Genesis 37
NET Bible

Joseph’s Dreams

1But Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, in the land of Canaan.

2This is the account of Jacob.

Joseph, his seventeen-year-old son, was taking care of the flocks with his brothers. Now he was a youngster working with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives. Joseph brought back a bad report about them to their father.

3Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons because he was a son born to him late in life, and he made a special tunic for him. 4When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated Joseph and were not able to speak to him kindly.

5Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers about it, they hated him even more. 6He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: 7There we were, binding sheaves of grain in the middle of the field. Suddenly my sheaf rose up and stood upright and your sheaves surrounded my sheaf and bowed down to it!” 8Then his brothers asked him, “Do you really think you will rule over us or have dominion over us?” They hated him even more because of his dream and because of what he said.

9Then he had another dream, and told it to his brothers. “Look,” he said. “I had another dream. The sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” 10When he told his father and his brothers, his father rebuked him, saying, “What is this dream that you had? Will I, your mother, and your brothers really come and bow down to you?” 11His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept in mind what Joseph said.

12When his brothers had gone to graze their father’s flocks near Shechem, 13Israel said to Joseph, “Your brothers are grazing the flocks near Shechem. Come, I will send you to them.” “I’m ready,” Joseph replied. 14So Jacob said to him, “Go now and check on the welfare of your brothers and of the flocks, and bring me word.” So Jacob sent him from the valley of Hebron.

15When Joseph reached Shechem, a man found him wandering in the field, so the man asked him, “What are you looking for?” 16He replied, “I’m looking for my brothers. Please tell me where they are grazing their flocks.” 17The man said, “They left this area, for I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan.

18Now Joseph’s brothers saw him from a distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him. 19They said to one another, “Here comes this master of dreams! 20Come now, let’s kill him, throw him into one of the cisterns, and then say that a wild animal ate him. Then we’ll see how his dreams turn out!”

21When Reuben heard this, he rescued Joseph from their hands, saying, “Let’s not take his life!” 22Reuben continued, “Don’t shed blood! Throw him into this cistern that is here in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him.” (Reuben said this so he could rescue Joseph from them and take him back to his father.)

23When Joseph reached his brothers, they stripped him of his tunic, the special tunic that he wore. 24Then they took him and threw him into the cistern. (Now the cistern was empty; there was no water in it.)

25When they sat down to eat their food, they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were carrying spices, balm, and myrrh down to Egypt. 26Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is there if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? 27Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites, but let’s not lay a hand on him, for after all, he is our brother, our own flesh.” His brothers agreed. 28So when the Midianite merchants passed by, Joseph’s brothers pulled him out of the cistern and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. The Ishmaelites then took Joseph to Egypt.

29Later Reuben returned to the cistern to find that Joseph was not in it! He tore his clothes, 30returned to his brothers, and said, “The boy isn’t there! And I, where can I go?” 31So they took Joseph’s tunic, killed a young goat, and dipped the tunic in the blood. 32Then they brought the special tunic to their father and said, “We found this. Determine now whether it is your son’s tunic or not.”

33He recognized it and exclaimed, “It is my son’s tunic! A wild animal has eaten him! Joseph has surely been torn to pieces!” 34Then Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth, and mourned for his son many days. 35All his sons and daughters stood by him to console him, but he refused to be consoled. “No,” he said, “I will go to the grave mourning my son.” So Joseph’s father wept for him.

36Now in Egypt the Midianites sold Joseph to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard.

Genesis 36
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