Yosef’s Adopted Father
Rabbi Bin Nun has a novel explanation of the fiasco that led to the enslavement of the Jewish people in Egypt. He says that the reason Yosef never tried to make contact with his father in Egypt, was that Yosef believed that Yakov and the brothers agreed to disown Yosef after creating strife and jealousy in the family.
His being thrown into the pit and ultimately sold, was viewed as a clear sign of his rejection. Pharoah had Yosef removed from the pit and new clothes placed on him. The brothers removed his clothes and threw him into the pit.
Pharoah became like an adopted father to Yosef. When Yakov eventually came to Egypt, he was not sure where Yosef’s loyalty was. However, when he saw how his grandsons, Efraim and Menashe were raised, he was comforted.
That first Pharoah was so good to Yosef, that he allowed him to bury Yakov in Canaan. This was against Egyptian practices, as they embalmed their leaders.
The way the tables turned and how the Egypt experience became unbearable, was a lesson for future exiles. As good as things were for the Jews for extended periods of time, it never was permanent. It always ended in either expulsion, extermination, or assimilation.