Yet another view of Joseph in Genesis

A bit of a brat, Joseph takes his place above his brothers

A bit of a brat, Joseph takes his place above his brothers

Not your usual Bible interpretation

I have long been fascinated by the story of Joseph in the Book of Genesis. A very moving tale, I see a big wonderful thread of gender non-conforming behavior by Joseph and his father, Isaac/Israel.

I include Joseph in my Transfigurations play and have shared my gender outlaw version of the story in many venues. Back in 2012 I shared it with Quakers in New England

Joseph and Climate Change??

Over at the Climate Stew site we are always looking at new angles to help unpack the climate crisis. Our roving commentator, Marvin Bloom, has a new video in which he considers the story of Joseph in Genesis. It has so many twists and turns–intrigue, betrayal, miracles, migrants, and a massive drought.

In a large, blended family, Joseph is the favored younger son. This gets him into trouble with his older brother, especially after he had been lording it over them. They get rid of him by shipping him off to Egypt as a slave.

Joseph sold into slavery

Joseph sold into slavery

Joseph find favor and Trouble in Egypt

There he also find favor and trouble which lands him in jail. But due to his ability to interpret dreams, he is hauled out of prison and dragged before Pharaoh. He interprets Pharaoh’s troubling dreams and predicts temporary, regional climate change. He then offers an adaptation plan to help address the crisis and feed the people.

Joseph feeds the people, but at a cost

Joseph feeds the people, but at a cost

Everything turns out just as Joseph predicted, and the people have enough food to eat. Ah, but was there a major flaw in Joseph’s plan? Marvin thinks so, and feels we can learn something important from it.

How can we develop effective and just plans?

As we consider the ways to respond to our climate crisis, it helps to look at an ancient story about what they get right and what they got wrong. In trying to do good we may open up the door to injustice and oppression. Well, I’ll let Marvin speak for himself.


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