Joseph Sold Into Slavery


Age 5+: Read Genesis 37:3-14, 18-36 
Under 5: Read about Joseph from a children's story bible or the short summary below.

Jacob had twelve sons, but his favorite was Joseph. He even gave him a beautiful coat made of many different colors. Joseph’s brothers were jealous because they could see that their father loved him more, and so they hated Joseph and would not even speak to him. Joseph told stories of the dreams he had. He dreamed that his brothers and father would bow down to him like a king. This made his brothers angry. They hated him even more. But his father wondered about it.

One day Joseph went to look for his brothers who were taking care of their father’s flocks. His brothers saw him and before he reached them, they made plans to kill him. “Here comes that dreamer!” they said. “Let’s kill him and throw him into a pit. We’ll say that a wild animal ate him.” Reuben was Joseph’s oldest brother. He knew it was wrong to kill Joseph. He thought of a way to keep him safe. “Let’s not kill him. Just throw him in that empty pit,” he said. So they grabbed Joseph, tore off his special coat, and threw him into the pit. Some traders came by and Judah had an idea. He said to his brothers, “What good is it to kill Joseph and hide his body? Let’s sell him instead.” So they lifted Joseph out of the pit and sold him for 20 shekels of silver. Then they took Joseph’s beautiful robe, killed a goat, and dipped the robe in the blood to make it seem like he had been attacked and killed by a wild animal. When they showed it to their father, he thought Joseph was surely dead. Jacob cried and cried for many days. Meanwhile, the traders sold Joseph to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, in Egypt.

Discussion 
Preschool questions:
Who was Jacob’s favorite son? Joseph. 
Did Joseph’s brothers like him? No, they hated him and were jealous of him. 
How do you think Joseph felt when his brothers threw him in a pit? Hurt and scared. 

Elementary questions:
What gift did Jacob give to his son Joseph? A beautiful coat of many colors. 
How did his brothers get rid of Joseph? They sold him as a slave to Ishmaelite traders. 
How much money did they sell him for? 20 shekels of silver. 
Who bough Joseph as a slave? Potiphar (one of Pharaoh’s officials) 

Preteen application:
How do you feel when your parents give a brother or sister a special gift, but do not give anything to you? Sad, angry, jealous.
If that happened all the time, how do you think you would feel? Answers vary. 
What should you do if you are feeling jealous? Talk about your feelings, pray about it, ask for help. 

Memory Verse: 1 John 4:21 “And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.” (NIV) 

Journal (age 8+) Copy the memory verse, and write about a time you felt betrayed by someone. Discuss how it made you feel and how the situation was resolved. Write down any prayer requests.

Journal (age 3+) Draw and color a picture of Joseph and his multi-colored coat. Copy the memory verse if able.

Optional Activity: Create your own shirt of many colors! Purchase a white t-shirt and some fabric dye at your local craft store, find an instructional video online, and make your own tie-dye t-shirt. (Just make sure everyone gets one!)

Prayer: Praise and thank God, ask for forgiveness, and submit any prayer requests.

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