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Genesis 37

37
Joseph’s Dreams
1Now Jacob lived in the land where his father had lived as a stranger, in the land of Canaan. 2These are the records of the generations of Jacob.
Joseph, when he was seventeen years of age, was pasturing the flock with his brothers, while he was still a youth, along with the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives. And Joseph brought back a bad report about them to their father. 3Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his other sons, because he was the son of his old age; and he made him a #Or full-length tunicmulticolored tunic. 4And his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers; and so they hated him and could not speak to him #Lit in peaceon friendly terms.
5Then Joseph #Lit dreamedhad a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. 6He said to them, “Please listen to this dream which I have #Lit dreamedhad; 7for behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and behold, my sheaf stood up and also remained standing; and behold, your sheaves gathered around and bowed down to my sheaf.” 8Then his brothers said to him, “Are you actually going to reign over us? Or are you really going to rule over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.
9Then he #Lit dreamedhad yet another dream, and informed his brothers of it, and said, “Behold, I have #Lit dreamedhad yet another dream; and behold, the sun and the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” 10He also told it to his father as well as to his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have #Lit dreamedhad? Am I and your mother and your brothers actually going to come to bow down to the ground before you?” 11And his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.
12Then his brothers went to pasture their father’s flock in Shechem. 13And Israel said to Joseph, “Are your brothers not pasturing the flock in Shechem? Come, and I will send you to them.” And he said to him, “#Lit Behold meI will go.” 14Then he said to him, “Go now and see about the welfare of your brothers and the welfare of the flock, and bring word back to me.” So he sent him from the Valley of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.
15A man found him, and behold, he was wandering in the field; and the man asked him, “#Lit saying, “What...?”What are you looking for?” 16He said, “I am looking for my brothers; please tell me where they are pasturing the flock.17Then the man said, “They have moved from here; for I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’ ” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan.
The Plot against Joseph
18 # Or And When they saw him from a distance, and before he came closer to them, they plotted against him to put him to death. 19They said to one another, “#Lit Behold, this master of dreams comesHere comes this dreamer! 20Now then, come and let’s kill him, and throw him into one of the pits; and we will say, ‘A vicious animal devoured him.’ Then we will see what will become of his dreams!” 21But Reuben heard this and rescued him out of their hands #Lit and saidby saying, “Let’s not #Lit strike his soultake his life.” 22Then Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood. Throw him into this pit that is in the wilderness, but do not lay a hand on him”—so that later he might rescue him out of their hands, to return him to his father. 23So it came about, when Joseph #Lit came toreached his brothers, that they stripped Joseph of his tunic, the #Or full-length tunicmulticolored tunic that was on him; 24and they took him and threw him into the pit. Now the pit was empty, without any water in it.
25Then they sat down to eat #Lit breada meal. But as they raised their eyes and looked, behold, a caravan of Ishmaelites was coming from Gilead, with their camels carrying labdanum resin, balsam, and #Or resinous barkmyrrh, #Lit goingon their way to bring them down to Egypt. 26And Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is it for us to kill our brother and cover up his blood? 27Come, and let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And his brothers listened to him. 28Then some Midianite traders passed by, so they pulled him out and lifted Joseph out of the pit, and sold #Lit Josephhim to the Ishmaelites for #About 10 oz. or 280 gmtwenty shekels of silver. So they brought Joseph into Egypt.
29Now Reuben returned to the pit, and behold, Joseph was not in the pit; so he tore his garments. 30He returned to his brothers and said, “The boy is not there; as for me, where am I to go?” 31So they took Joseph’s tunic, and slaughtered a male goat, and dipped the tunic in the blood; 32and they sent the #Or full-length tunicmulticolored tunic and brought it to their father and said, “We found this; please #Or recognizeexamine it to see whether it is your son’s tunic or not.” 33Then he #Or recognizedexamined it and said, “It is my son’s tunic. A vicious animal has devoured him; Joseph has surely been torn to pieces!” 34So Jacob tore his clothes, and put on a sackcloth undergarment over his waist, and mourned for his son many days. 35Then all his sons and all his daughters got up to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. And he said, “Surely I will go down to Sheol in mourning for my son.” So his father wept for him. 36Meanwhile, the #Lit MedanitesMidianites sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, Pharaoh’s officer, the captain of the bodyguard.
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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.