Genesis Lesson 23 Day 3

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Genesis Lesson 23 Day 3

Genesis 37:12-36

Joseph’s brothers planned to kill him.

6) Jacob asks Joseph to check on his brothers who are near Shechem.

Leah’s sons were out tending their large flocks while Joseph stayed around home, like Jacob preferred to do as a young men.

Jacob grew concerned about his other sons who likely went to the vicinity of Shechem to find good pastures. That’s the city where Dinah was raped and then Reuben and Simeon massacred all the men. He had good reason to fear for their safety because of the Canaanites hated them.

Perhaps he also worried that they might instigate trouble. He was right about that.

Joseph readily agreed to go without complaint.

A man of unidentified origin tells Joseph he overheard them saying they were going to Dothan.  (2 Kings 6:13-17)

The place travelers usually encountered each other was watering their sheep at the wells. So perhaps that’s where he heard them talking. Or perhaps and angel took on the appearance of a man.

7) Here comes the dreamer!

Joseph wore his special tunic to search for his brothers.

According to Boice, the real idea behind the ancient Hebrew phrase for tunic of many colors is that it was a tunic extending all the way down to the wrists and ankles, as opposed to a shorter one. This was not what a workingman wore. It was a garment of privilege and status. The man who wore a tunic of many colors watched others as they did hard physical labor.
It was a dramatic way of saying he was the son to receive the birthright.1

His brothers said, “Here comes this dreamer. . . . let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits [or cisterns]

The brothers hated even the sight of Joseph coming toward them and conspired to kill him.

Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him (1 John 3:15).

8a) The coverup

They were so serious about killing him that they even devised an explanation to give their father, knowing full will how devastated he would be.

“We will see what will become of his dreams” (Genesis 37:20).

Later, they conspired to deceive their father by slaughtering a goat and dipping Joseph’s robe in the blood. Then the took it to their father.

b) God’s protection

Reuben and Judah intervene.

When Reuben heard of their plan, he talked them into putting Jacob in one of the pits in the wilderness instead of killing him. Reuben planned to return later and pull Joseph out.

They stripped him of his robe and threw him into the pit. Thankfully, the pit was dry.

A caravan of Ishmaelites came their way. Judah said, “Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites” instead of killing him. They agreed and pulled him out of the pit. After agreeing on a price of twenty shekels of silver, off they went taking Joseph with them to Egypt.

Midian and Medan were sons of Abraham by Keturah (25:1), and were later perceived by Israel to be members of the same tribe as their half brother Ishmael.  (Judges 8:22-24) Their action was a type of kidnapping, which Exodus 21:16 and Deuteronomy 24:7 specify as punishable by death.5

Reuben returned to the pit as he planned, but he was too late.

But God’s plan did not fail. Joseph’s brothers were unable to stop it.

c) The wickedness of man

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually (Genesis 6:5).


Jesus said, “everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire (Matthew 5:22)

Lack of repentance

The brothers who devised the plan showed no remorse when they sat down to eat a meal.

But they will say, ‘It’s hopeless! For we are going to follow our own plans, and each of us will act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.’ (Jeremiah 18:12)

Evil schemes

They were cruel and cold toward Joseph.

The wicked plots against the righteous and gnashes at him with his teeth (Psalm 37:12).
Will they not go astray who devise evil? (Proverbs 14:22)
Evil plans are an abomination to the Lord (Proverbs 15:26)
Though they intended evil against You and devised a plot, they will not succeed (Psalm 21:11)

Cold blooded greed

What profit is it to us if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? (Genesis 37:26)

9a) Personal experiences

A long, abusive first marriage.

b) Encouragement

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3).

Yes, He does!

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1 used by written permission.
2 AWM Living Commentary used by written permission.
3 Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations from *The ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
4 Strong’s Concordance, public domain.
5 *Spirit Filled Life Bible®copyright © 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. (The Holy Bible, New King James Bible) copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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