The favourite son of the patriarch Jacob (Gen. 37–47) who had dreams of future domination. He became the victim of his brothers' jealousy, and was sold by them to merchants on their way to Egypt. There, however, Joseph's administrative ability brought him great power. When the brothers came to buy corn during a famine, a dramatic reconciliation followed, and the whole family removed to Egypt. In the eyes of the narrator the story probably typifies the constant internecine conflict amongst the twelve tribes but also the hope of an ultimate reconciliation. There may also be a dim recollection of a historical fact that parties of Hebrews of different tribes had temporarily settled in Egypt at different times.
The husband of Mary the mother of Jesus and a descendant of David (Matt. 1: 20) who like the preceding Joseph also had dreams and in the gospel is commended (1: 19) for his refusal to divorce his betrothed Mary when she was found to be pregnant. Joseph disappears from the gospel narratives apart from a sneering reference in John 6: 42—‘Is not this Jesus, the Son of Joseph?’
Joseph of Arimathaea.