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.
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Berĕshith (Genesis) 37
1And Ya‛aqoḇ dwelt in the land of his father’s sojournings, in the land of Kena‛an.
2This is the genealogy of Ya‛aqoḇ. Yosĕph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brothers. And the young man was with the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives. And Yosĕph brought an evil report of them to his father.
3And Yisra’ĕl loved Yosĕph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. And he made him a long robe.
4But when 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 Yosĕph dreamed a dream, and told it to his brothers. So they hated him even more.
6And he said to them, “Please listen to this dream which I have dreamed:
7See, we were binding sheaves in the midst of the field, and see, my sheaf rose up and also stood up. And see, your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf.
8And his brothers said to him, “Shall you indeed reign over us? Shall you indeed rule over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.
9And he dreamed still another dream and related it to his brothers, and said, “See, I have dreamed another dream, and see, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars bowed down to me.”
10And he related it to his father and his brothers. And his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall we, your mother and I and your brothers, indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?”
11And his brothers envied him, but his father guarded the word.
12And his brothers went to feed their father’s flock in Sheḵem.
13And Yisra’ĕl said to Yosĕph, “Are not your brothers feeding the flock in Sheḵem? Come, I send you to them.” So he said to him, “Here I am.”
14And he said to him, “Please go and see if it is well with your brothers and well with the sheep, and bring back word to me.” So he sent him out of the Valley of Ḥeḇron, and he went to Sheḵem.
15And a certain man found him, and see, he was wandering in the field. And the man asked him, saying, “What do you seek?”
16And he said, “I am seeking my brothers. Please inform me where they are feeding their sheep.”
17And the man said, “They have left here, for I heard them say, ‘Let us go towards Dothan.’ ” So Yosĕph went after his brothers and found them in Dothan.
18And they saw him from a distance, and before he came near them, they plotted against him, to kill him.
19And they said to each other, “See, this master of dreams is coming!
20Now, then, come and let us now kill him and throw him into some pit, and shall say, ‘Some wild beast has devoured him.’ Let us then see what comes of his dreams!
21But Re’uḇĕn heard and rescued him from their hands, and said, “Let us not strike his being.”
22And Re’uḇĕn said to them, “Shed no blood. Throw him into this pit which is in the wilderness, and do not lay a hand on him” – in order to rescue him out of their hands, and bring him back to his father.
23So it came to be, when Yosĕph had come to his brothers, that they stripped Yosĕph of his robe, the long robe which was on him.
24And they took him and threw him into a pit. And the pit was empty, there was no water in it.
25And they sat down to eat a meal. And they lifted their eyes and looked and saw a company of Yishma‛ĕlites, coming from Gil‛aḏ with their camels, bearing spices, and balm, and myrrh, going to take them down to Mitsrayim.
26And Yehuḏah said to his brothers, “What would we gain if we kill our brother and conceal his blood?
27Come and let us sell him to the Yishma‛ĕlites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother, our flesh. And his brothers listened.
28And men, Miḏyanite traders passed by, so they pulled Yosĕph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Yishma‛ĕlites for twenty pieces of silver. And they took Yosĕph to Mitsrayim.
29And Re’uḇĕn returned to the pit, and see, Yosĕph was not in the pit. And he tore his garments.
30And he returned to his brothers and said, “The boy is gone! And I, where am I to go?”
31So they took Yosĕph’s robe, slew a male goat, and dipped the robe in the blood,
32and sent the long robe and brought it to their father and said, “We have found this. Please look, is it the robe of your son or not?”
33And he recognised it and said, “It is my son’s robe. An evil beast has devoured him. Yosĕph is torn, torn to pieces.”
34And Ya‛aqoḇ tore his garments, and put sackcloth on his waist, and mourned for his son many days.
35And all his sons and all his daughters arose to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted, and he said, “Now let me go down into She’ol#See Explanatory Notes - "She’ol". to my son in mourning.” So his father wept for him.
36And the Miḏanites had sold him in Mitsrayim to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and captain of the guard.
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