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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
The Dreams of Joseph
1And Jacob settled in the land of the sojourning of his father, in the land of Canaan. 2These are the generations#Or “family records” of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was shepherding the flock with his brothers. Now he was a helper with the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, the wives of his father. And Joseph brought a bad report of them to his father. 3Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons, for he was a son of his old age. And he made a robe with long sleeves#Or “of many colors” for him. 4When 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 Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it to his brothers. And they hated him even more.#Literally “they added still to hate him” 6And he said to them, “Listen now to this dream that I dreamed. 7Now behold, we were binding sheaves in the midst of the field and, behold, my sheaf stood up and it remained standing. Then behold, your sheaves gathered around and bowed down to my sheaf.” 8Then his brothers said to him, “Will you really rule over us?” And they hated him even more#Literally “they added still to hate him” on account of his dream and because of his words. 9Then he dreamed yet another dream and told it to his brothers. And he said, “Behold, I dreamed a dream again, and behold, the sun and the moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” 10And he told it to his father and to his brothers. And his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Will I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the ground to you?” 11And his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.
Joseph Sold Into Slavery by his Brothers
12Now his brothers went to pasture the flock of their father in Shechem. 13And Israel said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers pasturing in Shechem? Come, let me send you to them.” And he said, “Here I am.” 14Then he said to him, “Go now, see if it goes well for your brothers and for the flock,#Literally “see the peace of your brothers and the peace of the flock” then return word to me.” And he sent him from the valley of Hebron, and he arrived at Shechem. 15And a man found him, and behold, he#That is, Joseph was wandering about in a field. And the man asked him, “What do you seek?” 16And he said, “I am seeking my brothers. Tell me, please, where they are pasturing.” 17And the man said, “They have moved on from here, for I heard them saying, ‘Let us go to Dothan.’ ” Then Joseph went after his brothers and found them in Dothan. 18And they saw him from a distance. And before he drew near to them, they conspired against him to kill him. 19And each said to his brothers, “Look, this master of dreams is coming. 20Now then, come, let us kill him and throw him in one of the pits. Then we will say a wild animal devoured him. Then we will see what his dreams become.” 21And Reuben heard it and delivered him from their hand and said, “We must not take his life.” 22And Reuben said to them, “You must not shed blood. Throw him into this pit that is in the desert, but do not lay a hand on him”—so that he might rescue him from their hand to return him to his father. 23And it happened that as Joseph came to his brothers they stripped Joseph of his robe, the robe with long sleeves,#Or “of many colors” that was upon him. 24And they took him and threw him into the pit (the pit was empty; there was no water in it). 25Then they sat down to eat some food. And they lifted up their eyes and looked, and behold, a caravan of Ishmaelites was coming from Gilead. And their camels were carrying aromatic gum and balm and spices on the way#Literally “going to bring down” to Egypt. 26Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is there if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? 27Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, but our hand shall not be against him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And his brothers agreed. 28Then Midianite traders passed by. And they#That is, the brothers drew Joseph up and brought him up from the pit, and they sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. And they brought Joseph to Egypt. 29Then Reuben returned to the pit and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit. And he tore his clothes. 30And he returned to his brothers and said, “The boy is gone!#Literally “is not” Now I, what can I do?”#Literally “where am I going?” 31Then they took the robe of Joseph and slaughtered a goat, and dipped the robe in the blood. 32Then they sent the robe with long sleeves#Or “of many colors” and they brought it to their father and said, “We found this; please examine it. Is it the robe of your son or not?” 33And he recognized it and said, “The robe of my son! A wild animal has devoured him! Joseph is surely torn to pieces!” 34And Jacob tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his loins and mourned for his son many days. 35And all his sons and daughters tried to console him, but he refused to be consoled. And he said, “No, I shall go down to my son, to Sheol, mourning.” And his father wept for him. 36And the Midianites sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, a court official of Pharaoh, a commander of the imperial guard.