What is The Joseph Effect? It is a phrase that I coined to illustrate the statutes made by Joseph during the famine. These statutes saved the lives of the people, and ensured that Egypt would continue to benefit in the future. However, long after Joseph’s death, there would be a change in leadership, within Egypt.
In Genesis 47:13-27 we are told about the statutes Joseph made to ensure the survival of the people of Egypt and the tribe Israel. Joseph’s statutes would see a prosperity in the land of Egypt, which ended in the explosive growth of the nation of Israel. It was not until well after the death of Joseph that Egypt would forget about Joseph’s role in the nation’s survival.
And as with any group that has been given favorable treatment (Genesis 47:12), the tribe of Israel became comfortable in the land of Goshen. The policies Joseph enacted in fulfilling the dream given to both him and Pharaoh would lead to Egypt to becoming a powerful nation. With the passage of time, Egypt would no longer be the international power it once was.
After Joseph’s passing (Genesis 50:26), the nation of Israel stayed in the land Goshen. Joseph knew that, under his brothers leadership, Israel was not ready to go back to the land of that God had set aside for them (Genesis 50:24).
Thus, he was given a prophesy. He told those who would hear that God would send someone to bring them and his body back to the land (Genesis 50:25). God would indeed ensure that the nation of Israel would grow both in number, and in strength.
“Now, there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.” Exodus 1:8 is an ominous verse. It marks the end of peace that the tribe of Israel had with the people of Egypt.
If one were to truly analyze Joseph’s statutes, they would realize that his statutes set the stage for the enslavement of the tribe of Israel. I have coined the phrase The Joseph Effect to illustrate how Joseph’s policies, which were meant for good, were used as a control and a tool of manipulation by the new Pharaoh. The following video will provide context of how the same statues in Joesph’s day are being used today.