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Genesis 37

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Chapter 37
Joseph and his brothers
1Jacob lived in Canaan, the land where his father had lived. #37:1 God gave Jacob the new name ‘Israel’. See Genesis 32:28; 35:10. The Bible uses both names for the same person, but here we have used ‘Jacob’.
2This is the report about Jacob and his family.
Joseph was Jacob's son. When he was 17 years old, he took care of his father's sheep and goats. He did this together with his brothers. These were the sons of his father's wives, Bilhah and Zilpah. Sometimes Joseph told his father bad things about his brothers.
3Jacob loved Joseph more than he loved any of his other sons. This was because Joseph was born when Jacob was old. So Jacob made a special coat for Joseph. 4Joseph's brothers knew that Jacob loved him more than he loved them. So they hated Joseph. They could not say anything nice to him.
5One night, Joseph had a dream and he told his brothers about it. When they heard about the dream, Joseph's brothers hated him even more than they did before. 6Joseph said to his brothers, ‘Listen to what happened in my dream: 7We were out in the field tying the crops together into bundles. Then my bundle stood up. Your bundles stood in a circle round my bundle. And all your bundles bent down to respect my bundle.’
8Joseph's brothers said to him, ‘Do you really think that you will be like a king and rule over us like that?’ They hated Joseph even more because of what he told them about his dream.
9Then Joseph had another dream and he told his brothers about it. He said, ‘Listen to me. I have had another dream. This is what happened: The sun, the moon and 11 stars bent down in front of me.’ 10Joseph told his father and his brothers about the dream. Jacob, his father, was angry with him. He said to Joseph, ‘You should not tell us about a dream like that! Do you really think that I, your mother and your brothers will come and bend down in front of you?’ 11Joseph's brothers were very jealous of him. But Jacob thought carefully about what Joseph had said.
12One day, Joseph's brothers had taken their father's sheep to eat grass in the fields. This was near Shechem city. 13Jacob said to Joseph, ‘You know that your brothers have taken my sheep to eat grass near Shechem. I want you to go to them.’ Joseph replied, ‘I am ready to go.’ 14So Jacob said to Joseph, ‘Go and see if your brothers are well. See if the sheep have enough grass to eat. Then come back and tell me news about them.’ Then Jacob sent Joseph from the Valley of Hebron to go to them. 15When Joseph arrived near Shechem and he was walking in the fields there, a man met him. He asked Joseph, ‘What are you looking for?’ 16Joseph replied, ‘I am looking for my brothers. They have taken the sheep to eat grass. Please tell me where they are.’ 17The man said, ‘They have moved away from here. I heard them say, “Let us go to Dothan.” ’
So Joseph went to look for his brothers. He found them at Dothan. 18But his brothers recognized Joseph, while he was still far away. Before he had arrived where they were, they decided on a way to kill him. 19They said to each other, ‘Here comes the man who likes to dream! 20We will kill him. We can throw him into one of the dry wells. We can tell people that a wild animal ate him. Then his dreams will never become true!’
21When Reuben heard this, he tried to save Joseph from the other brothers. He said, ‘We should not kill him. 22Do not even get his blood on your hands. Just throw him into this dry well here in the wilderness. But do not attack him.’ Reuben said this to save Joseph, so that his brothers would not kill him. Then later, Reuben could take Joseph back to his father.
23So Joseph arrived at where his brothers were. He was wearing his special coat, but they took it off him. 24Then they took hold of Joseph and they threw him into the empty well. It had no water in it.
25Then the brothers sat down to eat their meal. They looked up and they saw a group of Ishmaelites coming towards them. They were coming from the region that is called Gilead. They were riding on camels that carried spices, and different kinds of oils for medicine. They were taking them to sell in Egypt.
26Judah said to his brothers, ‘We could kill our brother and then hide his body. But then we will not get anything for ourselves. 27So, let us sell him to these Ishmaelites. We do not need to hurt him. Then we will not have to kill him. We should remember that he is our brother. He is our own relative.’ Judah's brothers agreed with what he said. 28When the Midianite traders came near to Joseph's brothers, they pulled him out of the dry well. They sold him to the Ishmaelites for 20 silver coins. The Ishmaelites took Joseph with them to Egypt.
29Later, Reuben returned to the dry well. He saw that Joseph was not there. He tore his clothes because he was very upset. 30Reuben went back to his brothers. He said to them, ‘The boy is not in the well! What can I do now?’ #37:30 Reuben was upset because he had tried to save Joseph. He was the oldest of all the brothers. Now he will have to tell his father that Joseph has gone.
31Then the brothers killed a goat. They took its blood and they put the blood all over Joseph's special coat. 32They took the coat back to their father and they told him, ‘We found this coat. Look at it. Tell us if it is your son's coat.’ 33Jacob saw that it was Joseph's coat. He said, ‘It is my son's coat! A wild animal must have eaten him! The animal has torn Joseph's body into pieces.’
34Jacob was so upset that he tore his own clothes. He put on clothes made from sackcloth to show how sad he was. He wept for many days because his son had died.
35All Jacob's sons and daughters came to comfort him. But Jacob was very sad, so they could not make him happy. Jacob said, ‘I will be sad until the day that I die, because my son is dead.’ Jacob wept because Joseph was dead.
36While this was happening, the Midianites took Joseph into Egypt. They sold him to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh's officers. Potiphar had authority over all of Pharaoh's guards.
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CHAPTER 37
1Forsooth Jacob dwelled in the land of Canaan, in which his father was a pilgrim;
2and these were the generations of him. Joseph when he was of sixteen years, yet a child, kept a flock with his brethren, and he was with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, the wives of his father; and he accused his brethren at the father of the worst sin.
3Forsooth Israel loved Joseph above all his sons, for he had begotten him in his eld age; and he made to Joseph a coat of many colours.
4Forsooth his brethren saw that he was loved of the father more than all they, and they hated him, and might not speak anything peaceably to him.
5And it befelled that he told to his brethren a sweven that he saw, which cause was the seed of more hatred.
6And Joseph said to his brethren, Hear ye the sweven which I saw,
7I guessed that we bound together sheaves, or handfuls, [in the field], and that as mine handful rose up, and stood upright, and that your handfuls stood about, and worshipped or honoured mine handful.
8His brethren answered, Whether thou shalt be our king, either we shall be made subject to thy lordship? Therefore this cause of dreams and words ministered the nourishing of envy, and of hatred.
9Also Joseph saw another sweven, which he told to his brethren, and said, I saw a dream that as the sun, and the moon, and the eleven stars worshipped me.
10And when he had told this dream to his father, and his brethren, his father blamed him, and said, What will this dream mean to itself that thou hast seen? Whether I, and thy mother, and thy brethren, shall worship thee on earth?
11Therefore his brethren had envy to him. Forsooth the father beheld privily the thing,
12and when his brethren dwelled in Shechem, about [the] keeping of [the] flocks of their father,
13Israel said to Joseph, Thy brethren keep sheep in Shechem; come thou, I shall send thee to them. And when Joseph answered, I am ready,
14Israel said, Go thou, and see whether all things be welsome with thy brethren, and the sheep; and then tell thou to me what is done. And so he was sent from the valley of Hebron, and came into Shechem;
15and a man found him erring in the field, and the man asked him, what he sought.
16And he answered, I seek my brethren; show thou to me where they keep their flocks.
17And the man said to him, They went away from this place; forsooth I heard them saying, Go we into Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan.
18And when they had seen him afar, before he nighed to them, they thought to slay him,
19and they spake together, Lo! the dreamer cometh,
20come ye, slay we him, and put we him into an eld [or old] cistern, and we shall say, A wild beast full wicked hath devoured him; and then it shall appear what his dreams profit to him.
21Soothly Reuben heard this, and enforced or endeavoured to deliver him from their hands, and said, Slay we not the life of him,
22neither shed we out his blood, but cast ye him into an eld [or old] cistern, which is in the wilderness, and keep ye your hands guiltless. Forsooth he said this, willing to deliver him from their hands, and to yield him to his father.
23Therefore anon as Joseph came to his brethren, they despoiled him of his coat, that went down to the heel, and was of many colours,
24and they put him in[to] an eld [or old] cistern, that had no water.
25And they sat to eat bread; and they saw that Ishmaelite way-goers came from Gilead, and that their camels bare sweet smelling spiceries, and resin, and stacte, into Egypt.
26Therefore Judah said to his brethren, What shall it profit to us, if we shall slay our brother, and shall hide his blood?
27It is better that he be sold to Ishmaelites, and our hands be not defouled, for he is our brother and our flesh. His brethren assented to these words;
28and when [the] merchants of Midian passed thereforth, they drew Joseph out of the cistern, and sold him to Ishmaelites, for twenty pieces of silver; which led him into Egypt.
29And Reuben turned again to the cistern, and found not the child; and he rent his clothes,
30and he went to his brethren, and said, The child appeareth not, and whither shall I go?
31Forsooth they took his coat, and dipped it in the blood of a kid, which they had slain;
32and they sent men that bare it to their father, and said, We have found this coat; see thou, whether it is the coat of thy son, or nay.
33And when their father had known it, he said, It is the coat of my son; a wild beast full wicked hath eaten him; a beast hath devoured Joseph.
34And he rent his clothes, and he was clothed with an hair-shirt, and bewailed his son in much time.
35Soothly when his free children were gathered together, that they should appease the sorrow of their father, he would not take comfort; but said, I shall go down into hell, and shall bewail my son. And while Jacob continued in weeping,
36Midianites sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, a chaste and honest servant [or the gelding] of Pharaoh, master of the chivalry.