Exit Parallel Mode
 

Genesis 37

37
Joseph Dreams of Greatness
1Now Jacob dwelt in the land #Gen. 17:8; 23:4; 28:4; 36:7; Heb. 11:9where his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan. 2This is the history of Jacob.
Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brothers. And the lad was with the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives; and Joseph brought a #Gen. 35:25, 26; 1 Sam. 2:22–24bad report of them to his father.
3Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was #Gen. 44:20the son of his old age. Also he #Gen. 37:23, 32; Judg. 5:30; 1 Sam. 2:19made him a tunic of many colors. 4But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they #Gen. 27:41; 49:23; 1 Sam. 17:28; John 15:18–20hated him and could not speak peaceably to him.
5Now Joseph had a dream, and he told it to his brothers; and they hated him even more. 6So he said to them, “Please hear this dream which I have dreamed: 7#Gen. 42:6, 9; 43:26; 44:14There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf.”
8And his brothers said to him, “Shall you indeed reign over us? Or shall you indeed have dominion over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.
9Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, “Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, #Gen. 46:29; 47:25the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.”
10So he told it to his father and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and #Gen. 27:29your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?” 11And #Matt. 27:17, 18; Acts 7:9his brothers envied him, but his father #Dan. 7:28; Luke 2:19, 51kept the matter in mind.
Joseph Sold by His Brothers
12Then his brothers went to feed their father’s flock in Shechem. 13And Israel said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers feeding the flock in #Gen. 33:18–20Shechem? Come, I will send you to them.”
So he said to him, “Here I am.”
14Then he said to him, “Please go and see if it is well with your brothers and well with the flocks, and bring back word to me.” So he sent him out of the Valley of #Gen. 13:18; 23:2, 19; 35:27; Josh. 14:14, 15; Judg. 1:10Hebron, and he went to Shechem.
15Now a certain man found him, and there he was, wandering in the field. And the man asked him, saying, “What are you seeking?”
16So he said, “I am seeking my brothers. #Song 1:7Please tell me where they are feeding their flocks.
17And the man said, “They have departed from here, for I heard them say, ‘Let us go to Dothan.’ ” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them in #2 Kin. 6:13Dothan.
18Now when they saw him afar off, even before he came near them, #1 Sam. 19:1; Ps. 31:13; 37:12, 32; Matt. 21:38; 26:3, 4; 27:1; Mark 14:1; John 11:53; Acts 23:12they conspired against him to kill him. 19Then they said to one another, “Look, this dreamer is coming! 20#Gen. 37:22; Prov. 1:11Come therefore, let us now kill him and cast him into some pit; and we shall say, ‘Some wild beast has devoured him.’ We shall see what will become of his dreams!”
21But #Gen. 42:22Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands, and said, “Let us not kill him.” 22And Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit which is in the wilderness, and do not lay a hand on him”—that he might deliver him out of their hands, and bring him back to his father.
23So it came to pass, when Joseph had come to his brothers, that they #Matt. 27:28stripped Joseph of his tunic, the tunic of many colors that was on him. 24Then they took him and cast him into a pit. And the pit was empty; there was no water in it.
25#Prov. 30:20And they sat down to eat a meal. Then they lifted their eyes and looked, and there was a company of #Gen. 16:11, 12; 37:28, 36; 39:1Ishmaelites, coming from Gilead with their camels, bearing spices, #Jer. 8:22balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry them down to Egypt. 26So Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is there if we kill our brother and #Gen. 37:20conceal his blood? 27Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and #1 Sam. 18:17let not our hand be upon him, for he is #Gen. 42:21our brother and #Gen. 29:14our flesh.” And his brothers listened. 28Then #Gen. 37:25; Judg. 6:1–3; 8:22, 24Midianite traders passed by; so the brothers pulled Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, #Gen. 45:4, 5; Ps. 105:17; Acts 7:9and sold him to the Ishmaelites for #Matt. 27:9twenty shekels of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt.
29Then Reuben returned to the pit, and indeed Joseph was not in the pit; and he #Gen. 37:34; 44:13; Job 1:20tore his clothes. 30And he returned to his brothers and said, “The lad #Gen. 42:13, 36is no more; and I, where shall I go?”
31So they took #Gen. 37:3, 23Joseph’s tunic, killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the tunic in the blood. 32Then they sent the tunic of many colors, and they brought it to their father and said, “We have found this. Do you know whether it is your son’s tunic or not?”
33And he recognized it and said, “It is my son’s tunic. A #Gen. 37:20wild beast has devoured him. Without doubt Joseph is torn to pieces.” 34Then Jacob #Gen. 37:29; 2 Sam. 3:31tore his clothes, put sackcloth on his waist, and #Gen. 50:10mourned for his son many days. 35And all his sons and all his daughters #2 Sam. 12:17arose to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted, and he said, “For #Gen. 25:8; 35:29; 42:38; 44:29, 31I shall go down into the grave to my son in mourning.” Thus his father wept for him.
36Now #Gen. 39:1the Midianites had sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and captain of the guard.
37
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.