37- Joseph

Genesis 37

Favorite (vs 1-4)

Jacob dwelt in the land in which his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan.

We just read in Chapter 36 that Esau separated himself from Jacob because the land could not support all their flocks and herds. Esau moved out of the land of Canaan to mount Seir.

When Joseph was seventeen years, he was feeding the flock with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives. Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.

Israel (Jacob) loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. Israel made Joseph a coat of many colors. When his brothers saw that their father loved Joseph more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him.

Remember in Genesis 35:10, God said to Jacob, Your name shall not be called Jacob any more, but Israel shall be your name.

Dreams (vs 5-11)

Joseph dreamed a dream.

Joseph (to his brother): Hear this dream which I have dreamed: We were binding sheaves in the field. My sheaf stood upright, and your sheaves stood round about and bowed to my sheaf.

Joseph’s brothers: Shall you reign over us? Shall you have dominion over us?

And they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.

Joseph dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers.

Joseph: I have dreamed another dream. The sun and the moon and eleven stars bowed to me.

Joseph told the dream to his father also. His father rebuked him.

Israel: What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall I and your mother and your brothers come to bow down ourselves to you to the earth?

Joseph’s brothers envied him; but his father kept his words in mind.

Sold By Brothers (vs 12-30)

Joseph’s brothers went to feed their father’s flock in Shechem.

Israel (to Joseph): Aren’t your brothers feeding the flock in Shechem? Go to them and see whether it is well with them and well with the flocks, and bring me word again.

Joseph went out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem. He was wandering in the field, and a certain man found him.

The man: What do you seek?

Joseph: I seek my brothers. Tell me where they feed their flocks.

The man: They left. I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan.

Joseph went after his brothers and found them in Dothan.

When they saw him afar off, even before he came near to them, they conspired against him.

The brothers (one to another): The dreamer comes. Let’s kill him and cast him into some pit. We will say, Some evil beast has devoured him. And we shall see what will become of his dreams.

Reuben heard it, and he planned to deliveredJoseph out of their hands.

Reuben: Let’s not kill him. Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him.

Reuben said these things that he might rescue Joseph and deliver him safely to their father.

When Joseph was come to his brothers, they stripped him out of his coat of many colors that he wore. Then they took him and cast him into a pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it.

While they sat down to eat bread, they looked up and saw a company of Ishmaelites. They came from Gilead with their camels carrying spices and balm and myrrh down to Egypt.

Judah (to his brothers): What profit is it if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? Let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh.

His brothers listened and agreed. As the Midianites merchantmen passed by, they lifted Joseph out of the pit. They sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. The Ishmaelites took Joseph into Egypt.

Reuben returned to the pit; and Joseph was not in it. He tore his clothes in grief.

Reuben (to his brothers): The child is not there. Where shall I go?

Brothers Deceived Jacob (vs 31-36)

The sons of Israel killed a kid of the goats and dipped Joseph’s coat in the blood. They took the coat of many colors to their father.

The sons of Israel (to their father): We have found this garment. Is it your son’s coat or not?

Jacob recognized the coat.

Jacob: It is my son’s coat. An evil beast has devoured him; Joseph is without a doubt rent in pieces.

Jacob tore his clothes and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days. All his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted.

Jacob: I will go down into the grave to my son mourning.

His father wept for him.

The Midianites sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh’s, and captain of the guard.


Jacob had deceived his father in Genesis 27, and now his sons deceive him. We reap what we sow. But we reap more than we sow. Jacob was deceived three times.

By Laban when he gave Leah to Jacob instead of Rachel. (Genesis 29:25)

By Laban regarding his wages. (Genesis 31:7)

By his sons when they sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites. They brought Joseph’s coat covered in blood and allowed Jacob to think his favorite son had been killed by a wild beast. (Genesis 37)

Each of these deceptions brought sorrow into Jacob’s life.


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