January 24, Genesis 35-37

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35 God said to Jacob, “Get up! Go to Bethel and settle there. Build an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau.”So Jacob said to his family and all who were with him, “Get rid of the foreign gods that are among you. Purify yourselves and change your clothes. We must get up and go to Bethel. I will build an altar there to the God who answered me in my day of distress. He has been with me everywhere I have gone.”Then they gave Jacob all their foreign gods and their earrings, and Jacob hid them under the oak near Shechem. When they set out, a terror from God came over the cities around them, and they did not pursue Jacob’s sons. So Jacob and all who were with him came to Luz (that is, Bethel) in the land of Canaan. Jacob built an altar there and called the place El-bethel[a] because it was there that God had revealed himself to him when he was fleeing from his brother.Deborah, the one who had nursed and raised Rebekah,[b] died and was buried under the oak south of Bethel. So Jacob named it Allon-bacuth.[c]God appeared to Jacob again after he returned from Paddan-aram, and he blessed him. 10 God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; you will no longer be named Jacob, but your name will be Israel.” So he named him Israel. 11 God also said to him, “I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply. A nation, indeed an assembly of nations, will come from you, and kings will descend from you.[d12 I will give to you the land that I gave to Abraham and Isaac. And I will give the land to your future descendants.” 13 Then God withdrew[e] from him at the place where he had spoken to him.14 Jacob set up a marker at the place where he had spoken to him—a stone marker. He poured a drink offering on it and anointed it with oil. 15 Jacob named the place where God had spoken with him Bethel.

Rachel’s Death

16 They set out from Bethel. When they were still some distance from Ephrath, Rachel began to give birth, and her labor was difficult. 17 During her difficult labor, the midwife said to her, “Don’t be afraid, for you have another son.” 18 With her last breath—for she was dying—she named him Ben-oni,[f] but his father called him Benjamin.[g19 So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). 20 Jacob set up a marker on her grave; it is the marker at Rachel’s grave still today.

Israel’s Sons

21 Israel set out again and pitched his tent beyond the Tower of Eder.[h22 While Israel was living in that region, Reuben went in and slept with his father’s concubine Bilhah, and Israel heard about it.Jacob had twelve sons:23 Leah’s sons were Reuben (Jacob’s firstborn),Simeon, Levi, Judah,Issachar, and Zebulun.24 Rachel’s sons wereJoseph and Benjamin.25 The sons of Rachel’s slave Bilhahwere Dan and Naphtali.26 The sons of Leah’s slave Zilpahwere Gad and Asher.These are the sons of Jacob, who were born to him in Paddan-aram.

Isaac’s Death

27 Jacob came to his father Isaac at Mamre in Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had stayed. 28 Isaac lived 180 years. 29 He took his last breath and died, and was gathered to his people, old and full of days. His sons Esau and Jacob buried him.

Esau’s Family

36 These are the family records of Esau (that is, Edom). Esau took his wives from the Canaanite women: Adah daughter of Elon the Hethite, Oholibamah daughter of Anah and granddaughter[i] of Zibeon the Hivite, and Basemath daughter of Ishmael and sister of Nebaioth. Adah bore Eliphaz to Esau, Basemath bore Reuel, and Oholibamah bore Jeush, Jalam, and Korah. These were Esau’s sons, who were born to him in the land of Canaan.Esau took his wives, sons, daughters, and all the people of his household, as well as his herds, all his livestock, and all the property he had acquired in Canaan; he went to a land away from his brother Jacob. For their possessions were too many for them to live together, and because of their herds, the land where they stayed could not support them. So Esau (that is, Edom) lived in the mountains of Seir.These are the family records of Esau, father of the Edomites in the mountains of Seir.10 These are the names of Esau’s sons:Eliphaz son of Esau’s wife Adah,and Reuel son of Esau’s wife Basemath.11 The sons of Eliphaz wereTeman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam, and Kenaz.12 Timna, a concubine of Esau’s son Eliphaz,bore Amalek to Eliphaz.These are the sons of Esau’s wife Adah.13 These are Reuel’s sons:Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah.These are the sons of Esau’s wife Basemath.14 These are the sons of Esau’s wife Oholibamahdaughter of Anah and granddaughter[j] of Zibeon:She bore Jeush, Jalam, and Korah to Edom.15 These are the chiefs among Esau’s sons:the sons of Eliphaz, Esau’s firstborn:chief Teman, chief Omar, chief Zepho, chief Kenaz,16 chief Korah,[k] chief Gatam, and chief Amalek.These are the chiefs descended from Eliphazin the land of Edom.These are the sons of Adah.17 These are the sons of Reuel, Esau’s son:chief Nahath, chief Zerah, chief Shammah, and chief Mizzah.These are the chiefs descended from Reuelin the land of Edom.These are the sons of Esau’s wife Basemath.18 These are the sons of Esau’s wife Oholibamah:chief Jeush, chief Jalam, and chief Korah.These are the chiefs descended from Esau’s wife Oholibamahdaughter of Anah.19 These are the sons of Esau (that is, Edom),and these are their chiefs.

Seir’s Family

20 These are the sons of Seir the Horite,the inhabitants of the land:Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah,21 Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan.These are the chiefs among the Horites,the sons of Seir, in the land of Edom.22 The sons of Lotan were Hori and Heman.Timna was Lotan’s sister.23 These are Shobal’s sons:Alvan, Manahath, Ebal, Shepho, and Onam.24 These are Zibeon’s sons: Aiah and Anah.This was the Anah who found the hot springs[l] in the wildernesswhile he was pasturing the donkeys of his father Zibeon.25 These are the children of Anah:Dishon and Oholibamah daughter of Anah.26 These are Dishon’s sons:Hemdan, Eshban, Ithran, and Cheran.27 These are Ezer’s sons:Bilhan, Zaavan, and Akan.28 These are Dishan’s sons: Uz and Aran.29 These are the chiefs among the Horites:chief Lotan, chief Shobal, chief Zibeon, chief Anah,30 chief Dishon, chief Ezer, and chief Dishan.These are the chiefs among the Horites,clan by clan,[m] in the land of Seir.

Rulers of Edom

31 These are the kings who reigned in the land of Edombefore any king reigned over the Israelites:32 Bela son of Beor reigned in Edom;the name of his city was Dinhabah.33 When Bela died, Jobab son of Zerah from Bozrah reigned in his place.34 When Jobab died, Husham from the land of the Temanites reigned in his place.35 When Husham died, Hadad son of Bedad reigned in his place.He defeated Midian in the field of Moab;the name of his city was Avith.36 When Hadad died, Samlah from Masrekah reigned in his place.37 When Samlah died, Shaul from Rehoboth on the Euphrates River reigned in his place.38 When Shaul died, Baal-hanan son of Achbor reigned in his place.39 When Baal-hanan son of Achbor died, Hadar[n] reigned in his place.His city was Pau, and his wife’s name was Mehetabeldaughter of Matred daughter of Me-zahab.40 These are the names of Esau’s chiefs,according to their families and their localities,by their names:chief Timna, chief Alvah, chief Jetheth,41 chief Oholibamah, chief Elah, chief Pinon,42 chief Kenaz, chief Teman, chief Mibzar,43 chief Magdiel, and chief Iram.These are Edom’s chiefs,according to their settlements in the land they possessed.Esau[o] was father of the Edomites.

Joseph’s Dreams

37 Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, the land of Canaan. These are the family records of Jacob.At seventeen years of age, Joseph tended sheep with his brothers. The young man was working with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives, and he brought a bad report about them to their father.Now Israel loved Joseph more than his other sons because Joseph was a son born to him in his old age, and he made a robe of many colors[p] for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not bring themselves to speak peaceably to him.Then Joseph had a dream. When he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: There we were, binding sheaves of grain in the field. Suddenly my sheaf stood up, and your sheaves gathered around it and bowed down to my sheaf.”“Are you really going to reign over us?” his brothers asked him. “Are you really going to rule us?” So they hated him even more because of his dream and what he had said.Then he had another dream and told it to his brothers. “Look,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun, moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”10 He told his father and brothers, and his father rebuked him. “What kind of dream is this that you have had?” he said. “Am I and your mother and your brothers really going to come and bow down to the ground before you?” 11 His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.

Joseph Sold into Slavery

12 His brothers had gone to pasture their father’s flocks at Shechem. 13 Israel said to Joseph, “Your brothers, you know, are pasturing the flocks at Shechem. Get ready. I’m sending you to them.”“I’m ready,” Joseph replied.14 Then Israel said to him, “Go and see how your brothers and the flocks are doing, and bring word back to me.” So he sent him from the Hebron Valley, and he went to Shechem.15 A man found him there, wandering in the field, and asked him, “What are you looking for?”16 “I’m looking for my brothers,” Joseph said. “Can you tell me where they are pasturing their flocks?”17 “They’ve moved on from here,” the man said. “I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’” So Joseph set out after his brothers and found them at Dothan.18 They saw him in the distance, and before he had reached them, they plotted to kill him. 19 They said to one another, “Oh, look, here comes that dream expert![q20 So now, come on, let’s kill him and throw him into one of the pits.[r] We can say that a vicious animal ate him. Then we’ll see what becomes of his dreams!”21 When Reuben heard this, he tried to save him from them.[s] He said, “Let’s not take his life.” 22 Reuben also said to them, “Don’t shed blood. Throw him into this pit in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him”—intending to rescue him from them and return him to his father.23 When Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped off Joseph’s robe, the robe of many colors that he had on. 24 Then they took him and threw him into the pit. The pit was empty, without water.25 They sat down to eat a meal, and when they looked up, there was a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were carrying aromatic gum, balsam, and resin, going down to Egypt.26 Judah said to his brothers, “What do we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? 27 Come on, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay a hand on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh,” and his brothers agreed. 28 When Midianite traders passed by, his brothers pulled Joseph out of the pit and sold him for twenty pieces of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took Joseph to Egypt.29 When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not there, he tore his clothes. 30 He went back to his brothers and said, “The boy is gone! What am I going to do?” [t31 So they took Joseph’s robe, slaughtered a male goat, and dipped the robe in its blood. 32 They sent the robe of many colors to their father and said, “We found this. Examine it. Is it your son’s robe or not?”33 His father recognized it. “It is my son’s robe,” he said. “A vicious animal has devoured him. Joseph has been torn to pieces!” 34 Then Jacob tore his clothes, put sackcloth around his waist, and mourned for his son many days. 35 All his sons and daughters tried to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “No,” he said. “I will go down to Sheol to my son, mourning.” And his father wept for him.36 Meanwhile, the Midianites sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and the captain of the guards.

We are introduced to the story of Joseph today.  What an incredible story to finish out the book of Genesis.  Joseph is somewhat arrogant in his telling of his dreams, but it doesn’t deserve what his brothers do to him.  We will see at the end of the story God had a plan even in the mistreatment of Joseph.  It is another reminder of how God always has a plan, even in the darkest days of our life. 

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