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The Generations of Jacob

37 Now Jacob lived in (A)the land [a]where his father had sojourned, in the land of Canaan. These are the generations of Jacob.

Joseph, when (B)seventeen years of age, was pasturing the flock with his brothers while he was still a youth, along with (C)the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives. And Joseph brought back an (D)evil report about them to their father. Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons because he was (E)the son of his old age; and he made him a [b](F)varicolored tunic. And his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, and so they (G)hated him and could not speak to him in peace.

Joseph’s Dreams

Then Joseph [c](H)had a dream, and he told it to his brothers; so they hated him even more. And he said to them, “Please listen to this dream which I have [d]had: Indeed, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and behold, my sheaf rose up and also stood upright; and behold, your sheaves gathered around and (I)bowed down to my sheaf.” Then his brothers said to him, “(J)Are you really going to reign over us? Or are you really going to rule over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.

Then he [e]had still another dream and recounted it to his brothers and said, “Behold, I have [f]had still another dream; and behold, the sun and the moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” 10 And he recounted it to his father and to his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have [g]had? Shall I and your mother and (K)your brothers really come to bow ourselves down before you to the ground?” 11 (L)And his brothers were jealous of him, but his father (M)kept the saying in mind.

12 Then his brothers went to pasture their father’s flock in Shechem. 13 And Israel said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers pasturing the flock in (N)Shechem? Come, and I will send you to them.” And he said to him, “[h]I will go.” 14 Then he said to him, “Go now and see about the welfare of your brothers and the welfare of the flock, and bring word back to me.” So he sent him from the valley of (O)Hebron, and he came to Shechem.

15 And a man found him, and behold, he was wandering in the field; and the man asked him, “[i]What are you seeking?” 16 And he said, “I am seeking my brothers; please tell me where they are pasturing the flock.” 17 Then the man said, “They have journeyed from here; for I heard them saying, ‘Let us go to (P)Dothan.’” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan.

Joseph Sold by His Brothers

18 And they saw him from a distance, and before he came close to them, they (Q)plotted against him to put him to death. 19 Then they said to one another, “[j]Here comes this dreamer! 20 So now, come and let us kill him and cast him into one of the pits; and (R)we will say, ‘A wild beast devoured him.’ Then let us see what will become of his dreams!” 21 But (S)Reuben heard this and delivered him out of their hands and said, “Let us not strike down his life.” 22 Reuben further said to them, “Shed no blood. Cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, but do not put forth your hands against him”—that he might deliver him out of their hands to return him to his father. 23 Now it happened, when Joseph [k]reached his brothers, that they stripped Joseph of his [l]tunic, the varicolored tunic that was on him; 24 and they took him and cast him into the pit. Now the pit was empty, without any water in it.

25 And they sat down to eat [m]a meal. Then they lifted up their eyes and saw, and behold, a caravan of (T)Ishmaelites was coming from Gilead, with their camels bearing [n](U)aromatic gum and [o](V)balm and [p]myrrh, going to bring them down to Egypt. 26 And Judah said to his brothers, “What gain is it that we kill our brother and (W)cover up his blood? 27 (X)Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And his brothers listened. 28 Then some (Y)Midianite traders passed by, so they pulled him up and lifted Joseph out of the pit and (Z)sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for [q]twenty shekels of silver. Thus (AA)they brought Joseph into Egypt.

29 Then Reuben returned to the pit, and behold, Joseph was not in the pit; so he (AB)tore his garments. 30 Then he returned to his brothers and said, “(AC)The boy is not there; as for me, where am I to go?” 31 So (AD)they took Joseph’s tunic and slaughtered a male goat and dipped the tunic in the blood; 32 and they sent the varicolored tunic and brought it to their father and said, “We found this; please recognize it—whether it is your son’s tunic or not.” 33 And he recognized it and said, “It is my son’s tunic. (AE)A wild beast has devoured him; (AF)Joseph has surely been torn to pieces!” 34 So Jacob (AG)tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his loins and mourned for his son many days. 35 Then all his sons and all his daughters arose to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. And he said, “Surely I will (AH)go down to Sheol in mourning for my son.” So his father wept for him. 36 Meanwhile, the [r]Midianites (AI)sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, Pharaoh’s officer, the captain of the bodyguard.


  1. Genesis 37:1 Lit of his father’s sojournings
  2. Genesis 37:3 Or full-length robe, long-sleeved garment; cf. 2 Sam 13:18; Song 5:13
  3. Genesis 37:5 Lit dreamed
  4. Genesis 37:6 Lit dreamed
  5. Genesis 37:9 Lit dreamed
  6. Genesis 37:9 Lit dreamed
  7. Genesis 37:10 Lit dreamed
  8. Genesis 37:13 Lit Behold me
  9. Genesis 37:15 Lit saying, “What...?”
  10. Genesis 37:19 Lit Behold, this master of dreams comes
  11. Genesis 37:23 Lit came to
  12. Genesis 37:23 Or full-length robe
  13. Genesis 37:25 Lit bread
  14. Genesis 37:25 Or ladanum spice
  15. Genesis 37:25 Or mastic
  16. Genesis 37:25 Or resinous bark
  17. Genesis 37:28 Approx. 8 oz. or 220 gm, a shekel was approx. 0.4 oz. or 11 gm
  18. Genesis 37:36 Lit Medanites