Joseph the Righteous was strong in understanding and in interpreting dreams. There is no doubt that this was a gift of God and that the Lord was with him.· He was strong in management, for when he was in the house of Potiphar he succeeded in all that he put his hand to. (Genesis 39)
He was strong in his chastity, for he overcame the wiles of Potiphar’s wife and because of his chastity, the sinful woman plotted against him so that his master had him thrown into prison. In prison, he gained the confidence of the officer in charge who left the management of all matters to him. The prisoners came to him for advice and it is here that the power to interpret dreams appeared. He interpreted the dreams of the chief baker and of Pharaoh’s cup-bearer and what he told them was fulfilled. Later, Pharaoh was informed of this ability.
When he interpreted Pharaoh’s double dream and told him what he had to do, Pharaoh told his men, “Can we find such a man as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God.” (Genesis 41:38) He made him the second man in his kingdom and the overseer of supplies. Joseph was the most powerful Minister of SuppliesEgypt ever had throughout its history.
With wisdom and authority, he was able to store food during the plentiful years and to distribute this in the lean years. He was able to meet the needs of Egypt and the neighboring countries who came to Egypt in search of grain. Joseph had profound and powerful wisdom in dealings with his brothers.He had the ability to hide his identity from them and showed strength in disciplining them and in revealing the truth about himself. He showed strong emotions towards his father and his brother Benjamin. He was strong in forgiving his brothers who had sold him into slavery.
Thus, in the Old Testament, he was able to carry out the Commandment of the Lord Jesus Christ in the New Testament, “Love your enemies,… do good to those who hate you,” (Matthew 5:44) He was good to them and their families and did not take his revenge on them. He reassured them and removed their fear of him, especially after the death of his father.
He wept when they asked for his forgiveness saying, “We are your servants.” Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good,… to save many people alive. Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
HH Pope Shenouda III