Now Jacob was settled in the land where his father had sojourned, the land of Canaan.
This, then, is the line of Jacob:
At seventeen years of age, Joseph tended the flocks with his brothers, as a helper to the sons of his father’s wives Bilhah and Zilpah. And Joseph brought bad reports of them to their father.
Now Israel loved Joseph best of all his sons, for he was the child of his old age; and he had made him an ornamented tunic.aOr “a coat of many colors”; meaning of Heb. uncertain.
And when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of his brothers, they hated him so that they could not speak a friendly word to him.
Once Joseph had a dream which he told to his brothers; and they hated him even more.
He said to them, “Hear this dream which I have dreamed:
There we were binding sheaves in the field, when suddenly my sheaf stood up and remained upright; then your sheaves gathered around and bowed low to my sheaf.”
His brothers answered, “Do you mean to reign over us? Do you mean to rule over us?” And they hated him even more for his talk about his dreams.
He dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers, saying, “Look, I have had another dream: And this time, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”
And when he told it to his father and brothers, his father berated him. “What,” he said to him, “is this dream you have dreamed? Are we to come, I and your mother and your brothers, and bow low to you to the ground?”
So his brothers were wrought up at him, and his father kept the matter in mind.
One time, when his brothers had gone to pasture their father’s flock at Shechem,
Israel said to Joseph, “Your brothers are pasturing at Shechem. Come, I will send you to them.” He answered, “I am ready.”
And he said to him, “Go and see how your brothers are and how the flocks are faring, and bring me back word.” So he sent him from the valley of Hebron.
When he reached Shechem,
a man came upon him wandering in the fields. The man asked him, “What are you looking for?”
He answered, “I am looking for my brothers. Could you tell me where they are pasturing?”
The man said, “They have gone from here, for I heard them say: Let us go to Dothan.” So Joseph followed his brothers and found them at Dothan.
They saw him from afar, and before he came close to them they conspired to kill him.
They said to one another, “Here comes that dreamer!
Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits; and we can say, ‘A savage beast devoured him.’ We shall see what comes of his dreams!”
But when Reuben heard it, he tried to save him from them. He said, “Let us not take his life.”
And Reuben went on, “Shed no blood! Cast him into that pit out in the wilderness, but do not touch him yourselves”—intending to save him from them and restore him to his father.
When Joseph came up to his brothers, they stripped Joseph of his tunic, the ornamented tunic that he was wearing,
and took him and cast him into the pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it.
Then they sat down to a meal. Looking up, they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, their camels bearing gum, balm, and ladanum to be taken to Egypt.
Then Judah said to his brothers, “What do we gain by killing our brother and covering up his blood?
Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, but let us not do away with him ourselves. After all, he is our brother, our own flesh.” His brothers agreed.
When Midianite traders passed by, they pulled Joseph up out of the pit. They sold Joseph for twenty pieces of silver to the Ishmaelites, who brought Joseph to Egypt.
When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not in the pit, he rent his clothes.
Returning to his brothers, he said, “The boy is gone! Now, what am I to do?”
Then they took Joseph’s tunic, slaughtered a kid, and dipped the tunic in the blood.
They had the ornamented tunic taken to their father, and they said, “We found this. Please examine it; is it your son’s tunic or not?”
He recognized it, and said, “My son’s tunic! A savage beast devoured him! Joseph was torn by a beast!”
Jacob rent his clothes, put sackcloth on his loins, and observed mourning for his son many days.
All his sons and daughters sought to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted, saying, “No, I will go down mourning to my son in Sheol.” Thus his father bewailed him.
The Midianites,bHeb. “Medanites.” meanwhile, sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, a courtier of Pharaoh and his chief steward.