Joseph’s Brothers Sell Him into Slavery
1Jacob continued to live in the land of Canaan, where his father had lived.
2This is the account of Jacob and his descendants.
Joseph was a seventeen-year-old young man. He took care of the flocks with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives. Joseph told his father about the bad things his brothers were doing.
3Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons because Joseph had been born in Israel’s old age. So he made Joseph a special robe with long sleeves. 4Joseph’s brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them. They hated Joseph and couldn’t speak to him on friendly terms.
5Joseph had a dream and when he told his brothers, they hated him even more. 6He said to them, “Please listen to the dream I had. 7We were tying grain into bundles out in the field, and suddenly mine stood up. It remained standing while your bundles gathered around my bundle and bowed down to it.”
8Then his brothers asked him, “Are you going to be our king or rule us?” They hated him even more for his dreams and his words.
9Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream: I saw the sun, the moon, and 11 stars bowing down to me.”
10When he told his father and his brothers, his father criticized him by asking, “What’s this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers come and bow down in front of you?” 11So his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept thinking about these things.
12His brothers had gone to take care of their father’s flocks at Shechem. 13Israel then said to Joseph, “Your brothers are taking care of the flocks at Shechem. I’m going to send you to them.”
Joseph responded, “I’ll go.”
14So Israel said, “See how your brothers and the flocks are doing, and bring some news back to me.” Then he sent Joseph away from the Hebron Valley.
When Joseph came to Shechem, 15a man found him wandering around in the open country. “What are you looking for?” the man asked.
16Joseph replied, “I’m looking for my brothers. Please tell me where they’re taking care of their flocks.”
17The man said, “They moved on from here. I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’ ” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan.
18They saw him from a distance. Before he reached them, they plotted to kill him. 19They said to each other, “Look, here comes that master dreamer! 20Let’s kill him, throw him into one of the cisterns, and say that a wild animal has eaten him. Then we’ll see what happens to his dreams.”
21When Reuben heard this, he tried to save Joseph from their plot. “Let’s not kill him,” he said. 22“Let’s not have any bloodshed. Put him into that cistern that’s out in the desert, but don’t hurt him.” Reuben wanted to rescue Joseph from them and bring him back to his father.
23So when Joseph reached his brothers, they stripped him of his special robe with long sleeves. 24Then they took him and put him into an empty cistern. It had no water in it.
25As they sat down to eat, they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were carrying the materials for cosmetics, medicine, and embalming. They were on their way to take them to Egypt.
26Judah asked his brothers, “What will we gain by killing our brother and covering up his death? 27Let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites. Let’s not hurt him, because he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed.
28As the Midianite merchants were passing by, the brothers pulled Joseph out of the cistern. They sold him to the Ishmaelites for eight ounces of silver. The Ishmaelites took him to Egypt.
29When Reuben came back to the cistern and saw that Joseph was no longer there, he tore his clothes in grief. 30He went back to his brothers and said, “The boy isn’t there! What am I going to do?”
31So they took Joseph’s robe, killed a goat, and dipped the robe in the blood. 32Then they brought the special robe with long sleeves to their father and said, “We found this. You better examine it to see whether it’s your son’s robe or not.”
33He recognized it and said, “It is my son’s robe! A wild animal has eaten him! Joseph must have been torn to pieces!” 34Then, to show his grief, Jacob tore his clothes, put sackcloth around his waist, and mourned for his son a long time. 35All his other sons and daughters came to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. He said, “No, I will mourn for my son until I die.” This is how Joseph’s father cried over him.
36Meanwhile, in Egypt the Midianites sold Joseph to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials and captain of the guard.
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1 SO JACOB dwelt in the land in which his father had been a stranger and sojourner, in the land of Canaan.
2 This is the history of the descendants of Jacob and this is Jacob's line. Joseph, when he was seventeen years old, was shepherding the flock with his brothers; the lad was with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father's [secondary] wives; and Joseph brought to his father a bad report of them.
3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children because he was the son of his old age, and he made him a [distinctive] long tunic with sleeves.
4 But when his brothers saw that their father loved [Joseph] more than all of his brothers, they hated him and could not say, Peace [in friendly greeting] to him or speak peaceably to him.
5 Now Joseph had a dream and he told it to his brothers, and they hated him still more.
6 And he said to them, Listen now and hear, I pray you, this dream that I have dreamed:
7 We [brothers] were binding sheaves in the field, and behold, my sheaf arose and stood upright, and behold, your sheaves stood round about my sheaf and bowed down!
8 His brothers said to him, Shall you indeed reign over us? Or are you going to have us as your subjects and dominate us? And they hated him all the more for his dreams and for what he said.
9 But Joseph dreamed yet another dream and told it to his brothers [also]. He said, See here, I have dreamed again, and behold, [this time not only] eleven stars [but also] the sun and the moon bowed down and did reverence to me!
10 And he told it to his father [as well as] his brethren. But his father rebuked him and said to him, What is the meaning of this dream that you have dreamed? Shall I and your mother and your brothers actually come to bow down ourselves to the earth and do homage to you?
11 Joseph's brothers envied him and were jealous of him, but his father observed the saying and pondered over it.
12 Joseph's brothers went to shepherd and feed their father's flock near Shechem.
13 [One day] Israel said to Joseph, Do not your brothers shepherd my flock at Shechem? Come, and I will send you to them. And he said, Here I am.
14 And [Jacob] said to him, Go, I pray you, see whether everything is all right with your brothers and with the flock; then come back and bring me word. So he sent him out of the Hebron Valley, and he came to Shechem.
15 And a certain man found him, and behold, he had lost his way and was wandering in the open country. The man asked him, What are you trying to find?
16 And he said, I am looking for my brothers. Tell me, I pray you, where they are pasturing our flocks.
17 But the man said, [They were here, but] they have gone. I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan.
18 And when they saw him far off, even before he came near to them, they conspired to kill him.
19 And they said one to another, See, here comes this dreamer and master of dreams.
20 So come on now, let us kill him and throw his body into some pit; then we will say [to our father], Some wild and ferocious animal has devoured him; and we shall see what will become of his dreams!
21 Now Reuben heard it and he delivered him out of their hands by saying, Let us not kill him.
22 And Reuben said to them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit or well that is out here in the wilderness and lay no hand on him. He was trying to get Joseph out of their hands in order to rescue him and deliver him again to his father.
23 When Joseph had come to his brothers, they stripped him of his [distinctive] long garment which he was wearing;
24 Then they took him and cast him into the [well-like] pit which was empty; there was no water in it.
25 Then they sat down to eat their lunch. When they looked up, behold, they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites [mixed Arabians] coming from Gilead, with their camels bearing gum [of the styrax tree], balm (balsam), and myrrh or ladanum, going on their way to carry them down to Egypt.
26 And Judah said to his brothers, What do we gain if we slay our brother and conceal his blood?
27 Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites [and Midianites, these mixed Arabians who are approaching], and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brothers consented.
28 Then as the Midianite [and Ishmaelite] merchants were passing by, the brothers pulled Joseph up and lifted him out of the well. And they sold him for twenty pieces of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took Joseph [captive] into Egypt.
29 Then Reuben [who had not been there when the brothers plotted to sell the lad] returned to the pit; and behold, Joseph was not in the pit, and he rent his clothes.
30 He rejoined his brothers and said, The boy is not there! And I, where shall I go [to hide from my father]?
31 Then they took Joseph's [distinctive] long garment, killed a young goat, and dipped the garment in the blood;
32 And they sent the garment to their father, saying, We have found this! Examine and decide whether it is your son's tunic or not.
33 He said, My son's long garment! An evil [wild] beast has devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.
34 And Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth, and mourned many days for his son.
35 And all his sons and daughters attempted to console him, but he refused to be comforted and said, I will go down to Sheol (the place of the dead) to my son mourning. And his father wept for him.
36 And the Midianites [and Ishmaelites] sold [Joseph] in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and the captain and chief executioner of the [royal] guard.
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