Making Scripture Relevant to Modern Readers
In the earliest version of the Joseph story, Joseph’s brothers never get the opportunity to sell him down to Egypt: the Midianites do it for them. Judah is not the brothers’ leader; in fact, he doesn’t feature at all, since according to this version he doesn’t exist. Most surprisingly, Joseph’s father, who hitherto was known as Jacob, is now Israel; he appears in the story a lot less. In this and many other respects, the earliest version of Joseph story is very different from what those familiar with the canonical text may recall. Joseph’s Ascent traces the development of this uniquely divergent account and its slow development into the canonical text we have today.