ESV — Genesis 37; Genesis 45

Joseph's Dreams

37 Jacob lived in gthe land of his father's sojournings, in the land of Canaan.

These are the generations of Jacob.

Joseph, being seventeen years old, was pasturing the flock with his brothers. He was a boy with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father's wives. And Joseph brought ha bad report of them to their father. Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his sons, because he was ithe son of his old age. And he made him ja robe of many colors.1 But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peacefully to him.

Now Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers they hated him even more. He said to them, “Hear this dream that I have dreamed: Behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and behold, kmy sheaf arose and stood upright. And behold, your sheaves gathered around it and lbowed down to my sheaf.” His brothers said to him, “Are you indeed to reign over us? Or are you indeed to rule over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.

Then he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers and said, “Behold, I have dreamed another dream. Behold, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” 10 But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall I and myour mother and your brothers indeed come nto bow ourselves to the ground before you?” 11 And ohis brothers were jealous of him, pbut his father kept the saying in mind.

Joseph Sold by His Brothers

12 Now his brothers went to pasture their father's flock near qShechem. 13 And Israel said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers pasturing the flock at Shechem? Come, I will send you to them.” And he said to him, “Here I am.” 14 So he said to him, “Go now, see if it is well with your brothers and with the flock, and bring me word.” So he sent him from the Valley of rHebron, and he came to Shechem. 15 And a man found him wandering in the fields. And the man asked him, “What are you seeking?” 16 “I am seeking my brothers,” he said. “Tell me, please, where they are pasturing the flock.” 17 And the man said, “They have gone away, for I heard them say, ‘Let us go to sDothan.’” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at sDothan.

18 They saw him from afar, and before he came near to them tthey conspired against him to kill him. 19 They said to one another, “Here comes this dreamer. 20 Come now, ulet us kill him and throw him into one of the pits.2 Then we will say that a fierce animal has devoured him, and we will see what will become of his dreams.” 21 But when vReuben heard it, he rescued him out of their hands, saying, “Let us not take his life.” 22 And Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood; throw him into this pit here in the wilderness, but do not lay a hand on him”—wthat he might rescue him out of their hand to restore him to his father. 23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, xthe robe of many colors that he wore. 24 And they took him and ythrew him into a pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it.

25 Then they sat down to eat. And looking up they saw a zcaravan of aIshmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels bearing bgum, balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry it down to Egypt. 26 Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is it cif we kill our brother and conceal his blood? 27 Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and dlet not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And his brothers listened to him. 28 Then eMidianite traders passed by. And they drew Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and fsold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels3 of silver. They took Joseph to Egypt.

29 When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not in the pit, he gtore his clothes 30 and returned to his brothers and said, “The boy his gone, and I, where shall I go?” 31 Then they took iJoseph's robe and slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood. 32 And they sent the robe of many colors and brought it to their father and said, “This we have found; please identify whether it is your son's robe or not.” 33 And he identified it and said, “It is my son's robe. jA fierce animal has devoured him. Joseph is without doubt torn to pieces.” 34 Then Jacob tore his garments and put sackcloth on his loins and mourned for his son many days. 35 All his sons and all his daughters krose up to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted and said, “No, lI shall go down to Sheol to my son, mourning.” Thus his father wept for him. 36 Meanwhile mthe Midianites had sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, nthe captain of the guard.


[1] 37:3 See Septuagint, Vulgate; or (with Syriac) a robe with long sleeves. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain; also verses 23, 32
[2] 37:20 Or cisterns; also verses 22, 24
[3] 37:28 A shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams

Joseph Provides for His Brothers and Family

45 Then Joseph could not pcontrol himself before all those who stood by him. He cried, “Make everyone go out from me.” So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. And he wept aloud, so that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it. And Joseph said to his brothers, q“I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed at his presence.

So Joseph said to his brothers, “Come near to me, please.” And they came near. And he said, “I am your brother, Joseph, rwhom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, sfor God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are tyet five years in which there will be neither uplowing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and vruler over all the land of Egypt. Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; do not tarry. 10 wYou shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children's children, and your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. 11 xThere I will provide for you, for there are yet five years of famine to come, so that you and your household, and all that you have, do not come to poverty.’ 12 And now your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see, that it is ymy mouth that speaks to you. 13 You must tell my father of all my honor in Egypt, and of all that you have seen. Hurry and zbring my father down here.” 14 Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck and wept, and Benjamin wept upon his neck. 15 And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them. After that his brothers talked with him.

16 When the report was heard in Pharaoh's house, “Joseph's brothers have come,” it pleased Pharaoh and his servants. 17 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Say to your brothers, ‘Do this: load your beasts and go back to the land of Canaan, 18 and take your father and your households, and come to me, and aI will give you the best of the land of Egypt, and you shall eat the fat of the land.’ 19 And you, Joseph, are commanded to say, ‘Do this: take bwagons from the land of Egypt for your little ones and for your wives, and bring your father, and come. 20 Have no concern for1 your goods, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.’”

21 The sons of Israel did so: and Joseph gave them bwagons, according to the command of Pharaoh, and gave them provisions for the journey. 22 To each and all of them he gave ca change of clothes, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred shekels2 of silver and dfive changes of clothes. 23 To his father he sent as follows: ten donkeys loaded with the good things of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain, bread, and provision for his father on the journey. 24 Then he sent his brothers away, and as they departed, he said to them, e“Do not quarrel on the way.”

25 So they went up out of Egypt and came to the land of Canaan to their father Jacob. 26 And they told him, “Joseph is still alive, and he is ruler over all the land of Egypt.” And his heart became numb, for he did not believe them. 27 But when they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said to them, and when he saw fthe wagons that Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of their father Jacob revived. 28 And Israel said, “It is enough; Joseph my son is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.”


[1] 45:20 Hebrew Let your eye not pity
[2] 45:22 A shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams