Bible: Genesis 37

Joseph’s Dreams

37:1 But Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, 1  in the land of Canaan. 2 

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.

37:36 Now 74  in Egypt the Midianites 75  sold Joseph 76  to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard. 77 

NET Bible Study Environment