First things first: We don’t have nearly enough of those random giant pits lying around for storing and selling our siblings.
Ok, now to be fair, this straight-to-video prequel to The Prince of Egypt seems geared more toward kids, and obviously wasn’t given the same budget. It’s still worth the watch, though, if only for the fact that we learn it was Potiphar who finally unearthed Joseph’s natural flair for interior design.
Yes, there are a few minor Biblical inconsistencies, but DreamWorks got the important stuff right, like how Joseph spent most of his childhood prancing up and down hills with a group of unusually smiley sheep while singing, “I am a miracle child!”
And I didn’t recognize their voices at first, but the film stars Ben Affleck, Mark Hamill, and Jodi Benson, which means we can safely deduce that Joseph actually married the Little Mermaid, his brother was Luke Skywalker, and one day he himself aspired to be the Batman nobody really wanted but we all hope will do a decent job.
OH, SOMETHING YOU SHOULD KNOW: If you’re looking for Donny Osmond in a loin cloth, you’re in the wrong place.
Whether or not you enjoy this version, I really think the experience of Joseph can’t be told enough. There are many reasons this story has value, but I’ll mention just two:
First, the value of knowing that no matter what happens, God can be with us just as God was with Joseph over and over and over again. The film itself makes this message crystal clear when Joseph sings, “You know better than I.”
Just as our thoughts are not God’s thoughts, our plans are not always His plans. But come what may, we stay faithful.
As Walter F. Gonzalez put it: “In his youth Joseph was sold into slavery. He was taken away from everything he loved. Later he was tempted to be unchaste. He resisted the temptation and said, ‘How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?’ His love for God was more powerful than any adversity or temptation.”
The second valuable takeaway from this story is the similarity between the life of Joseph and the life of Jesus. A few examples:
- Envied (Joseph/Jesus)
- Betrayed by those closest to them (Joseph/Jesus)
- Stripped of their coats (Joseph/Jesus)
- Sold for silver (Joseph/Jesus)
- Falsely accused (Joseph/Jesus)
- Sentenced (Joseph/Jesus)
- Saviors (Joseph/Jesus)
Why does this similitude matter? Because, as the brother of another Joseph once said: “All things which have been given of God from the beginning of the world, unto man, are the typifying of him” — Jesus Christ.
“For,” as Paul said, “whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” — hope in Jesus Christ, hope of eternal life, and hope for a better world.
“God did send me before you to preserve life.” – Genesis 45:5