This tale from the Bible has all the ingredients of a really good plot, and has even been made into a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Joseph was his father’s favourite son, and when his father gave him a magnificent coat for a present, his brothers became jealous. One day they hatched a plot to sell him into slavery for 20 pieces of silver. Joseph found himself in Egypt, but his gift for telling the future helped him turn his fortunes.
Read by Natasha. Duration 20 minutes.
Proofread by Claire Deakin & Jana Elizabeth
Joseph and His Coat of Many Colours -
Many years ago there were twelve brothers. They lived in a hot and sunny land called Canaan, and they were farmers. Their father was called Jacob, and his two last sons were born when he was already extremely old. Their names were Joseph and Benjamin, and the two youngest were by far the favourites of the old man – so much so, that their older brothers became quite envious of them.
Joseph was a dreamy boy, and his brothers were always teasing him for having his ‘head in the clouds’ and not paying attention to what was going on around him. In fact, Joseph noticed everything, and when his brothers neglected their work or did something wrong, he told their father all about it. The brothers were furious with him for getting them into trouble.
On Joseph’s seventeenth birthday, Jacob gave him a magnificent present. It was a coat woven with a beautiful pattern that contained many different colours. Joseph loved the coat, but when his older brothers saw it they became even more jealous, and their dislike for him grew even stronger!
One day they were out in the fields, and Joseph started to tell his brothers about the dream he had the previous night.
In the dream, the brothers had been gathering the wheat in the fields and tying them up into bundles called sheaves. Joseph’s sheaf stood up as if it were alive, and all his brothers’ sheaves bowed down before it.
When Joseph had finished telling the dream his brothers were deeply offended and insulted!
“What is the meaning of this dream?” they said. “That you shall rule over us, and we shall bow down before you? How dare you dream such a dream? You should shut up and do as you’re told.”
A few nights later, Joseph had another dream. This time he told it to his entire family while they were eating their meal. He dreamt that he had stood on a mountain top, and the sun, the moon and all the stars had bowed down before him.
This dream was too much, even for his old father.
“This is a very unbelievable, crazy dream, young man,” he said. “Do you mean that your father, mother, and all your brothers should bow down before you? You’d better not dream such a dream again, or you may regret it.”
When the older brothers saw how angry their father was with Joseph, they were pleased, but soon their dad went back to favouring Joseph above all the others, so they went back to hating Joseph.
One day, the brothers went to tend to their flocks in some far away pastures. Benjamin was still too young to go out and work, but Jacob sent Joseph to join the older brothers. He put on his coat of many colours and went out to look for them. The brothers spotted him from far off, and while he was still approaching they planned a plot against him.
“Oh no, here comes the dreamer boy,” said one. “Let’s kill him, and throw him in a pit. We will tell father that a wild beast ate him up.”
Reuben, who was the oldest, decided to save Joseph. He said: “No, let’s not be so mean that we kill him. He’s an annoying little pest, but he is still our brother. Let’s drop him in a pit and leave him as food for the animals. That way we can truthfully tell father that it was not we who killed him, but the wild beasts.”
Secretly, Reuben planned to come back later and rescue Joseph from the pit before any great harm came to him.
So when Joseph arrived and said: “Here I am. Would you like to hear what I dreamed last night?”
The brothers said: “Did you dream this little brother?” They seized him, stripped him of his coat of many colours and slung him into a hole in the ground. It was a deep pit with no water in it, and if the wild beasts did not eat him, he would surely die of thirst before too long, for it was a baking hot country, on the edge of the desert.
Pleased with their plan, the brothers sat down to eat their lunch. While they were eating, some travelling merchants came by. Their camels were loaded with spices, balms, and myrrh for perfumes, which they were carrying to Egypt.
Now the brothers planned a second plot. Judah said: “Come, what’s in it for us if we just leave our brother to die? Let us at least make some profit out of him – it will be the first and last time that he brings any good to us. We’ll sell him to these merchants, and they can take him as a slave to Egypt.”
The others agreed that it was a fine plan, and so they sold Joseph to the merchants for twenty pieces of silver. Then they killed a goat and dipped Joseph’s coat in the blood. They took the coat to their father, and explained that his favourite son, Joseph, had been killed by a wild animal. Their father Jacob wept and tore his hair out with great sadness, saying that he could never be happy again because of this news. The brothers were, however, happy that they were rid of him, and had made some money too.
The merchants took Joseph to the land of Egypt, which was ruled by a magnificent king, called a Pharaoh. There they sold him to Potiphar, who was captain of the Pharaoh’s bodyguard. Joseph served his new master well, and was well liked by him. Then one day, when Potiphar was gone from the palace, his wife tried to kiss Joseph. Joseph said: “No way!” …And ran away from her. When Potiphar came back, his wife lied and made up stories about Joseph attacking her. When Potiphar heard all this, he ordered Joseph to be arrested and thrown in jail.
Joseph lived in the dungeon jail with two other men. One of the men had been the Pharaoh’s chief servant, called a butler. The other had been his baker. Both men had done some small things to annoy the Pharaoh, and had been thrown into prison as a result.
One morning, the butler said: “I had such a strange dream last night. I only wish that there was somebody here who could tell me its meaning.”
Joseph replied that he understood dreams, and begged the butler to tell it to him, which he did. He said: “In my dream I was walking through a vineyard. I came to an especially wonderful vine, which had three branches loaded with bright juicy fruit. I picked the grapes off these three branches, and made them into wine. I poured the wine into a cup, took it to the Pharaoh, and he drank it.”
“Well,” said Joseph. I can tell you the meaning of your dream. The three branches are three days, and in three days’ time, you shall be restored to your former job and you will serve wine into the Pharaoh’s hand.”
The butler thanked Joseph, and promised to remember him when he was free.
The next night the baker had a dream. He dreamt that he was carrying three white baskets in a pile on his head. They were filled with all sorts of delicious pastries and pies, and he meant to take them to the Pharaoh, but before he could arrive, a flock of birds flew down and ate all the bread.
“Indeed,” said Joseph, “I can tell you the meaning of your dream. The three baskets are three days, and in three days time the guard will come and chop off your head.”
It all happened just as Joseph had said. The baker was executed, and the butler was restored to his former position. But for two whole years the butler did not remember Joseph, until one day the Pharaoh said to his advisers:
“I had the strangest dream last night. I was standing by the river and seven fat, happy looking cows came out of the water and started to eat the grass by the bank. Then a little later, seven thin and awful looking cows came out from the water, and they ate up the fat cows. It was so weird. If only some wise man could tell me what it means.”
But none of the Pharaoh’s helpers could interpret the dream. The Butler, who was standing near by, heard this. He remembered Joseph in the prison cell. Then he said: “Sir, if you’ll permit me to speak. Some years ago, in your vast wisdom, your Magnificence saw fit to throw your butler and your baker into the dungeon. There we met a man who listened to our dreams and understood our fates, and all the dreams came true exactly as he had predicted.”
When he heard this, the Pharaoh sent for Joseph. The guards took Joseph from the dungeon, made sure that he was washed, shaved and dressed in fresh clothes, and brought him before the Pharaoh.
Joseph listened to the Pharaoh’s dream about the seven fat cows and the seven thin cows, and he told him exactly what it meant.
“Your Majesty, the cows in your dream mean years, and the fat cows are years of plenty. The coming seven years will be full of food, and everyone will have enough to eat and more. But the thin cows are lean years, and the following seven years will be empty of food and the fields of crops will bring you nothing to eat. There is a great danger that everyone in the land of Egypt will starve.”
“You must find a wise man to work for you during the seven years of plenty. He will put the extra food into storage. When the seven lean years come, he will take the food out of the storage, and make sure that the people do not starve.”
The Pharaoh listened to the words of Joseph, and wondered whom he could appoint to oversee such an important task. After thinking very long and hard, he decided that he knew of no wiser man than Joseph himself.
And so Joseph became chief minister, and was the most important person in all of Egypt, except for the Pharaoh of course. Everything happened as he had predicted. There were seven good years followed by seven bad years, but nobody starved in the land because he had saved up enough food during the good times.
However, back in the land of Canaan, Josephs family had not stored up any food, and they did not have enough to eat. Joseph’s dad, Jacob, sent his ten eldest sons to Egypt to buy some food before they starved to death. He ordered that Benjamin, the youngest, stay at home, because he could not risk losing another son like Joseph.
The brothers came to the Egyptian court, and stood before Joseph. They did not recognise their brother whom they had not seen since he was a young boy of seventeen, and whom they had sold into slavery. The man they were looking at was a magnificent important official, and they bowed down before him, just as Joseph had predicted they would do, many, many years before.
Joseph knew his brothers, however, and decided to play a trick on them.
“You are spies!” He shouted at them. They became very afraid, and begged that he do them no harm.
When he saw his brothers trembling with fear, he softened his voice and asked about their family and where they came from. Simeon, who was the second oldest, replied that they were twelve brothers, but one was dead, and the youngest was at home with his father.
When he heard this, Joseph longed to see his little brother, Benjamin, and he said: “Bring the youngest to me, and then I shall give you what you ask.”
He permitted the brothers to take only a little food, and sent nine of them home to fetch Benjamin, but he kept Simeon prisoner to ensure that the others returned.
When they came home, their father wept and said: “My children are taken from me. First I lost Joseph, then Simeon, and now Benjamin shall be lost too.”
Soon they had eaten all the food they had brought with them, and still there was famine in the land, and they had no choice but to return to Egypt with Benjamin, just as Joseph had ordered.
This time Joseph received the brothers kindly, and gave them dinner in his own house. Still he did not reveal his true identity. He was so overjoyed to see his brother Benjamin that he wanted to weep, but he held back his tears. Instead, he made sure that Benjamin had the most, and the best of all the food on the table.
Joseph instructed his steward to fill sacks full of grain for his brothers to take home. Secretly, he placed the money they had paid for the grain back into the sacks, and into the one belonging to Benjamin, he placed a golden cup from his house.
The brothers left for home, and Joseph let them get a head start. Then he sent soldiers to gallop after them, arrest them, and bring them back in chains.
“You see,” he said, opening the sack belonging to Benjamin, “this little thief has stolen my golden cup from my house. Is this how you repay my kindness, by thievery?”
The brothers were shaken and very, very scared, because now they were certain they would be punished by death. Joseph said they could all go home unpunished, except for Benjamin who must stay behind in prison.
The brothers spoke amongst themselves in their own language, and did not know that Joseph could understand them. They believed that all the problems that were happening to them now was God’s punishment to them, for selling their younger brother into slavery for 20 pieces of silver.
Joseph heard them, and believed that perhaps they were sorry for what they had done.
Then the brother who was called Judah spoke and said: “Your Majesty. Keep us here in Egypt as your slaves, but let Benjamin go back to his father, for he has already lost one favourite son, and if he loses the next dearest to him, it will break his old heart. If you keep Benjamin here in Egypt, our father will surely die of sorrow. Let us remain here in your prison, but send Benjamin home to his father.”
Now Joseph knew for certain that his brothers loved their father and were sorry for their wicked action against his favourite son. He could not hold back his secret anymore. Joseph stood up from his throne and came down to hug his brothers. All of a sudden, they recognised him.
They all cried so loudly that even the Pharaoh heard them. Eventually Joseph told his brothers to go home to their father and let him know that he was alive, and was the second most important man in all Egypt. They must all return and live close by him. He would protect them, and make sure that they had enough to eat during the years of famine.
Nice story i want story in ten to fifteen lines in panchatantra context
October 5, 2008
March 26, 2015
You are a GREAT story teller. This is only the second story i’ve listened to. I have listened to “The Seal Catcher” and this story. Maybe you should make some stories about famous music players kind of like Ludwig Van Betoveen who was a famous piano player. He is VERY iteresting.
October 5, 2008
Nice story. I like all stories in here. Thank you so much. Could you read Beatrix Potter’s cute tales?
October 6, 2008
I liked the story. Thanks.
October 6, 2008
I like the story because I can learn about God and I want to listen to more Bible story.
Very well done .Many thanks to you for your devoted work
November 2, 2008
I have saved loads of storys because I love the storys especilly Joseph
January 30, 2009
I really like this story thanks Natasha!
February 24, 2009
Thanks for the story ‘Joseph amd His Coat of Many Colours”. Natasha did a great job of telling it. I teach a class of Pre-school and Kindergarden Children. Is it OK to use it in my class? I do not want to infringe on your copyright. [email protected]
March 13, 2009
Dear George, Yes, certainly is ok to use our stories in schools and kindergardens.
thankx a lot
but the man who’s called Bertie He stole this story from the Bible, the qoran for Muslims
I had hoped, he said it was from the Koran
and he had made some mistakes in the story
I hope do not do that again
if don’t know anythink about islam please tell ask me and you will get better and perhaps yoou will fined some srory to put it in your website hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
I AM SIX YEARS OLD, I LOVE THE STORY OF JOSEPH, THANK YOU NATASHA
December 14, 2011
Thank you for this comment. This is a very memorable bible story. The character of Joseph is very strong. He is the one out of all his brothers who must make the crops grow to the people so they do not die of starvation. For his task he wears the coat of many colours.
I hope you enjoy this as well as other bible stories on Storynory.com
I really llllllllllllllllloooooooooooooovvvvvvveeeeeeeee
this story and it really taught me something
this story is so coooooooooooool.
January 28, 2012
I think this story is really cool
God bless everyone.
January 28, 2012
I LOVE THIS STORY AND MY RE TEACH FOR TELLING ME IT !!!!!!!GOD BLESS YOU FOLEY!!!!!!!
February 19, 2012
I HAVE HEARD YOU READ ALOT OF STORIES AND I LOVE THE WAY YOU READ YOU READ WITH EMOTION.I AM 9 YEARS OLD AND I GO TO A CEIASTIAN CHURCH DO YOU GO TO CHURCH IF YOU DO THAN I HOPE YOU LEARN ALIO OF STUFF AND IWANT TO SAY GOD MADE YOU SPECIAL AND HE LOVES YOU VER MUCH BYE NATASHA <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3GOD BLESS YOU
March 1, 2012
that story was wonderfully read.
also a good way to spread God’s WORD thankyou
March 24, 2012
i loved it
March 24, 2012
thanks for such great story I REALLY enjoyed it be blessed
do you have the story of dniel meshach shadrach and abednego I WOULD LOVE TO share that with my class.
April 29, 2012
Hey I luv this website so amazing the christian kid stories showed my child a big diffrents so amazing thank you:-)
kesha kkooper —
May 5, 2012
Thankyou natasha and I agree with the nine yr old god did made you speceial your amazing and god made everyone else speceial to god bless
kesha kkooper —
May 5, 2012
what a nice story! i like it and i always narrate it to my son who is three years old.thanks a lot
I like this story too.. very inspired.. Hope God Bless us to as He did to Joseph..^^
Ling Limg —
July 9, 2012
My name is aya and thinks the story is very good and has a real meaning . but i have a small tips
1_ this story is not from christen , its writen i Koran (islamic book) i have read more than maby 30times
2_ i dont know who wrote this sttory in this website but its ight. all you have to do is that there are many parts in this story that had not mension it like : he was the most beautiful man in the eyp.. and all the womenfall in love with him especillay the women who took care of him, i dont what she named. she got blind becuase she wept so much after him without yoseph knowing that but in the end he got a dream from the god that he must marry that women who was much older than him ander many other thingssssssss
July 30, 2012
It is in the Koran as well as the Bible. Something that is true is that Jewish religion, Christianity, and the Islamic religion are all based off of the same God. In Christianity, the book is the Bible and has many chapters of the Old testimate are the same. The Islamic religion believes that( sorry if I do not spell it right) Muhammad is the Messiah. In Christianity, they believe that Jesus is the Messiah. In the Jewish religion they do not believe that the Messiah has come onto this Earth yet. That is the main difference of the beliefs, but they are all based off of the same Books of the Bible or the Koran, like Genesis ( I don’t know if it is named the same but that is what it is called in Christianity). I love this story as well and love that it and the story of Moses are on Netflix. My kids love to watch them and I think that they are excellent stories for them.
March 6, 2015
Aya – the Koran was written after the Old Testament and this story is in the Old Testament of the Bible which was written first.
September 17, 2012
I like this story.
September 26, 2012
like it a lot
October 24, 2012
i have herd this story in a book but i realy like it
November 13, 2012
That story was amazingggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg briliantttttttttttt greatttttttttttttttttttttttttttt astonishingggggggggggggggggg
God in all things are possible BELIEVE but sometimes i wish when i have a wish it would right there and right now happen not in a year month week 2 minunests hours when i say right text like if u like my comment
THE ABOUT JOSEPSH MANNY COLOURS
ONE DREAM BUEFUIL COAT JOESH OUT LOOK FOR
BEAT BEAKEER JUDEUS I LOOK PUT GOAT COAT
KILL FAVITORIVE SON JOSEPH PORVOER
LOOK OUR SLOD MASTER SLIVER OUR DONE EYP
ONE DREAM LAST VINES JUCIY FURIT WOO SAY
SIR PUIT WOO
WASH FRSERESH EAT OUR COORPS DEAD SHRER OUT POLPE
DUSIT CHEIF MUCUCCER OUT CIAN LAND EAT BUY EAT
OUR SLIVER OUT SLIVER OUR MANNY SPIES NO MORE DANDER OUT YOUNGER BOTHERS SIEOMON FIAN LAND JOSEPH HOUSE GRARIAN FATHER
a hobo —
May 9, 2014
I think the story could be much more organised. I’m studying bible studies with a group and there are many version that are better. I’m studying so hard though, any tips for studying? and my mum is so annoying, she keeps calling me, what do you do about that? ignore her????
November 22, 2014
Wonderful that you are studying so hard. I guess it’s best to study where you know you’ll be least distracted. Somewhere you find easy to concentrate – a library, your room perhaps? Personally I don’t think a good idea to ignore your Mother, no.
Thanks for listening!
Jana Elizabeth —
November 23, 2014
November 23, 2014
I love that story and I saw the movie of this story.
December 2, 2014
What a wonderful story it is , theme of this is ,we should not neglect anyone
January 14, 2015
PeTf9N Wow, fantastic blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is excellent, let alone the content!
good backlinks —
February 5, 2015
Thank you so much for these stories I am so glad that i found this
God bless you
February 6, 2015
Rat little —
February 10, 2015
I love it. It is great. You made it very simple and understable.Great for kids to understand.God bless.
February 14, 2015
Thank you Kathleen!
Jana Elizabeth —
February 14, 2015
I liked the story. Please correct the word understandable as it was misspelt.
February 14, 2015
March 26, 2015
This story was very fascinating
April 8, 2015
My little sis wants to tell Bertie that the story’s make her happy
Cherry pie —
April 22, 2015
Thank you Cherry pie,
That’s wonderful little sis – keep listening.
Jana Elizabeth —
April 22, 2015
Well told, thanks and God bless. May we continue to learn and love that God may always be happy with His people, Amen. Thanks Bertie
May 29, 2015
i just got home from church and i think this was better then the sermon
May 31, 2015
nice tale i lisend in class at school thanx 🙂
Ashleyat nexus singapore —
September 17, 2015
hi my name is max cool story
November 2, 2015
it was great….
November 8, 2015
This is a really lovely story. In Quran it’s known as the best story ever. Thanks for choosing lovely stories.♡♥
December 10, 2015
its a cool story
February 23, 2016
March 21, 2016
I love this story
February 24, 2017
February 24, 2017
It’s a really really good story. It’s my favorite story in the bible.
March 7, 2017
It is really sad but I liked it!!!!!!!!!!!!! <3
April 6, 2017
I enjoyed reading Joseph and His Coat of Many Colors, because his dad gave Joseph a magnificent present. A beautiful colorful coat, that made his brothers upset that he had the coat. Joseph told his family a story about a dream he had about his family bowing down before him, which made Josephs family upset. Later in the story Joseph became the 2nd most important man in Egypt. The moral of the story at the end of the story is to treat people how you would like to be treated.
Isaiah Hunter —
August 29, 2017
Best book 📚 I’ve read in all these stories😀🍩🍟🍫⭐️❤️😉🤴💛💚💙💜❤️🖤🍪🍭⚽️🛣🏕🏭🏰🗺
October 26, 2017
i liked this story very much its real right
December 12, 2017
its rubbish it dosnt play or work
March 19, 2018
I LIKED THIS STORY BECAUSE JOSEPH LOVED HIS FATHER AND HIS FATHER LOVED HIS SON. BUT THE PART I DIDN’T LIKE WAS WHEN HIS BROTHER DIDN’T LOVE HIM EXEPT FOR RUBEN HOW WANTED TO SAVE JOSEPH WHO WAS IN A PIT. WHAT I LEARNT IS THAT WE SHOULD LOVE YOUR BROTHER OR SISTER AND YOUR FATHER SHOULD NOT HAVE A FAVORITE SON BECAUSE IF YOU ONLY LIKE ONE SON THEN THE REST OF YOUR SONS MIGHT GET MAD. THAT IS WHY YOU SHOULD HAVING YOUR FATHER TO LOVE ALL YOUR SONS AND THAT IS HOW IT IS FAIR FOR EVERYONE.
March 23, 2018
Hi Bertie nice story
August 20, 2018
I loved the story of Joseph I am a Christian it makes me happy when I hear about the Bible those are my favorite story’s thank you so much have a nice day.
August 28, 2018
worst story ever
October 13, 2018
I loved the story it was fantastic and i have even seen the live action version it is amazing.
October 24, 2018
Its really good and i love it. Very kid friendly but maybe just a tinch too long. this website is very significant to many people. Unbelievably Awesome is how i would interpret it:)
October 31, 2018
Loved reading this stoory of Joseph and his coat of many colours ….. my counselor feels I am Joseph because of my sisters. I thank you for giving me this opportunity to read Joseph’s story.
November 12, 2018
I hate this dumb story
The hate person(@#$%) —
December 8, 2018
The story is a nice way to teach kids about stories in the bible Thanks!
December 10, 2018
It’s long, but I Like it.9 yrs old
January 17, 2019
January 24, 2019
I like it but can u make it shorter
March 28, 2019
thank you bertie I love the story can you make more bible stories for me