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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 corn out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered round 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 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 recognised 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
Joseph the Dreamer
1Jacob lived in the land of Canaan, where his father had lived. 2This is the family history of Jacob.
Joseph was a young man, 17 years old. He and his brothers cared for the flocks. His brothers were the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives. Joseph gave his father bad reports about his brothers. 3Joseph was born when his father Israel, also called Jacob, was old. So Israel loved Joseph more than his other sons. He made Joseph a special robe with long sleeves. 4Joseph’s brothers saw that their father loved Joseph more than he loved them. So they hated their brother and could not speak to him politely.
5One time Joseph had a dream. When he told his brothers about it, they hated him even more. 6Joseph said, “Listen to the dream I had. 7We were in the field tying bundles of wheat together. My bundle stood up, and your bundles of wheat gathered around mine. Your bundles bowed down to mine.”
8His brothers said, “Do you really think you will be king over us? Do you truly think you will rule over us?” His brothers hated him even more now. They hated him because of his dreams and what he had said.
9Then Joseph had another dream. He told his brothers about it also. He said, “Listen, I had another dream. I saw the sun, moon and 11 stars bowing down to me.”
10Joseph also told his father about this dream. But his father scolded him, saying, “What kind of dream is this? Do you really believe that your mother, your brothers and I will bow down to you?” 11Joseph’s brothers were jealous of him. But his father thought about what all these things could mean.
12One day Joseph’s brothers went to Shechem to herd their father’s sheep. 13Jacob said to Joseph, “Go to Shechem. Your brothers are there herding the sheep.”
Joseph answered, “I will go.”
14His father said, “Go and see if your brothers and the sheep are all right. Then come back and tell me.” So Joseph’s father sent him from the Valley of Hebron.
When Joseph came to Shechem, 15a man found him wandering in the field. He asked Joseph, “What are you looking for?”
16Joseph answered, “I am looking for my brothers. Can you tell me where they are herding the sheep?”
17The man said, “They have already gone. I heard them say they were going to Dothan.” So Joseph went to look for his brothers and found them in Dothan.
Joseph Sold into Slavery
18Joseph’s brothers saw him coming from far away. Before he reached them, they made a plan to kill him. 19They said to each other, “Here comes that dreamer. 20Let’s kill him and throw his body into one of the wells. We can tell our father that a wild animal killed him. Then we will see what will become of his dreams.”
21But Reuben heard their plan and saved Joseph. He said, “Let’s not kill him. 22Don’t spill any blood. Throw him into this well here in the desert. But don’t hurt him!” Reuben planned to save Joseph later and send him back to his father. 23So when Joseph came to his brothers, they pulled off his robe with long sleeves. 24Then they threw him into the well. It was empty. There was no water in it.
25While Joseph was in the well, the brothers sat down to eat. When they looked up, they saw a group of Ishmaelites. They were traveling from Gilead to Egypt. Their camels were carrying spices, balm and myrrh.
26Then Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and hide his death? 27Let’s sell him to these Ishmaelites. Then we will not be guilty of killing our own brother. After all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” And the other brothers agreed. 28So when the Midianite traders came by, the brothers took Joseph out of the well. They sold him to the Ishmaelites for eight ounces of silver. And the Ishmaelites took him to Egypt.
29Reuben was not with his brothers when they sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites. When Reuben came back to the well, Joseph was not there. Reuben tore his clothes to show he was sad. 30Then he went back to his brothers and said, “The boy is not there! What will I do?” 31The brothers killed a goat and dipped Joseph’s long-sleeved robe in its blood. 32Then they brought the robe to their father. They said, “We found this robe. Look it over carefully. See if it is your son’s robe.”
33Jacob looked it over and said, “It is my son’s robe! Some savage animal has eaten him. My son Joseph has been torn to pieces!” 34Then Jacob tore his clothes and put on rough cloth to show that he was sad. He continued to be sad about his son for a long time. 35All of Jacob’s sons and daughters tried to comfort him. But he could not be comforted. Jacob said, “I will be sad about my son until the day I die.” So Jacob cried for his son Joseph.
36Meanwhile the Midianites who had bought Joseph had taken him to Egypt. There they sold him to Potiphar. Potiphar was an officer to the king of Egypt and captain of the palace guard.