| 1 ¶ And Jacob
dwelt in the land wherein 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 brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives: and Joseph brought unto 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 colours.
4 And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.
- Jacob dwelt in the land He was inheriting the land of promise.
2 - These are the generations Here begins the accounts of Jacob's family during the time he was patriarch.
2 - Sons of Bilhah and These were closer to his age.
3 - Coat of many colors A painting found on a tomb wall in Egypt dating from the time of Abraham shows a chief with a colorful tunic, but it seems more likely that the word passim here translated "of many colors" may rather indicate extremities or hands and feet. This leads us to see a long tunic with long sleeves – a garment for a person not doing manual work. Joseph's brothers would have seen this as indication that Jacob planned to pass them by and give the birthright to him. See how the word is used for David's daughter 2sa1318. The garment was a sign of purity, of living the beauty of holiness 2ch2021, ps02902. Being holy does not mean ceasing to be practical, however lu5151, mr0603. Joseph no doubt wore ordinary clothes in carrying out his home responsibilities. That is unless his father had neglected to expect him to be practical.
¶ And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they
hated him yet the more.
6 And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed:
7 For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.
8 And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.
|7 - Sheaves in the field Indication that Jacob farmed as well as raising animals. So had Isaac ge2612.|
And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold,
I have dreamed a dream more; 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 brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?
11 And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.
|Another dream Some have doubted that the second dream was divinely inspired. Joseph's mother, Rachel, died before the family moved to Egypt ge4807, ge3519. Jacob mentioned burying Leah before he died but we don't know when ge4931. She was apparently living at the time of the dream and could have been considered a mother to Joseph.|
¶ And his brethren went to feed their father’s flock in Shechem.
13 And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? come, and I will send thee unto them. And he said to him, Here am I.
.14 And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale 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 seekest thou?
16 And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks.
.17 And the man said, They are departed hence; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan.
|17 - Dothan A fertile area on the great caravan road, 12 miles (19 km) north of Samaria. The area has retained its name. See Mt. Carmel map. Or more detail on Central Palestine map.|
| 18 And when
they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired
against him to slay him.
19 And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh.
.20 Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.
21 And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him.
22 And Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him; that he might rid him out of their hands, to deliver him to his father again.
- Let us slay him - This crime would have been easier because
Simeon and Levi had killed all the men of Shechem ge3425.
20 - Pit It would have been a cistern.
20 - Wild beast There were many in the area in the second millennium BC jg1405, 1sa1434.
22 - Out of their hands He may have realized that they would overpower any action while they were present.
23 ¶ And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren,
that they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours 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 Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt.
.26 And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood?
27 Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.
28 Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.
.29 And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes.
.30 And he returned unto his brethren, and said, The child is not; and I, whither shall I go?
25 - Sat down to eat While Joseph plead for release ge4221
28 - Midianites ... Ishmeelites Perhaps men from both groups were present.
28 - Twenty pieces This was wholesale. The selling price was likely 30 pieces ex2132.
Image from ASB, public domain.
¶ And they took Joseph’s coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and
dipped the coat in the blood;
32 And they sent the coat of many colours, and they brought it to their father; and said, This have we found: know now whether it be thy son’s coat or no.
33 And he knew it, and said, It is my son’s coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.
.34 And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon 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 unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him.
36 And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh’s, and captain of the guard.
|31 - Took Joseph's coat It would have been an outer garment covering a simpler one as shown in the illustration.|