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Genesis 37

37
Joseph’s Dreams
1Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, the land of Canaan.
2This is the account of Jacob’s family line.
Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them.
3Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate#37:3 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain; also in verses 23 and 32. robe for him. 4When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.
5Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. 6He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: 7We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.”
8His brothers said to him, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said.
9Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”
10When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” 11His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.
Joseph Sold by His Brothers
12Now his brothers had gone to graze their father’s flocks near Shechem, 13and Israel said to Joseph, “As you know, your brothers are grazing the flocks near Shechem. Come, I am going to send you to them.”
“Very well,” he replied.
14So he said to him, “Go and see if all is well with your brothers and with the flocks, and bring word back to me.” Then he sent him off from the Valley of Hebron.
When Joseph arrived at Shechem, 15a man found him wandering around in the fields and asked him, “What are you looking for?”
16He replied, “I’m looking for my brothers. Can you tell me where they are grazing their flocks?”
17“They have moved on from here,” the man answered. “I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’ ”
So Joseph went after his brothers and found them near Dothan. 18But they saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him.
19“Here comes that dreamer!” they said to each other. 20“Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.”
21When Reuben heard this, he tried to rescue him from their hands. “Let’s not take his life,” he said. 22“Don’t shed any blood. Throw him into this cistern here in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him.” Reuben said this to rescue him from them and take him back to his father.
23So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the ornate robe he was wearing— 24and they took him and threw him into the cistern. The cistern was empty; there was no water in it.
25As they sat down to eat their meal, they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were loaded with spices, balm and myrrh, and 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 cover up his blood? 27Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed.
28So when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels#37:28 That is, about 8 ounces or about 230 grams of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt.
29When Reuben returned to the cistern and saw that Joseph was not there, he tore his clothes. 30He went back to his brothers and said, “The boy isn’t there! Where can I turn now?”
31Then they got Joseph’s robe, slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood. 32They took the ornate robe back to their father and said, “We found this. Examine it to see whether it is your son’s robe.”
33He recognized it and said, “It is my son’s robe! Some ferocious animal has devoured him. Joseph has surely been torn to pieces.”
34Then Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and mourned for his son many days. 35All his sons and daughters came to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “No,” he said, “I will continue to mourn until I join my son in the grave.” So his father wept for him.
36Meanwhile, the Midianites#37:36 Samaritan Pentateuch, Septuagint, Vulgate and Syriac (see also verse 28); Masoretic Text Medanites sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard.
37
1 Now Jacob lived in the land of Canaan, where his father sojourned.
2 And these are his generations. Joseph, when he was sixteen years old, was pasturing the flock with his brothers, when he was still a boy. And he was with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, the wives of his father. And he accused his brothers to their father of a most sinful crime.
3 Now Israel loved Joseph above all his sons, because he had conceived him in his old age. And he made him a tunic, woven of many colors.
4 Then his brothers, seeing that he was loved by his father more than all his other sons, hated him, and they were not able to say anything peacefully to him.
5 Then it also happened that he recounted the vision of a dream to his brothers, for which reason a greater hatred began to be nurtured.
6 And he said to them, "Listen to my dream that I saw.
7 I thought we were binding sheaves in the field. And my sheaf seemed to rise up and stand, and your sheaves, standing in a circle, reverenced my sheaf."
8 His brothers responded: "Would you be our king? Or will we be subject to your dominion?" Therefore, this matter of his dreams and words provided kindling to their envy and hatred.
9 Likewise, he saw another dream, which he explained to his brothers, saying, "I saw by a dream, as if the sun, and the moon, and eleven stars were reverencing me."
10 And when he had related this to his father and brothers, his father rebuked him, and he said: "What does it mean to you, this dream that you have seen? Should I, and your mother, and your brothers reverence you upon the earth?"
11 Therefore, his brothers were envious of him. Yet truly, his father considered the matter silently.
12 And while his brothers were lodging at Shechem, pasturing their father's flocks,
13 Israel said to him: "Your brothers are pasturing the sheep at Shechem. Come, I will send you to them." And when he answered,
14 "I am ready," he said to him, "Go, and see if everything is prospering with your brothers and the cattle, and report to me what is happening." So, having been sent from the valley of Hebron, he arrived at Shechem.
15 And a man found him wandering in a field, and he asked him what he was seeking.
16 So he responded: "I seek my brothers. Tell me where they pasture the flocks."
17 And the man said to him: "They have withdrawn from this place. But I heard them saying, 'Let us go to Dothan.' " Therefore, Joseph continued on after his brothers, and he found them at Dothan.
18 And, when they had seen him from afar, before he approached them, they decided to kill him.
19 And they said one to another: "Behold, the dreamer approaches.
20 Come, let us kill him and cast him into the old cistern. And let us say: 'an evil wild beast has devoured him.' And then it will become apparent what his dreams will do for him."
21 But Reuben, on hearing this, strove to free him from their hands, and he said:
22 "Do not take away his life, nor shed blood. But throw him into this cistern, which is in the wilderness, and so keep your hands harmless." But he said this, wanting to rescue him from their hands, so as to return him to his father.
23 And so, as soon as he came to his brothers, they very quickly stripped him of his tunic, which was ankle-length and woven of many colors,
24 and they cast him into an old cistern, which held no water.
25 And sitting down to eat bread, they saw some Ishmaelites, travelers coming from Gilead, with their camels, carrying spices, and resin, and oil of myrrh into Egypt.
26 Therefore, Judah said to his brothers: "What will it profit us, if we kill our brother and conceal his blood?
27 It is better that he be sold to the Ishmaelites, and then our hands will not be defiled. For he is our brother and our flesh." His brothers agreed to his words.
28 And when the Midianite merchants were passing by, they drew him from the cistern, and they sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. And these led him into Egypt.
29 And Reuben, returning to the cistern, did not find the boy.
30 And rending his garments, he went to his brothers and said, "The boy is not present, and so where shall I go?"
31 Then they took his tunic, and they dipped it in the blood of a young goat, which they had killed,
32 sending those who carried it to their father, and they said: "We found this. See whether it is the tunic of your son or not."
33 And when the father acknowledged it, he said: "It is the tunic of my son. An evil wild beast has eaten him; a beast has devoured Joseph."
34 And tearing his garments, he was clothed in haircloth, mourning his son for a long time.
35 Then, when all of his sons gathered together to ease their father's sorrow, he was not willing to accept consolation, but he said: "I will descend in mourning to my son in the underworld." And while he persevered in weeping,
36 the Midianites in Egypt sold Joseph to Potiphar, a eunuch of Pharaoh, instructor of the soldiers.