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Jehovah’s Witnesses


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Genesis 37:1-36

37  And Jacob lived in Canaan, his father’s adopted country. 2  This is Jacob’s line. Joseph, at the age of seventeen years, was helping his brothers about tending the sheep, as a boy with the sons of his father’s wives Bilhah and Zilpah; and Joseph tattled to his father about their faults. 3  And Israel loved Joseph most of all his sons, because he was a son born in his old age; and he made him a long tunic with sleeves. 4**  And his brothers saw that he was the one his father loved most of all his sons, and they hated him and could not speak a friendly word to him. 5*  And Joseph had a dream, and told his brothers of it, 6  and said to them “Listen to this dream I had: 7  we were binding sheaves out in the field, and my sheaf went and got up and stood erect, and yours came round it and did reverence to mine.” 8  And his brothers said to him “Are you to be king over us or to govern us?” and hated him more than ever for his dreams and his talk. 9  And he dreamed another dream too, and told his brothers the story, and said to them “I have had a dream again, that the sun and the moon and eleven stars were doing reverence to me.” 10  And his father rebuked him, and said to him “What sort of dream is this you have had? am I and your mother and your brothers to come doing reverence to you?” 11  And his brothers were jealous of him; but his father laid the matter up. 12  And his brothers went to pasture their father’s sheep and goats at Shekem. 13  And Israel said to Joseph “Your brothers are pasturing at Shekem—come, I will send you to them”; and he said to him “All right.” 14  And he said to him “Go and see how your brothers are doing and how the sheep and goats are doing, and bring me back word”; and he sent him from Hebron Vale, and he came to Shekem. 15  And a man found him, and saw he was wandering over the range; and the man asked him “What are you looking for?” 16  And he said “Looking for my brothers; please tell me where they are pasturing.” 17  And the man said “They must have moved from here, because I heard them saying ‘Let us go to Dothan.”’ And Joseph went after his brothers, and found them at Dothan. 18  And they saw him in the distance, and before he neared them they plotted to put him to death, 19  and said to each other “Yonder comes the one with the dreams; 20  now come, let us kill him and throw him into one of the cisterns and say a beast of prey has eaten him, and see what his dreams will come to.” 21  But Reuben heard it and rescued him from them, and said “Let us not strike at his life.” 22  And Reuben said to them “Let us not shed blood: throw him into this cistern in the wilderness, but do not take your hands to him,” in order to rescue him, to get him back to his father. 23  And when Joseph came to his brothers they stripped Joseph of his tunic, the sleeved tunic that he had on, 24  and took him and threw him into the cistern; and the cistern was empty, there was no water in it. 25*  And they sat down to eat a meal; and they raised their eyes and saw that a caravan of Ishmaʽelites was coming from Gilead, and camels carrying gum and balm and labdanum, taking them down to Egypt. 26  And Judah said to his brothers “What shall we have out of it when we kill our brother and cover up his blood? 27  come, let us sell him to the Ishmaʽelites, and not have our hands doing anything to him, because he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” And his brothers listened to him. 28*  And some trading Midianites passed by, and they drew Joseph up out of the cistern, and they sold Joseph to the Ishmaʽelites for twenty shekels of silver, and they brought Joseph to Egypt. 29  And Reuben went back to the cistern and found there was no Joseph in the cistern; and he tore his clothes 30*  and came back to his brothers and said “The lad is gone, and where am I to go?” 31  And they took Joseph’s tunic and slaughtered an old goat and dipped the tunic in the blood, 32  and sent the sleeved tunic and brought it to their father and said “We found this; decide whether it is your son’s tunic or not.” 33  And he recognized it and said “My son’s tunic! Joseph has been taken by the wild beasts!” 34  And Jacob tore his cloak and put a sackcloth round his waist and went into mourning for his son for a long time. 35  And all his sons and all his daughters rose to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted and said “But I will go down mourning to my son in the world of the dead.” And his father wept for him; 36*  but the Midianites sold him in Egypt to the Pharaoh’s eunuch Potiphar, captain of the guard.


37:4 Var. all his brothers
37:4 Or a polite word
37:5 Var. of it, and they hated him more than ever; and he said
37:25 (gum and balm) Unc.
37:28 Lit. they drew and they took Joseph up
37:30 Lit. where am I to go in
37:36 Var. Medanites