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Genesis 37

37
Joseph’s Brothers Sell Him into Slavery
1Jacob continued to live in the land of Canaan, where his father had lived.
2This is the account of Jacob and his descendants.
Joseph was a seventeen-year-old young man. He took care of the flocks with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives. Joseph told his father about the bad things his brothers were doing.
3Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons because Joseph had been born in Israel’s old age. So he made Joseph a special robe with long sleeves. 4Joseph’s brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them. They hated Joseph and couldn’t speak to him on friendly terms.
5Joseph had a dream and when he told his brothers, they hated him even more. 6He said to them, “Please listen to the dream I had. 7We were tying grain into bundles out in the field, and suddenly mine stood up. It remained standing while your bundles gathered around my bundle and bowed down to it.”
8Then his brothers asked him, “Are you going to be our king or rule us?” They hated him even more for his dreams and his words.
9Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream: I saw the sun, the moon, and 11 stars bowing down to me.”
10When he told his father and his brothers, his father criticized him by asking, “What’s this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers come and bow down in front of you?” 11So his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept thinking about these things.
12His brothers had gone to take care of their father’s flocks at Shechem. 13Israel then said to Joseph, “Your brothers are taking care of the flocks at Shechem. I’m going to send you to them.”
Joseph responded, “I’ll go.”
14So Israel said, “See how your brothers and the flocks are doing, and bring some news back to me.” Then he sent Joseph away from the Hebron Valley.
When Joseph came to Shechem, 15a man found him wandering around in the open country. “What are you looking for?” the man asked.
16Joseph replied, “I’m looking for my brothers. Please tell me where they’re taking care of their flocks.”
17The man said, “They moved on from here. I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’ ” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan.
18They saw him from a distance. Before he reached them, they plotted to kill him. 19They said to each other, “Look, here comes that master dreamer! 20Let’s kill him, throw him into one of the cisterns, and say that a wild animal has eaten him. Then we’ll see what happens to his dreams.”
21When Reuben heard this, he tried to save Joseph from their plot. “Let’s not kill him,” he said. 22“Let’s not have any bloodshed. Put him into that cistern that’s out in the desert, but don’t hurt him.” Reuben wanted to rescue Joseph from them and bring him back to his father.
23So when Joseph reached his brothers, they stripped him of his special robe with long sleeves. 24Then they took him and put him into an empty cistern. It had no water in it.
25As they sat down to eat, they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were carrying the materials for cosmetics, medicine, and embalming. They were on their way to take them to Egypt.
26Judah asked his brothers, “What will we gain by killing our brother and covering up his death? 27Let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites. Let’s not hurt him, because he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed.
28As the Midianite merchants were passing by, the brothers pulled Joseph out of the cistern. They sold him to the Ishmaelites for eight ounces of silver. The Ishmaelites took him to Egypt.
29When Reuben came back to the cistern and saw that Joseph was no longer there, he tore his clothes in grief. 30He went back to his brothers and said, “The boy isn’t there! What am I going to do?”
31So they took Joseph’s robe, killed a goat, and dipped the robe in the blood. 32Then they brought the special robe with long sleeves to their father and said, “We found this. You better examine it to see whether it’s your son’s robe or not.”
33He recognized it and said, “It is my son’s robe! A wild animal has eaten him! Joseph must have been torn to pieces!” 34Then, to show his grief, Jacob tore his clothes, put sackcloth around his waist, and mourned for his son a long time. 35All his other sons and daughters came to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. He said, “No, I will mourn for my son until I die.” This is how Joseph’s father cried over him.
36Meanwhile, in Egypt the Midianites sold Joseph to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials and captain of the guard.
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CHAPTER 37
1Forsooth Jacob dwelled in the land of Canaan, in which his father was a pilgrim;
2and these were the generations of him. Joseph when he was of sixteen years, yet a child, kept a flock with his brethren, and he was with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, the wives of his father; and he accused his brethren at the father of the worst sin.
3Forsooth Israel loved Joseph above all his sons, for he had begotten him in his eld age; and he made to Joseph a coat of many colours.
4Forsooth his brethren saw that he was loved of the father more than all they, and they hated him, and might not speak anything peaceably to him.
5And it befelled that he told to his brethren a sweven that he saw, which cause was the seed of more hatred.
6And Joseph said to his brethren, Hear ye the sweven which I saw,
7I guessed that we bound together sheaves, or handfuls, [in the field], and that as mine handful rose up, and stood upright, and that your handfuls stood about, and worshipped or honoured mine handful.
8His brethren answered, Whether thou shalt be our king, either we shall be made subject to thy lordship? Therefore this cause of dreams and words ministered the nourishing of envy, and of hatred.
9Also Joseph saw another sweven, which he told to his brethren, and said, I saw a dream that as the sun, and the moon, and the eleven stars worshipped me.
10And when he had told this dream to his father, and his brethren, his father blamed him, and said, What will this dream mean to itself that thou hast seen? Whether I, and thy mother, and thy brethren, shall worship thee on earth?
11Therefore his brethren had envy to him. Forsooth the father beheld privily the thing,
12and when his brethren dwelled in Shechem, about [the] keeping of [the] flocks of their father,
13Israel said to Joseph, Thy brethren keep sheep in Shechem; come thou, I shall send thee to them. And when Joseph answered, I am ready,
14Israel said, Go thou, and see whether all things be welsome with thy brethren, and the sheep; and then tell thou to me what is done. And so he was sent from the valley of Hebron, and came into Shechem;
15and a man found him erring in the field, and the man asked him, what he sought.
16And he answered, I seek my brethren; show thou to me where they keep their flocks.
17And the man said to him, They went away from this place; forsooth I heard them saying, Go we into Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan.
18And when they had seen him afar, before he nighed to them, they thought to slay him,
19and they spake together, Lo! the dreamer cometh,
20come ye, slay we him, and put we him into an eld [or old] cistern, and we shall say, A wild beast full wicked hath devoured him; and then it shall appear what his dreams profit to him.
21Soothly Reuben heard this, and enforced or endeavoured to deliver him from their hands, and said, Slay we not the life of him,
22neither shed we out his blood, but cast ye him into an eld [or old] cistern, which is in the wilderness, and keep ye your hands guiltless. Forsooth he said this, willing to deliver him from their hands, and to yield him to his father.
23Therefore anon as Joseph came to his brethren, they despoiled him of his coat, that went down to the heel, and was of many colours,
24and they put him in[to] an eld [or old] cistern, that had no water.
25And they sat to eat bread; and they saw that Ishmaelite way-goers came from Gilead, and that their camels bare sweet smelling spiceries, and resin, and stacte, into Egypt.
26Therefore Judah said to his brethren, What shall it profit to us, if we shall slay our brother, and shall hide his blood?
27It is better that he be sold to Ishmaelites, and our hands be not defouled, for he is our brother and our flesh. His brethren assented to these words;
28and when [the] merchants of Midian passed thereforth, they drew Joseph out of the cistern, and sold him to Ishmaelites, for twenty pieces of silver; which led him into Egypt.
29And Reuben turned again to the cistern, and found not the child; and he rent his clothes,
30and he went to his brethren, and said, The child appeareth not, and whither shall I go?
31Forsooth they took his coat, and dipped it in the blood of a kid, which they had slain;
32and they sent men that bare it to their father, and said, We have found this coat; see thou, whether it is the coat of thy son, or nay.
33And when their father had known it, he said, It is the coat of my son; a wild beast full wicked hath eaten him; a beast hath devoured Joseph.
34And he rent his clothes, and he was clothed with an hair-shirt, and bewailed his son in much time.
35Soothly when his free children were gathered together, that they should appease the sorrow of their father, he would not take comfort; but said, I shall go down into hell, and shall bewail my son. And while Jacob continued in weeping,
36Midianites sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, a chaste and honest servant [or the gelding] of Pharaoh, master of the chivalry.