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Genesis 37

37
Joseph’s Dreams
1Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, the land of Canaan.#Gn 26:3 2These are the family records of Jacob.
At seventeen years of age, Joseph tended sheep with his brothers. The young man was working with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives,#Gn 30:1–13 and he brought a bad report about them to their father.#1Sm 2:22–24
3Now Israel loved Joseph more than his other sons because Joseph was a son born to him in his old age,#Gn 44:20 and he made a long-sleeved robe#37:3 Or an ornate robe; see 2Sm 13:18,19 for him. 4When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not bring themselves to speak peaceably to him.
5Then Joseph had a dream. When he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. 6He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: 7There we were, binding sheaves of grain in the field. Suddenly my sheaf stood up, and your sheaves gathered around it and bowed down to my sheaf.”#Gn 42:6,9; 43:26; 44:14
8“Are you really going to reign over us?” his brothers asked him. “Are you really going to rule us?” So they hated him even more because of his dream and what he had said.
9Then he had another dream and told it to his brothers. “Look,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun, moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”
10He told his father and brothers, and his father rebuked him. “What kind of dream is this that you have had?” he said. “Am I and your mother and your brothers really going to come and bow down to the ground before you?” 11His brothers were jealous of him,#Ac 7:9 but his father kept the matter in mind.#Dn 7:28; Lk 2:19,51
Joseph Sold into Slavery
12His brothers had gone to pasture their father’s flocks at Shechem. 13Israel said to Joseph, “Your brothers, you know, are pasturing the flocks at Shechem. Get ready. I’m sending you to them.”
“I’m ready,” Joseph replied.
14Then Israel said to him, “Go and see how your brothers and the flocks are doing, and bring word back to me.” So he sent him from the Hebron#Gn 13:18; 35:27 Valley, and he went to Shechem.
15A man found him there, wandering in the field, and asked him, “What are you looking for?”
16“I’m looking for my brothers,” Joseph said. “Can you tell me where they are pasturing their flocks?”
17“They’ve moved on from here,” the man said. “I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’”#2Kg 6:13 So Joseph set out after his brothers and found them at Dothan.
18They saw him in the distance, and before he had reached them, they plotted to kill him.#Ps 31:13; 37:12,32; Mk 14:1; Jn 11:53; Ac 23:12 19They said to one another, “Oh, look, here comes that dream expert!#37:19 Lit comes the lord of the dreams 20So now, come on, let’s kill him and throw him into one of the pits.#37:20 Or cisterns We can say that a vicious animal ate him. Then we’ll see what becomes of his dreams!”
21When Reuben heard this, he tried to save him from them.#37:21 Lit their hands He said, “Let’s not take his life.”#Gn 42:22 22Reuben also said to them, “Don’t shed blood. Throw him into this pit in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him” — intending to rescue him from them and return him to his father.
23When Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped off Joseph’s robe, the long-sleeved robe that he had on. 24Then they took him and threw him into the pit. The pit was empty, without water.#Jr 38:6
25They sat down to eat a meal,#Gn 42:21 and when they looked up, there was a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead.#Gn 39:1 Their camels were carrying aromatic gum, balsam, and resin, going down to Egypt.#Gn 43:11; Jr 8:22; 46:11
26Judah said to his brothers, “What do we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? 27Come on, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay a hand on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh,” and his brothers agreed. 28When Midianite#Dt 25:5,7; Jdg 8:22–24; Mt 22:24; Mk 12:19; Lk 20:28 traders passed by, his brothers pulled Joseph out of the pit and sold him for twenty pieces of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took Joseph to Egypt.#Gn 45:4–5; Ps 105:17; Ac 7:9
29When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not there, he tore his clothes.#Gn 44:13; Nm 14:6; 2Sm 1:11; 3:31; Jb 1:20 30He went back to his brothers and said, “The boy is gone! What am I going to do?” #37:30 Lit And I, where am I going? 31So they took Joseph’s robe, slaughtered a male goat, and dipped the robe in its blood. 32They sent the long-sleeved robe to their father and said, “We found this. Examine it. Is it your son’s robe or not?”
33His father recognized it. “It is my son’s robe,” he said. “A vicious animal has devoured him. Joseph has been torn to pieces!” #Gn 44:28 34Then Jacob tore his clothes, put sackcloth around his waist, and mourned for his son many days. 35All his sons and daughters tried to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “No,” he said. “I will go down to Sheol to my son, mourning.” And his father wept for him.
36Meanwhile, the Midianites sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and the captain of the guards.
37
Joseph the Dreamer
1Jacob stayed and lived in the land of Canaan. This is the same land where his father had lived. 2This is the story of Jacob’s family.
Joseph was a young man, 17 years old. His job was to take care of the sheep and the goats. Joseph did this work with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah. (Bilhah and Zilpah were his father’s wives.) Joseph told his father about the bad things that his brothers did. 3Joseph was born at a time when his father Israel was very old, so Israel loved him more than he loved his other sons. Jacob gave him a special coat, which was long and very beautiful.#37:3 beautiful The Hebrew means “striped,” or possibly, “many colored.” 4When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father loved Joseph more than he loved them, they hated their brother because of this. They refused to say nice things to him.
5One time Joseph had a special dream. Later, he told his brothers about this dream, and after that his brothers hated him even more.
6Joseph said, “I had a dream. 7We were all working in the field, tying stacks of wheat together. Then my stack got up. It stood there while all of your stacks of wheat made a circle around mine and bowed down to it.”
8His brothers said, “Do you think this means that you will be a king and rule over us?” His brothers hated Joseph more now because of the dreams he had about them.
9Then Joseph had another dream, and he told his brothers about it. He said, “I had another dream. I saw the sun, the moon, and eleven stars bowing down to me.”
10Joseph also told his father about this dream, but his father criticized him. His father said, “What kind of dream is this? Do you believe that your mother, your brothers, and I will bow down to you?” 11Joseph’s brothers continued to be jealous of him, but his father thought about all these things and wondered what they could mean.
12One day Joseph’s brothers went to Shechem to care for their father’s sheep. 13Jacob said to Joseph, “Go to Shechem. Your brothers are there with my sheep.”
Joseph answered, “I will go.”
14His father said, “Go and see if your brothers are safe. Come back and tell me if my sheep are all fine.” So Joseph’s father sent him from the Valley of Hebron to Shechem.
15At Shechem, Joseph got lost. A man found him wandering in the fields. The man said, “What are you looking for?”
16Joseph answered, “I am looking for my brothers. Can you tell me where they are with their sheep?”
17The man said, “They have already gone away. I heard them say that they were going to Dothan.” So Joseph followed his brothers and found them in Dothan.
Joseph Sold Into Slavery
18Joseph’s brothers saw him coming from far away. They decided to make a plan to kill him. 19They said to each other, “Here comes Joseph the dreamer. 20We should kill him now while we can. We could throw his body into one of the empty wells and tell our father that a wild animal killed him. Then we will show him that his dreams are useless.”
21But Reuben wanted to save Joseph. He said, “Let’s not kill him. 22We can put him into a well without hurting him.” Reuben planned to save Joseph and send him back to his father. 23When Joseph came to his brothers, they attacked him and tore off his long and beautiful coat. 24Then they threw him into an empty well that was dry.
25While Joseph was in the well, the brothers sat down to eat. They looked up and saw a group of traders#37:25 traders Literally, “Ishmaelites.” traveling from Gilead to Egypt. Their camels were carrying many different spices and riches. 26So Judah said to his brothers, “What profit will we get if we kill our brother and hide his death? 27We will profit more if we sell him to these traders. Then we will not be guilty of killing our own brother.” The other brothers agreed. 28When the Midianite traders came by, the brothers took Joseph out of the well and sold him to the traders for 20 pieces of silver. The traders took him to Egypt.
29Reuben had been gone, but when he came back to the well, he saw that Joseph was not there. He tore his clothes to show that he was upset. 30Reuben went to the brothers and said, “The boy is not in the well! What will I do?” 31The brothers killed a goat and put the goat’s blood on Joseph’s beautiful coat. 32Then the brothers showed the coat to their father. And the brothers said, “We found this coat. Is this Joseph’s coat?”
33His father saw the coat and knew that it was Joseph’s. He said, “Yes, that is his! Maybe some wild animal has killed him. My son Joseph has been eaten by a wild animal!” 34Jacob was so sorry about his son that he tore his clothes. Then Jacob put on special clothes 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 Jacob was never comforted. He said, “I will be sad about my son until the day I die.” So Jacob continued to mourn his son Joseph.
36The Midianite traders later sold Joseph in Egypt. They sold him to Potiphar, an officer of the king of Egypt and the captain of his palace guards.