – learning about God through nature.

Does God keep his promises?

  • Stories
  • Timeline

One day God told Abraham to take his family to a new country. Abraham trusted in God and set off with his family to the new place just as God had said. After lots of walking along way they arrived in the country God had […]

Noah – Learning about God through nature.

What can we learn about God through the story of Noah?

  • Stories
  • Text
Noah and the dove artisic

Noah – Learning about God through nature.

What can we learn about God through the story of Noah?

  • Stories
  • Text

In this story there is lots of water! Water that is very powerful. Water can make things grow. It can wash things away. It can give us a new start. One day as God was thinking about the people on earth His heart became very […]

Moses – learning about God through nature.

How does God speak through fire?

  • Stories
  • Timeline
Moses 10

Moses – learning about God through nature.

How does God speak through fire?

  • Stories
  • Timeline

Thousands of years ago in Egypt, the land of the pyramids and Pharoahs, there was a man chosen by God to save his people from a life of slavery. His name was Moses and he is one of the most important people in the Bible. […]

David and Goliath

Stories from the Bible

  • Stories
  • Timeline
DG8

David and Goliath

Stories from the Bible

  • Stories
  • Timeline

This story from the Old Testament is one of the first about a hero of the Jewish and Christian faiths – David, who later became King David. Find out about his dramatic showdown with the giant Goliath here.

The Story of Christmas

What happened at the first Christmas?

  • Festivals
  • Video
The-Story-of-Christmas-Still-300x167

The Story of Christmas

What happened at the first Christmas?

  • Festivals
  • Video

In this fun film Gran tells Mark, her grandson, and all the children watching the story of the first Christmas. In doing so she answers the BIG questions: What is an angel? Were there really three wise men? Why did they bring such strange gifts? […]

The Creation Story.

What does the book of Genesis say about creation?

  • Stories
  • Timeline
globe

The Creation Story.

What does the book of Genesis say about creation?

  • Stories
  • Timeline

There are many different stories in the Bible that teach us about God and the way God wants us to behave. The Bible begins with the story of Creation. This story can be found in the Old Testament; the part of the Bible that tells […]

The Old Testament

Does God have a plan for the world?

  • Stories
  • Timeline
15_Parable_Sower_JPEG_1024

The Old Testament

Does God have a plan for the world?

  • Stories
  • Timeline

What does the Old Testament say? Is there one story or many different stories? The Old Testament is a collection of many different stories but there is a common theme running all through them – that is God’s love and plan for his people.

The Bible

What is the Bible?

  • Stories
  • Timeline
Bible and girl

The Bible

What is the Bible?

  • Stories
  • Timeline

Did you know that Christians refer to the Bible as ‘God’s Word’?  That is why they see it as the most important book ever written. Did you know that the oldest part of the Bible is over 3000 years old? But Christians still trust it.

God

The Creation Pairs Game

What does the Bible tell us about how the world was created?

  • Stories
  • Video

The Bible begins with the words, ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth,’ but what happened next? Play this game and read more about the story of Creation in Genesis. Find out the order in which things were made and what God […]