Joseph of the Jewish scriptures was the youngest son of Jacob, and wearer of what a modern stage version of his story calls the ''technicolor dream coat.'' Sold into slavery in Egypt by his jealous brothers, he used his prophetic and administrative powers to achieve a position in which he ruled the country in Pharaoh's name. When his brothers sought help from Egypt during a famine, Joseph answered their treachery with forgiveness.
Christians also use this name in honor of another Joseph, foster-father of Jesus. The Bible relates little about him besides his carpenter's trade, his faith in God's messages, and his care for his child and his wife, Mary. He is a revered symbol of trusting patience and vigilant protection.