Chapter 2

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(Gen 37:1,2)  And Jacob [Heb: heel-catcher; supplanter] [the twin brother of Esau] dwelt in the land wherein his father [Isaac] was a stranger, in the land of Canaan. These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph [Heb: let him add (adding)] [a type of Jesus Christ; Genesis chapters 37-50], being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report [“a bad report of them” NKJV].

1.      Commentary: The frequency of word occurrence may be taken as an indicator of importance in this chapter: Joseph = 14x; father = 11x; coat = 8x; Jacob = 3x.


(Gen 37:3,4)  Now Israel [Heb: he will rule as God] [Jacob’s new name change (Isa 62:2; Rev 2:17) effected through his conversion] loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat [Heb: cover] of many colours [a type and shadow of the Tabernacle of Moses in appearance and function]. And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.

1.      (Exo 26:1)  Moreover thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen [Heb: white], and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work shalt thou make them.


(Gen 37:5-8)  And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more. And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: For, behold, we were binding sheaves [bundling wheat] in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf. And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.

1.      obeisance = Heb: to depress, i.e. prostrate (in homage to royalty or God):--bow (self) down, crouch, fall down (flat), humbly beseech, do (make) obeisance, do reverence, make to stoop, worship.


(Gen 37:9-11)  And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me. And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth? And his brethren envied him [Heb: to be jealous]; but his father observed [Heb: took heed, looked narrowly, regarded, watched] the saying.

1.      (Luke 2:19)  But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.


(Gen 37:12-17)  And his brethren went to feed their father's flock in Shechem. And Israel [a type of Father God] said unto Joseph [the Son of God], Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? come, and I will send thee unto them. And he said to him, Here am I. And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale [Heb: valley] of Hebron, and he came to Shechem. And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field: and the man asked him, saying, What seekest thou? And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks. And the man said, They are departed hence; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan [Chaldaizing: dual]. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan.

1.      (Luke 18:8b)  Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

2.      Commentary: “They are departed hence” = Joseph’s brethren were not where they were supposed to be, where Israel (Father God) had sent them.

3.      (Luke 16:13)  No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.


(Gen 37:18-22)  And when they saw him [Joseph] afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him [Heb: to defraud, i.e. act treacherously:--beguile, deceiver, deal subtilly] to slay him. And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh. Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams. And Reuben heard it [the eldest son and therefore most responsible for his younger brethren’s actions], and he delivered him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him. And Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him; that he might rid him out of their hands, to deliver him to his father again.


(Gen 37:23-25)  And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stripped Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him; And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water [i.e., no Holy Spirit, the giver of life] in it [a representation of hell]. And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh [an allusion to the burial of Jesus Christ], going to carry it down to Egypt [the land of the unsaved; a type of hell].

1.      (John 19:39,40)  And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes [balm], about an hundred pound weight. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.


(Gen 37:26-28)  And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood? Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content. Then there passed by Midianites [Heb: brawling, contentious, discord, strife] merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver [compare to Judas who sold Jesus for “thirty pieces of silver” Mat 26:15]: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.

1.      Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary: Ishmaelites = descendants of Ishmael, Abraham’s first son. Ishmael’s 12 sons had many descendants who lived as nomads in the deserts of northern Arabia. The Old Testament eventually used the term Ishmaelite in a broader sense, referring to all the Arabian merchants. Any wild and war-like peoples of the desert could claim to be descendants of Ishmael. This wider use of Ishmaelites is illustrated by an event in the life of Joseph. His older brothers sold him to some caravan traders who were called “a company of Ishmaelites” (Gen 37:25) as well as “Midianite traders” (Gen 37:28). They were probably a minor clan of the larger Ishmaelite tribe. Mohammed [who founded Islam] claimed Ishmael as his ancestor, as do most Arabs.

2.      (Gen 16:11,12)  And the angel of the LORD said unto her [Hagar, Sarai's maid], Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction. And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.


(Gen 37:29-33)  And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes. And he returned unto his brethren, and said, The child is not; and I, whither shall I go? And they took Joseph's coat, and killed a kid of the goats [an innocent sacrifice, but, like Cain’s, not the ordained sacrifice], and dipped the coat in the blood; And they sent the coat of many colours, and they brought it to their father; and said, This have we found: know now whether it be thy son's coat or no. And he knew it, and said, It is my son's coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.

1.      (Mark 15:38)  And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.


(Gen 37:34-36)  And Jacob [not Israel] rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days. And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him. And the Midianites  sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh's, and captain of the guard.