New International Version
2 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.
3 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) 4 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.
5 Joseph had a dream,(P) and when he told it to his brothers,(Q) they hated him all the more.(R) 6 He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: 7 We were binding sheaves(S) of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.”(T)
10 When he told his father as well as his brothers,(Z) his father rebuked(AA) him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?”(AB) 11 His brothers were jealous of him,(AC) but his father kept the matter in mind.(AD)
Joseph Sold by His Brothers
12 Now his brothers had gone to graze their father’s flocks near Shechem,(AE) 13 and Israel(AF) said to Joseph, “As you know, your brothers are grazing the flocks near Shechem.(AG) Come, I am going to send you to them.”
“Very well,” he replied.
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.(AJ)’”
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.(AK)
19 “Here comes that dreamer!(AL)” they said to each other. 20 “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns(AM) and say that a ferocious animal(AN) devoured him.(AO) Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.”(AP)
21 When Reuben(AQ) heard this, he tried to rescue him from their hands. “Let’s not take his life,” he said.(AR) 22 “Don’t shed any blood. Throw him into this cistern(AS) 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.(AT)
23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the ornate robe(AU) he was wearing— 24 and they took him and threw him into the cistern.(AV) 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(AW) coming from Gilead.(AX) Their camels were loaded with spices, balm(AY) and myrrh,(AZ) and they were on their way to take them down to Egypt.(BA)
26 Judah(BB) said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood?(BC) 27 Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother,(BD) our own flesh and blood.(BE)” His brothers agreed.
28 So when the Midianite(BF) merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern(BG) and sold(BH) him for twenty shekels[b] of silver(BI) to the Ishmaelites,(BJ) who took him to Egypt.(BK)
31 Then they got Joseph’s robe,(BN) slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood.(BO) 32 They took the ornate robe(BP) back to their father and said, “We found this. Examine it to see whether it is your son’s robe.”
34 Then Jacob tore his clothes,(BS) put on sackcloth(BT) and mourned for his son many days.(BU) 35 All his sons and daughters came to comfort him,(BV) but he refused to be comforted.(BW) “No,” he said, “I will continue to mourn until I join my son(BX) in the grave.(BY)” So his father wept for him.
Judah and Tamar
38 At that time, Judah(CC) left his brothers and went down to stay with a man of Adullam(CD) named Hirah.(CE) 2 There Judah met the daughter of a Canaanite man named Shua.(CF) He married her and made love to her; 3 she became pregnant and gave birth to a son, who was named Er.(CG) 4 She conceived again and gave birth to a son and named him Onan.(CH) 5 She gave birth to still another son and named him Shelah.(CI) It was at Kezib that she gave birth to him.
8 Then Judah said to Onan, “Sleep with your brother’s wife and fulfill your duty to her as a brother-in-law to raise up offspring for your brother.”(CM) 9 But Onan knew that the child would not be his; so whenever he slept with his brother’s wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from providing offspring for his brother. 10 What he did was wicked in the Lord’s sight; so the Lord put him to death also.(CN)
11 Judah then said to his daughter-in-law(CO) Tamar,(CP) “Live as a widow in your father’s household(CQ) until my son Shelah(CR) grows up.”(CS) For he thought, “He may die too, just like his brothers.” So Tamar went to live in her father’s household.
12 After a long time Judah’s wife, the daughter of Shua,(CT) died. When Judah had recovered from his grief, he went up to Timnah,(CU) to the men who were shearing his sheep,(CV) and his friend Hirah the Adullamite(CW) went with him.
13 When Tamar(CX) was told, “Your father-in-law is on his way to Timnah to shear his sheep,”(CY) 14 she took off her widow’s clothes,(CZ) covered herself with a veil(DA) to disguise herself, and then sat down(DB) at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah.(DC) For she saw that, though Shelah(DD) had now grown up, she had not been given to him as his wife.
15 When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute,(DE) for she had covered her face. 16 Not realizing(DF) that she was his daughter-in-law,(DG) he went over to her by the roadside and said, “Come now, let me sleep with you.”(DH)
“And what will you give me to sleep with you?”(DI) she asked.
17 “I’ll send you a young goat(DJ) from my flock,” he said.
“Will you give me something as a pledge(DK) until you send it?” she asked.
18 He said, “What pledge should I give you?”
“Your seal(DL) and its cord, and the staff(DM) in your hand,” she answered. So he gave them to her and slept with her, and she became pregnant by him.(DN) 19 After she left, she took off her veil and put on her widow’s clothes(DO) again.
20 Meanwhile Judah sent the young goat by his friend the Adullamite(DP) in order to get his pledge(DQ) back from the woman, but he did not find her. 21 He asked the men who lived there, “Where is the shrine prostitute(DR) who was beside the road at Enaim?”
“There hasn’t been any shrine prostitute here,” they said.
22 So he went back to Judah and said, “I didn’t find her. Besides, the men who lived there said, ‘There hasn’t been any shrine prostitute here.’”
24 About three months later Judah was told, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar is guilty of prostitution, and as a result she is now pregnant.”
Judah said, “Bring her out and have her burned to death!”(DU)
25 As she was being brought out, she sent a message to her father-in-law. “I am pregnant by the man who owns these,” she said. And she added, “See if you recognize whose seal and cord and staff these are.”(DV)
27 When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb.(DY) 28 As she was giving birth, one of them put out his hand; so the midwife(DZ) took a scarlet thread and tied it on his wrist(EA) and said, “This one came out first.” 29 But when he drew back his hand, his brother came out,(EB) and she said, “So this is how you have broken out!” And he was named Perez.[d](EC) 30 Then his brother, who had the scarlet thread on his wrist,(ED) came out. And he was named Zerah.[e](EE)
- Genesis 37:3 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain; also in verses 23 and 32.
- Genesis 37:28 That is, about 8 ounces or about 230 grams
- Genesis 37:36 Samaritan Pentateuch, Septuagint, Vulgate and Syriac (see also verse 28); Masoretic Text Medanites
- Genesis 38:29 Perez means breaking out.
- Genesis 38:30 Zerah can mean scarlet or brightness.