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Genesis 37 :: New Living Translation (NLT)

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Joseph’s Dreams
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 37:1 - So Jacob settled again in the land of Canaan, where his father had lived as a foreigner.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 37:2 - This is the account of Jacob and his family. When Joseph was seventeen years old, he often tended his father’s flocks. He worked for his half brothers, the sons of his father’s wives Bilhah and Zilpah. But Joseph reported to his father some of the bad things his brothers were doing.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 37:3 - Jacob[fn] loved Joseph more than any of his other children because Joseph had been born to him in his old age. So one day Jacob had a special gift made for Joseph—a beautiful robe.[fn]
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 37:4 - But his brothers hated Joseph because their father loved him more than the rest of them. They couldn’t say a kind word to him.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 37:5 - One night Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers about it, they hated him more than ever.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 37:6 - “Listen to this dream,” he said.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 37:7 - “We were out in the field, tying up bundles of grain. Suddenly my bundle stood up, and your bundles all gathered around and bowed low before mine!”
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 37:8 - His brothers responded, “So you think you will be our king, do you? Do you actually think you will reign over us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dreams and the way he talked about them.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 37:9 - Soon Joseph had another dream, and again he told his brothers about it. “Listen, I have had another dream,” he said. “The sun, moon, and eleven stars bowed low before me!”
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 37:10 - This time he told the dream to his father as well as to his brothers, but his father scolded him. “What kind of dream is that?” he asked. “Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow to the ground before you?”
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 37:11 - But while his brothers were jealous of Joseph, his father wondered what the dreams meant.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 37:12 - Soon after this, Joseph’s brothers went to pasture their father’s flocks at Shechem.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 37:13 - When they had been gone for some time, Jacob said to Joseph, “Your brothers are pasturing the sheep at Shechem. Get ready, and I will send you to them.”
“I’m ready to go,” Joseph replied.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 37:14 - “Go and see how your brothers and the flocks are getting along,” Jacob said. “Then come back and bring me a report.” So Jacob sent him on his way, and Joseph traveled to Shechem from their home in the valley of Hebron.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 37:15 - When he arrived there, a man from the area noticed him wandering around the countryside. “What are you looking for?” he asked.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 37:16 - “I’m looking for my brothers,” Joseph replied. “Do you know where they are pasturing their sheep?”
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 37:17 - “Yes,” the man told him. “They have moved on from here, but I heard them say, ‘Let’s go on to Dothan.’” So Joseph followed his brothers to Dothan and found them there.
Joseph Sold into Slavery
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 37:18 - When Joseph’s brothers saw him coming, they recognized him in the distance. As he approached, they made plans to kill him.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 37:19 - “Here comes the dreamer!” they said.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 37:20 - “Come on, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns. We can tell our father, ‘A wild animal has eaten him.’ Then we’ll see what becomes of his dreams!”
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 37:21 - But when Reuben heard of their scheme, he came to Joseph’s rescue. “Let’s not kill him,” he said.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 37:22 - “Why should we shed any blood? Let’s just throw him into this empty cistern here in the wilderness. Then he’ll die without our laying a hand on him.” Reuben was secretly planning to rescue Joseph and return him to his father.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 37:23 - So when Joseph arrived, his brothers ripped off the beautiful robe he was wearing.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 37:24 - Then they grabbed him and threw him into the cistern. Now the cistern was empty; there was no water in it.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 37:25 - Then, just as they were sitting down to eat, they looked up and saw a caravan of camels in the distance coming toward them. It was a group of Ishmaelite traders taking a load of gum, balm, and aromatic resin from Gilead down to Egypt.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 37:26 - Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain by killing our brother? We’d have to cover up the crime.[fn]
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 37:27 - Instead of hurting him, let’s sell him to those Ishmaelite traders. After all, he is our brother—our own flesh and blood!” And his brothers agreed.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 37:28 - So when the Ishmaelites, who were Midianite traders, came by, Joseph’s brothers pulled him out of the cistern and sold him to them for twenty pieces[fn] of silver. And the traders took him to Egypt.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 37:29 - Some time later, Reuben returned to get Joseph out of the cistern. When he discovered that Joseph was missing, he tore his clothes in grief.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 37:30 - Then he went back to his brothers and lamented, “The boy is gone! What will I do now?”
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 37:31 - Then the brothers killed a young goat and dipped Joseph’s robe in its blood.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 37:32 - They sent the beautiful robe to their father with this message: “Look at what we found. Doesn’t this robe belong to your son?”
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 37:33 - Their father recognized it immediately. “Yes,” he said, “it is my son’s robe. A wild animal must have eaten him. Joseph has clearly been torn to pieces!”
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 37:34 - Then Jacob tore his clothes and dressed himself in burlap. He mourned deeply for his son for a long time.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 37:35 - His family all tried to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “I will go to my grave[fn] mourning for my son,” he would say, and then he would weep.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 37:36 - Meanwhile, the Midianite traders[fn] arrived in Egypt, where they sold Joseph to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. Potiphar was captain of the palace guard.
NLT Footnotes
Hebrew Israel; also in 37:13. See note on 35:21.
Traditionally rendered a coat of many colors. The exact meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
Hebrew cover his blood.
Hebrew 20 shekels, about 8 ounces or 228 grams in weight.
Hebrew go down to Sheol.
Hebrew the Medanites. The relationship between the Midianites and Medanites is unclear; compare 37:28. See also 25:2.

Holy Bible, New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Full copyright information is provided here. Visit the New Living Translation website.

For more information on this translation, see the NLT Preface.

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