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Genesis 37

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.

Genesis 37

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.