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Genesis 37

37
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.

Genesis 37

37
1Meanwhile Jacob had settled down where his father had lived, the land of Canaan.
Joseph and His Brothers
2This is the story of Jacob. The story continues with Joseph, seventeen years old at the time, helping out his brothers in herding the flocks. These were his half brothers actually, the sons of his father’s wives Bilhah and Zilpah. And Joseph brought his father bad reports on them.
3-4Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons because he was the child of his old age. And he made him an elaborately embroidered coat. When his brothers realized that their father loved him more than them, they grew to hate him—they wouldn’t even speak to him.
5-7Joseph had a dream. When he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. He said, “Listen to this dream I had. We were all out in the field gathering bundles of wheat. All of a sudden my bundle stood straight up and your bundles circled around it and bowed down to mine.”
8His brothers said, “So! You’re going to rule us? You’re going to boss us around?” And they hated him more than ever because of his dreams and the way he talked.
9He had another dream and told this one also to his brothers: “I dreamed another dream—the sun and moon and eleven stars bowed down to me!”
10-11When he told it to his father and brothers, his father reprimanded him: “What’s with all this dreaming? Am I and your mother and your brothers all supposed to bow down to you?” Now his brothers were really jealous; but his father brooded over the whole business.
12-13His brothers had gone off to Shechem where they were pasturing their father’s flocks. Israel said to Joseph, “Your brothers are with flocks in Shechem. Come, I want to send you to them.”
Joseph said, “I’m ready.”
14He said, “Go and see how your brothers and the flocks are doing and bring me back a report.” He sent him off from the valley of Hebron to Shechem.
15A man met him as he was wandering through the fields and asked him, “What are you looking for?”
16“I’m trying to find my brothers. Do you have any idea where they are grazing their flocks?”
17The man said, “They’ve left here, but I overheard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’” So Joseph took off, tracked his brothers down, and found them in Dothan.
18-20They spotted him off in the distance. By the time he got to them they had cooked up a plot to kill him. The brothers were saying, “Here comes that dreamer. Let’s kill him and throw him into one of these old cisterns; we can say that a vicious animal ate him up. We’ll see what his dreams amount to.”
21-22Reuben heard the brothers talking and intervened to save him, “We’re not going to kill him. No murder. Go ahead and throw him in this cistern out here in the wild, but don’t hurt him.” Reuben planned to go back later and get him out and take him back to his father.
23-24When Joseph reached his brothers, they ripped off the fancy coat he was wearing, grabbed him, and threw him into a cistern. The cistern was dry; there wasn’t any water in it.
25-27Then they sat down to eat their supper. Looking up, they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites on their way from Gilead, their camels loaded with spices, ointments, and perfumes to sell in Egypt. Judah said, “Brothers, what are we going to get out of killing our brother and concealing the evidence? Let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites, but let’s not kill him—he is, after all, our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed.
28By that time the Midianite traders were passing by. His brothers pulled Joseph out of the cistern and sold him for twenty pieces of silver to the Ishmaelites who took Joseph with them down to Egypt.
29-30Later Reuben came back and went to the cistern—no Joseph! He ripped his clothes in despair. Beside himself, he went to his brothers. “The boy’s gone! What am I going to do!”
31-32They took Joseph’s coat, butchered a goat, and dipped the coat in the blood. They took the fancy coat back to their father and said, “We found this. Look it over—do you think this is your son’s coat?”
33He recognized it at once. “My son’s coat—a wild animal has eaten him. Joseph torn limb from limb!”
34-35Jacob tore his clothes in grief, dressed in rough burlap, and mourned his son a long, long time. His sons and daughters tried to comfort him but he refused their comfort. “I’ll go to the grave mourning my son.” Oh, how his father wept for him.
36In Egypt the Midianites sold Joseph to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, manager of his household affairs.