Genesis 41:46

And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt.
Read Chapter 41

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Far from idly considering that there is merely reference here to his age, let us learn that there is no excuse for anyone to neglect virtue or any grounds for claiming the pretext of youth when virtue needs to be demonstrated. See, after all, this man: he was not only young but also charming in appearance and handsome to behold. It is possible, you see, for a young man not to be blessed with bodily charm. But in addition to his youth this man was also charming in appearance and good looking. Joseph was near the bloom of youth when he was captured and became a slave. He was in fact, the text says, seventeen when he was carried off into Egypt. Then he was in the burning heat of youth when the wanton Egyptian, who happened to be his employer, set upon him without overcoming the good man’s resistance. Then came prison and his hardship there for such a long period of time; he remained firm as iron, not only not becoming less resistant but even gaining greater strength. Joseph had grace from on high, you see, to strengthen him. Since he had previously given evidence of every virtue from his own resources, accordingly he was summoned from prison to take charge of all of Egypt. After hearing this, let us never despair in the midst of distress or become frustrated by following our own reasoning. Rather, let us give evidence of sound endurance and be buoyed up by hope, secure in the knowledge of our Lord’s resourcefulness and the fact that instead of ignoring us and abandoning us to the experience of troubles, he wants to crown us with a resplendent garland for our struggles. It is for this that all holy people have been distinguished. Hence the apostles also said, “ It is through great distress that we must enter the kingdom of God.” Christ himself said to the disciples, “In the world you will have distress.” So let us not be upset at the thought of distress but rather listen to Paul’s statement that “those who wish to live religiously in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” Far from being surprised or troubled, let us endure developments with complete fortitude and endurance, having regard not to the distress but to the gain accruing to us from it. This transaction, you see, is spiritual. And just as people intent on making money and being involved in a transaction of this life would succeed in increasing their wealth in no other way than by being exposed to great danger on land and at sea (they must, after all, put up with the onset of brigands and wiles of pirates), and yet they are ready to accept everything with great enthusiasm, having no sense of hardship through the expectation of gain, in just the same way must we keep our mind on the wealth and spiritual riches accruing to us from this. We must rejoice and be glad, considering not what can be seen but what cannot be seen, as Paul’s exhortation goes, “not considering what can be seen.” This in fact is what faith is, when we do not rely on our bodily eyes alone but imagine with the eyes of the mind things that are not visible. In particular, you see, we ought to consider the things that are not visible as more reliable than the things seen with bodily eyes. In this way the patriarch Abraham won his good name, by believing God’s promise and proving superior to nature and human reasoning. Hence “it was reckoned as righteousness in him.” Call to mind that righteousness consists in believing what is said by God. I mean, whenever he promises something, don’t look for things according to human logic, I ask you, but prove superior to such reasoning and trust in the power of the one making the promise. This was the way each of the good people won their name. This too was the way the remarkable man Joseph, despite the great number of difficulties confronting him after his dream, resisted panic and trepidation and instead nobly bore everything with resolute determination, secure in the knowledge that what God had decided could not fail. Hence, despite enslavement, despite imprisonment and such terrible calumny, he was granted control over the whole of Egypt.

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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