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Genesis 37

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.

Genesis 37

37
Joseph’s Dream
1So Jacob (Israel) lived in the land #Lit of his father’s sojournings.where his father [Isaac] had been a stranger (sojourner, resident alien), in the land of Canaan. 2These are the generations of Jacob.
Joseph, when he was seventeen years old, was shepherding the flock with his brothers [Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher]; the boy was with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s [#I.e. concubines (see note 22:24).secondary] wives; and Joseph brought back a bad report about them to their father. 3Now Israel (Jacob) loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age; and he made him a [distinctive] #The meaning of this word is uncertain; some sources indicate that it refers to a long-sleeved tunic that reaches the ankles, essentially a light robe. In any case, the tunic was a visible reminder to Joseph’s brothers of their father’s favoritism toward him.multicolored tunic. 4His brothers saw that their father loved Joseph more than all of his brothers; so they hated him and could not [find it within themselves to] speak to him on friendly terms.
5Now Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it to his brothers, and they #In both vv 5 and 8 “hated him even more” is properly translated, but there is an interesting play on words. The literal Hebrew says, “they added to hate”—the Hebrew word for “added” is the same for the word for Joseph—“they ‘Josephed’ their hate for him.”hated him even more. 6He said to them, “Please listen to [the details of] this dream which I have dreamed; 7we [brothers] were binding sheaves [of grain stalks] in the field, and lo, my sheaf [suddenly] got up and stood upright and remained standing; and behold, your sheaves stood all around my sheaf and bowed down [in respect].” 8His brothers said to him, “Are you actually going to reign over us? Are you really going to rule and govern us as your subjects?” So they hated him even more for [telling them about] his dreams and for his [arrogant] words.
9But Joseph dreamed still another dream, and told it to his brothers [as well]. He said, “See here, I have again dreamed a dream, and lo, [this time I saw] eleven stars and the sun and the moon bowed down [in respect] to me!” 10He told it to his father as well as to his brothers; but his father rebuked him and said to him [in disbelief], “What is [the meaning of] this dream that you have dreamed? Shall I and your mother and your brothers actually come to bow down to the ground [in respect] before you?” 11Joseph’s brothers were envious and jealous of him, but his father kept the words [of Joseph] in mind [wondering about their meaning].
12Then his brothers went to pasture their father’s flock near Shechem. 13Israel (Jacob) said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers pasturing [the flock] at Shechem? Come, and I will send you to them.” And he said, “Here I am [ready to obey you].” 14Then Jacob said to him, “Please go and see whether everything is all right with your brothers and all right with the flock; then bring word [back] to me.” So he sent him from the Hebron Valley, and he went to Shechem.
15Now a certain man found Joseph, and saw that he was wandering around and had lost his way in the field; so the man asked him, “What are you looking for?” 16He said, “I am looking for my brothers. Please tell me where they are pasturing our flocks.” 17Then the man said, “[They were here, but] they have moved on from this place. I heard them say, ‘Let us go to #Located about twelve miles north of Shechem.Dothan.’ ” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan.
The Plot against Joseph
18And when they saw him from a distance, even before he came close to them, they plotted to kill him. 19They said to one another, “Look, here comes this #Lit master of dreams.dreamer. 20Now then, come and let us kill him and throw him into one of the #These were earthen tanks that were dug or carved into rocky ground (perhaps limestone), designed to collect rainwater in the desert during winters. Some were cavernous, with a staircase carved into one of the walls for access to the bottom. The cistern selected by Joseph’s brothers must have been deep enough to make escape very difficult for someone of his size, but constructed without a staircase or other means of access (other than a rope).pits (cisterns, underground water storage); then we will say [to our father], ‘A wild animal killed and devoured him’; and we shall see what will become of his dreams!” 21Now Reuben [the eldest] heard this and rescued him from their hands and said, “Let us not take his life.” 22Reuben said to them, “Do not shed his blood, but [instead] throw him [alive] into the pit that is here in the wilderness, and do not lay a hand on him [to kill him]”—[he said this so] that he could rescue him from them and return him [safely] to his father. 23Now when Joseph reached his brothers, they stripped him of his tunic, the [distinctive] #See note v 3.multicolored tunic which he was wearing; 24then they took him and threw him into the pit. Now the pit was empty; there was no water in it.
25Then they sat down to eat their meal. When they looked up, they saw a caravan of #Descendants of Abraham and Hagar (Sarah’s maid, 16:15).Ishmaelites coming from Gilead [east of the Jordan], with their camels bearing ladanum resin [for perfume] and balm and #A valuable tree resin.myrrh, going on their way to carry the cargo down to Egypt. 26Judah said to his brothers, “What do we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood (murder)? 27Come, let us [instead] sell him to these Ishmaelites [and #Descendants of Abraham and Keturah, his concubine.Midianites] and not lay our hands on him, because he is our brother and our flesh.” So his brothers listened to him and agreed. 28Then as the #The relationship between the Midianites and the Ishmaelites as they are mentioned here is unclear. It is possible, as some have suggested, that “Ishmaelites” came to be used as a general term for desert tribes, and that the same merchants are called by both names in this verse. This would also explain the reference to the “Midianites” in v 36. Another explanation, which was offered by the rabbis, is that Joseph was sold first to the Ishmaelites, who then sold him to the Midianites. Another possibility is that they were Ishmaelites from the area of Midian.Midianite [and Ishmaelite] traders were passing by, the brothers pulled Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and they sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. And so they took Joseph [as a captive] into Egypt.
29Now Reuben [unaware of what had happened] returned to the pit, and [to his great alarm found that] Joseph was not in the pit; so he tore his clothes [in deep sorrow]. 30He rejoined his brothers and said, “The boy is not there; as for me, where shall I go [to hide from my father]?” 31Then they took Joseph’s tunic, slaughtered a male goat and dipped the tunic in the blood; 32and they brought the multicolored tunic to their father, saying, “We have found this; please examine it and decide whether or not it is your son’s tunic.” 33He recognized it and said, “It is my son’s tunic. A wild animal has devoured him; Joseph is without doubt torn in pieces!” 34So Jacob tore his clothes [in grief], put #An uncomfortable material woven from goat hair and worn in mourning.on sackcloth and mourned many days for his son. 35Then all his sons and daughters attempted to console him, but he refused to be comforted and said, “I will go down to Sheol (the place of the dead) in mourning for my son.” And his father wept for him. 36Meanwhile, in Egypt the Midianites sold Joseph [as a slave] to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and the captain of the [royal] guard.