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Genesis 37

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Genesis 37
1¶ And Jacob dwelt in the land in which his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan.
2These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives; and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.
3Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his other sons because he was the son of his old age, and he made him a coat of many colours.
4And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him and could not speak peaceably unto him.
5¶ And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it to his brethren; and they hated him yet the more.
6And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed:
7For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about and made obeisance to my sheaf.
8And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? Or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams and for his words.
9And he dreamed yet another dream and told it to his brethren, saying, Behold, I have dreamed another dream; and, behold, the sun and the moon and eleven stars made obeisance to me.
10And he told it to his father and to his brethren; and his father reprehended him and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?
11And his brethren envied him; but his father kept the word.
12¶ And his brethren went to feed their father’s sheep in Shechem.
13And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the sheep in Shechem? Come and I will send thee unto them. And he said to him, Here am I.
14And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it is well with thy brethren and well with the sheep and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the valley of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.
15And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field; and the man asked him, saying, What seekest thou?
16And he said, I seek my brethren; tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks.
17And the man said, They are departed from here; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren and found them in Dothan.
18And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.
19And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer comes;
20now therefore, come and let us slay him and cast him into a cistern, and we will say, Some evil beast has devoured him; and we shall see what will become of his dreams.
21When Reuben heard it, he delivered him out of their hands and said, Let us not kill him.
22And Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood but cast him into this cistern that is in the wilderness and lay no hand upon him that he might rid him out of their hands to deliver him to his father again.
23¶ And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stripped Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him;
24and they took him and cast him into the cistern; and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.
25And they sat down to eat bread; and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing aromas and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt.
26Then Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother and conceal his blood?
27Come and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.
28And when the Midianite merchantmen passed by, they took and lifted up Joseph out of the cistern and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver. And they brought Joseph into Egypt.
29And Reuben returned unto the cistern; and, behold, Joseph was not inside, and he rent his clothes.
30And he returned unto his brethren and said, The young man is not; and I, where shall I go?
31¶ Then they took Joseph’s coat and killed a kid of the goats and dipped the coat in the blood;
32and they sent the coat of many colours, and they brought it to their father and said, We have found this, recognize now whether it is thy son’s coat or not.
33And he knew it and said, It is my son’s coat; an evil beast has devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.
34Then Jacob rent his clothes and put sackcloth upon his loins and mourned for his son many days.
35And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted, and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him.
36And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh’s and captain of the guard.
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Joseph’s Dreams
1So Jacob settled again in the land of Canaan, where his father had lived as a foreigner.
2This is the account of Jacob and his family. When Joseph was seventeen years old, he often tended his father’s flocks. He worked for his half brothers, the sons of his father’s wives Bilhah and Zilpah. But Joseph reported to his father some of the bad things his brothers were doing.
3Jacob#37:3a Hebrew Israel; also in 37:13. See note on 35:21. loved Joseph more than any of his other children because Joseph had been born to him in his old age. So one day Jacob had a special gift made for Joseph—a beautiful robe.#37:3b Traditionally rendered a coat of many colors. The exact meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain. 4But his brothers hated Joseph because their father loved him more than the rest of them. They couldn’t say a kind word to him.
5One night Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers about it, they hated him more than ever. 6“Listen to this dream,” he said. 7“We were out in the field, tying up bundles of grain. Suddenly my bundle stood up, and your bundles all gathered around and bowed low before mine!”
8His brothers responded, “So you think you will be our king, do you? Do you actually think you will reign over us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dreams and the way he talked about them.
9Soon Joseph had another dream, and again he told his brothers about it. “Listen, I have had another dream,” he said. “The sun, moon, and eleven stars bowed low before me!”
10This time he told the dream to his father as well as to his brothers, but his father scolded him. “What kind of dream is that?” he asked. “Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow to the ground before you?” 11But while his brothers were jealous of Joseph, his father wondered what the dreams meant.
12Soon after this, Joseph’s brothers went to pasture their father’s flocks at Shechem. 13When they had been gone for some time, Jacob said to Joseph, “Your brothers are pasturing the sheep at Shechem. Get ready, and I will send you to them.”
“I’m ready to go,” Joseph replied.
14“Go and see how your brothers and the flocks are getting along,” Jacob said. “Then come back and bring me a report.” So Jacob sent him on his way, and Joseph traveled to Shechem from their home in the valley of Hebron.
15When he arrived there, a man from the area noticed him wandering around the countryside. “What are you looking for?” he asked.
16“I’m looking for my brothers,” Joseph replied. “Do you know where they are pasturing their sheep?”
17“Yes,” the man told him. “They have moved on from here, but I heard them say, ‘Let’s go on to Dothan.’” So Joseph followed his brothers to Dothan and found them there.
Joseph Sold into Slavery
18When Joseph’s brothers saw him coming, they recognized him in the distance. As he approached, they made plans to kill him. 19“Here comes the dreamer!” they said. 20“Come on, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns. We can tell our father, ‘A wild animal has eaten him.’ Then we’ll see what becomes of his dreams!”
21But when Reuben heard of their scheme, he came to Joseph’s rescue. “Let’s not kill him,” he said. 22“Why should we shed any blood? Let’s just throw him into this empty cistern here in the wilderness. Then he’ll die without our laying a hand on him.” Reuben was secretly planning to rescue Joseph and return him to his father.
23So when Joseph arrived, his brothers ripped off the beautiful robe he was wearing. 24Then they grabbed him and threw him into the cistern. Now the cistern was empty; there was no water in it. 25Then, just as they were sitting down to eat, they looked up and saw a caravan of camels in the distance coming toward them. It was a group of Ishmaelite traders taking a load of gum, balm, and aromatic resin from Gilead down to Egypt.
26Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain by killing our brother? We’d have to cover up the crime.#37:26 Hebrew cover his blood. 27Instead of hurting him, let’s sell him to those Ishmaelite traders. After all, he is our brother—our own flesh and blood!” And his brothers agreed. 28So when the Ishmaelites, who were Midianite traders, came by, Joseph’s brothers pulled him out of the cistern and sold him to them for twenty pieces#37:28 Hebrew 20 [shekels], about 8 ounces or 228 grams in weight. of silver. And the traders took him to Egypt.
29Some time later, Reuben returned to get Joseph out of the cistern. When he discovered that Joseph was missing, he tore his clothes in grief. 30Then he went back to his brothers and lamented, “The boy is gone! What will I do now?”
31Then the brothers killed a young goat and dipped Joseph’s robe in its blood. 32They sent the beautiful robe to their father with this message: “Look at what we found. Doesn’t this robe belong to your son?”
33Their father recognized it immediately. “Yes,” he said, “it is my son’s robe. A wild animal must have eaten him. Joseph has clearly been torn to pieces!” 34Then Jacob tore his clothes and dressed himself in burlap. He mourned deeply for his son for a long time. 35His family all tried to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “I will go to my grave#37:35 Hebrew go down to Sheol. mourning for my son,” he would say, and then he would weep.
36Meanwhile, the Midianite traders#37:36 Hebrew the Medanites. The relationship between the Midianites and Medanites is unclear; compare 37:28. See also 25:2. arrived in Egypt, where they sold Joseph to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. Potiphar was captain of the palace guard.