Bible: Gen 37-41
37:2 This is the account of Jacob.
Joseph, his seventeen-year-old son, 3 was taking care of 4 the flocks with his brothers. Now he was a youngster 5 working with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives. 6 Joseph brought back a bad report about them 7 to their father.
37:3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons 8 because he was a son born to him late in life, 9 and he made a special 10 tunic for him. 37:4 When Joseph’s 11 brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, 12 they hated Joseph 13 and were not able to speak to him kindly. 14
37:5 Joseph 15 had a dream, 16 and when he told his brothers about it, 17 they hated him even more. 18 37:6 He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: 19 37:7 There we were, 20 binding sheaves of grain in the middle of the field. Suddenly my sheaf rose up and stood upright and your sheaves surrounded my sheaf and bowed down 21 to it!” 37:8 Then his brothers asked him, “Do you really think you will rule over us or have dominion over us?” 22 They hated him even more 23 because of his dream and because of what he said. 24
37:9 Then he had another dream, 25 and told it to his brothers. “Look,” 26 he said. “I had another dream. The sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” 37:10 When he told his father and his brothers, his father rebuked him, saying, “What is this dream that you had? 27 Will I, your mother, and your brothers really come and bow down to you?” 28 37:11 His brothers were jealous 29 of him, but his father kept in mind what Joseph said. 30
37:12 When his brothers had gone to graze their father’s flocks near Shechem, 37:13 Israel said to Joseph, “Your brothers 31 are grazing the flocks near Shechem. Come, I will send you to them.” “I’m ready,” 32 Joseph replied. 33 37:14 So Jacob 34 said to him, “Go now and check on 35 the welfare 36 of your brothers and of the flocks, and bring me word.” So Jacob 37 sent him from the valley of Hebron.
37:15 When Joseph reached Shechem, 38 a man found him wandering 39 in the field, so the man asked him, “What are you looking for?” 37:16 He replied, “I’m looking for my brothers. Please tell 40 me where they are grazing their flocks.” 37:17 The man said, “They left this area, 41 for I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan.
37:18 Now Joseph’s brothers 42 saw him from a distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him. 37:19 They said to one another, “Here comes this master of dreams! 43 37:20 Come now, let’s kill him, throw him into one of the cisterns, and then say that a wild 44 animal ate him. Then we’ll see how his dreams turn out!” 45
37:21 When Reuben heard this, he rescued Joseph 46 from their hands, 47 saying, 48 “Let’s not take his life!” 49 37:22 Reuben continued, 50 “Don’t shed blood! Throw him into this cistern that is here in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him.” 51 (Reuben said this 52 so he could rescue Joseph 53 from them 54 and take him back to his father.)
37:23 When Joseph reached his brothers, they stripped him 55 of his tunic, the special tunic that he wore. 37:24 Then they took him and threw him into the cistern. (Now the cistern was empty; 56 there was no water in it.)
37:25 When they sat down to eat their food, they looked up 57 and saw 58 a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were carrying spices, balm, and myrrh down to Egypt. 59 37:26 Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is there if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? 37:27 Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites, but let’s not lay a hand on him, 60 for after all, he is our brother, our own flesh.” His brothers agreed. 61 37:28 So when the Midianite 62 merchants passed by, Joseph’s brothers pulled 63 him 64 out of the cistern and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. The Ishmaelites 65 then took Joseph to Egypt.
37:29 Later Reuben returned to the cistern to find that Joseph was not in it! 66 He tore his clothes, 37:30 returned to his brothers, and said, “The boy isn’t there! And I, where can I go?” 37:31 So they took Joseph’s tunic, killed a young goat, 67 and dipped the tunic in the blood. 37:32 Then they brought the special tunic to their father 68 and said, “We found this. Determine now whether it is your son’s tunic or not.”
37:33 He recognized it and exclaimed, “It is my son’s tunic! A wild animal has eaten him! 69 Joseph has surely been torn to pieces!” 37:34 Then Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth, 70 and mourned for his son many days. 37:35 All his sons and daughters stood by 71 him to console him, but he refused to be consoled. “No,” he said, “I will go to the grave mourning my son.” 72 So Joseph’s 73 father wept for him.
Judah and Tamar
38:2 There Judah saw the daughter of a Canaanite man 81 named Shua. 82 Judah acquired her as a wife 83 and had marital relations with her. 84 38:3 She became pregnant 85 and had a son. Judah named 86 him Er. 38:4 She became pregnant again and had another son, whom she named Onan. 38:5 Then she had 87 yet another son, whom she named Shelah. She gave birth to him in Kezib. 88
38:6 Judah acquired 89 a wife for Er his firstborn; her name was Tamar. 38:7 But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was evil in the
38:8 Then Judah said to Onan, “Have sexual relations with 90 your brother’s wife and fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to her so that you may raise 91 up a descendant for your brother.” 92 38:9 But Onan knew that the child 93 would not be considered his. 94 So whenever 95 he had sexual relations with 96 his brother’s wife, he withdrew prematurely 97 so as not to give his brother a descendant. 38:10 What he did was evil in the
38:11 Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Live as a widow in your father’s house until Shelah my son grows up.” For he thought, 99 “I don’t want him to die like his brothers.” 100 So Tamar went and lived in her father’s house.
38:12 After some time 101 Judah’s wife, the daughter of Shua, died. After Judah was consoled, he left for Timnah to visit his sheepshearers, along with 102 his friend Hirah the Adullamite. 38:13 Tamar was told, 103 “Look, your father-in-law is going up 104 to Timnah to shear his sheep.” 38:14 So she removed her widow’s clothes and covered herself with a veil. She wrapped herself and sat at the entrance to Enaim which is on the way to Timnah. (She did this because 105 she saw that she had not been given to Shelah as a wife, even though he had now grown up.) 106
38:15 When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute 107 because she had covered her face. 38:16 He turned aside to her along the road and said, “Come on! I want to have sex with you.” 108 (He did not realize 109 it was his daughter-in-law.) She asked, “What will you give me in exchange for having sex with you?” 110 38:17 He replied, “I’ll send you a young goat from the flock.” She asked, “Will you give me a pledge until you send it?” 111 38:18 He said, “What pledge should I give you?” She replied, “Your seal, your cord, and the staff that’s in your hand.” So he gave them to her and had sex with her. 112 She became pregnant by him. 38:19 She left immediately, 113 removed her veil, and put on her widow’s clothes.
38:20 Then Judah had his friend Hirah 114 the Adullamite take a young goat to get back from the woman the items he had given in pledge, 115 but Hirah 116 could not find her. 38:21 He asked the men who were there, 117 “Where is the cult prostitute 118 who was at Enaim by the road?” But they replied, “There has been no cult prostitute here.” 38:22 So he returned to Judah and said, “I couldn’t find her. Moreover, the men of the place said, ‘There has been no cult prostitute here.’” 38:23 Judah said, “Let her keep the things 119 for herself. Otherwise we will appear to be dishonest. 120 I did indeed send this young goat, but you couldn’t find her.”
38:24 After three months Judah was told, 121 “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has turned to prostitution, 122 and as a result she has become pregnant.” 123 Judah said, “Bring her out and let her be burned!” 38:25 While they were bringing her out, she sent word 124 to her father-in-law: “I am pregnant by the man to whom these belong.” 125 Then she said, “Identify 126 the one to whom the seal, cord, and staff belong.” 38:26 Judah recognized them and said, “She is more upright 127 than I am, because I wouldn’t give her to Shelah my son.” He did not have sexual relations with her 128 again.
38:27 When it was time for her to give birth, there were twins in her womb. 38:28 While she was giving birth, one child 129 put out his hand, and the midwife took a scarlet thread and tied it on his hand, saying, “This one came out first.” 38:29 But then he drew back his hand, and his brother came out before him. 130 She said, “How you have broken out of the womb!” 131 So he was named Perez. 132 38:30 Afterward his brother came out – the one who had the scarlet thread on his hand – and he was named Zerah. 133
Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife
39:1 Now Joseph had been brought down to Egypt. 134 An Egyptian named Potiphar, an official of Pharaoh and the captain of the guard, 135 purchased him from 136 the Ishmaelites who had brought him there. 39:2 The
Now Joseph was well built and good-looking. 153 39:7 Soon after these things, his master’s wife took notice of 154 Joseph and said, “Have sex with me.” 155 39:8 But he refused, saying 156 to his master’s wife, “Look, my master does not give any thought 157 to his household with me here, 158 and everything that he owns he has put into my care. 159 39:9 There is no one greater in this household than I am. He has withheld nothing from me except you because you are his wife. So how could I do 160 such a great evil and sin against God?” 39:10 Even though she continued to speak 161 to Joseph day after day, he did not respond 162 to her invitation to have sex with her. 163
39:11 One day 164 he went into the house to do his work when none of the household servants 165 were there in the house. 39:12 She grabbed him by his outer garment, saying, “Have sex with me!” But he left his outer garment in her hand and ran 166 outside. 167 39:13 When she saw that he had left his outer garment in her hand and had run outside, 39:14 she called for her household servants and said to them, “See, my husband brought 168 in a Hebrew man 169 to us to humiliate us. 170 He tried to have sex with me, 171 but I screamed loudly. 172 39:15 When he heard me raise 173 my voice and scream, he left his outer garment beside me and ran outside.”
39:16 So she laid his outer garment beside her until his master came home. 39:17 This is what she said to him: 174 “That Hebrew slave 175 you brought to us tried to humiliate me, 176 39:18 but when I raised my voice and screamed, he left his outer garment and ran outside.”
39:19 When his master heard his wife say, 177 “This is the way 178 your slave treated me,” 179 he became furious. 180 39:20 Joseph’s master took him and threw him into the prison, 181 the place where the king’s prisoners were confined. So he was there in the prison. 182
39:21 But the
The Cupbearer and the Baker
40:1 After these things happened, the cupbearer 188 to the king of Egypt and the royal baker 189 offended 190 their master, the king of Egypt. 40:2 Pharaoh was enraged with his two officials, 191 the cupbearer and the baker, 40:3 so he imprisoned them in the house of the captain of the guard in the same facility where Joseph was confined. 40:4 The captain of the guard appointed Joseph to be their attendant, and he served them. 192
They spent some time in custody. 193 40:5 Both of them, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison, had a dream 194 the same night. 195 Each man’s dream had its own meaning. 196 40:6 When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were looking depressed. 197 40:7 So he asked Pharaoh’s officials, who were with him in custody in his master’s house, “Why do you look so sad today?” 198 40:8 They told him, “We both had dreams, 199 but there is no one to interpret them.” Joseph responded, “Don’t interpretations belong to God? Tell them 200 to me.”
40:9 So the chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph: 201 “In my dream, there was a vine in front of me. 40:10 On the vine there were three branches. As it budded, its blossoms opened and its clusters ripened into grapes. 40:11 Now Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, so I took the grapes, squeezed them into his 202 cup, and put the cup in Pharaoh’s hand.” 203
40:12 “This is its meaning,” Joseph said to him. “The three branches represent 204 three days. 40:13 In three more days Pharaoh will reinstate you 205 and restore you to your office. You will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand, just as you did before 206 when you were cupbearer. 40:14 But remember me 207 when it goes well for you, and show 208 me kindness. 209 Make mention 210 of me to Pharaoh and bring me out of this prison, 211 40:15 for I really was kidnapped 212 from the land of the Hebrews and I have done nothing wrong here for which they should put me in a dungeon.”
40:16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation of the first dream was favorable, 213 he said to Joseph, “I also appeared in my dream and there were three baskets of white bread 214 on my head. 40:17 In the top basket there were baked goods of every kind for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them from the basket that was on my head.”
40:18 Joseph replied, “This is its meaning: The three baskets represent 215 three days. 40:19 In three more days Pharaoh will decapitate you 216 and impale you on a pole. Then the birds will eat your flesh from you.”
40:20 On the third day it was Pharaoh’s birthday, so he gave a feast for all his servants. He “lifted up” 217 the head of the chief cupbearer and the head of the chief baker in the midst of his servants. 40:21 He restored the chief cupbearer to his former position 218 so that he placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand, 40:22 but the chief baker he impaled, just as Joseph had predicted. 219 40:23 But the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph – he forgot him. 220
Joseph’s Rise to Power
41:1 At the end of two full years 221 Pharaoh had a dream. 222 As he was standing by the Nile, 41:2 seven fine-looking, fat cows were coming up out of the Nile, 223 and they grazed in the reeds. 41:3 Then seven bad-looking, thin cows were coming up after them from the Nile, 224 and they stood beside the other cows at the edge of the river. 225 41:4 The bad-looking, thin cows ate the seven fine-looking, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.
41:5 Then he fell asleep again and had a second dream: There were seven heads of grain growing 226 on one stalk, healthy 227 and good. 41:6 Then 228 seven heads of grain, thin and burned by the east wind, were sprouting up after them. 41:7 The thin heads swallowed up the seven healthy and full heads. Then Pharaoh woke up and realized it was a dream. 229
41:8 In the morning he 230 was troubled, so he called for 231 all the diviner-priests 232 of Egypt and all its wise men. Pharaoh told them his dreams, 233 but no one could interpret 234 them for him. 235 41:9 Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “Today I recall my failures. 236 41:10 Pharaoh was enraged with his servants, and he put me in prison in the house of the captain of the guards – me and the chief baker. 41:11 We each had a dream one night; each of us had a dream with its own meaning. 237 41:12 Now a young man, a Hebrew, a servant 238 of the captain of the guards, 239 was with us there. We told him our dreams, 240 and he interpreted the meaning of each of our respective dreams for us. 241 41:13 It happened just as he had said 242 to us – Pharaoh 243 restored me to my office, but he impaled the baker.” 244
41:14 Then Pharaoh summoned 245 Joseph. So they brought him quickly out of the dungeon; he shaved himself, changed his clothes, and came before Pharaoh. 41:15 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, 246 and there is no one who can interpret 247 it. But I have heard about you, that 248 you can interpret dreams.” 249 41:16 Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “It is not within my power, 250 but God will speak concerning 251 the welfare of Pharaoh.” 252
41:17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing 253 by the edge of the Nile. 41:18 Then seven fat and fine-looking cows were coming up out of the Nile, and they grazed in the reeds. 254 41:19 Then 255 seven other cows came up after them; they were scrawny, very bad-looking, and lean. I had never seen such bad-looking cows 256 as these in all the land of Egypt! 41:20 The lean, bad-looking cows ate up the seven 257 fat cows. 41:21 When they had eaten them, 258 no one would have known 259 that they had done so, for they were just as bad-looking as before. Then I woke up. 41:22 I also saw in my dream 260 seven heads of grain growing on one stalk, full and good. 41:23 Then 261 seven heads of grain, withered and thin and burned with the east wind, were sprouting up after them. 41:24 The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven good heads of grain. So I told all this 262 to the diviner-priests, but no one could tell me its meaning.” 263
41:25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Both dreams of Pharaoh have the same meaning. 264 God has revealed 265 to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 266 41:26 The seven good cows represent seven years, and the seven good heads of grain represent seven years. Both dreams have the same meaning. 267 41:27 The seven lean, bad-looking cows that came up after them represent seven years, as do the seven empty heads of grain burned with the east wind. They represent 268 seven years of famine. 41:28 This is just what I told 269 Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. 41:29 Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the whole land of Egypt. 41:30 But seven years of famine will occur 270 after them, and all the abundance will be forgotten in the land of Egypt. The famine will devastate 271 the land. 41:31 The previous abundance of the land will not be remembered 272 because of the famine that follows, for the famine will be very severe. 273 41:32 The dream was repeated to Pharaoh 274 because the matter has been decreed 275 by God, and God will make it happen soon. 276
41:33 “So now Pharaoh should look 277 for a wise and discerning man 278 and give him authority 279 over all the land of Egypt. 41:34 Pharaoh should do 280 this – he should appoint 281 officials 282 throughout the land to collect one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt 283 during the seven years of abundance. 41:35 They should gather all the excess food 284 during these good years that are coming. By Pharaoh’s authority 285 they should store up grain so the cities will have food, 286 and they should preserve it. 287 41:36 This food should be held in storage for the land in preparation for the seven years of famine that will occur throughout the land of Egypt. In this way the land will survive the famine.” 288
41:37 This advice made sense to Pharaoh and all his officials. 289 41:38 So Pharaoh asked his officials, “Can we find a man like Joseph, 290 one in whom the Spirit of God is present?” 291 41:39 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Because God has enabled you to know all this, there is no one as wise and discerning 292 as you are! 41:40 You will oversee my household, and all my people will submit to your commands. 293 Only I, the king, will be greater than you. 294
41:41 “See here,” Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I place 295 you in authority over all the land of Egypt.” 296 41:42 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his own hand and put it on Joseph’s. He clothed him with fine linen 297 clothes and put a gold chain around his neck. 41:43 Pharaoh 298 had him ride in the chariot used by his second-in-command, 299 and they cried out before him, “Kneel down!” 300 So he placed him over all the land of Egypt. 41:44 Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your permission 301 no one 302 will move his hand or his foot 303 in all the land of Egypt.” 41:45 Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah. 304 He also gave him Asenath 305 daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, 306 to be his wife. So Joseph took charge of 307 all the land of Egypt.
41:46 Now Joseph was 30 years old 308 when he began serving 309 Pharaoh king of Egypt. Joseph was commissioned by 310 Pharaoh and was in charge of 311 all the land of Egypt. 41:47 During the seven years of abundance the land produced large, bountiful harvests. 312 41:48 Joseph 313 collected all the excess food 314 in the land of Egypt during the seven years and stored it in the cities. 315 In every city he put the food gathered from the fields around it. 41:49 Joseph stored up a vast amount of grain, like the sand of the sea, 316 until he stopped measuring it because it was impossible to measure.
41:50 Two sons were born to Joseph before the famine came. 317 Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, was their mother. 318 41:51 Joseph named the firstborn Manasseh, 319 saying, 320 “Certainly 321 God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s house.” 41:52 He named the second child Ephraim, 322 saying, 323 “Certainly 324 God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”
41:53 The seven years of abundance in the land of Egypt came to an end. 41:54 Then the seven years of famine began, 325 just as Joseph had predicted. There was famine in all the other lands, but throughout the land of Egypt there was food. 41:55 When all the land of Egypt experienced the famine, the people cried out to Pharaoh for food. Pharaoh said to all the people of Egypt, 326 “Go to Joseph and do whatever he tells you.”
41:56 While the famine was over all the earth, 327 Joseph opened the storehouses 328 and sold grain to the Egyptians. The famine was severe throughout the land of Egypt. 41:57 People from every country 329 came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain because the famine was severe throughout the earth.