18 But they saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him.(A)

19 “Here comes that dreamer!(B)” they said to each other. 20 “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns(C) and say that a ferocious animal(D) devoured him.(E) Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.”(F)

21 When Reuben(G) heard this, he tried to rescue him from their hands. “Let’s not take his life,” he said.(H) 22 “Don’t shed any blood. Throw him into this cistern(I) here in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him.” Reuben said this to rescue him from them and take him back to his father.(J)

23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the ornate robe(K) he was wearing— 24 and they took him and threw him into the cistern.(L) The cistern was empty; there was no water in it.

25 As they sat down to eat their meal, they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites(M) coming from Gilead.(N) Their camels were loaded with spices, balm(O) and myrrh,(P) and they were on their way to take them down to Egypt.(Q)

26 Judah(R) said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood?(S) 27 Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother,(T) our own flesh and blood.(U)” His brothers agreed.

28 So when the Midianite(V) merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern(W) and sold(X) him for twenty shekels[a] of silver(Y) to the Ishmaelites,(Z) who took him to Egypt.(AA)

29 When Reuben returned to the cistern and saw that Joseph was not there, he tore his clothes.(AB) 30 He went back to his brothers and said, “The boy isn’t there! Where can I turn now?”(AC)

31 Then they got Joseph’s robe,(AD) slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood.(AE) 32 They took the ornate robe(AF) back to their father and said, “We found this. Examine it to see whether it is your son’s robe.”

33 He recognized it and said, “It is my son’s robe! Some ferocious animal(AG) has devoured him. Joseph has surely been torn to pieces.”(AH)

34 Then Jacob tore his clothes,(AI) put on sackcloth(AJ) and mourned for his son many days.(AK) 35 All his sons and daughters came to comfort him,(AL) but he refused to be comforted.(AM) “No,” he said, “I will continue to mourn until I join my son(AN) in the grave.(AO)” So his father wept for him.

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Footnotes

  1. Genesis 37:28 That is, about 8 ounces or about 230 grams

Joseph Reassures His Brothers

15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph holds a grudge(A) against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?”(B) 16 So they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Your father left these instructions(C) before he died: 17 ‘This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins(D) and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’(E) Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.(F)” When their message came to him, Joseph wept.(G)

18 His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him.(H) “We are your slaves,”(I) they said.

19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God?(J) 20 You intended to harm me,(K) but God intended(L) it for good(M) to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.(N) 21 So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.(O)” And he reassured them and spoke kindly(P) to them.

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