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.