And Yisharal settled in Hebron, in the land of Canaan where his father had travelled years before and this is the account of how YAHUAH blessed and increased his family. When Joseph was seventeen years old, he helped in the tending of his father’s flocks, working for his half-brothers, (the sons of his father’s servant-wives Bilhah and Zilpah).
And Joseph was `up himself’, always ‘snitching’ on his brothers, and lifting himself up in the eyes of everyone. But Yisharal loved Joseph more than all his other children because Rachel (his favourite wife) had given birth to Joseph in his old age.
And Yisharal had a beautiful, multi-coloured (and ornamented) royal tunic made for his son Joseph. But after giving him this very special gift, his brothers hated Joseph even more, because they saw how much their father loved and favoured him, so they treated him harshly and had nothing but cruel, horrible things to say to him.
(AMAZING GIFTS LIKE THIS WERE TRADITIONALLY ONLY GIVEN TO THE FIRSTBORN SON, BUT DUE TO THE BEHAVIOUR OF HIS OLDER SONS, JACOB HAD NO FAVOUR FOR THEM).
One night Joseph had a dream, and in the morning he came to his brothers saying, “Check out this wild dream I had last night guys. We were out in the field, tying up all the sheaves of grain and suddenly my bundle stood up and then all your bundles all gathered around and bowed down before mine and worshipped it!”
And when his brother’s heard this they despised Joseph even more because of the dream (and the way he spoke about them) and they wouldn’t let him ‘have it’ inside themselves, saying to him, “So you think you’re gunna be our king, do you? You really think you’re better than us and will reign over us, you fool?”
Soon Joseph had another dream, and once again he told his brothers about it. “Hey dudes, I had another dream last night. The sun, moon, and eleven stars bowed down to worship me!”(JOSEPH HAD ELEVEN BROTHERS)
And this time he told his father also about the dream, but his father rebuked him, “What kind of dream is that? Will your mothers and I and all your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you? What nonsense!”
However while his brothers dismissed the dreams as `stuck-up ramblings’ and were hatefully jealous of Joseph, his father Yisharal held onto them in his mind and actually wondered what the dreams might mean.
(BECAUSE IN THIS ERA YAHUAH OFTEN SPOKE OR APPEARED TO PEOPLE IN DREAMS)
Not long after this, Joseph’s brothers went out to feed their father’s flocks at Sheckem. But when they had been gone for some time, Yisharal said to Joseph, “Your brothers are out feeding the sheep at Sheckem. Quick! Get ready, and I’ll send you out to them.”
“Ok Dad, I’m ready to go,” Joseph replied.
“Go and see how your brothers and the flocks are doing, then come back and tell me.”
So Yisharal sent him out and Joseph travelled about 80km to Sheckem from their home in the valley of Hebron. When he arrived there, a man from the area noticed him wandering around the countryside.
“What’s up bro?” He asked.
“I’m looking for my brothers, they’re feeding my father’s sheep, do you know where they are?” Joseph replied.
“Yes,” the man told him. “They have moved further on from here, but I overheard them saying they were heading for Dotham”.
So Joseph followed his brothers to Dotham and found them there. But when Joseph’s brothers saw him approaching, they recognised him in the distance and their seething hatred flared up. And as he approached, they made plans to kill him.
“Look, here comes our annoying arse-hat brother, the dreamer. Let’s kill him and throw him into a hole and we’ll finally be rid of him. We’ll just tell our father that a savage animal has eaten him. Then we’ll see what happens to his stuck-up dreams!”
But when Reuben (the oldest son) heard of their murderous scheme, he came to Joseph’s defence, “Why bother killing him and shedding his blood? Let’s just throw him into this deep pit, and out here in the wilderness he’ll just die without us having to do anything.”
(REUBEN HAD RECENTLY CAUSED ENOUGH DRAMA WITH HIS FATHER AND WAS SECRETLY PLANNING TO RESCUE JOSEPH).
And before Joseph arrived, Reuben left his brothers for a short time to see about a matter, and when Joseph greeted them, the first thing his brothers did was assault him and rip off the beautiful coloured robe he was wearing, before grabbing him violently and throwing him into the deep pit (for it was empty with no water, only snakes and scorpions).
And Joseph cried out and wailed for help, getting more and more distressed, and afraid of the snakes and scorpions, but his brothers wouldn’t answer him and moved away from the sound of his weeping. Then, just as they were sitting down to eat, feeling quite good about themselves, they saw a caravan of camels in the distance coming towards them. It was a group of Ishmaelite traders taking a load of spices, balms and myrrh from Gilead down to Egypt.
And Judah said to his brothers, “If we kill Joseph, we’ll just have to cover up the crime and we’ll gain nothing. So instead of hurting him, let’s pawn him off to those Ishmaelite terrorists. After all, he’s still our brother, our own flesh and blood!”
And his brothers agreed. So when the Ishmaelites (who were Midianite traders and a violent people) came by, Joseph’s brothers pulled him out of the pit and sold him for twenty pieces of silver. And the traders took Joseph to Egypt.
Not long after, Reuben returned to the pit to rescue Joseph and when he discovered that he was gone, he panicked and tore his clothes in grief. Then he found his brothers and cried, “What the hell have you done? The boy is gone! What will I do? Where can I go? I’m the oldest. He was my responsibility. What will our father do to me?”
Then the devious brothers thought it nothing to kill one of their father’s young goats (that they were suppose to be looking after) and dip Joseph’s colourful coat in its blood.
Then they returned home and took the beautiful coat (all ripped and bloody) to their father, saying “Look what we found out in the field. Doesn’t this robe belong to Joseph?”
And Yisharal went pale, recognising it immediately, “Yes it’s my son’s robe. A wild animal must have eaten him”.
And Yisharal tore his clothes and wept bitterly. “My wonderful Joseph has been torn to pieces!”
And seeing their father wailing unstoppably the brothers wept also and a wave of thick grief came over the whole household. And Yisharal fell down to the ground as still as a stone in shock and Judah nursed his father’s head as tears gushed down Yisharal’s face.
Yisharal wore sackcloth on his waist and mourned deeply for his son for a very long time. His family all tried to support and love him, but he refused to be comforted. “I will go to my grave missing and longing for my son,” he’d say, and then he would burst into tears again.