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, seventeen years old. He and his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives, cared for the flocks. Joseph gave his father bad reports about his brothers. 3Since Joseph was born when his father Israel was old, Israel loved him more than his other sons. He made Joseph a special robe with long sleeves. 4When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father loved him more than he loved them, they hated their brother and could not speak to him politely.
5One time Joseph had a dream, and 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 it and bowed down to it.”
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 because of his dreams and what he had said.
9Then Joseph had another dream, and he told his brothers about it also. He said, “Listen, I had another dream. I saw the sun, moon, and eleven 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 graze their father’s flocks. 13Israel said to Joseph, “Go to Shechem where your brothers are grazing the flocks.”
Joseph answered, “I will go.”
14His father said, “Go and see if your brothers and the flocks 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 and asked him, “What are you looking for?”
16Joseph answered, “I am looking for my brothers. Can you tell me where they are grazing the flocks?”
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, saying, “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 24and threw him into the well. It was empty, and 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 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 and sold him to the Ishmaelites for eight ounces of silver. And the Ishmaelites took him to Egypt.
29When Reuben came back to the well and Joseph was not there, he tore his clothes to show he was upset. 30Then he went back to his brothers and said, “The boy is not there! What shall I do?” 31The brothers killed a goat and dipped Joseph’s robe in its blood. 32Then they brought the long-sleeved robe to their father and said, “We found this robe. Look it over carefully and 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 upset, and he continued to be sad about his son for a long time. 35All of his sons and daughters tried to comfort him, but he could not be comforted. He 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, an officer to the king of Egypt and captain of the palace guard.