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Joseph the Dreamer
Genesis 37
Story by Shery Ma Belle Arrieta & Illustrations by Zara Augustine Arrieta

Joseph was Jacob's favorite son. Jacob loved Joseph more than he loved his other sons. He even gave Joseph a tunic – a robe -- and a colorful one at that.

Joseph's brothers were jealous of him and hated him. They wouldn't even talk to him without getting angry or irritated with Joseph.

Joseph was only seventeen, but in spite of how his brothers treated him everyday, he loved and cared for them.

Now Joseph was also a dreamer. He told his first dream to his brothers.

"A dream?" asked one of his brothers. "We don't want to hear any of your dreams, Joseph. We have plenty of work to do!"

"Please, listen to my dream," Joseph said. "We were in the field binding sheaves. Suddenly, my sheaf rose and stood straight, and your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf."

"What are you trying to tell us?" one of his brothers asked angrily. "That you will reign over us?"

And the brothers hated Joseph even more.

Joseph's dreams didn't stop there. He had another dream.

"I dreamed that the sun, moon and the eleven stars bowed down to me," he told his brothers and father.

When Jacob heard this, he rebuked Joseph, while his brothers envied and hated him even more.

One day, Joseph's brothers went to feed their flock in a place called Shechem.

Jacob sent Joseph to his brothers to find out if everything was all right with his flocks.

When Joseph arrived at Shechem, his brothers weren't there.

"I'm looking for my brothers," Joseph told a man who found him there. "Can you tell me where they went?"

"I heard them talking about going to Dothan," answered the man.

Joseph thanked the man and went to Dothan. His brothers spotted him even before he saw them. Because they hated Joseph so much, they agreed to kill him.

"That dreamer is here," one said. "Let's kill him and throw him in the pit and tell our father that lions killed him."

"No, don't kill Joseph," Reuben said. "Just throw him in a pit. After all, this is a far place and no one would hear him if he shouts."

Reuben wanted to convince his brothers. He was going to save Joseph later and bring him back to their father.

The brothers agreed. When Joseph arrived, they grabbed him, removed his colorful tunic, and threw him in a pit.

Then they all ate a meal. A few moments later, they saw merchants on camels going to Egypt.

"What will we gain by killing Joseph?" asked Judah. "Let's sell him to these merchants instead!"

The brothers agreed, except for Reuben who was not there.

And so they sold Joseph for twenty shekels of silver. Joseph was taken to Egypt.

Before the brothers went home, they killed a kid of one of their goats. Then they dipped Joseph's colorful tunic in the blood.

When they arrive home, they showed the tunic to their father. Jacob was heartbroken.

"My son Joseph is dead," Jacob mourned. "I will die mourning my beloved son."

Copyright © 2001-2003 Shery Ma Belle Arrieta and Zara Augustine Arrieta

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Man In The Bible
Jacob is our Man In The Bible this week!

Learn New Bible Words!

shekel: a Hebrew unit of weight and money
sheaf: stalks of cut grain bound together
tunic: a type of clothing that may or may not have sleeves, reaching to the knees, and worn over a layer of clothing

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