Genesis 37:17
And the man said, They are departed hence; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brothers, and found them in Dothan.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(17) Dothan.—This town was twelve miles north of Shechem, and is famous as being the place where Elisha struck the Syrian army with blindness (2Kings 6:13-23) It is situated in a small but fertile valley, and Jacob’s sons, having exhausted the produce of the larger plain round Shechem, had moved northward thither. Not having found them at Shechem, Joseph did not know where to go, but wandered about “in the field”—the open downs—till he met some one who could give him information. Had he been a practised hunter, like Esau, he would have followed them by the tracks of the cattle.

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.17. Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan—Hebrew, Dothaim, or "two wells," recently discovered in the modern "Dothan," situated a few hours' distance from Shechem. Dothan a place not very far from Shechem, where afterwards a city was built. See 2 Kings 6:13. And the man said, they are departed hence,.... They had been there, in the field where he and Joseph were, and which was probably the field before mentioned; but for good reasons, perhaps for want of pasture, or in order to find better feeding for their cattle, they were gone from thence, from the fields about Shechem:

for I heard them say, let us go to Dothan; this was, as some say, four miles from Shechem, others eight (m); according to Brochardus (n), it was a plain country between fruitful hills, contiguous to fountains, was pasture ground, and very fit for feeding cattle; and its very name, as Hillerus (o) notes, signifies grassy, or a place of tender grass: here, afterwards, was a city built, not far from Samaria, 2 Kings 6:13; about twelve miles to the north of it, as says Jerom (p); it was in the tribe of Manasseh, about forty four miles from Jerusalem to the north, and six miles from Tiberias to the west (q):

and Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan; which shows that he had a real desire to see them, and know their state and condition, that he might report it to his father; since he might have returned on not finding them at Shechem, that being the place he was sent to, and would have been sufficient to have shown obedience to his father's commands, though perhaps it might not have come up to his full sense and meaning.

(m) Bunting's Travels, p. 79. Ainsworth in loc. (n) Apud Drusium in loc. (o) Onomastic. Sacra, p. 526. (p) Loc. Heb. fol. 90. H. (q) Bunting, ut supra, (m)) p. 80.

And the man said, They are departed hence; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
17. Dothan] Familiar to us as the name of the city in which Elisha was beset by foes and divinely protected (2 Kings 6:13-15). The modern Tel Dothan probably preserves the site, a hill on the S. side of the plain of Jezreel, and some 15 miles N. of Shechem. It is mentioned frequently in the book of Judith. Modern writers speak of its rich pasturage.Verse 17. - And the man said, They are departed hence; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan - Dothaim, "the Two ells," a place twelve miles north of Samaria in the direction of the plain of Esdraelon, situated on the great caravan road from Mount Gilead to Egypt, the scene of one of the greatest miracles of Elisha the prophet (2 Kings 6:13-18), and, though now a deserted ruin, still called by its ancient name. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan. "Just beneath Tell Dothan, which still preserves its name, is the little oblong plain, containing the best pasturage in the country, and well chosen by Jacob's sons when they had exhausted for a time the wider plain of Shechem" (Tristram, 'Land of Israel,' p. 132; cf. Thomson, ' Land and Book,' p. 466). 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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