Genesis 37-38 New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
Joseph Has Two Dreams
37 Jacob lived in the land of Canaan. It’s the land where his father had stayed.
2 Here is the story of the family line of Jacob.
Joseph was a young man. He was 17 years old. He was taking care of the flocks with some of his brothers. They were the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, the wives of his father Jacob. Joseph brought their father a bad report about his brothers.
3 Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons. That’s because Joseph had been born to him when he was old. Israel made him a beautiful robe. 4 Joseph’s brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them. So they hated Joseph. They couldn’t even speak one kind word to him.
5 Joseph had a dream. When he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. 6 He said to them, “Listen to the dream I had. 7 We were tying up bundles of grain out in the field. Suddenly my bundle stood up straight. Your bundles gathered around my bundle and bowed down to it.”
8 His brothers said to him, “Do you plan to be king over us? Will you really rule over us?” So they hated him even more because of his dream. They didn’t like what he had said.
9 Then Joseph had another dream. He told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said. “I had another dream. This time the sun and moon and 11 stars were bowing down to me.”
10 He told his father as well as his brothers. Then his father rebuked him. He said, “What about this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers really do that? Will we really come and bow down to the ground in front of you?” 11 His brothers were jealous of him. But his father kept the dreams in mind.
Joseph Is Sold by His Brothers
12 Joseph’s brothers had gone to take care of their father’s flocks near Shechem. 13 Israel said to Joseph, “As you know, your brothers are taking care of the flocks near Shechem. Come. I’m going to send you to them.”
“All right,” Joseph replied.
14 So Israel said to him, “Go to your brothers. See how they are doing. Also see how the flocks are doing. Then come back and tell me.” So he sent him away from the Hebron Valley.
Joseph arrived at Shechem. 15 A man found him wandering around in the fields. He asked Joseph, “What are you looking for?”
16 He replied, “I’m looking for my brothers. Can you tell me where they are taking care of their flocks?”
17 “They’ve moved on from here,” the man answered. “I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’ ”
So Joseph went to look for his brothers. He found them near Dothan. 18 But they saw him a long way off. Before he reached them, they made plans to kill him.
19 “Here comes that dreamer!” they said to one another. 20 “Come. Let’s kill him. Let’s throw him into one of these empty wells. Let’s say that a wild animal ate him up. Then we’ll see whether his dreams will come true.”
21 Reuben heard them talking. He tried to save Joseph from them. “Let’s not take his life,” he said. 22 “Don’t spill any of his blood. Throw him into this empty well here in the desert. But don’t harm him yourselves.” Reuben said that to save Joseph from them. He was hoping he could take him back to his father.
23 When Joseph came to his brothers, he was wearing his beautiful robe. They took it away from him. 24 And they threw him into the well. The well was empty. There wasn’t any water in it.
25 Then they sat down to eat their meal. As they did, they saw some Ishmaelite traders coming from Gilead. Their camels were loaded with spices, lotion and myrrh. They were on their way to take them down to Egypt.
26 Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and try to cover up what we’ve done? 27 Come. Let’s sell him to these traders. Let’s not harm him ourselves. After all, he’s our brother. He’s our own flesh and blood.” Judah’s brothers agreed with him.
28 The traders from Midian came by. Joseph’s brothers pulled him up out of the well. They sold him to the Ishmaelite traders for eight ounces of silver. Then the traders took him to Egypt.
29 Later, Reuben came back to the empty well. He saw that Joseph wasn’t there. He was so upset that he tore his clothes. 30 He went back to his brothers and said, “The boy isn’t there! Now what should I do?”
31 Then they got Joseph’s beautiful robe. They killed a goat and dipped the robe in the blood. 32 They took the robe back to their father. They said, “We found this. Take a look at it. See if it’s your son’s robe.”
33 Jacob recognized it. He said, “It’s my son’s robe! A wild animal has eaten him up. Joseph must have been torn to pieces.”
34 Jacob tore his clothes. He put on the rough clothing people wear when they’re sad. Then he mourned for his son many days. 35 All Jacob’s other sons and daughters came to comfort him. But they weren’t able to. He said, “I will continue to mourn until I go down into the grave to be with my son.” So Joseph’s father mourned for him.
36 But the traders from Midian sold Joseph to Potiphar in Egypt. Potiphar was one of Pharaoh’s officials. He was the captain of the palace guard.
Judah and Tamar
38 At that time, Judah left his brothers. He went down to stay with a man named Hirah from the town of Adullam. 2 There Judah met the daughter of a man from Canaan. His name was Shua. Judah married her and slept with her. 3 She became pregnant and had a son. They named him Er. 4 She became pregnant again and had another son. She named him Onan. 5 She had still another son. She named him Shelah. He was born at Kezib.
6 Judah got a wife for his oldest son Er. Her name was Tamar. 7 But Judah’s oldest son Er was evil in the Lord’s eyes. So the Lord put him to death.
8 Then Judah said to Onan, “Sleep with your brother’s wife. After all, you are her brother-in-law. So carry out your duty to her. Provide children for your brother.” 9 But Onan knew that the children wouldn’t belong to him. So every time he slept with his brother’s wife, he spilled his semen on the ground. He did it so he wouldn’t provide children for his brother. 10 What he did was evil in the Lord’s eyes. So the Lord put him to death also.
11 Then Judah spoke to his daughter-in-law Tamar. He said, “Live as a widow in your father’s home. Wait there until my son Shelah grows up.” Judah was thinking, “Shelah might die too, just like his brothers.” So Tamar went to live in her father’s home.
12 After a long time Judah’s wife died. She was the daughter of Shua. When Judah got over his sadness, he went up to Timnah. His friend Hirah from Adullam went with him. Men were clipping the wool from Judah’s sheep at Timnah.
13 Tamar was told, “Your father-in-law is on his way to Timnah to clip the wool from his sheep.” 14 So she took off her widow’s clothes. She covered her face with a veil so people wouldn’t know who she was. Then she sat down at the entrance to Enaim. Enaim is on the road to Timnah. Tamar knew that Shelah had grown up. But she hadn’t been given to him as his wife.
15 Judah saw her. He thought she was a prostitute because she had covered her face with a veil. 16 He didn’t realize that she was his daughter-in-law. He went over to her by the side of the road. He said, “Come. Let me sleep with you.”
“What will you give me to sleep with you?” she asked.
17 “I’ll send you a young goat from my flock,” he said.
“Will you give me something that belongs to you?” she asked. “I’ll keep it until you send the goat.”
18 He said, “What should I give you?”
“Give me your official seal and the string that it hangs from,” she answered. “And give me your walking stick.” So he gave them to her. Then he slept with her. And she became pregnant by him. 19 After she left, she took off her veil. She put on her widow’s clothes again.
20 Judah sent his friend Hirah with the young goat he had promised. He wanted to get back what he had given to the woman. But his friend Hirah couldn’t find her. 21 He asked the men who lived at Enaim, “Where’s the temple prostitute? She used to sit beside the road here.”
“There hasn’t been any temple prostitute here,” they said.
22 So Hirah went back to Judah. He said, “I couldn’t find her. Besides, the men who lived there didn’t know anything about her. They said, ‘There hasn’t been any temple prostitute here.’ ”
23 Then Judah said, “Let her keep what she has. I don’t want people making fun of us. After all, I did send her this young goat. We can’t help it if you couldn’t find her.”
24 About three months later people brought word to Judah. They said, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar is guilty of being a prostitute. Now she’s pregnant.”
Judah said, “Bring her out! Have her burned to death!”
25 As Tamar was being brought out, she sent a message to her father-in-law. She said, “I am pregnant by the man who owns these.” She continued, “Do you recognize this seal and string and walking stick? Do you know who they belong to?”
26 Judah recognized them. He said, “She’s a better person than I am. I should have given her to my son Shelah, but I didn’t.” Judah never slept with Tamar again.
27 The time came for Tamar to have her baby. There were twin boys inside her. 28 As the babies were being born, one of them stuck out his hand. So the woman helping Tamar took a bright red thread. The woman tied it on the baby’s wrist. She said, “This one came out first.” 29 But he pulled his hand back, and his brother came out first instead. She said, “Just look at how you have forced your way out!” So he was called Perez. 30 Then his brother, who had the red thread on his wrist, came out. So he was named Zerah.
1 Chronicles 2:3-6 New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
The Family of Judah
The Family Line From Judah’s Sons to Hezron’s Sons
3 The sons of Judah were
Er, Onan and Shelah. A woman from Canaan had these three sons by him. She was the daughter of Shua.
Er was Judah’s oldest son. He was evil in the Lord’s sight. So the Lord put him to death.
4 Tamar was Judah’s daughter-in-law. She had Perez and Zerah by him.
The total number of Judah’s sons was five.
5 The sons of Perez were
Hezron and Hamul.
6 The sons of Zerah were
Zimri, Ethan, Heman, Kalkol and Darda. The total number of Zerah’s sons was five.
Genesis 39 New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
Joseph and the Wife of Potiphar
39 Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. An Egyptian named Potiphar had bought him from the Ishmaelite traders who had taken him there. Potiphar was one of Pharaoh’s officials. He was the captain of the palace guard.
2 The Lord was with Joseph. He gave him great success. Joseph lived in Potiphar’s house. 3 Joseph’s master saw that the Lord was with him. He saw that the Lord made Joseph successful in everything he did. 4 So Potiphar was pleased with Joseph and made him his attendant. He put Joseph in charge of his house. He trusted Joseph to take care of everything he owned. 5 From that time on, the Lord blessed Potiphar’s family and servants because of Joseph. He blessed everything Potiphar had in his house and field. 6 So Joseph took good care of everything Potiphar owned. With Joseph in charge, Potiphar didn’t have to worry about anything except the food he ate.
Joseph was strong and handsome. 7 After a while, his master’s wife noticed Joseph. She said to him, “Come to bed with me!”
8 But he refused. “My master has put me in charge,” he told her. “Now he doesn’t have to worry about anything in the house. He trusts me to take care of everything he owns. 9 No one in this house is in a higher position than I am. My master hasn’t held anything back from me, except you. You are his wife. So how could I do an evil thing like that? How could I sin against God?” 10 She spoke to Joseph day after day. But he told her he wouldn’t go to bed with her. He didn’t even want to be with her.
11 One day Joseph went into the house to take care of his duties. None of the family servants was inside. 12 Potiphar’s wife grabbed him by his coat. “Come to bed with me!” she said. But he left his coat in her hand. And he ran out of the house.
13 She saw that he had left his coat in her hand and had run out of the house. 14 So she called her servants. “Look,” she said to them, “this Hebrew slave has been brought here to make fun of us! He came in here to force me to have sex with him. But I screamed for help. 15 He heard my scream. So he left his coat beside me and ran out of the house.”
16 She kept Joseph’s coat with her until Potiphar came home. 17 Then she told him her story. She said, “That Hebrew slave you brought us came to me to rape me. 18 But I screamed for help. So he left his coat beside me and ran out of the house.”
19 Potiphar’s wife told him, “That’s how your slave treated me.” When Joseph’s master heard her story, he became very angry. 20 So he put Joseph in prison. It was the place where the king’s prisoners were kept.
While Joseph was there in the prison, 21 the Lord was with him. He was kind to him. So the man running the prison was pleased with Joseph. 22 He put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners. He made him responsible for everything done there. 23 The man who ran the prison didn’t pay attention to anything in Joseph’s care. That’s because the Lord was with Joseph. He gave Joseph success in everything he did.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to choose a monthly or yearly subscription, and then enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate, click the button below.
It looks like you’re already subscribed to Bible Gateway Plus! To manage your subscription, visit your Bible Gateway account settings.
Upgrade, and get the most out of your new account. An integrated digital Bible study library - including complete notes from the NIV Study Bible and the NKJV MacArthur Study Bible - is just a step away! Try it free for 30 days.
Three easy steps to start your free trial subscription to Bible Gateway Plus.