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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’s Dreams
1#Ge 17:8; 28:4Now Jacob lived in the land where his father was a foreigner, in the land of Canaan.
2#Ge 35:25–26; 1Sa 2:22–24These are the generations of Jacob.
Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brothers, and the boy was with the sons of Bilhah and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives. Joseph brought back a bad report about them to their father.
3#Ge 37:23; 37:32Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons, because he was the son of his old age, and he made him a coat of many colors.#From the Septuagint, a cloak with long sleeves, a full-length cloak, or an embroidered cloak, showing favoritism. 4#Ge 27:41; 49:23But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him.
5#Ge 28:12Now Joseph dreamed a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. 6He said to them, “Please listen to this dream which I have dreamed. 7#Ge 42:6; 42:9We were binding sheaves in the field. All of a sudden my sheaf rose up and stood upright, and your sheaves stood around it and bowed down to my sheaf.”
8His brothers said to him, “Will you really reign over us, or will you really have dominion over us?” So they hated him even more because of his dreams and his words.
9Then he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers and said, “I have dreamed another dream. The sun and the moon and eleven stars were bowing to me.”
10#Ge 27:29But when he told it to his father and his brothers, his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Will I and your mother and your brothers really come to bow down ourselves to you to the ground?” 11#Lk 2:19; 2:51So his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.
Joseph Sold Into Slavery
12#Ge 33:18Now his brothers went to feed their father’s flock in Shechem. 13Israel said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers feeding the flock in Shechem? Come, and I will send you to them.”
He answered, “Here I am.”
14#Ge 35:27; 13:18Israel 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 Hebron, and he came to Shechem.
15A certain man found him wandering in the field. The man asked him, “What are you looking for?”
16And he said, “I am looking for my brothers. Please tell me where they are feeding their flocks.”
17#2Ki 6:13The man said, “They have departed from here. I heard them say, ‘Let us go to Dothan.’ ”
So Joseph went after his brothers and found them in Dothan.
18#Ps 37:12; 37:32When they saw him some distance away, before he came near to them, they conspired against him to kill him.
19They said one to another, “The master of dreams comes! 20Come now, let us kill him and throw him into some pit, and we will say, ‘Some evil beast has devoured him.’ Then we will see what will become of his dreams.”
21#Ge 42:22But when Reuben heard it, he rescued him out of their hands, saying, “Let us not kill him.” 22Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood, but throw him into this pit here in the wilderness, but lay no hand on him,” so that he might rescue him out of their hands and deliver him to his father again.
23#Ge 37:3When Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped Joseph of his coat—his coat of many colors that he had on. 24#Jer 38:6And they took him and threw him into a pit. The pit was empty, and there was no water in it.
25#Ge 37:28; 43:11Then they sat down to eat. And looking up, they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels bearing spices, balm, and myrrh, carrying it down to Egypt.
26#Ge 37:20; 4:10Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is it if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? 27#Ge 42:21; 1Sa 18:17Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let us not lay our hand on him, for he is our brother and our own flesh.” So his brothers agreed.
28#Ps 105:17; Ac 7:9Then when the Midianite merchants passed by, they drew Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit and sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver.#About 8 ounces, or 230 grams. They took Joseph to Egypt.
29#Ge 37:34; Job 1:20When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not in the pit, he tore his clothes. 30#Ge 42:13; 42:32He returned to his brothers, and said, “The boy is not there, and I, where can I go?”
31#Ge 37:23; 37:3They took Joseph’s coat and killed a young goat and dipped the coat in the blood. 32Then they took the coat of many colors and brought it to their father and said, “This we have found. Do you know whether it is your son’s robe or not?”
33#Ge 37:20; 44:28He knew it and said, “It is my son’s coat. A wild beast has devoured him. Joseph has without a doubt been torn into pieces.”
34#Ge 37:29; 2Sa 3:31Jacob tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his waist and mourned for his son many days. 35#Ge 42:38; 2Sa 12:17All his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. And he said, “For I will go down into the grave mourning for my son.” So his father wept for him.
36#Ge 37:28; 40:4Meanwhile the Midianites sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and captain of the guard.