Bible Study Notes on Genesis 37 – 20161211

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Bible Study Notes

Genesis 37:2  “…lad was with the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah…”
The brothers were the sons of the two handmaidens.  I wonder if Joseph had been put in charge of them due to the standing of his mother as one of Jacob’s primary wives.  It says he was feeding the flock with his brothers so he may have been supervising.

2  “…brought a bad report…”
May have been giving the report as part of his duties rather than just telling on his brothers.

4  “…they hated him…”
Joseph’s brother already disliked him due to envy.  Jacob didn’t help the situation by doing things to show his favoritism.

5  “…Joseph had a dream, and he told it to his brothers…”
He didn’t help the situation either.  Unsure as to his reasoning.  Youthful pride.  Perhaps because he had been given a position of supervising his brothers, he felt emboldened to share the dream with them.

8  “…Shall you indeed reign over us…”
Joseph’s position of supervisor didn’t put him over his brothers, but it appears he may have been acting that way.

9  “…the sun, the moon…”
Representing his father and mother.

11  “…his father kept the matter…”
Wonder what Jacob was thinking.  Could he have considered that there was something to Joseph’s dreams?  Appears he rebuked Joseph for being disrespectful, but decided to keep an open mind on the content of the dreams.

12  “…their father’s flock in Shechem…”
Could read this a couple of ways.  Could either be that the flock was in Shechem and they went to feed it or that they took the flock to Shechem so it could feed there.  If the former, wonder if this was part of the spoil they collected when they killed the men of Shechem.  If not, there must have been good grazing in Shechem.

17  “…Let us go to Dothan…”
They must have been moving the flock to where ever they could find good grazing.

18  “…they conspired against him to kill him”
Such dysfunction in the family.  Men that hated their own brother to the point of wanting to kill him.

22  “…he might deliver him out of their hands, and bring him back to his father”
Wonder if Reuben’s actions were out of concern for his brother or a desire to get back in the good graces of his father after he committed fornication with his father’s wife.  Could have been some of both.

Topics24  “…pit was empty…”
Probably a dried up well as the text mentions there was no water in it.

25  “…they sat down to eat a meal…”
Such indifference.  Extreme cold-heartedness.  I wonder if their actions spoke more of their resentment toward their father than their hatred of Joseph.

25  “…Ishmaelites…down to Egypt”
Ishmael’s mother Hagar was an Egyptian, and she had taken a wife for him from there.  His descendents would have had ready-made connections.

26  “…Judah said to his brothers…”
Text mentions Reuben and Judah, not just the sons of the maidservants.  All of the brothers may have been involved with the exception of Benjamin.  If Joseph was seventeen, Benjamin was probably too young to be going off on such long trips.

28  “…Midianite traders…sold him to the Ishmaelites…”
Not sure about the mention of the Midianites along with the Ishmaelites.  Probably all part of the same bunch.  Midian was also a son of Abraham so they may have been a combined clan.

29  “…Reuben returned to the pit…”
No mention of where Reuben has been.  Commentary suggests he was out rounding up parts of the flock or herd.

30  “…I, where shall I go”
As the oldest he would most likely catch the largest part of the blame.  And his standing with his father wasn’t the best at the time.

35  “…all his sons and all his daughters arose to comfort him…”
Not sure how genuine the effort to comfort was from the sons, but if so they may have begun to realize what a terrible thing they did.  If not to Joseph then to their father.

36  “…Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and captain of the guard”
Commentary suggests this was a title or position rather than the man’s given name.  Much like Pharaoh.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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