1Jacob settled down and lived in Canaan as his father had done.
2This is the story of Jacob and his family. Joseph was seventeen, and helped look after the flock with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father's wives. Joseph told his father about some of the bad things his brothers were doing.
3Israel#37:3. “Israel,” that is, Jacob. loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because Joseph had been born to him when he was already old. He made a colorful robe with long sleeves for Joseph. 4When his brothers noticed that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and had nothing good to say about him.
5Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers about it, they hated him even more. 6“Listen to this dream I had,” he told them. 7“We were tying up bundles of grain out in the fields when all of a sudden my bundle stood up, and your bundles came over and bowed down to it.”
8“Do you really think you're going to be our king?” they asked. “Do you honestly believe you're going to rule over us?” They hated him even more because of his dream and how he described it.
9Then he had another dream and told his brothers about it. “Listen, I had another dream,” he explained. “The sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down before me.”
10He also told his father as well as his brothers, and his father told him off, saying, “What's this dream that you've had? Are we—I and your mother and brothers—really going to come and bow down to the ground before you?” 11Joseph's brothers became jealous of him, but his father puzzled over the meaning of the dream.
12One day Joseph's brothers took their father's flocks to graze near Shechem. 13Israel told Joseph, “Your brothers are looking after the sheep near Shechem. Get ready because I want you to go and see them.”
“I'll do it,” Joseph replied.
14So he told him, “Off you go and see how your brothers and the flocks are doing, and come back and let me know.” So he sent him off.
Joseph set out from the Hebron Valley, 15and arrived in Shechem. A man there found him wandering about in the field, so he asked him, “What are you looking for?”
16“I'm looking for my brothers,” Joseph replied. “Can you please tell me where they're looking after the flock?”
17“They've already left,” the man replied. “I heard them say, ‘Let's go to Dothan.’” So Joseph followed his brothers and caught up with them at Dothan.
18But they saw him coming way off in the distance, and before he got to them, they made plans to kill him. 19“Look, here comes the Lord of Dreams!” they said to each other. 20“Come on, let's kill him and throw him into one of the pits. We'll say that some wild animal has eaten him. Then we'll see what happens to his dreams!”
21When Reuben heard all this, he tried to save Joseph from them. 22“Let's not attack and kill him,” he suggested. “Don't murder him, just throw him into this pit here in the desert. You don't need to be guilty of violence.”#37:22. “You don't need to be guilty of violence”: literally “you must not send a hand against him.” Reuben is suggesting that they don't have to actively kill Joseph, but if they throw him into a pit he will die without them being guilty of committing murder. Reuben said this so that he could come back later and rescue Joseph from them and take him home to his father.
23So when Joseph arrived, his brothers ripped off his robe—the colorful long-sleeved robe he was wearing— 24grabbed him and threw him into a pit. (The pit was empty—it didn't have any water in it.) 25They were just sitting down to have a meal when they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were carrying aromatic spices, balm, and myrrh to take to Egypt.
26“What's the point of killing our brother?” Judah asked his brothers. “Then we'd have to cover up his death! 27Instead, why don't we sell him to these Ishmaelites? We don't have to kill him. After all he's our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed.
28So when the Ishmaelites (who were traders from Midian)#37:28. The text sometimes refers to them as Ishmaelites and sometimes as Midianites but are clearly one and the same group. Also verse 36. came by, they pulled Joseph out of the pit and sold him to them for twenty pieces of silver. The Ishmaelites took him to Egypt.
29When Reuben came back later and looked into the pit, Joseph was gone. He tore his clothes in grief. 30He returned to his brothers. “The boy's gone!” he moaned. “What am I going to do now?”
31They slaughtered a goat and dipped Joseph's robe in the blood. 32Then they sent the colorful robe to their father with the message, “We found this. Please examine it and see if it's your son's robe or not.”
33His father recognized it right away and said, “This is my son's robe! Some wild animal must have eaten him. Poor Joseph has been ripped to pieces, no doubt about it!”
34Jacob tore his clothes in grief and dressed in sackcloth. He mourned the death of his son for a long time. 35All his sons and daughters tried to console him, but he rejected their attempts. “No,” he said, “I will go down into my grave mourning for my son.” So Joseph's father went on weeping for him.
36In the meantime the Ishmaelites had arrived in Egypt and had sold Joseph to Potiphar. Potiphar was one of Pharaoh's officers, the captain of the guard.