Genesis 37:16
And he said, I seek my brothers: tell me, I pray you, where they feed their flocks.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
37:12-22 How readily does Joseph wait his father's orders! Those children who are best beloved by their parents, should be the most ready to obey them. See how deliberate Joseph's brethren were against him. They thought to slay him from malice aforethought, and in cold blood. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer, 1Jo 3:15. The sons of Jacob hated their brother because their father loved him. New occasions, as his dreams and the like, drew them on further; but this laid rankling in their hearts, till they resolved on his death. God has all hearts in his hands. Reuben had most reason to be jealous of Joseph, for he was the first-born; yet he proves his best friend. God overruled all to serve his own purpose, of making Joseph an instrument to save much people alive. Joseph was a type of Christ; for though he was the beloved Son of his Father, and hated by a wicked world, yet the Father sent him out of his bosom to visit us in great humility and love. He came from heaven to earth to seek and save us; yet then malicious plots were laid against him. His own not only received him not, but crucified him. This he submitted to, as a part of his design to redeem and save us.Joseph is sent to Dothan. Shekem belonged to Jacob; part of it by purchase, and the rest by conquest. Joseph is sent to inquire of their welfare (שׁלום shālom "peace," Genesis 37:4). With obedient promptness the youth goes to Shekem, where he learns that they had removed to Dothan, a town about twelve miles due north of Shekem.13-17. Israel said, … Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem?—Anxious to learn how his sons were doing in their distant encampment, Jacob despatched Joseph; and the youth, accepting the mission with alacrity, left the vale of Hebron, sought them at Shechem, heard of them from a man in "the field" (the wide and richly cultivated plain of Esdraelon), and found that they had left that neighborhood for Dothan, probably being compelled by the detestation in which, from the horrid massacre, their name was held. No text from Poole on this verse. And he said, I seek my brethren,.... Whom, no doubt, he described to the man, and told him who they were, and to whom they belonged; or otherwise the man would have been at a loss to know who he meant, and what further to say to him, and without which Joseph would never have made the following request to him:

tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks; in what part of the country they are, what field they are in, how far to it, and which the way.

And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
This hatred was increased when Joseph told them of two dreams that he had had: viz., that as they were binding sheaves in the field, his sheaf "stood and remained standing," but their sheaves placed themselves round it and bowed down to it; and that the sun (his father), and the moon (his mother, "not Leah, but Rachel, who was neither forgotten nor lost"), and eleven stars (his eleven brethren) bowed down before him. These dreams pointed in an unmistakeable way to the supremacy of Joseph; the first to supremacy over his brethren, the second over the whole house of Israel. The repetition seemed to establish the thing as certain (cf. Genesis 41:32); so that not only did his brethren hate him still more "on account of his dreams and words" (Genesis 37:8), i.e., the substance of the dreams and the open interpretation of them, and become jealous and envious, but his father gave him a sharp reproof for the second, though he preserved the matter, i.e., retained it in his memory (שׁמר lxx διετήρησε, cf. συνετήρει, Luke 2:19). The brothers with their ill-will could not see anything in the creams but the suggestions of his own ambition and pride of heart; and even the father, notwithstanding his partiality, was grieved by the second dream. The dreams are not represented as divine revelations; yet they are not to be regarded as pure flights of fancy from an ambitious heart, but as the presentiments of deep inward feelings, which were not produced without some divine influence being exerted upon Joseph's mind, and therefore were of prophetic significance, though they were not inspired directly by God, inasmuch as the purposes of God were still to remain hidden from the eyes of men for the saving good of all concerned.
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