Nationale Stichting De Nieuwe Kerk Te Amsterdam

Like a mighty oriental potentate, “Joseph Sells Corn in Egypt,” in the words of the title to this 1669 work by the Dutch painter Ferdinand Bol. Despite his new-found eminence, Joseph did not let his beloved father know he was still alive and well in Egypt. After exploring various reasons why Joseph neglected to renew contact with his family, author Ages suggests that no one answer is correct because they all have a bit of truth. For Ages, the portrait of Joseph in the Bible is not so much of a mighty ruler but of a Jew who has accommodated himself so well to non-Jewish culture that he has forgotten to call home.