If Hollywood transforms Joseph into a secular hero, there are others who portray him as a moral and spiritual giant. Both views fail to do justice to the biblical story.
In Genesis 47:20-21 we read that Joseph reduced the Egyptian people to servitude. In this respect he can be described as a spiritual pygmy. Consider the teachings in Deuteronomy 15 and Leviticus 25 that give us a fuller picture of God’s redemptive purposes for the world.
There is a rarely quoted passage in Ezekiel 46:16-18 that instructs rulers not to steal their subjects’ inheritances and connects this to the law of jubilee. Joseph would have benefitted enormously if he had known these kingdom themes. Joseph wasn’t perfect. He struggled with sin and foolishness just like the rest of us.