Exit Parallel Mode
 

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.
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.