Genesis 37–39: On Being Like Joseph and Not Being Like Judah—At Least Not Yet (Bible Talk, Ep. 13)
Joseph’s story resolves every major plot-line of Genesis, proving that Moses is a “literary genius,” as Jim puts it. In this episode of Bible Talk, Alex chats with Jim and Sam about Genesis 37–39. They cover Joseph’s brothers, Judah and Tamar, and Joseph and Potiphar’s wife.
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1:35 / Alex explains how Joseph is introduced in the narrative by contrasts. Throughout these chapters, Moses is going to make clear how Joseph is not like the others around him, pointing toward the promised seed to come.
2:30 / Alex asks the question, “Is Joseph just a try-hard tattletale?” Jim and Sam explain why that’s not the case.
6:35 / Sam explains Joseph’s dreams in Genesis 37:1–11, focusing on how they perpetuate the theme of kingship in the biblical storyline.
9:35 / Should this podcast be named “And If I Might Add”?
9:55 / Why do Joseph’s brothers want to kill him? How does their plot to kill their brother point forward to David and ultimately even to Jesus?
15:00 / Sam unpacks the similarities between Jacob’s deception of his father and Joseph’s brothers’ deception of Jacob. How is the Joseph story a fitting end to Genesis? It’s at this point that Jim explains Moses’ literary genius.
19:51 / Jim narrates the dark events around Judah’s marriage to Tamar. Was there anything redemptive about Tamar’s sin? Why does she show up in Matthew’s genealogy?
29:15 / How does Judah find what he’s done wrong? How does his reaction reveal his character?
31:20/ There are lots of lessons one could draw from Genesis 38. But why does Moses include this dark story at this point in his narrative?
34:14 / Genesis 39 returns to Joseph. By now, he finds himself in Pharaoh’s good graces—not bad for a guy who got sold into slavery by his brothers. How did this happen? What is the Lord doing by elevating Joseph to such a high position?
38:21 / Jim teases out a connection between the righteous suffering of Joseph at the end of Genesis 39 and the suffering God’s people experience in the new covenant age. Jim and Sam must be rubbing off on Alex because he makes a sweet connection between Adam and Joseph.
42:04 / How does Genesis 39:21 contextualize what’s going on with Joseph? Sam plugs his upcoming book and then quotes the Heidelberg Catechism, Question 28.
45:30 In the rapid-fire section, Alex asks how you can preach this passage in a gospel-centered way. Is it wrong to draw moral implications from Joseph resisting temptation?
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Image: Joseph’s Tunic, by Diego Velázquez (1630)