Joseph’s Dreams

37 Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed,(A) the land of Canaan.(B)

This is the account(C) of Jacob’s family line.

Joseph,(D) a young man of seventeen,(E) was tending the flocks(F) with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah(G) and the sons of Zilpah,(H) his father’s wives, and he brought their father a bad report(I) about them.

Now Israel(J) loved Joseph more than any of his other sons,(K) because he had been born to him in his old age;(L) and he made an ornate[a] robe(M) for him.(N) When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him(O) and could not speak a kind word to him.

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  1. Genesis 37:3 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain; also in verses 23 and 32.

Joseph Sold by His Brothers

12 Now his brothers had gone to graze their father’s flocks near Shechem,(A) 13 and Israel(B) said to Joseph, “As you know, your brothers are grazing the flocks near Shechem.(C) Come, I am going to send you to them.”

“Very well,” he replied.

14 So he said to him, “Go and see if all is well with your brothers(D) and with the flocks, and bring word back to me.” Then he sent him off from the Valley of Hebron.(E)

When Joseph arrived at Shechem, 15 a man found him wandering around in the fields and asked him, “What are you looking for?”

16 He replied, “I’m looking for my brothers. Can you tell me where they are grazing their flocks?”

17 “They have moved on from here,” the man answered. “I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.(F)’”

So Joseph went after his brothers and found them near Dothan. 18 But they saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him.(G)

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

21 When Reuben(M) heard this, he tried to rescue him from their hands. “Let’s not take his life,” he said.(N) 22 “Don’t shed any blood. Throw him into this cistern(O) 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.(P)

23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the ornate robe(Q) he was wearing— 24 and they took him and threw him into the cistern.(R) 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(S) coming from Gilead.(T) Their camels were loaded with spices, balm(U) and myrrh,(V) and they were on their way to take them down to Egypt.(W)

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

28 So when the Midianite(AB) merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern(AC) and sold(AD) him for twenty shekels[a] of silver(AE) to the Ishmaelites,(AF) who took him to Egypt.(AG)

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

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