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Bereshis 37

37
1And Ya'akov dwelt in the eretz megurei Aviv (in the land wherein his father was a ger) in Eretz Canaan. 2These are the toldot Ya'akov. Yosef, being seventeen years old, was ro'eh with his achim to the tzon; now the na'ar was with the bnei Bilhah, and with the bnei Zilpah, the ne'shei Aviv (the wives of his father); and Yosef brought unto Avihem (their father) dibbatam ra'ah (a bad, evil report of them). 3Now Yisroel loved Yosef more than all his children, because he was the ben zekunim (the son of his old age); and he made him a kesones passim (ketonet [tunic] reaching to palms and soles, [see Messianic significance Yn 19:23 OJBC]). 4And when his achim saw that Avihem loved him more than all his achim, they hated him, and could not speak with shalom unto him. 5And Yosef dreamed a chalom (dream [see Mt 2:22 OJBC]), and he told it to his achim; and they hated him yet the more. 6And he said unto them, Hear, now, this chalom which I have dreamed: 7For, hinei, we were binding alummim (sheaves of wheat) out in the sadeh, and, hinei, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, hinei, your alummot (sheaves of wheat) gathered around it, and bowed down to my sheaf. 8And his achim said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? Or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his chalomot (dreams), and for his devarim. 9And he dreamed yet another chalom, and told it his achim, and said, Hinei, I have dreamed a chalom more; and, hinei, the shemesh and the yarei'ach and the eleven kokhavim bowed down to me. 10And he told it to Aviv, and to his achim: and Aviv rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this chalom that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and Immecha and Achecha indeed come to bow down ourselves to the ground before thee? 11And his achim had kina (jealousy, envy) toward him; but Aviv was shomer over the saying. 12And his achim went for the purpose to be ro'eh tzon Avihem in the vicinity of Shechem. 13And Yisroel said unto Yosef, Do not thy achim ro'im in Shechem? Come and I will send thee unto them. And he said to him, Hineni. 14And he said to him, Go, now, see about the shalom achecha, and the shalom hatzon; and bring me devar. So he sent him out of the Emek Chevron, and he went to Shechem. 15And a certain ish found him, and, hinei, he was wandering in the sadeh; and the ish asked him, saying, What seekest thou? 16And he said, I seek my achim; tell me, now, where they ro'im (feed their flocks). 17And the ish said, They are departed from here; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dotan. And Yosef went after his achim, and found them in Dotan. 18And when they saw him merachok (afar off, in the distance), even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to kill him. 19And they said one to another, Hinei, this ba'al hachalomot cometh. 20Come now therefore, and let us kill him, and throw him into one of the borot (pits), and we will say, Some chayyah ra'ah (evil wild beast) hath devoured him; and we shall see what will become of his chalomot. 21And Reuven heard it, and he saved him out of their yadayim; and said, Let us not take his nefesh. 22And Reuven said unto them, Do no shefach dahm (shedding of blood), but throw him into this bor that is in the midbar, and lay no yad upon him; that he might rescue him out of their yadayim, to take him back to Aviv. 23And it came to pass, when Yosef was come unto his achim, that they stripped Yosef of his kesones [see Yn 19:23 OJBC], his kesones hapassim that was on him; 24And they took him, and threw him into the borah (pit); and the bor was empty, there was no mayim in it. 25And they sat down to eat lechem; and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, hinei, a caravan of Yishm'elim was coming from Gil`ad with their gemalim bearing spices and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Mitzrayim. 26And Yehudah said unto his achim, What betza (profit, gain) is it if we kill achinu (our brother), and conceal his dahm? 27Come, and let us sell him to the Yishm'elim, and let not yadeinu (our hands) be upon him; for he is achinu (our brother) and besareinu (our flesh). And his achim agreed. 28Then there passed by anashim Midyanim socharim (men of Midyan, traders); and they drew and lifted up Yosef out of the bor, and sold Yosef to the Yishm'elim for esrim kesef; and they took Yosef to Mitzrayim. 29And Reuven returned unto the bor; and, hinei, Yosef was not in the bor; and he made the keriah of his clothes [compare Mk 14:63 OJBC]. 30And he returned unto his achim, and said, The yeled is not; and I, where shall I turn? 31And they took the kesones Yosef, and did shachat the se'ir izzim (slaughtered the kid of the goats), and dipped the kesones in the dahm; 32And they sent the kesones hapassim, and they brought it to Avihem; and said, This have we found; examine for identification purposes now whether it be the kesones Binecha or no. 33And he recognized it, and said, It is the kesones beni; a chayyah ra'ah hath devoured him; Yosef is without doubt torn in pieces. 34And Ya'akov made the keriah of his clothes, and put sackcloth on his loins, and mourned for beno yamim rabbim. 35And all his banim and all his banot rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down to beni mourning to Sheol. Thus Aviv wept for him. 36And the Midyanim sold him into Mitzrayim unto Potiphar, a seris Pharaoh (courtier of Pharaoh), a sar hatabbachim (a captain of the slaughterers, executioners, i.e., captain of the guard).
37
Joseph’s Dream
1So Jacob (Israel) lived in the land #Lit of his father’s sojournings.where his father [Isaac] had been a stranger (sojourner, resident alien), in the land of Canaan. 2These are the generations of Jacob.
Joseph, when he was seventeen years old, was shepherding the flock with his brothers [Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher]; the boy was with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s [#I.e. concubines (see note 22:24).secondary] wives; and Joseph brought back a bad report about them to their father. 3Now Israel (Jacob) loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age; and he made him a [distinctive] #The meaning of this word is uncertain; some sources indicate that it refers to a long-sleeved tunic that reaches the ankles, essentially a light robe. In any case, the tunic was a visible reminder to Joseph’s brothers of their father’s favoritism toward him.multicolored tunic. 4His brothers saw that their father loved Joseph more than all of his brothers; so they hated him and could not [find it within themselves to] speak to him on friendly terms.
5Now Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it to his brothers, and they #In both vv 5 and 8 “hated him even more” is properly translated, but there is an interesting play on words. The literal Hebrew says, “they added to hate”—the Hebrew word for “added” is the same for the word for Joseph—“they ‘Josephed’ their hate for him.”hated him even more. 6He said to them, “Please listen to [the details of] this dream which I have dreamed; 7we [brothers] were binding sheaves [of grain stalks] in the field, and lo, my sheaf [suddenly] got up and stood upright and remained standing; and behold, your sheaves stood all around my sheaf and bowed down [in respect].” 8His brothers said to him, “Are you actually going to reign over us? Are you really going to rule and govern us as your subjects?” So they hated him even more for [telling them about] his dreams and for his [arrogant] words.
9But Joseph dreamed still another dream, and told it to his brothers [as well]. He said, “See here, I have again dreamed a dream, and lo, [this time I saw] eleven stars and the sun and the moon bowed down [in respect] to me!” 10He told it to his father as well as to his brothers; but his father rebuked him and said to him [in disbelief], “What is [the meaning of] this dream that you have dreamed? Shall I and your mother and your brothers actually come to bow down to the ground [in respect] before you?” 11Joseph’s brothers were envious and jealous of him, but his father kept the words [of Joseph] in mind [wondering about their meaning].
12Then his brothers went to pasture their father’s flock near Shechem. 13Israel (Jacob) said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers pasturing [the flock] at Shechem? Come, and I will send you to them.” And he said, “Here I am [ready to obey you].” 14Then Jacob said to him, “Please go and see whether everything is all right with your brothers and all right with the flock; then bring word [back] to me.” So he sent him from the Hebron Valley, and he went to Shechem.
15Now a certain man found Joseph, and saw that he was wandering around and had lost his way in the field; so the man asked him, “What are you looking for?” 16He said, “I am looking for my brothers. Please tell me where they are pasturing our flocks.” 17Then the man said, “[They were here, but] they have moved on from this place. I heard them say, ‘Let us go to #Located about twelve miles north of Shechem.Dothan.’ ” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan.
The Plot against Joseph
18And when they saw him from a distance, even before he came close to them, they plotted to kill him. 19They said to one another, “Look, here comes this #Lit master of dreams.dreamer. 20Now then, come and let us kill him and throw him into one of the #These were earthen tanks that were dug or carved into rocky ground (perhaps limestone), designed to collect rainwater in the desert during winters. Some were cavernous, with a staircase carved into one of the walls for access to the bottom. The cistern selected by Joseph’s brothers must have been deep enough to make escape very difficult for someone of his size, but constructed without a staircase or other means of access (other than a rope).pits (cisterns, underground water storage); then we will say [to our father], ‘A wild animal killed and devoured him’; and we shall see what will become of his dreams!” 21Now Reuben [the eldest] heard this and rescued him from their hands and said, “Let us not take his life.” 22Reuben said to them, “Do not shed his blood, but [instead] throw him [alive] into the pit that is here in the wilderness, and do not lay a hand on him [to kill him]”—[he said this so] that he could rescue him from them and return him [safely] to his father. 23Now when Joseph reached his brothers, they stripped him of his tunic, the [distinctive] #See note v 3.multicolored tunic which he was wearing; 24then they took him and threw him into the pit. Now the pit was empty; there was no water in it.
25Then they sat down to eat their meal. When they looked up, they saw a caravan of #Descendants of Abraham and Hagar (Sarah’s maid, 16:15).Ishmaelites coming from Gilead [east of the Jordan], with their camels bearing ladanum resin [for perfume] and balm and #A valuable tree resin.myrrh, going on their way to carry the cargo down to Egypt. 26Judah said to his brothers, “What do we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood (murder)? 27Come, let us [instead] sell him to these Ishmaelites [and #Descendants of Abraham and Keturah, his concubine.Midianites] and not lay our hands on him, because he is our brother and our flesh.” So his brothers listened to him and agreed. 28Then as the #The relationship between the Midianites and the Ishmaelites as they are mentioned here is unclear. It is possible, as some have suggested, that “Ishmaelites” came to be used as a general term for desert tribes, and that the same merchants are called by both names in this verse. This would also explain the reference to the “Midianites” in v 36. Another explanation, which was offered by the rabbis, is that Joseph was sold first to the Ishmaelites, who then sold him to the Midianites. Another possibility is that they were Ishmaelites from the area of Midian.Midianite [and Ishmaelite] traders were passing by, the brothers pulled Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and they sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. And so they took Joseph [as a captive] into Egypt.
29Now Reuben [unaware of what had happened] returned to the pit, and [to his great alarm found that] Joseph was not in the pit; so he tore his clothes [in deep sorrow]. 30He rejoined his brothers and said, “The boy is not there; as for me, where shall I go [to hide from my father]?” 31Then they took Joseph’s tunic, slaughtered a male goat and dipped the tunic in the blood; 32and they brought the multicolored tunic to their father, saying, “We have found this; please examine it and decide whether or not it is your son’s tunic.” 33He recognized it and said, “It is my son’s tunic. A wild animal has devoured him; Joseph is without doubt torn in pieces!” 34So Jacob tore his clothes [in grief], put #An uncomfortable material woven from goat hair and worn in mourning.on sackcloth and mourned many days for his son. 35Then all his sons and daughters attempted to console him, but he refused to be comforted and said, “I will go down to Sheol (the place of the dead) in mourning for my son.” And his father wept for him. 36Meanwhile, in Egypt the Midianites sold Joseph [as a slave] to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and the captain of the [royal] guard.