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Genesis 37

37
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.
37
1And Ya‛aqoḇ dwelt in the land of his father’s sojournings, in the land of Kena‛an.
2This is the genealogy of Ya‛aqoḇ. Yosĕph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brothers. And the young man was with the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives. And Yosĕph brought an evil report of them to his father.
3And Yisra’ĕl loved Yosĕph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. And he made him a long robe.
4But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and were not able to speak peaceably to him.
5And Yosĕph dreamed a dream, and told it to his brothers. So they hated him even more.
6And he said to them, “Please listen to this dream which I have dreamed:
7See, we were binding sheaves in the midst of the field, and see, my sheaf rose up and also stood up. And see, your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf.
8And his brothers said to him, “Shall you indeed reign over us? Shall you indeed rule over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.
9And he dreamed still another dream and related it to his brothers, and said, “See, I have dreamed another dream, and see, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars bowed down to me.”
10And he related it to his father and his brothers. And his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall we, your mother and I and your brothers, indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?”
11And his brothers envied him, but his father guarded the word.
12And his brothers went to feed their father’s flock in Sheḵem.
13And Yisra’ĕl said to Yosĕph, “Are not your brothers feeding the flock in Sheḵem? Come, I send you to them.” So he said to him, “Here I am.”
14And he said to him, “Please go and see if it is well with your brothers and well with the sheep, and bring back word to me.” So he sent him out of the Valley of Ḥeḇron, and he went to Sheḵem.
15And a certain man found him, and see, he was wandering in the field. And the man asked him, saying, “What do you seek?”
16And he said, “I am seeking my brothers. Please inform me where they are feeding their sheep.”
17And the man said, “They have left here, for I heard them say, ‘Let us go towards Dothan.’ ” So Yosĕph went after his brothers and found them in Dothan.
18And they saw him from a distance, and before he came near them, they plotted against him, to kill him.
19And they said to each other, “See, this master of dreams is coming!
20Now, then, come and let us now kill him and throw him into some pit, and shall say, ‘Some wild beast has devoured him.’ Let us then see what comes of his dreams!
21But Re’uḇĕn heard and rescued him from their hands, and said, “Let us not strike his being.”
22And Re’uḇĕn said to them, “Shed no blood. Throw him into this pit which is in the wilderness, and do not lay a hand on him” – in order to rescue him out of their hands, and bring him back to his father.
23So it came to be, when Yosĕph had come to his brothers, that they stripped Yosĕph of his robe, the long robe which was on him.
24And they took him and threw him into a pit. And the pit was empty, there was no water in it.
25And they sat down to eat a meal. And they lifted their eyes and looked and saw a company of Yishma‛ĕlites, coming from Gil‛aḏ with their camels, bearing spices, and balm, and myrrh, going to take them down to Mitsrayim.
26And Yehuḏah said to his brothers, “What would we gain if we kill our brother and conceal his blood?
27Come and let us sell him to the Yishma‛ĕlites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother, our flesh. And his brothers listened.
28And men, Miḏyanite traders passed by, so they pulled Yosĕph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Yishma‛ĕlites for twenty pieces of silver. And they took Yosĕph to Mitsrayim.
29And Re’uḇĕn returned to the pit, and see, Yosĕph was not in the pit. And he tore his garments.
30And he returned to his brothers and said, “The boy is gone! And I, where am I to go?”
31So they took Yosĕph’s robe, slew a male goat, and dipped the robe in the blood,
32and sent the long robe and brought it to their father and said, “We have found this. Please look, is it the robe of your son or not?”
33And he recognised it and said, “It is my son’s robe. An evil beast has devoured him. Yosĕph is torn, torn to pieces.”
34And Ya‛aqoḇ tore his garments, and put sackcloth on his waist, and mourned for his son many days.
35And all his sons and all his daughters arose to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted, and he said, “Now let me go down into She’ol#See Explanatory Notes - "She’ol". to my son in mourning.” So his father wept for him.
36And the Miḏanites had sold him in Mitsrayim to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and captain of the guard.