This lesson begins in lesson 37 verse 1 of Genesis.
Genesis 37:1 “And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was
a stranger, in the land of Canaan.”
Genesis 37:2 “These [are] the generations of Jacob. Joseph,
[being] seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren;
and the lad [was] with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of
Zilpah, his father’s wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their
Jacob was living in Canaan. Joseph, Rachel’s son, was beloved of
his father. He was working with the handmaid’s sons. Joseph came back
to Israel telling of these half-brothers’ evil deeds.
Genesis 37:3 “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
Joseph was Israel’s favorite, because he loved Rachel very much,
and they waited so long for him to be born. The coat of many colors
was a coat that set Joseph apart from his brothers. This was visible
evidence that Joseph was Israel’s favorite. Israel was wealthy, and
this coat was very beautiful.
Genesis 37:4 “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.”
Jealousy is not of God. Jealousy and hate are not to be known
among the believers. These brothers hated Joseph, because Isreal loved
him. Their hateful attitude could do nothing, but create a problem.
Genesis 37:5 “And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told [it] his
brethren: and they hated him yet the more.”
Genesis 37:6 “And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream
which I have dreamed:”
Genesis 37:7 “For, behold, we [were] binding sheaves in the
field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold,
your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.”
God speaks to some people in dreams. This was obviously what had
happened here. Joseph was chosen of God, and God was speaking to him in
this dream. They hated him even more now, because even God was showing
preference to him. He rubbed the insult in by asking them to hear the
dream, which built him up and shows them as bowing to him. This would
really cause their anger and hate for him to be worse.
Genesis 37:8 “And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed
reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they
hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.”
Of course, Joseph had no control over his dreams. The dreams were
from God. Their hate grew more and more, because they were more and
more jealous of him.
Genesis 37:9 “And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his
brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold,
the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.”
Genesis 37:10 “And he told [it] to his father, and to his
brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What [is]
this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy
brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?”
Here, again, Joseph’s dream came from God. The sun was symbolic of
his father, the moon was symbolic of his mother, and the eleven stars
were symbolic of his brothers. Even his father scolded him, not
believing that he would be elevated above his family by God. God
chooses whoever He will to elevate. When you have a special experience
with God, the hardest ones to convince are the members of your family.
It is difficult for them to believe that God is doing something
special in your life, because they know you too well. The Bible even
says, when you are making a decision like Joseph’s, that those who
will be against it will be your closest friends and your family.
Genesis 37:11 “And his brethren envied him; but his father
observed the saying.”
This just made the brothers more jealous. Joseph’s father
listened and remembered the saying.
Genesis 37:12 “And his brethren went to feed their father’s
flock in Shechem.”
Genesis 37:13 “And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren
feed [the flock] in Shechem? come, and I will send thee unto them. And
he said to him, Here [am I].”
Joseph was obedient to his father. When his father asked him to
go, he said, “here am I.”
Genesis 37:14 “And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether
it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me
word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to
Israel was well over one hundred year old, and he was, probably,
not able to go for himself to check on the sons and the flock. We saw
earlier where Joseph told of their indiscretion, so we know that
Joseph would not cover for them.
Genesis 37:15 “And a certain man found him, and, behold, [he
was] wandering in the field: and the man asked him, saying, What
Genesis 37:16 “And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray
thee, where they feed [their flocks].”
Genesis 37:17 “And the man said, They are departed hence; for I
heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his
brethren, and found them in Dothan.”
It seems,their flock was so big that they had to move around to
find grass for them. Joseph had to search them out. Dothan was the
place of the two wells. There was water to feed the flock. Here at
Dothen was where he could find them.
Genesis 37:18 “And when they saw him afar off, even before he
came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.”
Genesis 37:19 “And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer
You see, Jealousy becomes hate which, If not controlled, can grow
into murder. These brothers did not want to hear any more of his
dreams. They also, did not want to be reminded of their father’s love
of Joseph over them by his coat of many colors.
Genesis 37:20 “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.”
Joseph was away from the protection of his father, and these
jealous brothers had a scheme to get rid of him. Of course, not only
were they going to sin by killing him, But they would have to sin again,
when they lied to their father about what happened to him. One sin
usually brings on another.
Genesis 37:21 “And Reuben heard [it], and he delivered him out of
their hands; and said, Let us not kill him.”
Genesis 37:22 “And Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood, [but]
cast him into this pit that [is] in the wilderness, and lay no hand
upon him; that he might rid him out of their hands, to deliver him to
his father again.”
Reuben was older and, probably, a little more level-headed. He knew
the consequences of shedding blood. He talked them into sparing
Joseph’s life. He really intended to slip back and release him to go
Genesis 37:23 “And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto
his brethren, that they stripped Joseph out of his coat, [his] coat of
[many] colors that [was] on him;”
Genesis 37:24 “And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and
the pit [was] empty, [there was] no water in it.”
Reuben’s advise had been taken. They had taken this coat from
Joseph, that has caused so much trouble. He had been totally degraded
and thrown into a pit. Joseph was at their mercy now.
We will finish chapter 37 in the next lesson.