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Genesis 37

37
Joseph Has Two Dreams
1Jacob lived in the land of Canaan. It’s the land where his father had stayed.
2Here is the story of the family line of Jacob.
Joseph was a young man. He was 17 years old. He was taking care of the flocks with some of his brothers. They were the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, the wives of his father Jacob. Joseph brought their father a bad report about his brothers.
3Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons. That’s because Joseph had been born to him when he was old. Israel made him a beautiful robe. 4Joseph’s brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them. So they hated Joseph. They couldn’t even speak one kind word to him.
5Joseph had a dream. When he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. 6He said to them, “Listen to the dream I had. 7We were tying up bundles of grain out in the field. Suddenly my bundle stood up straight. Your bundles gathered around my bundle and bowed down to it.”
8His brothers said to him, “Do you plan to be king over us? Will you really rule over us?” So they hated him even more because of his dream. They didn’t like what he had said.
9Then Joseph had another dream. He told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said. “I had another dream. This time the sun and moon and 11 stars were bowing down to me.”
10He told his father as well as his brothers. Then his father rebuked him. He said, “What about this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers really do that? Will we really come and bow down to the ground in front of you?” 11His brothers were jealous of him. But his father kept the dreams in mind.
Joseph Is Sold by His Brothers
12Joseph’s brothers had gone to take care of their father’s flocks near Shechem. 13Israel said to Joseph, “As you know, your brothers are taking care of the flocks near Shechem. Come. I’m going to send you to them.”
“All right,” Joseph replied.
14So Israel said to him, “Go to your brothers. See how they are doing. Also see how the flocks are doing. Then come back and tell me.” So he sent him away from the Hebron Valley.
Joseph arrived at Shechem. 15A man found him wandering around in the fields. He asked Joseph, “What are you looking for?”
16He replied, “I’m looking for my brothers. Can you tell me where they are taking care of their flocks?”
17“They’ve moved on from here,” the man answered. “I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’ ”
So Joseph went to look for his brothers. He found them near Dothan. 18But they saw him a long way off. Before he reached them, they made plans to kill him.
19“Here comes that dreamer!” they said to one another. 20“Come. Let’s kill him. Let’s throw him into one of these empty wells. Let’s say that a wild animal ate him up. Then we’ll see whether his dreams will come true.”
21Reuben heard them talking. He tried to save Joseph from them. “Let’s not take his life,” he said. 22“Don’t spill any of his blood. Throw him into this empty well here in the desert. But don’t harm him yourselves.” Reuben said that to save Joseph from them. He was hoping he could take him back to his father.
23When Joseph came to his brothers, he was wearing his beautiful robe. They took it away from him. 24And they threw him into the well. The well was empty. There wasn’t any water in it.
25Then they sat down to eat their meal. As they did, they saw some Ishmaelite traders coming from Gilead. Their camels were loaded with spices, lotion and myrrh. They were on their way to take them down to Egypt.
26Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and try to cover up what we’ve done? 27Come. Let’s sell him to these traders. Let’s not harm him ourselves. After all, he’s our brother. He’s our own flesh and blood.” Judah’s brothers agreed with him.
28The traders from Midian came by. Joseph’s brothers pulled him up out of the well. They sold him to the Ishmaelite traders for eight ounces of silver. Then the traders took him to Egypt.
29Later, Reuben came back to the empty well. He saw that Joseph wasn’t there. He was so upset that he tore his clothes. 30He went back to his brothers and said, “The boy isn’t there! Now what should I do?”
31Then they got Joseph’s beautiful robe. They killed a goat and dipped the robe in the blood. 32They took the robe back to their father. They said, “We found this. Take a look at it. See if it’s your son’s robe.”
33Jacob recognized it. He said, “It’s my son’s robe! A wild animal has eaten him up. Joseph must have been torn to pieces.”
34Jacob tore his clothes. He put on the rough clothing people wear when they’re sad. Then he mourned for his son many days. 35All Jacob’s other sons and daughters came to comfort him. But they weren’t able to. He said, “I will continue to mourn until I go down into the grave to be with my son.” So Joseph’s father mourned for him.
36But the traders from Midian sold Joseph to Potiphar in Egypt. Potiphar was one of Pharaoh’s officials. He was the captain of the palace guard.
37
Joseph’s Dreams
1Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, the land of Canaan.#Gn 26:3 2These are the family records of Jacob.
At seventeen years of age, Joseph tended sheep with his brothers. The young man was working with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives,#Gn 30:1–13 and he brought a bad report about them to their father.#1Sm 2:22–24
3Now Israel loved Joseph more than his other sons because Joseph was a son born to him in his old age,#Gn 44:20 and he made a long-sleeved robe#37:3 Or an ornate robe; see 2Sm 13:18,19 for him. 4When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not bring themselves to speak peaceably to him.
5Then Joseph had a dream. When he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. 6He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: 7There we were, binding sheaves of grain in the field. Suddenly my sheaf stood up, and your sheaves gathered around it and bowed down to my sheaf.”#Gn 42:6,9; 43:26; 44:14
8“Are you really going to reign over us?” his brothers asked him. “Are you really going to rule us?” So they hated him even more because of his dream and what he had said.
9Then he had another dream and told it to his brothers. “Look,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun, moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”
10He told his father and brothers, and his father rebuked him. “What kind of dream is this that you have had?” he said. “Am I and your mother and your brothers really going to come and bow down to the ground before you?” 11His brothers were jealous of him,#Ac 7:9 but his father kept the matter in mind.#Dn 7:28; Lk 2:19,51
Joseph Sold into Slavery
12His brothers had gone to pasture their father’s flocks at Shechem. 13Israel said to Joseph, “Your brothers, you know, are pasturing the flocks at Shechem. Get ready. I’m sending you to them.”
“I’m ready,” Joseph replied.
14Then Israel said to him, “Go and see how your brothers and the flocks are doing, and bring word back to me.” So he sent him from the Hebron#Gn 13:18; 35:27 Valley, and he went to Shechem.
15A man found him there, wandering in the field, and asked him, “What are you looking for?”
16“I’m looking for my brothers,” Joseph said. “Can you tell me where they are pasturing their flocks?”
17“They’ve moved on from here,” the man said. “I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’”#2Kg 6:13 So Joseph set out after his brothers and found them at Dothan.
18They saw him in the distance, and before he had reached them, they plotted to kill him.#Ps 31:13; 37:12,32; Mk 14:1; Jn 11:53; Ac 23:12 19They said to one another, “Oh, look, here comes that dream expert!#37:19 Lit comes the lord of the dreams 20So now, come on, let’s kill him and throw him into one of the pits.#37:20 Or cisterns We can say that a vicious animal ate him. Then we’ll see what becomes of his dreams!”
21When Reuben heard this, he tried to save him from them.#37:21 Lit their hands He said, “Let’s not take his life.”#Gn 42:22 22Reuben also said to them, “Don’t shed blood. Throw him into this pit in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him” — intending to rescue him from them and return him to his father.
23When Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped off Joseph’s robe, the long-sleeved robe that he had on. 24Then they took him and threw him into the pit. The pit was empty, without water.#Jr 38:6
25They sat down to eat a meal,#Gn 42:21 and when they looked up, there was a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead.#Gn 39:1 Their camels were carrying aromatic gum, balsam, and resin, going down to Egypt.#Gn 43:11; Jr 8:22; 46:11
26Judah said to his brothers, “What do we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? 27Come on, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay a hand on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh,” and his brothers agreed. 28When Midianite#Dt 25:5,7; Jdg 8:22–24; Mt 22:24; Mk 12:19; Lk 20:28 traders passed by, his brothers pulled Joseph out of the pit and sold him for twenty pieces of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took Joseph to Egypt.#Gn 45:4–5; Ps 105:17; Ac 7:9
29When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not there, he tore his clothes.#Gn 44:13; Nm 14:6; 2Sm 1:11; 3:31; Jb 1:20 30He went back to his brothers and said, “The boy is gone! What am I going to do?” #37:30 Lit And I, where am I going? 31So they took Joseph’s robe, slaughtered a male goat, and dipped the robe in its blood. 32They sent the long-sleeved robe to their father and said, “We found this. Examine it. Is it your son’s robe or not?”
33His father recognized it. “It is my son’s robe,” he said. “A vicious animal has devoured him. Joseph has been torn to pieces!” #Gn 44:28 34Then Jacob tore his clothes, put sackcloth around his waist, and mourned for his son many days. 35All his sons and daughters tried to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “No,” he said. “I will go down to Sheol to my son, mourning.” And his father wept for him.
36Meanwhile, the Midianites sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and the captain of the guards.