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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.
37
1Jacob lived in the land of his father’s travels, in the land of Canaan. 2This is the history of the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brothers. He was a boy with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives. Joseph brought an evil report of them to their father. 3Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age, and he made him a tunic of many colours. 4His brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, and they hated him, and couldn’t speak peaceably to him.
5Joseph dreamt a dream, and he told it to his brothers, and they hated him all the more. 6He said to them, “Please hear this dream which I have dreamt: 7for behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and behold, your sheaves came around, and bowed down to my sheaf.”
8His brothers asked him, “Will you indeed reign over us? Will you indeed have dominion over us?” They hated him all the more for his dreams and for his words. 9He dreamt yet another dream, and told it to his brothers, and said, “Behold, I have dreamt yet another dream: and behold, the sun and the moon and eleven stars bowed down to me.” 10He told it to his father and to his brothers. His father rebuked him, and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamt? Will I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow ourselves down to the earth before you?” 11His brothers envied him, but his father kept this saying in mind.
12His brothers went to feed their father’s flock in Shechem. 13Israel said to Joseph, “Aren’t your brothers feeding the flock in Shechem? Come, and I will send you to them.” He said to him, “Here I am.”
14He said to him, “Go now, see whether it is well with your brothers, and well with the flock; and bring me word again.” So he sent him out of the valley of Hebron, and he came to Shechem. 15A certain man found him, and behold, he was wandering in the field. The man asked him, “What are you looking for?”
16He said, “I am looking for my brothers. Tell me, please, where they are feeding the flock.”
17The man said, “They have left here, for I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’”
Joseph went after his brothers, and found them in Dothan. 18They saw him afar off, and before he came near to them, they conspired against him to kill him. 19They said to one another, “Behold, this dreamer comes. 20Come now therefore, and let’s kill him, and cast him into one of the pits, and we will say, ‘An evil animal has devoured him.’ We will see what will become of his dreams.”
21Reuben heard it, and delivered him out of their hand, and said, “Let’s not take his life.” 22Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood. Throw him into this pit that is in the wilderness, but lay no hand on him”—that he might deliver him out of their hand, to restore him to his father. 23When Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped Joseph of his tunic, the tunic of many colours that was on him; 24and they took him, and threw him into the pit. The pit was empty. There was no water in it.
25They sat down to eat bread, and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites was coming from Gilead, with their camels bearing spices and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt. 26Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is it if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? 27Come, and let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites, and not let our hand be on him; for he is our brother, our flesh.” His brothers listened to him. 28Midianites who were merchants passed by, and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. The merchants brought Joseph into Egypt.
29Reuben returned to the pit, and saw that Joseph wasn’t in the pit; and he tore his clothes. 30He returned to his brothers, and said, “The child is no more; and I, where will I go?” 31They took Joseph’s tunic, and killed a male goat, and dipped the tunic in the blood. 32They took the tunic of many colours, and they brought it to their father, and said, “We have found this. Examine it, now, and see if it is your son’s tunic or not.”
33He recognised it, and said, “It is my son’s tunic. An evil animal has devoured him. Joseph is without doubt torn in pieces.” 34Jacob tore his clothes, and put sackcloth on his waist, and mourned for his son many days. 35All his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. He said, “For I will go down to Sheol#37:35 Sheol is the place of the dead. to my son, mourning.” His father wept for him. 36The Midianites sold him into Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh’s, the captain of the guard.