The story of Joseph and the many-colored Coat
Another son was born to Jacob after he had returned to the country of Canaan with his eleven other sons. This boy was the second child born to Jacob by his wife Rachel, whom Jacob loved very much. But not long after the baby was born, Rachel, the infant’s mother, passed away, and Jacob was overcome with grief. On the route that leads from Jerusalem to Bethlehem, you can still see the spot where Rachel’s grave is located, even today. Benjamin was the name that Jacob gave to the child whom Rachel left, and now Jacob had a total of twelve sons. The most of them were grown men, but Joseph was only a youngster at the age of seventeen, and his brother Benjamin was almost a baby.
Jacob loved Joseph the most out of all of his children because he was Rachel’s child, because he was so much younger than most of his brothers, and because he was kind, trustworthy, and caring. Joseph received from his father, Jacob, a brightly colored robe or garment constructed in the style of a long cloak with broad sleeves. Joseph’s elder brothers were envious of him because he received this token of favor from their father, Jacob.
Then, too, Joseph performed what was right, although his elder brothers often engaged in extremely wicked deeds, of which Joseph sometimes informed their father; this caused them to be very angry with Joseph. However, when he informed them about two peculiar dreams that he had been having, they disliked him much more than before. One day, he remarked, “Please pay attention to this dream that I have had.” In my dream, we were working in the field when, all of a sudden, my sheaf stood up, and all of your sheaves gathered around it and bowed down to my sheaf!
And they scoffed at him, asking in a mocking tone, “Do you imagine that the dream signifies that you will someday reign over us and that we will bow down to you?”
Then, shortly after a few days had passed, Joseph said, “Another dream has come to me.” This time, I dreamed that the sun, the moon, and eleven stars all came to worship me, and they bowed down to me as they did so.
Then his father spoke to him, saying, “It is not acceptable for you to have such dreams.” “Do you want your mother, your brothers, and me to come and bow down before you as if you were a king?”
Although Joseph’s brothers detested him and avoided him at all costs, his father gave great importance to the things that Joseph had to say.
There was a time when Joseph’s ten brothers were tending the sheep in the pastures close to Shechem, which was about forty-five miles away from Hebron, where Jacob’s tents were set up. And Jacob wanted to talk to his sons, so he called Joseph and said, “I want to talk to my sons.”
“Your brothers and the flock are now located close to Shechem.” “I would really appreciate it if you could go to them, carry a message to them, find out how they and the flocks are doing, and then report back to me what you learn from them.”
That was quite an expedition for a young child to travel on his own across the countryside, find his way for fifty miles, and then walk all the way back home. But Joseph was a boy who could take care of himself and could be trusted, so he set out on his journey, walking northward over the mountains, passing Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and Bethel—even though we are not certain that those cities were built at that time, except for Jerusalem, which was already a strong city.
When Joseph arrived at Shechem, he looked for his brothers but was unable to find them because they had moved their flocks to a different location. Joseph was lost in the field when he was approached by a stranger who inquired, “Whom are you seeking?”
Joseph responded, “I am searching for the sons of Jacob, who are also my brothers.” “Would you be able to tell me where I can find them?”
And the man said, “They are at Dothan, for I heard them say that they were going there.” The man claimed this because he had heard them say that they were going there.
Thereafter, Joseph set out on foot to go the remaining fifteen miles to Dothan, which was located in the hills. And his brothers saw him approaching from afar. They recognized him because of the colorful garment he wore, and one of them shouted to another: “Watch out, there comes that daydreamer! Come, let us kill him, dump his body into a hole, and tell his father that some wild beast has eaten him; then we shall see what happens to his dreams. “Come, let us kill him.”
Joseph was particularly liked by one of his brothers, Reuben, in contrast to the other brothers. He said:
“Let us not murder him, but let us throw him into this pit, in the desert, and let him die there.”
But Reuben planned to get Joseph out of the hole after they had left and bring him back to his father. The brothers carried out what Reuben told them to do, and they tossed Joseph into the hole, which was to be empty. He wailed and begged them to rescue him, but they did not comply with his requests. While their brother was crying out to them from the pit, they remained cool and started eating their food on the grass.
After the meal, Reuben wandered off to a different part of the field, and as a result, he was not present when a group of men traveling on camels passed by. These men were on their way to Egypt from Gilead, which is located to the east of the Jordan River, to trade spices and fragrant gum from trees with the Egyptians.
Then Judah, one of Joseph’s other brothers, said these words: “What will we accomplish by taking the life of our brother?” Wouldn’t it be best for us to just sell him to these people and let them take care of him? “Considering that he is our brother, it is not to anyone’s benefit to murder him.”
His brothers agreed with him; consequently, they stopped the men who were passing, and they drew up Joseph from the pit. And they sold Joseph to these men for twenty pieces of silver, and these men took him away with them down to Egypt.
After some time, Reuben went to the cave where they had hidden Joseph and peered into it, but Joseph was nowhere to be found. The situation became quite terrible for Reuben, and he informed the situation to his brothers, stating, “There is no sign of the boy! “I don’t know what to do!”
After that, his brothers told him what they had done, and all of them planned together to deceive their father. They slaughtered one of the goats and soaked Joseph’s coat in the goat’s blood before bringing it to their father and telling him, “We were out in the bush when we discovered this coat. “Take a look at it, Dad, and tell us if you believe it to be the coat that your son wore.”
and Jacob recognized it immediately. He said, “This is the coat that my son wears.” He’s been devoured by a wild beast of some kind. “It is without a shadow of a doubt that Joseph has been torn to pieces!”
And Jacob’s heart was torn by the loss of Joseph, which was made all the more heartbreaking by the fact that he had sent Joseph on the journey across the desert by himself. They made several attempts to console him, but he refused to be consoled by any of their words. He added, “I shall go down to the grave weeping for my dearly lost son.” He was referring to his son, Joseph.
The elderly man was overcome with grief over the loss of his son Joseph. During this time, Joseph’s evil brothers were aware that Joseph was still alive, but they decided not to inform their father about the terrible thing they had done to his brother by selling him as a slave.