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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
1And Jacob dwelt in the land where his father sojourned — in the land of Canaan. 2These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, fed the flock with his brethren; and he was doing service with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives. And Joseph brought to his father an evil report of them. 3And Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons, because he was son of his old age; and he made him a vest of many colours. 4And his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, and they hated him, and could not greet him with friendliness.
5And Joseph dreamed a dream, and told it to his brethren, and they hated him yet the more. 6And he said to them, Hear, I pray you, this dream, which I have dreamt: 7Behold, we were binding sheaves in the fields, and lo, my sheaf rose up, and remained standing; and behold, your sheaves came round about and bowed down to my sheaf. 8And his brethren said to him, Wilt thou indeed be a king over us? wilt thou indeed rule over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams and for his words. 9And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it to his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamt another dream, and behold, the sun and the moon and eleven stars bowed down to me. 10And he told it to his father and to his brethren. And his father rebuked him, and said to him, What is this dream which thou hast dreamt? Shall we indeed come, I and thy mother and thy brethren, to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth? 11And his brethren envied him; but his father kept the saying.
12And his brethren went to feed their father's flock at Shechem. 13And Israel said to Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock at Shechem? Come, that I may send thee to them. And he said to him, Here am I. 14And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see after the welfare of thy brethren, and after the welfare of the flock; and bring me word again. And he sent him out of the vale of Hebron; and he came towards Shechem. 15And a man found him, and behold, he was wandering in the country; and the man asked him, saying, What seekest thou? 16And he said, I am seeking my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks. 17And the man said, They have removed from this; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them at Dothan. 18And when they saw him from afar, and before he came near to them, they conspired against him to put him to death. 19And they said one to another, Behold, there comes that dreamer! 20And now come and let us kill him, and cast him into one of the pits, and we will say, An evil beast has devoured him; and we will see what becomes of his dreams. 21And Reuben heard it, and delivered him out of their hand, and said, Let us not take his life. 22And Reuben said to them, Shed no blood: cast him into this pit which is in the wilderness; but lay no hand upon him — in order that he might deliver him out of their hand, to bring him to his father again.
23And it came to pass when Joseph came to his brethren, that they stripped Joseph of his vest, the vest of many colours, which he had on; 24and they took him and cast him into the pit; now the pit was empty — there was no water in it. 25And they sat down to eat bread; and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and behold, a caravan of Ishmaelites came from Gilead; and their camels bore tragacanth, and balsam, and ladanum — going to carry it down to Egypt. 26And Judah said to his brethren, What profit is it that we kill our brother and secrete his blood? 27Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites; but let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother, our flesh. And his brethren hearkened to him. 28And Midianitish men, merchants, passed by; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty silver-pieces; and they brought Joseph to Egypt. 29And Reuben returned to the pit, and behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his garments, 30and returned to his brethren, and said, The child is not; and I, where shall I go?
31And they took Joseph's vest, and slaughtered a buck of the goats, and dipped the vest in the blood; 32and they sent the vest of many colours and had it carried to their father, and said, This have we found: discern now whether it is thy son's vest or not. 33And he discerned it, and said, It is my son's vest! an evil beast has devoured him: Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces! 34And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth on his loins, and mourned for his son many days. 35And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted, and said, For I will go down to my son into Sheol mourning. Thus his father wept for him. 36And the Midianites sold him into Egypt, to Potiphar, a chamberlain of Pharaoh, the captain of the life-guard.