Genesis 37:1-28; 50:15-21 Reading the Passage

God’s Character-Shaping Work – Genesis 37:1-28; 50:15-21

Genesis 37:1-28

37 Jacob settled in the land where his father had been a sojourner, namely, the land of Canaan. (2) This is the account of Jacob’s family. Joseph, who was seventeen years old at the time, was feeding the flock with his brothers. He was just a young lad with the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives. Now Joseph brought the report concerning their bad conduct to their father. (3) Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because Joseph was the son born to him in his old age; so he made for him a multi-colored robe. (4) Joseph’s brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers; so they hated him and could not speak peaceably with him.

(5) Now Joseph had a dream, and he told it to his brothers. Then they hated him all the more. (6) He said to them, I beg you, listen to this dream that I dreamed: (7) we were binding sheaves of grain out in the field, and my sheaf rose up and stood upright. Your sheaves came and bowed down to my sheaf. (8) His brothers said to him, Shall you, indeed, reign over us? Or shall you, indeed, have dominion over us? So they hated him all the more because of his dreams and because of his words.

(9) Joseph had still another dream, and he reported it to his brothers. Listen, I have had another dream. In this dream the sun and the moon and eleven stars bowed down to me. (10) He also told it to his father as well as to his brothers. His father rebuked him, and said to him, What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall I and your mother and brothers indeed come and bow down to the ground before you? (11) So his brothers envied him; but his father kept the thing in mind.

(12) His brothers went to graze their father’s flock near Shechem. (13) Israel said to Joseph, Are not your brothers grazing the flock near Shechem? Come, and I will send you to them. And he said to him, Here I am. (14) And he said to him, Go now, see if all is well with your brothers and with the flock; then report back to me again. So he sent him off from the valley of Hebron and he came to Shechem. (15) A certain man found him there, wandering in the field; so the man asked him, For whom are you looking? (16) And he said, I am looking for my brothers; please tell me where they are grazing the flock. (17) And the man said, They have moved on from here; I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. So Joseph went after his brothers and found them near Dothan. (18) They saw him from a distance. Before he came near to them, they plotted against him to kill him. (19) They said to each other, Look, here comes that dreamer. (20) Come, let us kill him and throw his body into one of these cisterns. We will say, A wild animal has devoured him; then we shall see what becomes of his dreams.

(21) When Reuben learned about their plot, he tried to deliver Joseph out of their hand. He said to his brothers, Let us not take his life. (22) Do not shed any blood. Throw him into this cistern here in the wilderness, but do not lay your hands on him. He said this so that he might deliver Joseph out of their hand and restore him to his father.

(23) When Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the multi-colored robe that he was wearing. (24) Then they took him and threw him into the cistern. Now 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 coming from Gilead. Their camels were loaded with spices, balm and myrrh; they were carrying their cargo down to Egypt. (26) Judah said to his brothers, What profit is there if we kill our brother and cover up our crime? (27) Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let us not lay our hands on him; for he is our brother, our own flesh. His brothers agreed with him. (28) So when some Midianite merchants passed by, the brothers pulled him out of the cistern and sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. They brought Joseph to Egypt.

Genesis 50:15-21

50 (15) When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, It may be that Joseph will hate us, and will fully repay us for all the evil we did to him. (16) So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, Before he died, your father gave this command, (17) This is what you are to say to Joseph, I ask you now, please forgive your brothers’ transgression and sin in doing you wrong. Now, we beg you, forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father. Joseph wept when they spoke to him. (18) His brothers also came and fell down before his face; and they said, Look, we are your servants. (19) And Joseph said to them, Fear not; for am I in the place of God? (20) As for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, to accomplish what is now being done, namely, the saving of many lives. (21) Now, therefore, do not be afraid. I will take care of you and your little ones. So he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.

Now proceed to the next section of this study, entitled, Exploring the Passage.