1. But Jacob settled in the land where his father had stayed, the land of Canaan.
2. This is the story of Joseph. Joseph was seventeen years old. As he was young, he was shepherding the flock with his brothers, with the sons of his father's wives, Bilhah and Zilpah; and Joseph brought his father bad reports about them.
3. Jacob loved Joseph more than all his other sons, for he was the son of his old age, and he had a decorated tunic made for him.
4. But his brothers, seeing how much more his father loved him than all his other sons, came to hate him so much that they could not say a civil word to him.
5. Now Joseph had a dream, and he repeated it to his brothers, who then hated him more than ever.
6. 'Listen', he said, 'to the dream I had.
7. We were binding sheaves in the field, when my sheaf suddenly rose and stood upright, and then your sheaves gathered round and bowed to my sheaf.'
8. 'So you want to be king over us,' his brothers retorted, 'you want to lord it over us?' And they hated him even more, on account of his dreams and of what he said.
9. He had another dream which he recounted to his brothers. 'Look, I have had another dream,' he said. 'There were the sun, the moon and eleven stars, bowing down to me.'
10. He told his father and brothers, and his father scolded him. 'A fine dream to have!' he said to him. 'Are all of us then, myself, your mother and your brothers, to come and bow to the ground before you?'
11. His brothers held it against him, but his father pondered the matter.
12. His brothers went to pasture their father's flock at Shechem.
13. Then Israel said to Joseph, 'Your brothers are with the flock at Shechem, aren't they? Come, I am going to send you to them.' 'I am ready,' he replied.
14. He said to him, 'Go and see how your brothers and the flock are doing, and bring me word.' He sent him from the valley of Hebron, and Joseph arrived at Shechem.
15. A man found him wandering in the countryside and asked him, 'What are you looking for ? '
16. 'I am looking for my brothers,' he replied. 'Please tell me where they are pasturing their flock.'
17. The man answered, 'They have moved on from here; indeed I heard them say, "Let us go to Dothan." ' So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan.
18. They saw him in the distance, and before he reached them they made a plot to kill him.
19. 'Here comes that dreamer,' they said to one another.
20. 'Come on, let us kill him now and throw him down one of the storage-wells; we can say that some wild animal has devoured him. Then we shall see what becomes of his dreams.'
21. But Reuben heard, and he saved him from their clutches. 'We must not take his life,' he said.
22. 'Shed no blood,' said Reuben to them, 'throw him down that well out in the desert, but do not kill him yourselves' -- intending to save him from them and to restore him to his father.
23. So, when Joseph reached his brothers, they pulled off his tunic, the decorated tunic which he was wearing,
24. and catching hold of him, threw him into the well. The well was empty, with no water in it.
25. They then sat down to eat. Looking up, they saw a group of Ishmaelites who were coming from Gilead, their camels laden with gum tragacanth, balsam and resin, which they were taking to Egypt.
26. Then Judah said to his brothers, 'What do we gain by killing our brother and covering up his blood?
27. Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, then we shall not have laid hands on him ourselves. After all, he is our brother, and our own flesh.' His brothers agreed.
28. Now some Midianite merchants were passing, and they pulled Joseph out of the well. They sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver, and these men took Joseph to Egypt.
29. When Reuben went back to the well, there was no sign of Joseph. Tearing his clothes,
30. he went back to his brothers. 'The boy has gone,' he said. 'What am I going to do?'
31. They took Joseph's tunic and, slaughtering a goat, dipped the tunic in the blood.
32. Then they sent off the decorated tunic and had it taken to their father, with the message, 'This is what we have found. Do you recognise it as your son's tunic or not?'
33. He recognised it and cried, 'My son's tunic! A wild animal has devoured him! Joseph has been torn to pieces!'
34. Tearing his clothes and putting sackcloth round his waist, Jacob mourned his son for many days.
35. All his sons and daughters tried to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. 'No,' he said, 'I will go down to Sheol in mourning and join my son.' Thus his father wept for him.
36. Meanwhile the Midianites had sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh's officials and commander of the guard.