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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
The Dreams of Joseph
1And Jacob settled in the land of the sojourning of his father, in the land of Canaan. 2These are the generations#Or “family records” of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was shepherding the flock with his brothers. Now he was a helper with the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, the wives of his father. And Joseph brought a bad report of them to his father. 3Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons, for he was a son of his old age. And he made a robe with long sleeves#Or “of many colors” for him. 4When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and were not able to speak peaceably to him.
5And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it to his brothers. And they hated him even more.#Literally “they added still to hate him” 6And he said to them, “Listen now to this dream that I dreamed. 7Now behold, we were binding sheaves in the midst of the field and, behold, my sheaf stood up and it remained standing. Then behold, your sheaves gathered around and bowed down to my sheaf.” 8Then his brothers said to him, “Will you really rule over us?” And they hated him even more#Literally “they added still to hate him” on account of his dream and because of his words. 9Then he dreamed yet another dream and told it to his brothers. And he said, “Behold, I dreamed a dream again, and behold, the sun and the moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” 10And he told it to his father and to his brothers. And his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Will I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the ground to you?” 11And his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.
Joseph Sold Into Slavery by his Brothers
12Now his brothers went to pasture the flock of their father in Shechem. 13And Israel said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers pasturing in Shechem? Come, let me send you to them.” And he said, “Here I am.” 14Then he said to him, “Go now, see if it goes well for your brothers and for the flock,#Literally “see the peace of your brothers and the peace of the flock” then return word to me.” And he sent him from the valley of Hebron, and he arrived at Shechem. 15And a man found him, and behold, he#That is, Joseph was wandering about in a field. And the man asked him, “What do you seek?” 16And he said, “I am seeking my brothers. Tell me, please, where they are pasturing.” 17And the man said, “They have moved on from here, for I heard them saying, ‘Let us go to Dothan.’ ” Then Joseph went after his brothers and found them in Dothan. 18And they saw him from a distance. And before he drew near to them, they conspired against him to kill him. 19And each said to his brothers, “Look, this master of dreams is coming. 20Now then, come, let us kill him and throw him in one of the pits. Then we will say a wild animal devoured him. Then we will see what his dreams become.” 21And Reuben heard it and delivered him from their hand and said, “We must not take his life.” 22And Reuben said to them, “You must not shed blood. Throw him into this pit that is in the desert, but do not lay a hand on him”—so that he might rescue him from their hand to return him to his father. 23And it happened that as Joseph came to his brothers they stripped Joseph of his robe, the robe with long sleeves,#Or “of many colors” that was upon him. 24And they took him and threw him into the pit (the pit was empty; there was no water in it). 25Then they sat down to eat some food. And they lifted up their eyes and looked, and behold, a caravan of Ishmaelites was coming from Gilead. And their camels were carrying aromatic gum and balm and spices on the way#Literally “going to bring down” to Egypt. 26Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is there if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? 27Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, but our hand shall not be against him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And his brothers agreed. 28Then Midianite traders passed by. And they#That is, the brothers drew Joseph up and brought him up from the pit, and they sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. And they brought Joseph to Egypt. 29Then Reuben returned to the pit and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit. And he tore his clothes. 30And he returned to his brothers and said, “The boy is gone!#Literally “is not” Now I, what can I do?”#Literally “where am I going?” 31Then they took the robe of Joseph and slaughtered a goat, and dipped the robe in the blood. 32Then they sent the robe with long sleeves#Or “of many colors” and they brought it to their father and said, “We found this; please examine it. Is it the robe of your son or not?” 33And he recognized it and said, “The robe of my son! A wild animal has devoured him! Joseph is surely torn to pieces!” 34And Jacob tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his loins and mourned for his son many days. 35And all his sons and daughters tried to console him, but he refused to be consoled. And he said, “No, I shall go down to my son, to Sheol, mourning.” And his father wept for him. 36And the Midianites sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, a court official of Pharaoh, a commander of the imperial guard.