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Genesis 37

37
Joseph Dreams of Greatness
1Jacob settled in the land where his father had lived as an alien, the land of Canaan. 2This is the story of the family of Jacob.
Joseph, being seventeen years old, was shepherding the flock with his brothers; he was a helper to the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father's wives; and Joseph brought a bad report of them to their father. 3Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his children, because he was the son of his old age; and he had made him a long robe with sleeves.#37.3 Traditional rendering (compare Gk): a coat of many colors; Meaning of Heb uncertain 4But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably to him.
5Once Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. 6He said to them, “Listen to this dream that I dreamed. 7There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright; then your sheaves gathered around it, and bowed down to my sheaf.” 8His brothers said to him, “Are you indeed to reign over us? Are you indeed to have dominion over us?” So they hated him even more because of his dreams and his words.
9He had another dream, and told it to his brothers, saying, “Look, I have had another dream: the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” 10But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him, and said to him, “What kind of dream is this that you have had? Shall we indeed come, I and your mother and your brothers, and bow to the ground before you?” 11So his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.
Joseph Is Sold by His Brothers
12Now his brothers went to pasture their father's flock near Shechem. 13And Israel said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers pasturing the flock at Shechem? Come, I will send you to them.” He answered, “Here I am.” 14So he said to him, “Go now, see if it is well with your brothers and with the flock; and bring word back to me.” So he sent him from the valley of Hebron.
He came to Shechem, 15and a man found him wandering in the fields; the man asked him, “What are you seeking?” 16“I am seeking my brothers,” he said; “tell me, please, where they are pasturing the flock.” 17The man said, “They have gone away, for I heard them say, ‘Let us go to Dothan.’ ” So Joseph went after his brothers, and found them at Dothan. 18They saw him from a distance, and before he came near to them, they conspired to kill him. 19They said to one another, “Here comes this dreamer. 20Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits; then we shall say that a wild animal has devoured him, and we shall see what will become of his dreams.” 21But when Reuben heard it, he delivered him out of their hands, saying, “Let us not take his life.” 22Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood; throw him into this pit here in the wilderness, but lay no hand on him”—that he might rescue him out of their hand and restore him to his father. 23So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the long robe with sleeves#37.23 See note on 37.3 that he wore; 24and they took him and threw him into a pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it.
25Then they sat down to eat; and looking up they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels carrying gum, balm, and resin, on their way to carry it down to Egypt. 26Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is it if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? 27Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and not lay our hands on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And his brothers agreed. 28When some Midianite traders passed by, they drew Joseph up, lifting him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt.
29When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not in the pit, he tore his clothes. 30He returned to his brothers, and said, “The boy is gone; and I, where can I turn?” 31Then they took Joseph's robe, slaughtered a goat, and dipped the robe in the blood. 32They had the long robe with sleeves#37.32 See note on 37.3 taken to their father, and they said, “This we have found; see now whether it is your son's robe or not.” 33He recognized it, and said, “It is my son's robe! A wild animal has devoured him; Joseph is without doubt torn to pieces.” 34Then Jacob tore his garments, and put sackcloth on his loins, and mourned for his son many days. 35All his sons and all his daughters sought to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted, and said, “No, I shall go down to Sheol to my son, mourning.” Thus his father bewailed him. 36Meanwhile the Midianites had sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh's officials, the captain of the guard.
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.