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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
Parashah 9: Vayeshev (He continued living) 37:1–40:23
1Ya‘akov continued living in the land where his father had lived as a foreigner, the land of Kena‘an.
2Here is the history of Ya‘akov. When Yosef was seventeen years old he used to pasture the flock with his brothers, even though he was still a boy. Once when he was with the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives, he brought a bad report about them to their father. 3Now Isra’el loved Yosef the most of all his children, because he was the son of his old age; and he made him a long-sleeved robe. 4When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they began to hate him and reached the point where they couldn’t even talk with him in a civil manner.
5Yosef had a dream which he told his brothers, and that made them hate him all the more. 6He said to them, “Listen while I tell you about this dream of mine. 7We were tying up bundles of wheat in the field when suddenly my bundle got up by itself and stood upright; then your bundles came, gathered around mine and prostrated themselves before it.” 8His brothers retorted, “Yes, you will certainly be our king. You’ll do a great job of bossing us around!” And they hated him still more for his dreams and for what he said.
9He had another dream which he told his brothers: “Here, I had another dream, and there were the sun, the moon and eleven stars prostrating themselves before me.” 10He told his father too, as well as his brothers, but his father rebuked him: “What is this dream you have had? Do you really expect me, your mother and your brothers to come and prostrate ourselves before you on the ground?” 11His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.
(ii) 12After this, when his brothers had gone to pasture their father’s sheep in Sh’khem, 13Isra’el asked Yosef, “Aren’t your brothers pasturing the sheep in Sh’khem? Come, I will send you to them.” He answered, “Here I am.” 14He said to him, “Go now, see whether things are going well with your brothers and with the sheep, and bring word back to me.” So he sent him away from the Hevron Valley, and he went to Sh’khem, 15where a man found him wandering around in the countryside. The man asked him, “What are you looking for?” 16“I’m looking for my brothers,” he answered. “Tell me, please, where are they pasturing the sheep?” 17The man said, “They’ve left here; because I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dotan.’” Yosef went after his brothers and found them in Dotan.
18They spotted him in the distance, and before he had arrived where they were, they had already plotted to kill him. 19They said to each other, “Look, this dreamer is coming! 20So come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these water cisterns here. Then we’ll say some wild animal devoured him. We’ll see then what becomes of his dreams!” 21But when Re’uven heard this, he saved him from being destroyed by them. He said, “We shouldn’t take his life. 22Don’t shed blood,” Re’uven added. “Throw him into this cistern here in the wilds, but don’t lay hands on him yourselves.” He intended to rescue him from them later and restore him to his father.
(iii) 23So it was that when Yosef arrived to be with his brothers, they stripped off his robe, the long-sleeved robe he was wearing, 24and took him and threw him into the cistern (the cistern was empty; without any water in it). 25Then they sat down to eat their meal; but as they looked up, they saw in front of them a caravan of Yishma‘elim coming from Gil‘ad, their camels loaded with aromatic gum, healing resin and opium, on their way down to Egypt. 26Y’hudah said to his brothers, “What advantage is it to us if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? 27Come, let’s sell him to the Yishma‘elim, instead of putting him to death with our own hands. After all, he is our brother, our own flesh.” His brothers paid attention to him. 28So when the Midyanim, merchants, passed by, they drew and lifted Yosef up out of the cistern and sold him for half a pound of silver shekels to the Yishma‘elim, who took Yosef on to Egypt.
29Re’uven returned to the cistern, and, upon seeing that Yosef wasn’t in it, tore his clothes in mourning. 30He returned to his brothers and said, “The boy isn’t there! Where can I go now?”
31They took Yosef’s robe, killed a male goat and dipped the robe in the blood. 32Then they sent the long-sleeved robe and brought it to their father, saying, “We found this. Do you know if it’s your son’s robe or not?” 33He recognized it and cried, “It’s my son’s robe! Some wild animal has torn Yosef in pieces and eaten him!” 34Ya‘akov tore his clothes and, putting sackcloth around his waist, mourned his son for many days. 35Though all his sons and daughters tried to comfort him, he refused all consolation, saying, “No, I will go down to the grave, to my son, mourning.” And his father wept for him.
36In Egypt the Midyanim sold Yosef to Potifar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, a captain of the guard.