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Genesis 37

37
Joseph is sold by his brothers as a slave
Joseph and his brothers
1Jacob lived in the land of Canaan, where his father Isaac had lived, 2and this is the story of his family.
When Jacob's son Joseph was seventeen years old, he took care of the sheep with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah.#37.2 Bilhah and Zilpah: See 30.1-13. But he was always telling his father all sorts of bad things about his brothers.
3Jacob loved Joseph more than he did any of his other sons, because Joseph was born after Jacob was very old. Jacob had given Joseph a fine coat#37.3 fine coat: Or “a coat of many colours” or “a coat with long sleeves”. 4to show that he was his favourite son, and so Joseph's brothers hated him and would not be friendly to him.
5One day, Joseph told his brothers what he had dreamed, and they hated him even more. 6Joseph said, “Let me tell you about my dream. 7We were out in the field, tying up bundles of wheat. Suddenly my bundle stood up, and your bundles gathered around and bowed down to it.”
8His brothers asked, “Do you really think you are going to be king and rule over us?” Now they hated Joseph more than ever because of what he had said about his dream.
9Joseph later had another dream, and he told his brothers, “Listen to what else I dreamed. The sun, the moon, and eleven stars bowed down to me.”
10When he told his father about this dream, his father became angry and said, “What's that supposed to mean? Are your mother and I and your brothers all going to come and bow down in front of you?” 11Joseph's brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept wondering about the dream.#Ac 7.9.
Joseph is sold and taken to Egypt
12One day when Joseph's brothers had taken the sheep to a pasture near Shechem, 13his father Jacob said to him, “I want you to go to your brothers. They are with the sheep near Shechem.”
“Yes, sir,” Joseph answered.
14His father said, “Go and find out how your brothers and the sheep are doing. Then come back and let me know.” So he sent him from Hebron Valley.
Joseph was near Shechem 15and wandering through the fields, when a man asked, “What are you looking for?”
16Joseph answered, “I'm looking for my brothers who are watching the sheep. Can you tell me where they are?”
17“They're not here any more,” the man replied. “I overheard them say they were going to Dothan.”
Joseph left and found his brothers in Dothan. 18But before he got there, they saw him coming and made plans to kill him. 19They said to one another, “Look, here comes the hero of those dreams! 20Let's kill him and throw him into a pit and say that some wild animal ate him. Then we'll see what happens to those dreams.”
21Reuben heard this and tried to protect Joseph from them. “Let's not kill him,” he said. 22“Don't murder him or even harm him. Just throw him into a dry well out here in the desert.” Reuben planned to rescue Joseph later and take him back to his father.
23When Joseph came to his brothers, they pulled off his fine coat#37.23 fine coat: Or “a coat of many colours” or “a coat with long sleeves”. 24and threw him into a dry well.
25As Joseph's brothers sat down to eat, they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were loaded with all kinds of spices that they were taking to Egypt. 26So Judah said, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and hide his body? 27Let's sell him to the Ishmaelites and not harm him. After all, he is our brother.” And the others agreed.
28When the Midianite merchants came by, Joseph's brothers took him out of the well, and for twenty pieces of silver they sold him to the Ishmaelites#37.28 Midianite…Ishmaelites: According to 25.1,2,12 both the Midianites and the Ishmaelites were descendants of Abraham, and in Judges 8.22-24 the two names are used of the same people. It is possible that in this passage “Ishmaelite” has the meaning “nomadic traders”, while “Midianite” refers to their ethnic origin. who took him to Egypt.#Ac 7.9.
29When Reuben returned to the well and did not find Joseph there, he tore his clothes in sorrow. 30Then he went back to his brothers and said, “The boy is gone! What am I going to do?”
31Joseph's brothers killed a goat and dipped Joseph's fine coat in its blood. 32After this, they took the coat to their father and said, “We found this! Look at it carefully and see if it belongs to your son.”
33Jacob knew it was Joseph's coat and said, “It's my son's coat! Joseph has been torn to pieces and eaten by some wild animal.”
34Jacob mourned for Joseph a long time, and to show his sorrow he tore his clothes and wore sackcloth.#37.34 sackcloth: A rough dark-coloured cloth made from goat or camel hair and used to make grain sacks. It was worn in times of trouble or sorrow. 35All Jacob's children came to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “No,” he said, “I will go to my grave, mourning for my son.” So Jacob kept on grieving.
36Meanwhile, the Midianites had sold Joseph in Egypt to a man named Potiphar, who was the king's#37.36 the king's: See the note at 12.15. official in charge of the palace guard.
37
1And Jacob dwelt in the land of Chanaan wherein his father sojourned.
2And these are his generations. Joseph, when he was sixteen years old, was feeding the dock with his brethren, being but a boy. And he was with the sons of Bala and of Zelpha his father's wives. And he accused his brethren to his father of a most wicked crime.
3Now Israel loved Joseph above all his sons, because he had him in his old age: and he made him a coat of divers colours.
4And his brethren seeing that he was loved by his father, more than all his sons, hated him, and could not speak peaceably to him.
5Now it fell out also that he told his brethren a dream, that he had dreamed: which occasioned them to hate him the more.
6And he said to them: Hear my dream which I dreamed.
7I thought we were binding sheaves in the field: and my sheaf arose as it were, end stood, and your sheaves standing about, bowed down before my sheaf.
8His brethren answered: Shalt thou be our king? Or shall we be subject to thy dominion? Therefore this matter of his dreams and words ministered nourishment to their envy and hatred.
9He dreamed also another dream, which he told his brethren, saying: I saw in a dream, as it were the sun, and the moon, and eleven stars worshipping me.
10And when he had told this to his father and brethren, his father rebuked him, and said: What meaneth this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother, and thy brethren worship thee upon the earth?
11His brethren therefore envied him: but his father considered the thing with himself.
12And when his brethren abode in Sichem feeding their father's flocks,
13Israel said to him: Thy brethren feed the sheep in Sichem: come, I will send thee to them. And when he answered:
14I am ready: he said to him; Go, and see if all things be well with thy brethren, and the cattle; and bring me word again what is doing. So being sent from the vale of Hebron, he came to Sichem.
15And a man found him there wandering in the field, and asked what he sought.
16But he answered: I seek my brethren; tell me where they feed the flocks.
17And the man said to him: They are departed from this place; for I heard them say: Let us go to Dothain. And Joseph went forward after his brethren, and found them in Dothain.
18And when they saw him afar off, before he came nigh them, they thought to kill him.
19And said one to another: Behold, the dreamer cometh.
20Come, let us kill him, and cast him into some old pit; and we will say: Some evil beast hath devoured him: and then it shall appear what his dreams avail him:
21And Ruben hearing this, endeavoured to deliver him out of their hands, and said:
22Do not take away his life, nor shed his blood: but cast him into this pit, that is in the wilderness, and keep your hands harmless. Now he said this, being desirous to deliver him out of their hands and to restore him to his father.
23And as soon as he came to his brethren, they forthwith stript him of his outside coat, that was of divers colours:
24And cast him into an old pit, where there was no water.
25And sitting down to eat bread, they saw some Ismaelites on their way coming from Galaad, with their camels, carrying spices, and balm, and myrrh to Egypt.
26And Juda said to his brethren: What will it profit us to kill our brother, and conceal his blood?
27It is better that he be sold to the Ismaelites, and that our hands be not defiled: for he is our brother and our flesh. His brethren agreed to his words.
28And when the Madianite merchants passed by, they drew him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ismaelites, for twenty pieces of silver: and they led him into Egypt.
29And Ruben, returning to the pit, found not the boy:
30And rending his garments he went to his brethren, and said: The boy doth not appear, and whither shall I go?
31And they took his coat, and dipped it in the blood of a kid, which they had killed.
32Sending some to carry it to their father, and to say: This we have found; see whether it be thy son's coat, or not.
33And the father acknowledging it, said: It is my son's coat; an evil wild beast hath eaten him; a beast hath devoured Joseph.
34And tearing his garments, he put on sackcloth, mourning for his son a long time.
35And alibis children being gathered together to comfort their father in his sorrow, he would not receive comfort, but said: I will go down to my son into hell, mourning. And whilst he continued weeping,
36The Madianites sold Joseph in Egypt to Putiphar, an eunuch of Pharao, captain of the soldiers.