The First Book of Moses, Called Genesis

Chapter 37

Joseph is loved by Jacob, but hated by his brothers, 1-4. His two dreams, 5-11. Jacob sends him to visit his brothers, 12-17. His brothers conspire his death, 18-20. Reuben saves him, 21-24. They sell him to the Ishmaelites, 25-30. His father, deceived by the coat covered with blood, mourns for him, 31-35. He is sold to Potiphar in Egypt, 36.

1 And Jacob dwelt in the land in which his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan. 2 These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph being seventeen years old was feeding the flock with his brothers, and the boy was with the sons of Bilhah and with the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives. And Joseph brought to his father their evil report. 3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children because he was the son of his old age. And he made him a coat of many colors. 4 And when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him.

5 And Joseph dreamed a dream and he told it to his brothers, and they hated him yet the more. 6 And he said to them, "Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed. 7 For behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright, and behold, your sheaves stood around and made obeisance to my sheaf." 8 And his brothers said to him, "Shall you indeed reign over us? Or shall you indeed have dominion over us?" And they hated him yet the more for his dreams and for his words.

9 And he dreamed yet another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, "Behold, I have dreamed a dream again, and behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me." 10 And he told it to his father and to his brothers. And his father rebuked him and said to him, "What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow down ourselves to you to the earth?" 11 And his brothers envied him, but his father observed the saying.

12 And his brothers went to feed their father's flock in Shechem. 13 And Israel said to Joseph, "Do your brothers not feed the flock in Shechem? Come, and I will send you to them." And he said to him, "Here I am." 14 And he said to him, "Go, I pray you, see whether it is well with your brothers and well with the flocks, and bring me word again." So he sent him from the valley of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.

15 And a certain man found him, and behold, he was wandering in the field. And the man asked him, saying, "What do you seek?" 16 And he said, "I seek my brothers. Tell me, I pray you, where they feed their flocks." 17 And the man said, "They have departed from here, for I heard them say, 'Let us go to Dothan.'" And Joseph went after his brothers and found them in Dothan.

18 And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near to them, they conspired against him to slay him. 19 And they said to one another, "Behold, this dreamer is coming. 20 Come now therefore, and let us slay him and cast him into some pit. And we will say, 'Some evil beast has devoured him.' Then we shall see what will become of his dreams." 21 And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him from their hands and said, "Let us not kill him." 22 And Reuben said to them, "Shed no blood. Cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness and lay no hand upon him," so that he might deliver him from their hands to bring him back to his father. 23 And it came to pass when Joseph had come to his brothers, that they stripped Joseph of his coat, his coat of many colors that was on him. 24 And they took him and cast him into a pit. And the pit was empty. There was no water in it.

25 And they sat down to eat bread. And they lifted up their eyes and looked, and behold, a company of Ishmaelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spices, balm, and myrrh, going to carry them down to Egypt. 26 And Judah said to his brothers, "What profit is it if we slay our brother and conceal his blood. 27 Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and do not let our hand be upon him, for he is our brother, our flesh." And his brothers were content. 28 Then there passed by Midianites, merchants, and they drew and lifted Joseph out of the pit and sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. And they brought Joseph into Egypt.

29 And Reuben returned to the pit, and behold, Joseph was not in the pit. And he rent his clothes. 30 And he returned to his brothers and said, "The child is not there. And I, where shall I go?" 31 And they took Joseph's coat, killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood. 32 And they sent the coat of many colors and brought it to their father and said, "This we have found. Know now whether it is your son's coat or not." 33 And he knew it and said, "It is my son's coat. An evil beast has devoured him. Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces." 34 And Jacob rent his clothes, put sackcloth on his loins, and mourned for his son many days. 35 And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted, and he said, "For I will go down into the grave to my son mourning." Thus his father wept for him. 36 And the Midianites sold him into Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and captain of the guard.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Genesis, Chapter 37[➚]