The Joseph Forumla: Part 1

April 14, 2011 at 4:25 pm Leave a comment

Field of Corn

By Dr. Hany El-Banna and Mohammad Shakir

Whether you have read the Qur’an, Old Testament or seen the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Time Rice musical; most of us know about the story of Joseph. To give you a quick recap – Joseph was the 11th of 12 brothers borne to Jacob. God had given Joseph the gift of foresight and prophecy, specifically the ability to interpret dreams.

This ability made his other brothers jealous and they plotted to kill him. Using the excuse of taking Joseph out to play, the brothers took him and left him in a well to be picked up by travellers upon the urging of one of the brothers. Joseph’s brothers took his shirt and stained it with blood and went back to their father Jacob, claiming that Joseph had been attacked by a wolf. Jacob didn’t believe this.

While in the well he was picked up travellers who sold him into slavery in Egypt. Joseph excelled at his job and soon caught the eye of his master’s wife. She tried to seduce him and when he declined her advances he prayed to God that he would rather be put in prison than succumb to her advances. His prayers were answered.

During his time in prison, his ability to interpret dreams became of use as he interpreted the dreams of two servants from the royal household, one which had a dream about pressing grapes into wine and the other dreamt about birds eating from a basket of bread he was holding. Joseph interpreted that the wine maker would go free and would serve the king, but the servant holding the baskets of bread would be executed through crucifixion and that birds would eat from his head.

This came to pass and the dreams came true. Joseph asked the servant that was free to tell the king of his plight in prison, but he forgot to and Joseph spent and longer time in jail.

The king, however had a dream of seven fat cows being eaten by seven skinny ones and seven ears of corn being replaced with shrivelled ones, but none of his advisor’s could interpret it. This gave the king much worry. When the servant who was released from prison heard of the king’s dreams, he remembered Joseph and the king sent him to the prison to relate his dreams to Joseph.

Joseph told the servant that Egypt would face seven years of prosperity and then suffer seven years of famine and that king should prepare for it so as to avoid great suffering. The king asked to see Joseph, but he asked that his name was cleared before he would speak to the king. The king cleared Joseph of any wrong doing after meeting with the women who had lusted after him.

Joseph gained the king’s trust and confidence and was eventually put in charge of the Egypt’s warehouses to store food during the seven years of prosperity to prepare for the seven years of famine.

In the next part Dr. Hany El-Banna will look at how Joseph’s prophecy lead to the concept of the long term sustainability for Egypt and what lessons we can learn from it.

Entry filed under: Ethical Business, Funding, Our Community, Social Enterprise. Tags: , , , , , , .

Unity The Joseph Formula part 2

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