This blog is not pushing any kind of religious beliefs or ideas, so do not be afraid. It is rather a story of history, from a book written a long time ago, that we can hopefully learn a lesson from. The story of Joseph is eerily similar to the modern economy in America and perhaps our future. When those in power have complete control over all of the money and resources, they are able to manipulate their power to do terrible things, like enslave an entire nation without conflict. When we don’t learn from history, it is bound to repeat itself.
As a child, I was raised in the church, almost literally. I was forced to attend church every day the church was open. There was never any reason for someone in my family to not attend, even if we were sick. If we were sick that was even more of a reason we needed to attend, so we could be prayed for in hopes that prayer would cure our ailments. I didn’t always fully embrace it, and it was mostly rather boring as a child, but I became very familiar with a lot of the teachings, stories, and ideologies of the Bible…or so I thought.
The Bible is the most read book in history. It is full of parables and useful lessons that still hold true to this day, even if the messages are sometimes lost or perverted because of fanatic religious views, differences in interpretations and/or other ulterior motives.
Even if you don’t believe in Christianity or weren’t raised in the Christian church, there are undoubtedly stories or teachings you have heard and are very familiar with. I have recently started to reread the entire Bible for the first time as an adult, and now I am finally capable of actually comprehending what I am reading. The Bible, God, and the stories are very different from what I remembered or that of which I was taught. I decided to write this blog on one of those such stories and how history seems to be repeating itself. That brings me to the story of Joseph.
You might be familiar with the story of Joseph. At least the story I was taught as a child. Joseph, was one of the 12 sons of Jacob. Joseph was his father’s favorite son, and he was given a beautifully colored coat by his father that angered his brothers with jealousy. His brothers sold him into slavery and said he died, but through his faith in God and correctly interpreting the Pharaoh’s dreams (that Egypt would see seven years of plenty and seven years of famine) he went from prisoner to power, saved the people of Egypt, and forgave his wicked brothers of their treachery . I was taught that Joseph was an all around good guy and almost a hero in the Bible.
After reading the Bible and his story in Genesis as an adult, I have come to realize that the Sunday School version of Joseph was almost a complete lie. Joseph, was a shady, almost villain-like man who didn’t save the people of Egypt. Quite the contrary, he used his gift from God to foresee the future and wielded this knowledge to completely control the economy, wealth, and resources of Egypt to enslave all of its people. This is all prior to the Egyptians enslaving the Hebrews.(Jacob’s name was later changed to Israel, and he is the Godfather of the Hebrews. The Hebrews, God’s chosen people, are all the descendants of Jacob, which consisted of everyone in the family tree of Joseph and his 11 brothers, or “Israelites” known as the 12 tribes of Israel that settled in the land that god gave them, that we now call Israel) It was essentially Joseph’s fault the Hebrews were then in return enslaved because of the diabolical story I am about to share. The Hebrews then needed Moses, God, and a slew of plagues, another story which you might be familiar with, to free themselves from their slavery.
In Genesis, we learn of Joseph’s story. He was smart and extremely handsome, his brothers despised him, and he was sold into slavery. They said he was murdered while hunting, but instead he was sold to Potiphar. Potiphar (who was a eunuch) was Captain of the Guard to Pharaoh. Joseph served him very well. Potiphar liked Joseph, and Potiphar’s wife was also fond of Joseph. She wanted Joseph to sleep with her (probably because her husbands as unable to perform?), but he refused. She became angry and essentially lied saying he tried to rape her. Joseph was sent to prison. While in prison, he met two other men (a baker, and a cup-bearer) who held prominent positions under Pharaoh (Ruler of Egypt). One night, both men each had a profound dream that troubled them. Joseph interpreted their dreams through his gift from God. After their release from prison, Joseph’s interpretations came exactly true (one was sentenced to death and the other was restored to his former position.)
Sometime later, the Pharaoh was deeply troubled by two dreams he had, and no one could interpret them for him. One of the men said he knew a man named Joseph who was in prison that interpreted his dreams precisely and who might be able to help. Pharoah sought Joseph’s help, and using his gift from God, he explained what the Pharoah’s dreams meant and what was coming. There would be seven years of plenty (grain) followed by seven years of famine. Joseph told the Pharoah to stockpile grain during the good years, so it could be used during the seven bad years of famine. The Pharoah thought Joseph was very wise and put him in charge of this plan.
It is a rags to riches story, except how Joseph then chose to use this vision of the future. He knew that the land would become barren, people would starve and become desperate.
The first seven years he gathered and stored all of the grain in Egypt for the Pharaoh. During the first year of famine Joseph exploited the sale of grain. He sold the grain to the starving Egyptians at high prices essentially sucking all of the money out of circulation and stored it away in the Pharaoh’s coffers. This forced their entire economy to collapse because their was no longer any medium of currency or exchange.
This sent Egypt into an economic depression. Without money or the conditions needed for production of grain, they had no food or money and became reliant on Joseph and the Pharaoh to avoid starvation.
In the second year of famine, the people came to Joseph for more grain, but they no longer had money to trade. Joseph offered the people more grain, but this time it was in exchange for their cattle and flocks (he essentially stole their entire means of production) which made the people of Egypt even more dependent on the Pharoah reserves and Joseph’s “divine wisdom”.
Of course, I have been paraphrasing this entire story so far, so here are actual Bible verses for the next horrible step in this economic landslide and the enslavement of Egypt.
Genesis 47:18 When that year was over, they came to him the following year and said, “We cannot hide from our lord the fact that since our money is gone and our livestock belongs to you, there is nothing left for our lord except our bodies and our land. 19 Why should we perish before your eyes—we and our land as well? Buy us and our land in exchange for food, and we with our land will be in bondage to Pharaoh. Give us seed so that we may live and not die, and that the land may not become desolate.”20 So Joseph bought all the land in Egypt for Pharaoh. The Egyptians, one and all, sold their fields, because the famine was too severe for them. The land became Pharaoh’s, 21 and Joseph reduced the people to servitude,from one end of Egypt to the other.23 Joseph said to the people, “Now that I have bought you and your land today for Pharaoh, here is seed for you so you can plant the ground. 24 But when the crop comes in, give a fifth of it to Pharaoh. The other four-fifths you may keep as seed for the fields and as food for yourselves and your households and your children.” (Income tax) 25 “You have saved our lives,” they said. “May we find favor in the eyes of our lord; we will be in bondage to Pharaoh.”
Joseph isn’t quite the hero he was portrayed in Sunday school, huh? All from anticipating a food shortage through a gift of interpretation from God, Joseph was able to force an entire nation into slavery without any military might, war, or violence. He used his vision of the future to rob them of everything, including hope, to the point they were actually grateful to become slaves, lose all of their possessions, and work land they previously owned just to survive.
By my estimation, this ancient devious plan of forcing the masses into servitude has been in progress for some time in America. By now, you have started to see some similarities with the current situation and where we might be headed.
When our country operated off of the Gold standard, the value of the dollar was a flat rate and derived that rate off of the amount of gold one could purchase for it. The amount of dollars in circulation were based on the amount of gold our country had.
In 1933, the plan began, and FDR and our government used Executive Order 6102 to steal almost all of our nations gold from individuals. The Gold became property of the government and is supposedly stored in holdings. (like Fort Knox??)
During the next 80 years, we have seen an exponential discrepancy in the gap of wealth between those at the top compared to those at the bottom. The top 1% of individuals now have as much wealth as the bottom 90%. They are sucking the money out of our economy which will almost certainly lead to economic failure at some point. (2008 was just a warm up to see how we would react).
About 50% of Americans now receive some form of government benefits. Since the first free trade agreement in 1985 with Israel (go figure it was with Israel), American production has plummeted. Millions of American jobs have been lost to the point that we now have to purchase almost everything from foreign countries (including food.)
What happens when there is a food shortage or a major biblical type famine? (that man-made global warming could easily cause in our lifetime) With so many people already reliant on the government, and the current lack of production in America, what happens to the majority of us in the event of another economic disaster? (which seems all but likely at this point) Need we look to the Bible and the story of Joseph for the next step in the plan? Will we have to give the Government our homes or become enslaved just to survive?
I must say that reading that old book is starting to scare me!!! For those that don’t think there are valuable lessons in the Bible, and it is all a bunch of babble, I am going to have to disagree. We might very well right now be living out the last part of the story of Joseph and the Egyptians that I just shared with you. Even if you aren’t religious or never read the Bible, hopefully now you know how this story might end!