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Genesis 37:5


37:5 Joseph 1  had a dream, 2  and when he told his brothers about it, 3  they hated him even more. 4 

Genesis 37:11

37:11 His brothers were jealous 5  of him, but his father kept in mind what Joseph said. 6 

Genesis 37:18-24


37:18 Now Joseph’s brothers 7  saw him from a distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him. 37:19 They said to one another, “Here comes this master of dreams! 8  37:20 Come now, let’s kill him, throw him into one of the cisterns, and then say that a wild 9  animal ate him. Then we’ll see how his dreams turn out!” 10 

37:21 When Reuben heard this, he rescued Joseph 11  from their hands, 12  saying, 13  “Let’s not take his life!” 14  37:22 Reuben continued, 15  “Don’t shed blood! Throw him into this cistern that is here in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him.” 16  (Reuben said this 17  so he could rescue Joseph 18  from them 19  and take him back to his father.)

37:23 When Joseph reached his brothers, they stripped him 20  of his tunic, the special tunic that he wore. 37:24 Then they took him and threw him into the cistern. (Now the cistern was empty; 21  there was no water in it.)

1 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Joseph) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

2 tn Heb “dreamed a dream.”

3 sn Some interpreters see Joseph as gloating over his brothers, but the text simply says he told his brothers about it (i.e., the dream). The text gives no warrant for interpreting his manner as arrogant or condescending. It seems normal that he would share a dream with the family.

4 tn The construction uses a hendiadys, “they added to hate,” meaning they hated him even more.

5 sn Joseph’s brothers were already jealous of him, but this made it even worse. Such jealousy easily leads to action, as the next episode in the story shows. Yet dreams were considered a form of revelation, and their jealousy was not only of the favoritism of their father, but of the dreams. This is why Jacob kept the matter in mind.

6 tn Heb “kept the word.” The referent of the Hebrew term “word” has been specified as “what Joseph said” in the translation for clarity, and the words “in mind” have been supplied for stylistic reasons.

7 tn Heb “and they”; the referent (Joseph’s brothers) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

8 tn Heb “Look, this master of dreams is coming.” The brothers’ words have a sarcastic note and indicate that they resent his dreams.

9 tn The Hebrew word can sometimes carry the nuance “evil,” but when used of an animal it refers to a dangerous wild animal.

10 tn Heb “what his dreams will be.”

11 tn Heb “him”; the referent (Joseph) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

12 sn From their hands. The instigators of this plot may have been the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah (see v. 2).

13 tn Heb “and he said.”

14 tn Heb “we must not strike him down [with respect to] life.”

15 tn Heb “and Reuben said to them.”

16 sn The verbs translated shed, throw, and lay sound alike in Hebrew; the repetition of similar sounds draws attention to Reuben’s words.

17 tn The words “Reuben said this” are not in the Hebrew text, but have been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

18 tn Heb “him”; the referent (Joseph) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

19 tn Heb “from their hands” (cf. v. 21). This expression has been translated as “them” here for stylistic reasons.

20 tn Heb “Joseph”; the proper name has been replaced by the pronoun (“him”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.

21 tn The disjunctive clause gives supplemental information that helps the reader or hearer to picture what happened.

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