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Genesis 37

37
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 17 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 when Jacob was very old. Jacob had even given Joseph a fancy coat#37.3 fancy coat: Or “a coat of many colors” or “a coat with long sleeves.” 4which showed that Joseph was his favorite 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 to you?” 11#Ac 7.9. Joseph's brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept wondering about the dream.
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 anymore,” 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 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 fancy coat#37.23 fancy coat: See the note at 37.3. 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.
28 # Ws 10.13; Ac 7.9. When the Midianite merchants came by, Joseph's brothers took him out of the well, and for 20 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.
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 fancy 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-colored cloth made from goat or camel hair and used to make grain sacks. It was worn in times of trouble or sorrow. 35All of 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
Joseph’s Dreams
1Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, the land of Canaan. # Gn 26:3 2These are the family records of Jacob.
At 17 years of age, Joseph tended sheep with his brothers. The young man was working with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives, # Gn 30:1-13 and he brought a bad report about them to their father. # 1Sm 2:22-24
3Now Israel loved Joseph more than his other sons because Joseph was a son born to him in his old age, # Gn 44:20 and he made a robe of many colors # Or robe with long sleeves for him. 4When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not bring themselves to speak peaceably to him.
5Then Joseph had a dream. When he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. 6He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: 7There we were, binding sheaves of grain in the field. Suddenly my sheaf stood up, and your sheaves gathered around it and bowed down to my sheaf.” # Gn 42:6,9; 43:26; 44:14
8“Are you really going to reign over us? ” his brothers asked him. “Are you really going to rule us? ” So they hated him even more because of his dream and what he had said.
9Then he had another dream and told it to his brothers. “Look,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun, moon, and 11 stars were bowing down to me.”
10He told his father and brothers, but his father rebuked him. “What kind of dream is this that you have had? ” he said. “Are your mother and brothers and I going to come and bow down to the ground before you? ” 11His brothers were jealous of him, # Ac 7:9 but his father kept the matter in mind. # Dn 7:28; Lk 2:19,51
Joseph Sold into Slavery
12His brothers had gone to pasture their father’s flocks at Shechem. 13Israel said to Joseph, “Your brothers, you know, are pasturing the flocks at Shechem. Get ready. I’m sending you to them.”
“I’m ready,” Joseph replied.
14Then Israel said to him, “Go and see how your brothers and the flocks are doing, and bring word back to me.” So he sent him from the Valley of Hebron, # Gn 13:18; 35:27 and he went to Shechem.
15A man found him there, wandering in the field, and asked him, “What are you looking for? ”
16“I’m looking for my brothers,” Joseph said. “Can you tell me where they are pasturing their flocks? ”
17“They’ve moved on from here,” the man said. “I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’ ” # 2Kg 6:13 So Joseph set out after his brothers and found them at Dothan.
18They saw him in the distance, and before he had reached them, they plotted to kill him. # Ps 31:13; 37:12,32; Mk 14:1; Jn 11:53; Ac 23:12 19They said to one another, “Here comes that dreamer! # Lit comes the lord of the dreams 20Come on, let’s kill him and throw him into one of the pits. We can say that a vicious animal ate him. Then we’ll see what becomes of his dreams! ”
21When Reuben heard this, he tried to save him from them. # Lit their hands He said, “Let’s not take his life.” # Gn 42:22 22Reuben also said to them, “Don’t shed blood. Throw him into this pit in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him” — intending to rescue him from their hands and return him to his father.
23When Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped off his robe, the robe of many colors that he had on. 24Then 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 a meal. # Gn 42:21 They looked up, and there was a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. # Gn 39:1 Their camels were carrying aromatic gum, balsam, and resin, going down to Egypt. # Gn 43:11; Jr 8:22; 46:11
26Then Judah said to his brothers, “What do we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? 27Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay a hand on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh,” and they agreed. 28When Midianite # Dt 25:5,7; Jdg 8:22-24; Mt 22:24; Mk 12:19; Lk 20:28 traders passed by, his brothers pulled Joseph out of the pit and sold him for 20 pieces of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took Joseph to Egypt. # Gn 45:4-5; Ps 105:17; Ac 7:9
29When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not there, he tore his clothes. # Gn 44:13; Nm 14:6; 2Sm 1:11; 3:31; Jb 1:20 30He went back to his brothers and said, “The boy is gone! What am I going to do? ” # Lit And I, where am I going 31So they took Joseph’s robe, slaughtered a young goat, and dipped the robe in its blood. 32They sent the robe of many colors to their father and said, “We found this. Examine it. Is it your son’s robe or not? ”
33His father recognized it. “It is my son’s robe,” he said. “A vicious animal has devoured him. Joseph has been torn to pieces! ” # Gn 44:28 34Then Jacob tore his clothes, put sackcloth around his waist, and mourned for his son many days. 35All his sons and daughters tried to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “No,” he said. “I will go down to Sheol to my son, mourning.” And his father wept for him.
36Meanwhile, the Midianites sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and the captain of the guard.