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Genesis 37

37
1And Jacob dwelleth in the land of his father's sojournings — in the land of Canaan.
2These [are] births of Jacob: Joseph, a son of seventeen years, hath been enjoying himself with his brethren among the flock, (and he [is] a youth,) with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives, and Joseph bringeth in an account of their evil unto their father.
3And Israel hath loved Joseph more than any of his sons, for he [is] a son of his old age, and hath made for him a long coat;
4and his brethren see that their father hath loved him more than any of his brethren, and they hate him, and have not been able to speak [to] him peaceably.
5And Joseph dreameth a dream, and declareth to his brethren, and they add still more to hate him.
6And he saith unto them, ‘Hear ye, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed:
7that, lo, we are binding bundles in the midst of the field, and lo, my bundle hath arisen, and hath also stood up, and lo, your bundles are round about, and bow themselves to my bundle.’
8And his brethren say to him, ‘Dost thou certainly reign over us? dost thou certainly rule over us?’ and they add still more to hate him, for his dreams, and for his words.
9And he dreameth yet another dream, and recounteth it to his brethren, and saith, ‘Lo, I have dreamed a dream again, and lo, the sun and the moon, and eleven stars, are bowing themselves to me.’
10And he recounteth unto his father, and unto his brethren; and his father pusheth against him, and saith to him, ‘What [is] this dream which thou hast dreamt? do we certainly come — I, and thy mother, and thy brethren — to bow ourselves to thee, to the earth?’
11and his brethren are zealous against him, and his father hath watched the matter.
12And his brethren go to feed the flock of their father in Shechem,
13and Israel saith unto Joseph, ‘Are not thy brethren feeding in Shechem? come, and I send thee unto them;’ and he saith to him, ‘Here [am] I;’
14and he saith to him, ‘Go, I pray thee, see the peace of thy brethren, and the peace of the flock, and bring me back word;’ and he sendeth him from the valley of Hebron, and he cometh to Shechem.
15And a man findeth him, and lo, he is wandering in the field, and the man asketh him, saying, ‘What seekest thou?’
16and he saith, ‘My brethren I am seeking, declare to me, I pray thee, where they are feeding?’
17And the man saith, ‘They have journeyed from this, for I have heard some saying, Let us go to Dothan,’ and Joseph goeth after his brethren, and findeth them in Dothan.
18And they see him from afar, even before he draweth near unto them, and they conspire against him to put him to death.
19And they say one unto another, ‘Lo, this man of the dreams cometh;
20and now, come, and we slay him, and cast him into one of the pits, and have said, An evil beast hath devoured him; and we see what his dreams are.’
21And Reuben heareth, and delivereth him out of their hand, and saith, ‘Let us not smite the life;’
22and Reuben saith unto them, ‘Shed no blood; cast him into this pit which [is] in the wilderness, and put not forth a hand upon him,’ — in order to deliver him out of their hand, to bring him back unto his father.
23And it cometh to pass, when Joseph hath come unto his brethren, that they strip Joseph of his coat, the long coat which [is] upon him,
24and take him and cast him into the pit, and the pit [is] empty, there is no water in it.
25And they sit down to eat bread, and they lift up their eyes, and look, and lo, a company of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, and their camels bearing spices, and balm, and myrrh, going to take [them] down to Egypt.
26And Judah saith unto his brethren, ‘What gain when we slay our brother, and have concealed his blood?
27Come, and we sell him to the Ishmaelites, and our hands are not on him, for he [is] our brother — our flesh;’ and his brethren hearken.
28And Midianite merchantmen pass by and they draw out and bring up Joseph out of the pit, and sell Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty silverlings, and they bring Joseph into Egypt.
29And Reuben returneth unto the pit, and lo, Joseph is not in the pit, and he rendeth his garments,
30and he returneth unto his brethren, and saith, ‘The lad is not, and I — whither am I going?’
31And they take the coat of Joseph, and slaughter a kid of the goats, and dip the coat in the blood,
32and send the long coat, and they bring [it] in unto their father, and say, ‘This have we found; discern, we pray thee, whether it [is] thy son's coat or not?’
33And he discerneth it, and saith, ‘My son's coat! an evil beast hath devoured him; torn — torn is Joseph!’
34And Jacob rendeth his raiment, and putteth sackcloth on his loins, and becometh a mourner for his son many days,
35and all his sons and all his daughters rise to comfort him, and he refuseth to comfort himself, and saith, ‘For — I go down mourning unto my son, to Sheol,’ and his father weepeth for him.
36And the Medanites have sold him unto Egypt, to Potiphar, a eunuch of Pharaoh, head of the executioners.
37
Joseph is sold by his brothers as a slave
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 seventeen 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 after Jacob was very old. Jacob had given Joseph a fine coat#37.3 fine coat: Or “a coat of many colours” or “a coat with long sleeves”. 4to show that he was his favourite 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 in front of you?” 11Joseph's brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept wondering about the dream.#Ac 7.9.
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 any more,” 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 dry 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 fine coat#37.23 fine coat: Or “a coat of many colours” or “a coat with long sleeves”. 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.
28When the Midianite merchants came by, Joseph's brothers took him out of the well, and for twenty 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.#Ac 7.9.
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 fine 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-coloured cloth made from goat or camel hair and used to make grain sacks. It was worn in times of trouble or sorrow. 35All 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.