The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Genesis
Jacob, meanwhile, had settled in the land of Chanaan, where his father lived a wanderer’s life before him;
and this is the record of Jacob’s line. By now, Joseph was sixteen years old,✻ and helped his brethren to feed the flocks, young though he was. He worked with the sons of his father’s wives, Bala and Zelpha; and against these brothers of his he told his father ill tales.
Among his children, Jacob loved Joseph best, as old men love the sons old age has brought them; and he dressed him in a coat that was all embroidery.
Whereupon his brethren, who saw that he was his father’s favourite, bore him a grudge, and never had a good word for him.
They hated him the more, when he recounted to them a dream of his;
Listen, he said, to this dream I have had.
I dreamt that we were all binding sheaves in a field, and my sheaf seemed to lift itself up and stand erect, while all your sheaves stood about it and did reverence to mine.
What, said his brethren, art thou to be our king? Are we to be thy subjects? So this talk about his dream fed the fires of their envious anger.
Then he had another dream which he disclosed to his brethren; In this dream of mine, he said, it seemed to me that the sun and the moon and eleven stars did reverence to me.
When he reported this to his father and his brethren, his father said, in reproof, What means this dream of thine? Must I and thy mother and thy brethren bow down to earth before thee?
So his brethren eyed him with jealousy, while his father pondered over the story in silence.
One day, when his brethren were away at Sichem, feeding their father’s flocks,
Israel said to him, Thy brethren are pasturing the sheep at Sichem; I have an errand for thee there. And when Joseph answered,
I am here, at thy command, he said to him, Go and see whether all is well with thy brethren, and with the flock, then come back and tell me their news. So he set out from Hebron valley and reached Sichem,
where a stranger found him wandering on the open plain, and asked what was his errand.
I am looking for my brethren, he said; Canst thou tell me where they are feeding their flocks?
They have left this part, the man answered; I heard them say, Let us go to Dothain. So Joseph went on in search of his brethren, and it was at Dothain he found them.
Before he came up to them, they caught sight of him in the distance, and began plotting against his life.
They said to one another, Here comes the dreamer;
how if we kill him, and throw his body into a dry well? We can pretend he has fallen a prey to some wild beast. Now we shall see what good these dreams of his can do him!
Upon this, Ruben began scheming to save Joseph from their violence; No, he said,
do not take his life, there must be no bloodshed. Throw him down into this well here, far from all help, and so keep clear of any murderous act. His meaning was to rescue Joseph out of their hands, and restore him safe to his father.
As soon, then, as Joseph reached his brethren, they stripped him of his long, embroidered coat,
and threw him into a disused well, which had no water left in it.
And now, as they sat down to take their meal, they saw a company of Ismaelites mounted on camels, who were on their way from Galaad to Egypt, with a load of spices, balm, and myrrh.
Whereupon Juda said to his brethren, What shall we gain by killing our brother, and concealing his murder?
Far better sell him to these Ismaelites, and keep our hands clean of crime; remember that he is our brother, our own flesh and blood. His brethren fell in with the plan;
so, when the merchants from Madian passed by,✻ they dragged Joseph up out of the well, and sold him for twenty pieces of silver to these Ismaelites, who carried him off with them to Egypt.
In vain did Ruben go back to the well, there was no sign of Joseph there.
For grief he tore his garments, then he went back to his brethren, crying, The boy is not to be seen; what is left for me? Where can I betake myself now?
Meanwhile, they killed a goat, and dipped Joseph’s coat in its blood;
then they sent a message to their father, We have found this coat; satisfy thyself, whether it is thy son’s or not.
And their father recognized it, It is my son’s coat, he said; past doubt, some wild thing has devoured him, my son Joseph, the prey of a wild beast!
And he tore his garments, and put on sackcloth; and long he mourned for his son.
Vainly did all his children conspire to solace their father’s grief; he would admit no consolation. I will go down mourning, he said, to keep my son company in the grave; and would not dry his tears.
Meanwhile, the Madianites had sold Joseph in Egypt, to Putiphar, one of Pharao’s courtiers, and captain of his guard.
The Holy Bible