by Don R. Richards
Back to 1998
Genesis Chapter 37
Joseph was the favorite son of Jacob's 12 sons. Joseph, born the first of Rachel's two sons, was the envy of his brothers.
The 37th Chapter of Genesis starts us on the journey of Joseph, and the purpose of God in His plan for His chosen people.
Jacob, whose name had now been changed to Israel by God, so favored his son Joseph that he made Joseph a special present--"a coat of many colors." With his brothers witnessing this special gift by their father, the brothers hated Joseph even worse.
Joseph had two dreams, which he related to his family that made him even (note hated by his brothers. First, he dreamed he and his brothers were binding sheaves in a field, when Joseph's sheaf stood upright and his brother's sheaves bowed down to the upright sheaf. This was interpreted to mean that Joseph would have dominion over his brothers. The second dream dealt with the sun, moon and eleven stars bowing down to Joseph. His father the dream to mean that Joseph's mother and 11 brothers would bow to Joseph.
While this made his brothers hate him more, Jacob took note of his favorite son's dreams. (Gen. 37:11 ).
One day Joseph's brothers went off to feed the family's flock of sheep. Jacob encouraged Joseph to join them in the field. Joseph went searching for them and finally located them with help.
Upon seeing Joseph coming, his brothers conspired against him. They decided to throw Joseph into a deep pit. One of the brothers, Reuben, talked his brothers out of killing Joseph, but instead .had plans to return later and rescue Joseph from the pit.
The brothers stripped Joseph of his beautiful coat and threw him into the dark pit with no water. As the brothers (without Reuben) were later eating they saw a group of nomadic Ishmaelites traveling by camel nearby on their way to Egypt. Led by their brother, Judah, they decided to sell Joseph into slavery to the Ishmaelites. For 20 pieces of silver the Ishmaelites bought Joseph and pulled him from the pit and took him away on their trip to Egypt.
When Reuben returned he discovered Joseph missing from the pit and mourned his loss of a brother. The brothers took Joseph's clothes and beautiful coat and smeared it with the blood of a baby goat. They took the bloodied coat to their father and told him they found the coat, but not Joseph. Jacob immediately recognized the coat and was convinced Joseph had been devoured by a beast of the desert. Joseph refused to be comforted, and mourned what he thought was the death of his son Joseph for a long · time.
Meanwhile, the Ishmaelites carried Joseph to Egypt and sold him into slavery. Joseph became the slave of Potiphar, an officer to the Egyptian Pharaoh and a captain of the guard.
Next: Joseph's Advancement in Egypt
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