Read Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28
Jacob continued to live in the land of Canaan, where his father had lived, 2and this is the story of Jacob’s family.
Joseph, a young man of seventeen, took care of the sheep and goats with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s concubines. He brought bad reports to his father about what his brothers were doing.
3 Jacob loved Joseph more than all his other sons, because he had been born to him when he was old. He made a long robe with full sleevest for him. 4When his brothers saw that their father loved Joseph more than he loved them, they hated their brother so much that they would not speak to him in a friendly manner.
12 One day when Joseph’s brothers had gone to Shechem to take care of their father’s flock, 13Jacob said to Joseph, “I want you to go to Shechem, where your brothers are taking care of the flock.”
Joseph answered, “I am ready.”
14 His father said, “Go and see if your brothers are safe and if the flock is all right; then come back and tell me.” So his father sent him on his way from the Valley of Hebron.
Joseph arrived at Shechem 15and was wandering about in the country when a man saw him and asked him, “What are you looking for?”
16 “I am looking for my brothers, who are taking care of their flock,” he answered. “Can you tell me where they are?”
17 The man said, “They have already left. I heard them say that they were going to Dothan.” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan.
18 They saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted against him and decided to kill him. 19They said to one another, “Here comes that dreamer. 20Come on now, let’s kill him and throw his body into one of the dry wells. We can say that a wild animal killed him. Then we will see what becomes of his dreams.”
21 Reuben heard them and tried to save Joseph. “Let’s not kill him,” he said. 22“Just throw him into this well in the wilderness, but don’t hurt him.” He said this, planning to save him from them and send him back to his father. 23When Joseph came up to his brothers, they ripped off his long robe with full sleeves.u 24Then they took him and threw him into the well, which was dry.
25 While they were eating, they suddenly saw a group of Ishmaelites travelling from Gilead to Egypt. Their camels were loaded with spices and resins. 26Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain by killing our brother and covering up the murder? 27Let’s sell him to these Ishmaelites. Then we won’t have to hurt him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed, 28and when some Midianite traders came by, the brothersv pulled Joseph out of the well and sold him for twenty pieces of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt.
Last week Jacob wrestled with the Angel before he crossed the Jabok into the land of Canaan. This is the story of how eleven of Jacob's sons sold Joseph into slavery - ultimately leading to Israel's enslavement in Egypt. Is it pride and jealousy that leads to slavery?
Loving God - thank you for your mercy - you can even work your will through brothers who sell each other into slavery. But purify my heart - keep me free from jealousy and pride and the desire to do harm to others.
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