Genesis 37:3-5 "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 colors. 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. And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet
19-21 "And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh. 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. And Reuben heard it, and he delivered
him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him."
26-27 "And Judah said unto
his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood? 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."
31,32 "And they took Joseph's coat, and
killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood; And they sent the coat of many
colors, and they brought it to their father; and said, This have we found: know now whether it
be thy son's coat or no."
36 "And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto
Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh's, and captain of the guard."
Joseph was born six years before Jacob left Haran. Since Joseph is seventeen
now, it has been eleven years since Jacob had returned to Canaan. Jacob was not well liked by
his half brothers. One reason was he brought his father an unfavorable report concerning them
(seems he was a tattler), and the other reason was that Jacob loved him best. Jacob made
Joseph a coat of many colors signifying that he intended him to be the future leader of the
family, an honor usually given to the first-born. (Yet another reason for Joseph's brothers to
Jacob told his father and his brothers about some dreams he had. In the
first, his sheaf of grain remained standing while the sheaves belonging to his brothers all
bowed down to his. In the second dream, the sun, moon, and stars (11) all made obeisance to
him. Even Jacob questioned him about the second dream. Little did they know just exactly
how these dreams were to come true!
Joseph's brothers were tending
their fathers flock in Dothan, about 65 miles from home. Jacob sent Joseph to see how they
were. When they saw Joseph coming, alone, they plotted to take his life. The news media acts
as if sibling and child violence is something new; it isn't! We find several instances of it
in the Bible, including the first recorded murder. As Joseph's brothers plotted to murder him,
Reuben overheard them and persuaded them to just put him in a pit, intending to pull him out
to safety later. Meanwhile, the other brothers saw a caravan of merchants approaching and
decided, unbeknownst to Reuben, to sell Joseph to them. (God works in mysterious ways!) This
was God's plan all along to have Joseph save Israel from famine. Did Joseph's brothers
have to sell him then? No. God could have found another way to save Israel
other than this trechery! But I believe God does use life's tragedies to help
us and make us stronger. As you will see as we get further along in this story of Joseph, his
trials shaped the kind of person he turned out to be.
The brothers then dipped
Joseph's beautiful coat of many colors in goat's blood and took it to their father. How sad
Jacob was. He mourned for many days in sackcloth. Even though his other children tried to
comfort him he would not be comforted and said, "I will go down into the grave unto my son
The Midianites took Joseph into Egypt and sold him to the captain of the
guard of Pharaoh's army. Here he would face many trials but God would bring him out on top!
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Do you think it was partly Jacob's fault Joseph's brothers hated him?
Do you believe God speaks to us in visions through our dreams?
Why do you think Reuben wanted to save Joseph's life?
Thank you so much for doing the Bible Study with us this week. I hope you enjoyed your visit.
I am looking forward to hearing your answers to the questions this week. Please feel free to
e-mail me, post on the message board or write your comments in my guestbook so everyone can
see what you think!
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