Genesis 37
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Joseph's Dreams

1Now Jacob lived in the land where his father had resided, the land of Canaan.

2This is the account of Jacob. When Joseph was seventeen years old, he was tending the flock with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them.

3Now Israel loved Joseph more than his other sons, because Joseph had been born to him in his old age; so he made him a robe of many colors.a 4When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.

5Then Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. 6He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: 7We were binding sheaves of grain in the field, and suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around and bowed down to mine.”

8“Do you intend to reign over us?” his brothers asked. “Will you actually rule us?” So they hated him even more because of his dream and his statements.

9Then Joseph had another dream and told it to his brothers. “Look,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”

10He told his father and brothers, but his father rebuked him. “What is this dream that you have had?” he said. “Will your mother and brothers and I actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” 11And his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept in mind what he had said.

Joseph Sold by His Brothers

12Some time later, Joseph’s brothers had gone to pasture their father’s flocks near Shechem. 13Israel said to him, “Are not your brothers pasturing the flocks at Shechem? Get ready; I am sending you to them.”

“I am ready,” Joseph replied.

14Then Israel told him, “Go now and see how your brothers and the flocks are faring, and bring word back to me.”

So he sent him off from the Valley of Hebron. And when Joseph arrived in Shechem, 15a man found him wandering in the field and asked, “What are you looking for?”

16“I am looking for my brothers,” Joseph replied. “Can you please tell me where they are pasturing their flocks?”

17“They have moved on from here,” the man answered. “I heard them say, ‘Let us go to Dothan.’” So Joseph set out after his brothers and found them at Dothan.

18Now Joseph’s brothers saw him in the distance, and before he arrived, they plotted to kill him. 19“Here comes that dreamer!” they said to one another. 20“Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits. We can say that a vicious animal has devoured him. Then we shall see what becomes of his dreams!”

21When Reuben heard this, he tried to rescue Joseph from their hands. “Let us not take his life,” he said. 22“Do not shed his blood. Throw him into this pit in the wilderness, but do not lay a hand on him.” Reuben said this so that he could rescue Joseph from their hands and return him to his father.

23So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the robe of many colors he was wearing— 24and they took him and threw him into the pit. Now the pit was empty, with no water in it.

25And as they sat down to eat a meal, they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were carrying spices, balm, and myrrh on their way down to Egypt.

26Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? 27Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay a hand on him; for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And they agreed. 28So when the Midianite traders passed by, his brothers pulled Joseph out of the pit and sold him for twenty shekelsb of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt.

29When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not there, he tore his clothes, 30returned to his brothers, and said, “The boy is gone! What am I going to do?”

Jacob Mourns Joseph

31Then they took Joseph’s robe, slaughtered a young goat, and dipped the robe in its blood. 32They sent the robe of many colors to their father and said, “We found this. Examine it to see whether it is your son’s robe or not.”

33His father recognized it and said, “It is my son’s robe! A vicious animal has devoured him. Joseph has surely been torn to pieces!” 34Then Jacob tore his clothes, put sackcloth around his waist, and mourned for his son many days. 35All his sons and daughters tried to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “No,” he said. “I will go down to Sheol mourning for my son.” So his father wept for him.

36Meanwhile, the Midianitesc sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and captain of the guard.

Footnotes:

3 a Possibly a robe with long sleeves; also in verses 23 and 32
28 b That is, about 8 ounces or 228 grams
36 c Hebrew the Medanites See also verse 28.

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