Copyright 2021



Jacob had 13 children by 4 women: his 2 wives (Leah and Rachel) and their 2 servants.  He had 10 sons before his favorite wife Rachel, the only one he loved, gave birth to Joseph.  Joseph was his favorite.  Later Rachel died giving birth to another son, Benjamin.

    1. Why were the older brothers jealous of Joseph? Why is favoritism in families so bad? (v. 4)
    2. Jacob’s own father preferred his brother Esau over him, so he knew the pain of parental rejection. Why, then, did he do the same thing with his own sons?
    3. Since it’s natural to look up to older brothers and want their approval, why did Joseph bring back a bad report about them (i.e., tattle on them)? (v. 2)
    4. Did the dreams have the same meaning? What did the dreams mean? Why have two dreams instead of just one?
    5. Why did Joseph tell everyone his dreams? Didn’t he realize how they would respond?
    6. Do you think Joseph was 1) spoiled, 2) immature, 3) hurt and revengeful or 4) just a normal 17-year-old younger brother? Why do you think what you do?
    7. Why is jealousy a sin?
    8. Satan was jealous of God, so he rebelled and was cast out of heaven. In what ways does Satan use jealousy as a tool to defeat the jealous person and the one who is the object of jealousy?
    9. How common a problem is jealousy?
    10. When do you most struggle with jealousy?
    11. How can someone overcome jealousy?
    12. What can a person do when they think someone is jealous of them?


  1. GENESIS 37:12-26 REVENGE
    1. Why did Jacob send Joseph to his brothers when he knew there was a jealousy problem between them? (v. 12-14)
    2. Why did God include this little detail in v. 15-17 about how Joseph found them? Every word in the Bible is important, what is important about this?
    3. The hurt from Jacob turned into bitterness in the brothers (v. 18-20). What can we do with our hurt so it doesn’t become bitterness and revenge?
    4. Reuben wanted to help Joseph but didn’t want to oppose his brothers. (v. 21-24) Why didn’t he just stand up for what was right?  Do you think he regretted not doing so in the future?
    5. How can they be so cruel to their brother then calmly sit and eat while hearing his cries? (v. 25) How does one’s conscience become this hard?
    6. Why did God allow the caravan to come when Reuben was gone? (26-29) If the timing of this was different, or the timing with the man in v. 15-17, Joseph would have been OK. Does it seem like God is actually helping the brothers do this to Joseph?
    7. Who was Reuben concerned about: Joseph, his father or himself? (v. 30) Explain your answer.
    8. One sin leads to a second sin to cover up the first sin. Can you think of other examples of this happening in the Bible? In life?
    9. How do you think the brothers, with their hardened consciences, feel about Jacob’s great grief? (v. 33-35) Did it just make them more jealous of Joseph?
    10. Why doesn’t revenge feel as good as we think it will?
    11. Why is revenge a sin?


    1. If “God was with Joseph,” (v. 1-2) why didn’t He let him go home? Why let something unfair happen to him?
    2. Why did God prosper Joseph if it was just going to lead to Potiphar’s wife tempting him and leading to his imprisonment? (v. 3-6)
    3. How has God prospered you (shown His favor to you) despite being in bad circumstances?
    4. Why did Joseph resist her when no one would know what he did? (v. 6-10) God seemingly deserted him, so why still serve God? He had natural, God-given youthful desires; couldn’t he have used that as an excuse?
    5. Why did Joseph run? (v. 11-12) What can we learn about handling temptation from this? (1 Corinthians 10:13)
    6. Was Potiphar angry at Joseph or his wife? Did he know what kind of woman she was? If so, why did he believe her?  (v. 13-19)
    7. Why did God allow something so unfair to happen to Joseph again, especially when he was doing right by resisting? (v. 20)
    8. How can we handle unfair things in life without getting angry or revengeful?
    9. How do you think Joseph felt towards God about this?
    10. Why did God allow this to happen? Wasn’t being a slave in Egypt bad enough for Joseph? Why reward faithfulness with more misery?
    11. Did Joseph get bitter? If not, why not?
    12. Why did God again prosper Joseph if He was just going to let him stay in prison for many years? (v. 21-23)
    13. Make a list of all the unfair things that happened to Joseph so far.


    1. Joseph had been in prison about 10 years when Genesis 40 opens. Why did God ignore him for so long?
    2. How did Joseph handle the unfairness of all that has happened to him without getting bitter?
    3. Why did Joseph are about others when his own life seemed so hopeless? (v. 1-7)
    4. How could he keep his faith in God for all this time? (v. 8)
    5. What does the fact that God revealed the meaning of dreams to Joseph show about his relationship with God? (v. 9-13)
    6. If God could show Joseph the future through dreams, why didn’t he show Joseph his own future so he would be reassured? (v. 14-15)
    7. Did Joseph remember his dreams about his father and brothers bowing down to him? How did he handle that in light of his current circumstances?
    8. We sometimes think we’d like to know our future, but how do you think knowing this affected the chief baker? (v. 16-19)
    9. How should it affect us to realize God knows the exact time, cause and place of our death? (v. 20-22)
    10. How would you live differently if you knew you were going to die in 3 days?
    11. Why did God allow Joseph to get his hopes up only to be disappointed again? (v. 23)
    12. Has there been a time God allowed you to get your hopes up about something only to have it not happen?


  1. GENESIS 41:1-40 FREEDOM
    1. If you were Joseph, how would 2 more years in prison after being disappointed again affect you? (v. 1)
    2. Why did God give 2 dreams instead of just 1? (v. 2-7)
    3. Why did the dreams trouble Pharaoh? (v. 8)
    4. How do you feel when someone promises to do something for you but doesn’t? (v. 9-13)
    5. How do you feel when you promise to do something for someone but don’t do it?
    6. Why didn’t God put it in this man’s heart to remember Joseph sooner?
    7. How do you think Joseph felt when Pharaoh called for him? (v. 14) Did he get his hopes up once again?
    8. What do Joseph’s words in v. 16 tell us about what was happening in Joseph during the past 15 years?
    9. Why didn’t God reveal this directly to Pharaoh instead of in a dream? (v. 16-32)
    10. Was Joseph hinting he should be the one for the job? (v. 33) Is he being presumptuous?
    11. how could Joseph come up with such a detailed, effective plan so quickly? (v. 34-38)
    12. Joseph’s whole life turned around in a single day again. (v.39-40) How do you think this affected him?
    13. Think of a time your life turned on a single day? Where was God in it?


  1. GENESIS 41:41-57 PROMOTED
    1. How do you think Joseph adjusted to the sudden change? (v. 41-45)
    2. How would he have reacted differently if he were still the 17-year-old being sold into slavery?
    3. What changes took place in Joseph from 17 to 30, his present age, that make him better suited for this job?
    4. Do you think God knew all along this would happen and was preparing him just for this?
    5. Is God working in your life now preparing you for what He has in your future?
    6. How did Joseph stay humble through all of this?
    7. How do you stay humble and keep from pride?
    8. What do the names of his sons show about his relationship with God? (v. 46-55)
    9. Why didn’t all that happened to Joseph make him bitter by this time?
    10. What is the best way to prevent bitterness?
    11. Instead of telling Joseph the meaning of the dreams so people didn’t starve, why didn’t God just prevent the famine?
    12. What can you learn about God from this story so far?
    13. What lessons can you learn from Joseph so far?


  1. GENESIS 42:1-24 GUILT
    1. Did Jacob continue to show favoritism, this time to Benjamin? (v. 1-4)
    2. God uses world events to carry out His plan for one family. All this was to get them to move to Egypt so they would not continue to intermarry with the pagan nations around them. God wanted them to be a pure nation for Him  What does God using world events for His purpose show about Him?
    3. Why didn’t Joseph tell his brothers who he was? (v. 5-7)
    4. Why did Joseph falsely charge them with being spies when he knew they weren’t? (v. 8-12) Is it ever OK to lie if it is for a good purpose?
    5. Is joseph being too hard on his brothers? Is he showing bitterness, hurt or unforgiveness? (v. 13-17)
    6. Why did Joseph do this?
    7. What was Joseph feeling during this time?
    8. Why did Joseph change and say only one brother had to stay instead of all of them? (v. 18-20)
    9. What is their guilt doing to them? (v. 21-23)
    10. Why did Joseph cry? (v. 24)
    11. How many years had these brothers been feeling guilty?
    12. What could they do to remove the guilt feelings?
    13. Do you have guilt feelings from the past?
    14. What can you do to have victory over them?


    1. Why did Joseph put their money back without telling them? (v. 25-28)
    2. Is he showing love and forgiveness, or making them feel more guilt and fear?
    3. Why do they blame God for this happening? Are they right to do so?
    4. Why are people quick to blame God for bad but slow to thank Him for good?
    5. How do you think Jacob felt about what happened? (v. 29-34)
    6. Why were they frightened when they saw their money returned to them? (v. 35)
    7. Who is Jacob concerned about, his sons or himself? (v. 36) Explain your answer
    8. What kind of a person is Jacob?
    9. What kind of a person is Reuben? (v. 37)
    10. Jacob is using guilt to manipulate his sons. (v. 38) Why do people do that?
    11. Why does it work?
    12. What life lessons can you learn from Jacob?
    13. If you were in this story, who would you be most like: Joseph, Reuben, Judah, Simeon, Benjamin or Jacob? Why?


  1. GENESIS 43:1-15 CHANGES
    1. What is the significance of Jacob’s name being changed to Israel in Genesis 32:22-30?
    2. Why is he called Israel in Genesis 43:1-6 when he was called Jacob in Genesis 42? God has a reason for everything in His Word.
    3. Jacob blames everything on someone else. (v. 6) Why?
    4. What was Judah’s solution to the problem? (v. 7-10)
    5. What change is there in Judah from Genesis 32:26-27? Why the change?
    6. Evidently, they waited much longer than necessary before returning. How do you think this affected Joseph?
    7. How must it have affected Simeon?
    8. Why does Jacob change his mind? (v. 11-14)
    9. How do you think Benjamin felt about this? (v. 15)
    10. How was God using this to grow Jacob?
    11. How was God using this to grow the brothers?
    12. How was God using this in Joseph’s life?
    13. What is God doing in your life right now? Don’t answer quickly, think awhile first.


    1. Why did Joseph want them in his house? (v. 16)
    2. Why did this make his brothers more afraid? (v. 17-18)
    3. Why does a guilty conscious make us afraid?
    4. Why did they tell the steward this? (v. 19-22)
    5. How did the steward know about their God? (v. 23)
    6. Would Joseph have treated the brothers differently if Jacob were no longer alive? (v. 24-28)
    7. What emotions did Joseph feel when he saw his brother Benjamin? (v. 29-30)
    8. Why did Joseph cry?
    9. Why did he cry in private?
    10. Was Joseph tempted to be angry/bitter with his brothers because of the 13 years he was cheated out of being with Benjamin?
    11. Why didn’t Joseph take revenge on his brothers?
    12. Crying shows Joseph felt the pain instead of letting it turn to anger. What can we learn from him about how to handle our hurt?
    13. Why did Joseph seat them in birth order? (v. 31-33)
    14. Why give Benjamin more than the others? (v. 34) Is he showing favoritism like his father did?
    15. How did Benjamin feel about this?


  1. GENESIS 44:1-34 FEAR
    1. What do you think Joseph has in mind? (v. 1-2)
    2. Why isn’t he ready to say who he is?
    3. It seems Joseph is dishonest and cruel – is he? Why do all this? (v. 3-5)  Does he want revenge?
    4. How did the brothers feel? Why is God allowing them to suffer when innocent? (v. 6-9)
    5. Why Benjamin? He never hurt Joseph, so why does Joseph hurt him this way? (v. 10-13)
    6. Why didn’t Joseph want all of them to stay? (v. 14-17)
    7. Why is Judah telling him all this? (v. 18-34)
    8. What does this tell you about Judah?
    9. Why is God allowing Joseph to do this to His brothers?
    10. Benjamin must be more upset than anyone. Why is Joseph scaring Benjamin? Why is God allowing him to hurt innocent Benjamin?
    11. What do you think Joseph’s servants thought about all this?


    1. What emotions was Joseph feeling? List all of them. (v. 1-2)
    2. What were the brothers’ first thoughts when they discovered he was Joseph? (v. 3-4)
    3. Why were they afraid?
    4. Why does Joseph want to reassure them when it seemed he was getting revenge on them? (v. 5-8)
    5. Why the sudden change in Joseph?
    6. How did Joseph know God has this plan in mind all along?
    7. When do you think Joseph came up with this plan? (v. 9-11)
    8. What if the brothers didn’t want to move to Egypt?
    9. What did they talk about? (v. 12-15)
    10. Do you think the brothers apologized?
    11. Did being welcomed by Joseph remove their guilt? Why or why not?
    12. Joseph let Benjamin go with the brothers. Did he trust them to come back? Why or why not?
    13. What lessons can be learned from this passage/event?


  1. GENESIS 45:16-28 GOOD NEWS
    1. Why is Pharaoh being so welcoming and hospitable? (v. 16-20)
    2. What does this say about the character and repentance of Joseph?
    3. Why did Joseph give them all these things when they’d just turn around and bring them back to Egypt? (v. 21-23)
    4. What is implied by Joseph’s statement? (v. 24)
    5. Why is there a lot of quarreling in some families?
    6. Do you think they listened to Joseph and didn’t quarrel?
    7. How do you think Jacob felt when he heard Joseph was alive? (v. 25-26) What different emotions did he feel?
    8. Why did Jacob then believe them? (v. 27-28)
    9. How do you think the brothers explained why Joseph was still alive?
    10. How must have Jacob responded to that knowledge?
    11. Jacob lied to and deceived his brother Esau. Is that why God is letting the same thing happen to him? (Is that how the Golden Rule works – he did it so now he gets it back?)
    12. Did this whole event change the brothers? If so, how?
    13. What events in your past have changed you for the better?


  1. GENESIS 46:1 – 47:12 MOVING ON

Backstory: Because the Jews were intermarrying and turning to their pagan neighbors’ religions, God removed them from Canaan.  Egyptians hated shepherds and wouldn’t have anything to do with them so there would be no intermarrying.  Thus, the Jews went from 70 to almost 4 million in 400 years.

  1. Why did God go to so much trouble to move the Jews? Why was it so important to Him that they obeyed and stayed pure?
  2. Why is God reassuring Jacob about going to Egypt? (v. 1-4) Why did Jacob need reassurance about leaving the Promised Land?
  3. How does Romans 8:28 apply to this story?
  4. Why are the names of all these men included? (v. 5-27)
  5. How do you think Jacob felt meeting Joseph? (v. 28-30)
  6. How do you think Joseph felt meeting Jacob?
  7. Why did the Egyptians think shepherds detestable? (v. 31-343)
  8. What do you think Jacob thought of pharaoh? (47:1-12)
  9. What do you think Pharaoh thought of Jacob?
  10. Because of their disobedience, Abraham’s descendants had to leave the Promised Land for about 400 years. How many examples can you find in the story of Joseph and Jacob that show that sin brings sorrow?
  11. Give examples of how sin brings sorrow today?


  1. GENESIS 47:13 – 50:26 CONCLUSION
    1. Do you think Joseph’s brothers ever totally trusted him? Why or why not?
    2. Do you think Joseph ever totally forgave his brothers? Why or why not?
    3. In what ways was the life of Joseph similar to the life of Jesus. There are many parallel events. How many can you list?
    4. What does this story teach us about God?
    5. What are the most outstanding lessons for you personally from the life of Joseph?