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Genesis 37

37
Joseph the Dreamer
1Jacob stayed and lived in the land of Canaan. This is the same land where his father had lived. 2This is the story of Jacob’s family.
Joseph was a young man, 17 years old. His job was to take care of the sheep and the goats. Joseph did this work with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah. (Bilhah and Zilpah were his father’s wives.) Joseph told his father about the bad things that his brothers did. 3Joseph was born at a time when his father Israel was very old, so Israel loved him more than he loved his other sons. Jacob gave him a special coat, which was long and very beautiful.#37:3 beautiful The Hebrew means “striped,” or possibly, “many colored.” 4When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father loved Joseph more than he loved them, they hated their brother because of this. They refused to say nice things to him.
5One time Joseph had a special dream. Later, he told his brothers about this dream, and after that his brothers hated him even more.
6Joseph said, “I had a dream. 7We were all working in the field, tying stacks of wheat together. Then my stack got up. It stood there while all of your stacks of wheat made a circle around mine and bowed down to it.”
8His brothers said, “Do you think this means that you will be a king and rule over us?” His brothers hated Joseph more now because of the dreams he had about them.
9Then Joseph had another dream, and he told his brothers about it. He said, “I had another dream. I saw the sun, the moon, and eleven stars bowing down to me.”
10Joseph also told his father about this dream, but his father criticized him. His father said, “What kind of dream is this? Do you believe that your mother, your brothers, and I will bow down to you?” 11Joseph’s brothers continued to be jealous of him, but his father thought about all these things and wondered what they could mean.
12One day Joseph’s brothers went to Shechem to care for their father’s sheep. 13Jacob said to Joseph, “Go to Shechem. Your brothers are there with my sheep.”
Joseph answered, “I will go.”
14His father said, “Go and see if your brothers are safe. Come back and tell me if my sheep are all fine.” So Joseph’s father sent him from the Valley of Hebron to Shechem.
15At Shechem, Joseph got lost. A man found him wandering in the fields. The man said, “What are you looking for?”
16Joseph answered, “I am looking for my brothers. Can you tell me where they are with their sheep?”
17The man said, “They have already gone away. I heard them say that they were going to Dothan.” So Joseph followed his brothers and found them in Dothan.
Joseph Sold Into Slavery
18Joseph’s brothers saw him coming from far away. They decided to make a plan to kill him. 19They said to each other, “Here comes Joseph the dreamer. 20We should kill him now while we can. We could throw his body into one of the empty wells and tell our father that a wild animal killed him. Then we will show him that his dreams are useless.”
21But Reuben wanted to save Joseph. He said, “Let’s not kill him. 22We can put him into a well without hurting him.” Reuben planned to save Joseph and send him back to his father. 23When Joseph came to his brothers, they attacked him and tore off his long and beautiful coat. 24Then they threw him into an empty well that was dry.
25While Joseph was in the well, the brothers sat down to eat. They looked up and saw a group of traders#37:25 traders Literally, “Ishmaelites.” traveling from Gilead to Egypt. Their camels were carrying many different spices and riches. 26So Judah said to his brothers, “What profit will we get if we kill our brother and hide his death? 27We will profit more if we sell him to these traders. Then we will not be guilty of killing our own brother.” The other brothers agreed. 28When the Midianite traders came by, the brothers took Joseph out of the well and sold him to the traders for 20 pieces of silver. The traders took him to Egypt.
29Reuben had been gone, but when he came back to the well, he saw that Joseph was not there. He tore his clothes to show that he was upset. 30Reuben went to the brothers and said, “The boy is not in the well! What will I do?” 31The brothers killed a goat and put the goat’s blood on Joseph’s beautiful coat. 32Then the brothers showed the coat to their father. And the brothers said, “We found this coat. Is this Joseph’s coat?”
33His father saw the coat and knew that it was Joseph’s. He said, “Yes, that is his! Maybe some wild animal has killed him. My son Joseph has been eaten by a wild animal!” 34Jacob was so sorry about his son that he tore his clothes. Then Jacob put on special clothes to show that he was sad. He continued to be sad about his son for a long time. 35All of Jacob’s sons and daughters tried to comfort him, but Jacob was never comforted. He said, “I will be sad about my son until the day I die.” So Jacob continued to mourn his son Joseph.
36The Midianite traders later sold Joseph in Egypt. They sold him to Potiphar, an officer of the king of Egypt and the captain of his palace guards.
37
1 Now Jacob lived in the land of Canaan, where his father sojourned.
2 And these are his generations. Joseph, when he was sixteen years old, was pasturing the flock with his brothers, when he was still a boy. And he was with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, the wives of his father. And he accused his brothers to their father of a most sinful crime.
3 Now Israel loved Joseph above all his sons, because he had conceived him in his old age. And he made him a tunic, woven of many colors.
4 Then his brothers, seeing that he was loved by his father more than all his other sons, hated him, and they were not able to say anything peacefully to him.
5 Then it also happened that he recounted the vision of a dream to his brothers, for which reason a greater hatred began to be nurtured.
6 And he said to them, "Listen to my dream that I saw.
7 I thought we were binding sheaves in the field. And my sheaf seemed to rise up and stand, and your sheaves, standing in a circle, reverenced my sheaf."
8 His brothers responded: "Would you be our king? Or will we be subject to your dominion?" Therefore, this matter of his dreams and words provided kindling to their envy and hatred.
9 Likewise, he saw another dream, which he explained to his brothers, saying, "I saw by a dream, as if the sun, and the moon, and eleven stars were reverencing me."
10 And when he had related this to his father and brothers, his father rebuked him, and he said: "What does it mean to you, this dream that you have seen? Should I, and your mother, and your brothers reverence you upon the earth?"
11 Therefore, his brothers were envious of him. Yet truly, his father considered the matter silently.
12 And while his brothers were lodging at Shechem, pasturing their father's flocks,
13 Israel said to him: "Your brothers are pasturing the sheep at Shechem. Come, I will send you to them." And when he answered,
14 "I am ready," he said to him, "Go, and see if everything is prospering with your brothers and the cattle, and report to me what is happening." So, having been sent from the valley of Hebron, he arrived at Shechem.
15 And a man found him wandering in a field, and he asked him what he was seeking.
16 So he responded: "I seek my brothers. Tell me where they pasture the flocks."
17 And the man said to him: "They have withdrawn from this place. But I heard them saying, 'Let us go to Dothan.' " Therefore, Joseph continued on after his brothers, and he found them at Dothan.
18 And, when they had seen him from afar, before he approached them, they decided to kill him.
19 And they said one to another: "Behold, the dreamer approaches.
20 Come, let us kill him and cast him into the old cistern. And let us say: 'an evil wild beast has devoured him.' And then it will become apparent what his dreams will do for him."
21 But Reuben, on hearing this, strove to free him from their hands, and he said:
22 "Do not take away his life, nor shed blood. But throw him into this cistern, which is in the wilderness, and so keep your hands harmless." But he said this, wanting to rescue him from their hands, so as to return him to his father.
23 And so, as soon as he came to his brothers, they very quickly stripped him of his tunic, which was ankle-length and woven of many colors,
24 and they cast him into an old cistern, which held no water.
25 And sitting down to eat bread, they saw some Ishmaelites, travelers coming from Gilead, with their camels, carrying spices, and resin, and oil of myrrh into Egypt.
26 Therefore, Judah said to his brothers: "What will it profit us, if we kill our brother and conceal his blood?
27 It is better that he be sold to the Ishmaelites, and then our hands will not be defiled. For he is our brother and our flesh." His brothers agreed to his words.
28 And when the Midianite merchants were passing by, they drew him from the cistern, and they sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. And these led him into Egypt.
29 And Reuben, returning to the cistern, did not find the boy.
30 And rending his garments, he went to his brothers and said, "The boy is not present, and so where shall I go?"
31 Then they took his tunic, and they dipped it in the blood of a young goat, which they had killed,
32 sending those who carried it to their father, and they said: "We found this. See whether it is the tunic of your son or not."
33 And when the father acknowledged it, he said: "It is the tunic of my son. An evil wild beast has eaten him; a beast has devoured Joseph."
34 And tearing his garments, he was clothed in haircloth, mourning his son for a long time.
35 Then, when all of his sons gathered together to ease their father's sorrow, he was not willing to accept consolation, but he said: "I will descend in mourning to my son in the underworld." And while he persevered in weeping,
36 the Midianites in Egypt sold Joseph to Potiphar, a eunuch of Pharaoh, instructor of the soldiers.