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Genesis 37

37
The Dreams of Joseph
1And Jacob settled in the land of the sojourning of his father, in the land of Canaan. 2These are the generations#Or “family records” of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was shepherding the flock with his brothers. Now he was a helper with the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, the wives of his father. And Joseph brought a bad report of them to his father. 3Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons, for he was a son of his old age. And he made a robe with long sleeves#Or “of many colors” for him. 4When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and were not able to speak peaceably to him.
5And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it to his brothers. And they hated him even more.#Literally “they added still to hate him” 6And he said to them, “Listen now to this dream that I dreamed. 7Now behold, we were binding sheaves in the midst of the field and, behold, my sheaf stood up and it remained standing. Then behold, your sheaves gathered around and bowed down to my sheaf.” 8Then his brothers said to him, “Will you really rule over us?” And they hated him even more#Literally “they added still to hate him” on account of his dream and because of his words. 9Then he dreamed yet another dream and told it to his brothers. And he said, “Behold, I dreamed a dream again, and behold, the sun and the moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” 10And he told it to his father and to his brothers. And his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Will I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the ground to you?” 11And his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.
Joseph Sold Into Slavery by his Brothers
12Now his brothers went to pasture the flock of their father in Shechem. 13And Israel said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers pasturing in Shechem? Come, let me send you to them.” And he said, “Here I am.” 14Then he said to him, “Go now, see if it goes well for your brothers and for the flock,#Literally “see the peace of your brothers and the peace of the flock” then return word to me.” And he sent him from the valley of Hebron, and he arrived at Shechem. 15And a man found him, and behold, he#That is, Joseph was wandering about in a field. And the man asked him, “What do you seek?” 16And he said, “I am seeking my brothers. Tell me, please, where they are pasturing.” 17And the man said, “They have moved on from here, for I heard them saying, ‘Let us go to Dothan.’ ” Then Joseph went after his brothers and found them in Dothan. 18And they saw him from a distance. And before he drew near to them, they conspired against him to kill him. 19And each said to his brothers, “Look, this master of dreams is coming. 20Now then, come, let us kill him and throw him in one of the pits. Then we will say a wild animal devoured him. Then we will see what his dreams become.” 21And Reuben heard it and delivered him from their hand and said, “We must not take his life.” 22And Reuben said to them, “You must not shed blood. Throw him into this pit that is in the desert, but do not lay a hand on him”—so that he might rescue him from their hand to return him to his father. 23And it happened that as Joseph came to his brothers they stripped Joseph of his robe, the robe with long sleeves,#Or “of many colors” that was upon him. 24And they took him and threw him into the pit (the pit was empty; there was no water in it). 25Then they sat down to eat some food. And they lifted up their eyes and looked, and behold, a caravan of Ishmaelites was coming from Gilead. And their camels were carrying aromatic gum and balm and spices on the way#Literally “going to bring down” to Egypt. 26Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is there if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? 27Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, but our hand shall not be against him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And his brothers agreed. 28Then Midianite traders passed by. And they#That is, the brothers drew Joseph up and brought him up from the pit, and they sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. And they brought Joseph to Egypt. 29Then Reuben returned to the pit and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit. And he tore his clothes. 30And he returned to his brothers and said, “The boy is gone!#Literally “is not” Now I, what can I do?”#Literally “where am I going?” 31Then they took the robe of Joseph and slaughtered a goat, and dipped the robe in the blood. 32Then they sent the robe with long sleeves#Or “of many colors” and they brought it to their father and said, “We found this; please examine it. Is it the robe of your son or not?” 33And he recognized it and said, “The robe of my son! A wild animal has devoured him! Joseph is surely torn to pieces!” 34And Jacob tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his loins and mourned for his son many days. 35And all his sons and daughters tried to console him, but he refused to be consoled. And he said, “No, I shall go down to my son, to Sheol, mourning.” And his father wept for him. 36And the Midianites sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, a court official of Pharaoh, a commander of the imperial guard.
37
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 17 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 when Jacob was very old. Jacob had even given Joseph a fancy coat#37.3 fancy coat: Or “a coat of many colors” or “a coat with long sleeves.” 4which showed that Joseph was his favorite 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 to you?” 11#Ac 7.9. Joseph's brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept wondering about the dream.
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 anymore,” 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 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 fancy coat#37.23 fancy coat: See the note at 37.3. 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.
28 # Ws 10.13; Ac 7.9. When the Midianite merchants came by, Joseph's brothers took him out of the well, and for 20 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.
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 fancy 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-colored cloth made from goat or camel hair and used to make grain sacks. It was worn in times of trouble or sorrow. 35All of 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.