Genesis 37

1 And Iacob dwelt in the lande wherein his father was a straunger yt is to saye in the lande of Canaan.
2 And these are the generations of Iacob: when Ioseph was .xvij. yere olde he kepte shepe with his brethren and the lad was with the sonnes of Bilha and of Zilpha his fathers wyues. And he brought vnto their father an euyll saynge yt was of them.
3 And Israel loued Ioseph more than all his childern because he begat hym in his olde age and he made him a coote of many coloures.
4 When his brothren sawe that their father loued him more than all his brethern they hated him and coude not speke one kynde worde vnto him.
5 Moreouer Ioseph dreamed a dreawe and tolde it his brethren: wherfore they hated him yet the more.
6 And he sayde vnto them heare I praye yow this dreame which I haue dreamed:
7 Beholde we were makynge sheues in the felde: and loo my shefe arose and stode vpright and youres stode rounde aboute and made obeysaunce to my shefe.
8 Than sayde his brethren vnto him: what shalt thou be oure kynge or shalt thou reigne ouer us? And they hated hi yet the more because of his dreame and of his wordes.
9 And he dreamed yet another dreame and told it his brethren saynge: beholde I haue had one dreame more: me thought the sonne and the moone and .xi. starres made obaysaunce to me.
10 And when he had told it vnto his father and his brethern his father rebuked him and sayde vnto him: what meaneth this dreame which thou hast dreamed: shall I and thy mother and thy brethren come and fall on the grounde before the?
11 And his brethern hated him but his father noted the saynge.
12 His brethren went to kepe their fathers shepe in Sichem
13 and Israell sayde vnto Ioseph: do not thy brethern kepe in Sichem? come that I may send ye to the. And he answered here am I
14 And he sayde vnto him: goo and see whether it be well with thy brethren and the shepe and brynge me worde agayne: And sent him out of the vale of Hebron for to go to Sichem.
15 And a certayne man founde him wandrynge out of his waye in the felde ad axed him what he soughte.
16 And he answered: I seke my brethren tell me I praye the where they kepe shepe
17 And the man sayde they are departed hece for I herde them say let vs goo vnto Dothan. Thus went Ioseph after his brethren and founde them in Dothan.
18 And whe they sawe him a farr of before he came at them they toke councell agaynst him for to sley him
19 and sayde one to another Beholde this dreamer cometh
20 come now and let us sley him and cast him in to some pytt and let vs saye that sonne wiked beast hath deuoured him and let us see what his dreames wyll come to.
21 When Ruben herde that he wet aboute to ryd him out of their handes and sayde let vs not kyll him.
22 And Ruben sayde moreouer vnto them shed not his bloude but cast him in to this pytt that is in the wildernes and laye no handes vpon him: for he wolde haue rydd him out of their handes and delyuered him to his father agayne.
23 And as soone as Ioseph was come vnto his brethren they strypte him out of his gay coote that was vpon him
24 and they toke him and cast him in to a pytt: But the pytt was emptie and had no water therein.
25 And they satt them doune to eate brede. And as they lyft vp their eyes and loked aboute there came a companye of Ismaelites from Gilead and their camels lade with spicery baulme and myrre and were goynge doune in to Egipte.
26 Than sayde Iuda to his brethre what avayleth it that we sley oure brother and kepe his bloude secrett?
27 come on let vs sell him to the Ismaelites and let not oure handes be defyled vpon him: for he is oure brother and oure flesh. And his brethren were content.
28 Than as the Madianites marchaunt men passed by they drewe Ioseph out of the pytt and sold him vnto the Ismaelites for .xx. peces of syluer.And they brought him into Egipte.
29 And when Ruben came agayne vnto the pytt and founde not Ioseph there he rent his cloothes
30 and went agayne vnto his brethern saynge: the lad is not yonder and whether shall I goo?
31 And they toke Iosephs coote ad kylled a goote and dypped the coote in the bloud.
32 And they sent that gay coote and caused it to be brought vnto their father and sayd: This haue we founde: se whether it be thy sones coote or no.
33 And he knewe it saynge: it is my sonnes coote a wicked beast hath deuoured him and Ioseph is rent in peces.
34 And Iacob rent his cloothes ad put sacke clothe aboute his loynes and sorowed for his sonne a longe season.
35 Than came all his sonnes ad all his doughters to comforte him. And he wold not be comforted but sayde: I will go doune in to ye grave vnto my sonne mornynge. And thus his father wepte for him.
36 And the Madianytes solde him in Egipte vnto Putiphar a lorde of Pharaos: and his chefe marshall.

Genesis 37 Commentary

Chapter 37

Joseph is loved of Jacob, but hated by his brethren. (1-4) Joseph's dreams. (5-11) Jacob sends Joseph to visit his brethren, They conspire his death. (12-22) Joseph's brethren sell him. (23-10) Jacob deceived, Joseph sold to Potiphar. (31-36)

Verses 1-4 In Joseph's history we see something of Christ, who was first humbled and then exalted. It also shows the lot of Christians, who must through many tribulations enter into the kingdom. It is a history that has none like it, for displaying the various workings of the human mind, both good and bad, and the singular providence of God in making use of them for fulfilling his purposes. Though Joseph was his father's darling, yet he was not bred up in idleness. Those do not truly love their children, who do not use them to business, and labour, and hardships. The fondling of children is with good reason called the spoiling of them. Those who are trained up to do nothing, are likely to be good for nothing. But Jacob made known his love, by dressing Joseph finer than the rest of his children. It is wrong for parents to make a difference between one child and another, unless there is great cause for it, by the children's dutifulness, or undutifulness. When parents make a difference, children soon notice it, and it leads to quarrels in families. Jacob's sons did that, when they were from under his eye, which they durst not have done at home with him; but Joseph gave his father an account of their ill conduct, that he might restrain them. Not as a tale-bearer, to sow discord, but as a faithful brother.

Verses 5-11 God gave Joseph betimes the prospect of his advancement, to support and comfort him under his long and grievous troubles. Observe, Joseph dreamed of his preferment, but he did not dream of his imprisonment. Thus many young people, when setting out in the world, think of nothing but prosperity and pleasure, and never dream of trouble. His brethren rightly interpreted the dream, though they abhorred the interpretation of it. While they committed crimes in order to defeat it, they were themselves the instruments of accomplishing it. Thus the Jews understood what Christ said of his kingdom. Determined that he should not reign over them, they consulted to put him to death; and by his crucifixion, made way for the exaltation they designed to prevent.

Verses 12-22 How readily does Joseph wait his father's orders! Those children who are best beloved by their parents, should be the most ready to obey them. See how deliberate Joseph's brethren were against him. They thought to slay him from malice aforethought, and in cold blood. Whosoever hateth his brother is ( 1 John. 3:15 ) because their father loved him. New occasions, as his dreams and the like, drew them on further; but this laid rankling in their hearts, till they resolved on his death. God has all hearts in his hands. Reuben had most reason to be jealous of Joseph, for he was the first-born; yet he proves his best friend. God overruled all to serve his own purpose, of making Joseph an instrument to save much people alive. Joseph was a type of Christ; for though he was the beloved Son of his Father, and hated by a wicked world, yet the Father sent him out of his bosom to visit us in great humility and love. He came from heaven to earth to seek and save us; yet then malicious plots were laid against him. His own not only received him not, but crucified him. This he submitted to, as a part of his design to redeem and save us.

Verses 23-30 They threw Joseph into a pit, to perish there with hunger and cold; so cruel were their tender mercies. They slighted him when he was in distress, and were not grieved for the affliction of Joseph, see ( Amos 6:6 ) ; for when he was pining in the pit, they sat down to eat bread. They felt no remorse of conscience for the sin. But the wrath of man shall praise God, and the remainder of wrath he will restrain, ( Psalms 76:10 ) . Joseph's brethren were wonderfully restrained from murdering him, and their selling him as wonderfully turned to God's praise.

Verses 31-36 When Satan has taught men to commit one sin, he teaches them to try to conceal it with another; to hide theft and murder, with lying and false oaths: but he that covers his sin shall not prosper long. Joseph's brethren kept their own and one another's counsel for some time; but their villany came to light at last, and it is here published to the world. To grieve their father, they sent him Joseph's coat of colours; and he hastily thought, on seeing the bloody coat, that Joseph was rent in pieces. Let those that know the heart of a parent, suppose the agony of poor Jacob. His sons basely pretended to comfort him, but miserable, hypocritical comforters were they all. Had they really desired to comfort him, they might at once have done it, by telling the truth. The heart is strangely hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Jacob refused to be comforted. Great affection to any creature prepares for so much the greater affliction, when it is taken from us, or made bitter to us: undue love commonly ends in undue grief. It is the wisdom of parents not to bring up children delicately, they know not to what hardships they may be brought before they die. From the whole of this chapter we see with wonder the ways of Providence. The malignant brothers seem to have gotten their ends; the merchants, who care not what they deal in so that they gain, have also obtained theirs; and Potiphar, having got a fine young slave, has obtained his! But God's designs are, by these means, in train for execution. This event shall end in Israel's going down to Egypt; that ends in their deliverance by Moses; that in setting up the true religion in the world; and that in the spread of it among all nations by the gospel. Thus the wrath of man shall praise the Lord, and the remainder thereof will he restrain.

Chapter Summary


In this chapter begins the history of Joseph, with whom the remaining part of this book is chiefly concerned; and here are related the hatred of his brethren to him, because he brought an ill report of them to his father, and because his father loved him, and which was increased by the dream he dreamed, and told them of, Ge 37:1-11; a visit of his to his brethren in the fields, whom he found after a long search of them, Ge 37:12-17; their conspiracy on sight of him to slay him, but by the advice of Reuben it was agreed to cast him into a pit, which they did, Ge 37:18-24; and after that, at the motion of Judah, sold him to the Ishmaelites, who were going to Egypt, Ge 37:25-28; this being done, Reuben being absent, and not finding Joseph in the pit, was in great distress, Ge 37:29,30; their contrivance to deceive their father, and make him believe that Joseph was destroyed by a wild beast, which on the sight of the coat he credited, and became inconsolable, Ge 37:31-35; and the chapter concludes with the sale of Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh's, Ge 37:36.

Genesis 37 Commentaries

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