This receiving email address was subscribed to our email list at our website.
Those wishing to may unsubscribe at anytime at the link provided below.
Having trouble reading this email? View it on our

  Tsiyon News

Tsiyon Messianic Radio Newsletter  - Vol 8.27 -  05/07/6013 TAM  -  07/16/13 AD

Eliyahu ben David Bet Midrash

Joseph's Exaltation

Genesis 40 + 41

On the road to Tsiyon Hidden in Plain Sight Focus on Israel Tsiyon Reading Room Criggarious

Joseph's Exaltation

Joseph Interprets for Pharaoh  Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon.           

He shaved himself, changed his clothing, and came in to Pharaoh.

Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have dreamed a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. I have heard it said of you, that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.”

Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, “It is not in me. Elohim will give Pharaoh an answer of peace."   Genesis 41:14-16

Listen FREE this Sabbath - Tsiyon Road Sabbath broadcasting begins July 16, 6 PM, Jerusalem time, and continues for 48 hours. The Midrash is broadcast 8 times over that period. Listen to this radio presentation free at that time!

TuneIn to Tsiyon Road!
any mobile device!
Holy Time
Holy Time Calendar

Keep Tsiyon Road
on the air.

Pass this newsletter
on to a friend!

Get Tsiyon Road App at Google Play!

Get The Official Tsiyon Road Android App 2.0


Tsiyon News

Our Eliyahu ben David Bet Midrash Torah Schedule was updated 7-11-13. You can download the latest copy from:

Silver Kingdom ShekelTsiyon Project Fund Raiser - Silver Kingdom Shekels
Tsiyon needs to raise funds for our 2nd Exodus Preparation Project at the same time silver is available to us at the best buying prices in years. This buying opportunity is unlikely to last long, but while it lasts we are taking orders for .999 fine Silver Kingdom Shekels. A small percentage of each order helps Tsiyon with our fund raiser - while allowing you to obtain more shekels per order. Now that is a win-win situation, but you will need to act fast.
Click the picture for more information!  

Tsiyon Listener Comment

Listener writes from prison: Shalom Eliyahu, Thanks for not giving up on me over all these years - and faithfully sending me your Tsiyon Newsletters from the Tsiyon Family. Here in prison, we had a blessed Passover time and foot washing time and memorial. Now we are continuing the Days of Unleavened Bread and observance in obedience to HIM, YHWH, our Passover Lamb and soon, COMING KING! I was born during Passover-66 years young--but greater than that He is the significant ONE for me--and forgets not. Furthermore, like Israel whom left evil Egypt and Pharaoh, I will be leaving the New Mexico prison in April, 2013 after serving 16 years for an accused, finger pointing, crime I did not commit, like what Joseph experienced. Thru it all we've learned to depend on HIM. After release we will be taking the state of New Mexico to task for malicious prosecution and false incarceration: resulting in imprisonment; and HIS constant presence; these many days and nights; to focus on Him. Please pray for me during this transition for this repentant, non retired veteran whom seeks to serve Him all the rest of the days of my life. He will make a way.  [Recently arrived in the Tsiyon USPS mail, delayed by the system since just after Passover.]

Joseph in an Egyptian Prison

The Biblical mention of Joseph serving time in a prison is noteworthy in itself. To us in the 20th century, serving time in a prison as punishment for a crime seems quite natural. But in the ancient world, this was not the case. The death penalty, a fine, or even bodily mutilation were the usual means of making people suffer for their crimes in the ancient Near East.

Prisons were rare in the ancient world. To see this, one need only look at the Old Testament Law. There is nothing there about serving a prison sentence for any sin or crime, and in fact there is nothing Biblically or archaeologically that would lead us to believe that the Hebrews even had prisons as we know them. The importance, then, of the prison sentence of Joseph is that the author of the book of Genesis is recording correct information, for Egypt was one of the few nations in the ancient Near East that had prisons in the classical sense of the term.

We are very fortunate to have an Egyptian papyrus, translated and published by the Egyptologist W. C. Hayes, that deals at length with Egyptian prisons (Hayes 1972). We have mentioned it also deals with Asiatic slaves in Middle Kingdom Egypt. Let us look at what this papyrus tells us about prisons and prison life in Egypt in the days of Joseph (Hayes 1972:37–42).

chief baker ostracon

Ostracon (pottery sherd with writing) from the Chief Baker of the Temple of Amun at Thebes acknowledging the receipt of wheat.

The main prison of Egypt was called the “Place of Confinement.” It was divided into two parts: a “cell-block” like a modern prison, and “a barracks” for holding a large number of prisoners who were forced into serving as laborers for the government. What kinds of sentences were given to prisoners? We know little about specific sentencing procedures. It does not seem that criminals were given a number of years to serve in prison. Perhaps all sentences were life sentences. In any case, some of the prisoners in the Place of Confinement were “serving time” for their crimes, as Joseph presumably was. Other prisoners, however, were simply being held in prison awaiting the decision of the government as to what their punishment was to be. In other words, they were waiting to find out if they were going to be executed. This last category seems to be that of the two individuals Joseph met while in prison, the Butler and the Baker.

Who were the two individuals? We are never told their names or their crimes. The fact that one of them, the Baker, was eventually executed, and the other, the Butler, was restored to office, leads us to believe that they were accused of being involved in some kind of plot against the king. Such things happened in ancient Egypt. In such a case, once the king sorted out the facts, the guilty would be punished and the innocent would be exonerated. The Baker was executed (for treason) and the Butler was restored to his position. But what was that position?

Egyptian bakery model

Tomb model of an ancient Egyptian bakery, Cairo Museum

We get the term “butler” from the KJV translation of the Bible, and it brings to our minds the very British concept of a man in a tuxedo who answers doorbells and supervises household servants. This does not reflect the situation in the Joseph story. The Hebrew title is “Cup Bearer” (for a Middle Kingdom example, see Vergote 1959:50). The duties of this personage involved providing beverages to the king; hence we see the importance of having someone trustworthy on the job.

Getting back to the prison itself, let us see what else the Hayes papyrus tells us about it. The main prison was located at Thebes (modern Luxor) in Upper Egypt, some 400 mi south of the Nile delta and modern Cairo. Assuming Joseph was there and not at some smaller prison (a correct assumption I believe since key royal officials were imprisoned there too), we see that the entire Joseph story cannot be confined to the delta area of the Nile as some scholars would have us believe.

As the Genesis account states, there was a “Warden” or “Overseer of the Prison,” who was assisted by a large staff of clerks and scribes. Record keeping at such an institution was as important to the ancient Egyptians as it is in a modem prison. The actual title Overseer of the Prison is not commonly found in Egyptian inscriptions, but examples do exist from the Middle Kingdom, the time of Joseph.

One of the chief assistants to the Warden or Overseer was the “Scribe of the Prison.” In Genesis 39:22 we are told that Joseph was promoted to high office in the prison. Since Joseph was literate, as we have seen from the fact that he served as steward in the household of Potiphar, it seems probable that he was promoted to Scribe of the Prison. As such, he would not only have been the right-hand man of the Warden, but he also would have been in charge of all the records of the institution.

No matter how high in rank he became, Joseph naturally would have valued his personal freedom more than a high office in the prison. When he interpreted the dream of the Cup Bearer as meaning that the Cup Bearer would be freed and restored to his post, Joseph implored that individual to remember him when he has the ear of Pharaoh. The Cup Bearer promises to do so, but quickly forgets Joseph when he assumes his old position again. It is only when Pharaoh himself dreams a dream that the Cup Bearer remembers the young Hebrew who could, through the power of God, interpret dreams. At that time, Joseph is called out of prison.

Egyptian Scribe's Pen and Ink Set

Scribe’s pen and ink set, Egyptian Museum, Berlin. Joseph would have used a set such as this in his duties as steward and prison official.

One final point needs to be noted. Joseph, before going to the king, has to change his clothing and shave (Gn 41:14). These are significant details. Native Egyptians were very concerned about personal cleanliness and the removal of all facial hair—the beards worn by kings were false beards. If Joseph appeared before a Hyksos, i.e. non-Egyptian Pharaoh, these factors would not have been so significant. It is likely that the ancient Hyksos were Amorites, and we have ancient pieces of art indicating that the Amorites grew beards. This verse, therefore, is further evidence that the Pharaoh of Joseph’s day was Egyptian and not Hyksos, and that Joseph is correctly dated to the Middle Kingdom period.

Reprinted from Bible and Spade (Fall 2000) and


Hayes, W. C., ed.
1972 A Papyrus of the Late Middle Kingdom in the Brooklyn Museum. Brooklyn: Brooklyn Museum Reprint.

Vergote, J.
1959 Joseph en Égypte. Louvain: Publications Universitaires.


Tsiyon Road Android AppThe Official Tsiyon Road Android App 2.0
Click image to download app from Google Play

Easily Listen to Tsiyon Road Messianic Radio from your Android device!

One listener says; "Thanks for the new Tsiyon Road Android App. It makes it SO easy for me to listen to all my favorite Tsiyon programs!"


Glorystar SatelliteTsiyon Road on Glorystar Satellite!

Satellite coverage for all of North America, Canada and much of South America. Glorystar has made an equipment package available just for Tsiyon Road listeners. To find out more visit our special Tsiyon Road page at:


Need to talk to us? - In the USA and Canada just call us toll free at (888) 230-2440 for help. Internationally, email us and we will arrange a phone or Skype call for you.

From Eliyahu

[Yes, we have sent this Tsiyon Newsletter a little early this time. That's to give you maximum time to respond to the links under Tsiyon News above.]

When we are experiencing trials, waiting on YHWH can sometimes be difficult. Here, remembering Joseph can be a big help. After being wrongly sent to prison for 12 long years, Joseph's day of release finally came. Yet, this was far more than a personal triumph. In fact, it was nothing less than an exaltation, as Joseph went from the lowest low to the highest height - namely, the top spot in Egypt under Pharaoh. Amazingly, Joseph's prison ordeal was a stepping-stone for Joseph by which YHWH exalted him for a Divine purpose. There is a bigger picture to the trials each of us must endure. Especially if you are facing trials right now, consider Joseph's exaltation with us for our latest midrash.

Blessings and Shalom!   

Eliyahu ben David 

Visit Tsiyon Messianic Radio

Thanks to our Tsiyon Ministry Partners for your support of this ministry!
Not a Tsiyon Ministry Partner yet? Visit our Tsiyon
Website for full details.

©2013 Tsiyon A130-425, 5701 W Slaughter LN, Austin, TX, USA, 78749
Please make offering checks to: "Tsiyon."

You may leave feedback, prayer requests and donations online here.