37 But Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, 1 in the land of Canaan. 2
2 This is the account of Jacob.
Joseph, his seventeen-year-old son, 3 was taking care of 4 the flocks with his brothers. Now he was a youngster 5 working with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives. 6 Joseph brought back a bad report about them 7 to their father.
3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons 8 because he was a son born to him late in life, 9 and he made a special 10 tunic for him. 4 When Joseph’s 11 brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, 12 they hated Joseph 13 and were not able to speak to him kindly. 14
5 Joseph 15 had a dream, 16 and when he told his brothers about it, 17 they hated him even more. 18 6 He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: 19 7 There we were, 20 binding sheaves of grain in the middle of the field. Suddenly my sheaf rose up and stood upright and your sheaves surrounded my sheaf and bowed down 21 to it!” 8 Then his brothers asked him, “Do you really think you will rule over us or have dominion over us?” 22 They hated him even more 23 because of his dream and because of what he said. 24
9 Then he had another dream, 25 and told it to his brothers. “Look,” 26 he said. “I had another dream. The sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” 10 When he told his father and his brothers, his father rebuked him, saying, “What is this dream that you had? 27 Will I, your mother, and your brothers really come and bow down to you?” 28 11 His brothers were jealous 29 of him, but his father kept in mind what Joseph said. 30
12 When his brothers had gone to graze their father’s flocks near Shechem, 13 Israel said to Joseph, “Your brothers 31 are grazing the flocks near Shechem. Come, I will send you to them.” “I’m ready,” 32 Joseph replied. 33 14 So Jacob 34 said to him, “Go now and check on 35 the welfare 36 of your brothers and of the flocks, and bring me word.” So Jacob 37 sent him from the valley of Hebron.
15 When Joseph reached Shechem, 38 a man found him wandering 39 in the field, so the man asked him, “What are you looking for?” 16 He replied, “I’m looking for my brothers. Please tell 40 me where they are grazing their flocks.” 17 The man said, “They left this area, 41 for I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan.
18 Now Joseph’s brothers 42 saw him from a distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him. 19 They said to one another, “Here comes this master of dreams! 43 20 Come now, let’s kill him, throw him into one of the cisterns, and then say that a wild 44 animal ate him. Then we’ll see how his dreams turn out!” 45
21 When Reuben heard this, he rescued Joseph 46 from their hands, 47 saying, 48 “Let’s not take his life!” 49 22 Reuben continued, 50 “Don’t shed blood! Throw him into this cistern that is here in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him.” 51 (Reuben said this 52 so he could rescue Joseph 53 from them 54 and take him back to his father.)
23 When Joseph reached his brothers, they stripped him 55 of his tunic, the special tunic that he wore. 24 Then they took him and threw him into the cistern. (Now the cistern was empty; 56 there was no water in it.)
25 When they sat down to eat their food, they looked up 57 and saw 58 a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were carrying spices, balm, and myrrh down to Egypt. 59 26 Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is there if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? 27 Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites, but let’s not lay a hand on him, 60 for after all, he is our brother, our own flesh.” His brothers agreed. 61 28 So when the Midianite 62 merchants passed by, Joseph’s brothers pulled 63 him 64 out of the cistern and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. The Ishmaelites 65 then took Joseph to Egypt.
29 Later Reuben returned to the cistern to find that Joseph was not in it! 66 He tore his clothes, 30 returned to his brothers, and said, “The boy isn’t there! And I, where can I go?” 31 So they took Joseph’s tunic, killed a young goat, 67 and dipped the tunic in the blood. 32 Then they brought the special tunic to their father 68 and said, “We found this. Determine now whether it is your son’s tunic or not.”
33 He recognized it and exclaimed, “It is my son’s tunic! A wild animal has eaten him! 69 Joseph has surely been torn to pieces!” 34 Then Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth, 70 and mourned for his son many days. 35 All his sons and daughters stood by 71 him to console him, but he refused to be consoled. “No,” he said, “I will go to the grave mourning my son.” 72 So Joseph’s 73 father wept for him.
36 Now 74 in Egypt the Midianites 75 sold Joseph 76 to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard. 77
38 At that time Judah left 1 his brothers and stayed 2 with an Adullamite man 3 named Hirah.
2 There Judah saw the daughter of a Canaanite man 4 named Shua. 5 Judah acquired her as a wife 6 and had marital relations with her. 7 3 She became pregnant 8 and had a son. Judah named 9 him Er. 4 She became pregnant again and had another son, whom she named Onan. 5 Then she had 10 yet another son, whom she named Shelah. She gave birth to him in Kezib. 11
6 Judah acquired 12 a wife for Er his firstborn; her name was Tamar. 7 But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was evil in the Lord’s sight, so the Lord killed him.
8 Then Judah said to Onan, “Have sexual relations with 13 your brother’s wife and fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to her so that you may raise 14 up a descendant for your brother.” 15 9 But Onan knew that the child 16 would not be considered his. 17 So whenever 18 he had sexual relations with 19 his brother’s wife, he withdrew prematurely 20 so as not to give his brother a descendant. 10 What he did was evil in the Lord’s sight, so the Lord 21 killed him too.
11 Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Live as a widow in your father’s house until Shelah my son grows up.” For he thought, 22 “I don’t want him to die like his brothers.” 23 So Tamar went and lived in her father’s house.
12 After some time 24 Judah’s wife, the daughter of Shua, died. After Judah was consoled, he left for Timnah to visit his sheepshearers, along with 25 his friend Hirah the Adullamite. 13 Tamar was told, 26 “Look, your father-in-law is going up 27 to Timnah to shear his sheep.” 14 So she removed her widow’s clothes and covered herself with a veil. She wrapped herself and sat at the entrance to Enaim which is on the way to Timnah. (She did this because 28 she saw that she had not been given to Shelah as a wife, even though he had now grown up.) 29
15 When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute 30 because she had covered her face. 16 He turned aside to her along the road and said, “Come on! I want to have sex with you.” 31 (He did not realize 32 it was his daughter-in-law.) She asked, “What will you give me in exchange for having sex with you?” 33 17 He replied, “I’ll send you a young goat from the flock.” She asked, “Will you give me a pledge until you send it?” 34 18 He said, “What pledge should I give you?” She replied, “Your seal, your cord, and the staff that’s in your hand.” So he gave them to her and had sex with her. 35 She became pregnant by him. 19 She left immediately, 36 removed her veil, and put on her widow’s clothes.
20 Then Judah had his friend Hirah 37 the Adullamite take a young goat to get back from the woman the items he had given in pledge, 38 but Hirah 39 could not find her. 21 He asked the men who were there, 40 “Where is the cult prostitute 41 who was at Enaim by the road?” But they replied, “There has been no cult prostitute here.” 22 So he returned to Judah and said, “I couldn’t find her. Moreover, the men of the place said, ‘There has been no cult prostitute here.’” 23 Judah said, “Let her keep the things 42 for herself. Otherwise we will appear to be dishonest. 43 I did indeed send this young goat, but you couldn’t find her.”
24 After three months Judah was told, 44 “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has turned to prostitution, 45 and as a result she has become pregnant.” 46 Judah said, “Bring her out and let her be burned!” 25 While they were bringing her out, she sent word 47 to her father-in-law: “I am pregnant by the man to whom these belong.” 48 Then she said, “Identify 49 the one to whom the seal, cord, and staff belong.” 26 Judah recognized them and said, “She is more upright 50 than I am, because I wouldn’t give her to Shelah my son.” He did not have sexual relations with her 51 again.
27 When it was time for her to give birth, there were twins in her womb. 28 While she was giving birth, one child 52 put out his hand, and the midwife took a scarlet thread and tied it on his hand, saying, “This one came out first.” 29 But then he drew back his hand, and his brother came out before him. 53 She said, “How you have broken out of the womb!” 54 So he was named Perez. 55 30 Afterward his brother came out – the one who had the scarlet thread on his hand – and he was named Zerah. 56