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Berĕshith (Genesis) 37

37
1And Ya‛aqoḇ dwelt in the land of his father’s sojournings, in the land of Kena‛an.
2This is the genealogy of Ya‛aqoḇ. Yosĕph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brothers. And the young man was with the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives. And Yosĕph brought an evil report of them to his father.
3And Yisra’ĕl loved Yosĕph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. And he made him a long robe.
4But when 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 Yosĕph dreamed a dream, and told it to his brothers. So they hated him even more.
6And he said to them, “Please listen to this dream which I have dreamed:
7See, we were binding sheaves in the midst of the field, and see, my sheaf rose up and also stood up. And see, your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf.
8And his brothers said to him, “Shall you indeed reign over us? Shall you indeed rule over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.
9And he dreamed still another dream and related it to his brothers, and said, “See, I have dreamed another dream, and see, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars bowed down to me.”
10And he related it to his father and his brothers. And his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall we, your mother and I and your brothers, indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?”
11And his brothers envied him, but his father guarded the word.
12And his brothers went to feed their father’s flock in Sheḵem.
13And Yisra’ĕl said to Yosĕph, “Are not your brothers feeding the flock in Sheḵem? Come, I send you to them.” So he said to him, “Here I am.”
14And he said to him, “Please go and see if it is well with your brothers and well with the sheep, and bring back word to me.” So he sent him out of the Valley of Ḥeḇron, and he went to Sheḵem.
15And a certain man found him, and see, he was wandering in the field. And the man asked him, saying, “What do you seek?”
16And he said, “I am seeking my brothers. Please inform me where they are feeding their sheep.”
17And the man said, “They have left here, for I heard them say, ‘Let us go towards Dothan.’ ” So Yosĕph went after his brothers and found them in Dothan.
18And they saw him from a distance, and before he came near them, they plotted against him, to kill him.
19And they said to each other, “See, this master of dreams is coming!
20Now, then, come and let us now kill him and throw him into some pit, and shall say, ‘Some wild beast has devoured him.’ Let us then see what comes of his dreams!
21But Re’uḇĕn heard and rescued him from their hands, and said, “Let us not strike his being.”
22And Re’uḇĕn said to them, “Shed no blood. Throw him into this pit which is in the wilderness, and do not lay a hand on him” – in order to rescue him out of their hands, and bring him back to his father.
23So it came to be, when Yosĕph had come to his brothers, that they stripped Yosĕph of his robe, the long robe which was on him.
24And they took him and threw him into a pit. And the pit was empty, there was no water in it.
25And they sat down to eat a meal. And they lifted their eyes and looked and saw a company of Yishma‛ĕlites, coming from Gil‛aḏ with their camels, bearing spices, and balm, and myrrh, going to take them down to Mitsrayim.
26And Yehuḏah said to his brothers, “What would we gain if we kill our brother and conceal his blood?
27Come and let us sell him to the Yishma‛ĕlites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother, our flesh. And his brothers listened.
28And men, Miḏyanite traders passed by, so they pulled Yosĕph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Yishma‛ĕlites for twenty pieces of silver. And they took Yosĕph to Mitsrayim.
29And Re’uḇĕn returned to the pit, and see, Yosĕph was not in the pit. And he tore his garments.
30And he returned to his brothers and said, “The boy is gone! And I, where am I to go?”
31So they took Yosĕph’s robe, slew a male goat, and dipped the robe in the blood,
32and sent the long robe and brought it to their father and said, “We have found this. Please look, is it the robe of your son or not?”
33And he recognised it and said, “It is my son’s robe. An evil beast has devoured him. Yosĕph is torn, torn to pieces.”
34And Ya‛aqoḇ tore his garments, and put sackcloth on his waist, and mourned for his son many days.
35And all his sons and all his daughters arose to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted, and he said, “Now let me go down into She’ol#See Explanatory Notes - "She’ol". to my son in mourning.” So his father wept for him.
36And the Miḏanites had sold him in Mitsrayim to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and captain of the guard.
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.