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Genesis 37

37
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.
37
Joseph’s Dreams
1So Jacob settled again in the land of Canaan, where his father had lived as a foreigner.
2This is the account of Jacob and his family. When Joseph was seventeen years old, he often tended his father’s flocks. He worked for his half brothers, the sons of his father’s wives Bilhah and Zilpah. But Joseph reported to his father some of the bad things his brothers were doing.
3Jacob#37:3a Hebrew Israel; also in 37:13. See note on 35:21. loved Joseph more than any of his other children because Joseph had been born to him in his old age. So one day Jacob had a special gift made for Joseph—a beautiful robe.#37:3b Traditionally rendered a coat of many colors. The exact meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain. 4But his brothers hated Joseph because their father loved him more than the rest of them. They couldn’t say a kind word to him.
5One night Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers about it, they hated him more than ever. 6“Listen to this dream,” he said. 7“We were out in the field, tying up bundles of grain. Suddenly my bundle stood up, and your bundles all gathered around and bowed low before mine!”
8His brothers responded, “So you think you will be our king, do you? Do you actually think you will reign over us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dreams and the way he talked about them.
9Soon Joseph had another dream, and again he told his brothers about it. “Listen, I have had another dream,” he said. “The sun, moon, and eleven stars bowed low before me!”
10This time he told the dream to his father as well as to his brothers, but his father scolded him. “What kind of dream is that?” he asked. “Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow to the ground before you?” 11But while his brothers were jealous of Joseph, his father wondered what the dreams meant.
12Soon after this, Joseph’s brothers went to pasture their father’s flocks at Shechem. 13When they had been gone for some time, Jacob said to Joseph, “Your brothers are pasturing the sheep at Shechem. Get ready, and I will send you to them.”
“I’m ready to go,” Joseph replied.
14“Go and see how your brothers and the flocks are getting along,” Jacob said. “Then come back and bring me a report.” So Jacob sent him on his way, and Joseph traveled to Shechem from their home in the valley of Hebron.
15When he arrived there, a man from the area noticed him wandering around the countryside. “What are you looking for?” he asked.
16“I’m looking for my brothers,” Joseph replied. “Do you know where they are pasturing their sheep?”
17“Yes,” the man told him. “They have moved on from here, but I heard them say, ‘Let’s go on to Dothan.’” So Joseph followed his brothers to Dothan and found them there.
Joseph Sold into Slavery
18When Joseph’s brothers saw him coming, they recognized him in the distance. As he approached, they made plans to kill him. 19“Here comes the dreamer!” they said. 20“Come on, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns. We can tell our father, ‘A wild animal has eaten him.’ Then we’ll see what becomes of his dreams!”
21But when Reuben heard of their scheme, he came to Joseph’s rescue. “Let’s not kill him,” he said. 22“Why should we shed any blood? Let’s just throw him into this empty cistern here in the wilderness. Then he’ll die without our laying a hand on him.” Reuben was secretly planning to rescue Joseph and return him to his father.
23So when Joseph arrived, his brothers ripped off the beautiful robe he was wearing. 24Then they grabbed him and threw him into the cistern. Now the cistern was empty; there was no water in it. 25Then, just as they were sitting down to eat, they looked up and saw a caravan of camels in the distance coming toward them. It was a group of Ishmaelite traders taking a load of gum, balm, and aromatic resin from Gilead down to Egypt.
26Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain by killing our brother? We’d have to cover up the crime.#37:26 Hebrew cover his blood. 27Instead of hurting him, let’s sell him to those Ishmaelite traders. After all, he is our brother—our own flesh and blood!” And his brothers agreed. 28So when the Ishmaelites, who were Midianite traders, came by, Joseph’s brothers pulled him out of the cistern and sold him to them for twenty pieces#37:28 Hebrew 20 [shekels], about 8 ounces or 228 grams in weight. of silver. And the traders took him to Egypt.
29Some time later, Reuben returned to get Joseph out of the cistern. When he discovered that Joseph was missing, he tore his clothes in grief. 30Then he went back to his brothers and lamented, “The boy is gone! What will I do now?”
31Then the brothers killed a young goat and dipped Joseph’s robe in its blood. 32They sent the beautiful robe to their father with this message: “Look at what we found. Doesn’t this robe belong to your son?”
33Their father recognized it immediately. “Yes,” he said, “it is my son’s robe. A wild animal must have eaten him. Joseph has clearly been torn to pieces!” 34Then Jacob tore his clothes and dressed himself in burlap. He mourned deeply for his son for a long time. 35His family all tried to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “I will go to my grave#37:35 Hebrew go down to Sheol. mourning for my son,” he would say, and then he would weep.
36Meanwhile, the Midianite traders#37:36 Hebrew the Medanites. The relationship between the Midianites and Medanites is unclear; compare 37:28. See also 25:2. arrived in Egypt, where they sold Joseph to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. Potiphar was captain of the palace guard.