Genesis 37:12-36 The Sons’ Deception.
For one who was forgotten by his family, Joseph figures prominently in the history of redemption. Israel sent his favoured son from the valley of Hebron to Shechem, to see how his brothers were doing in tending the flocks, and to bring back a report (vv. 12-14). Not finding them in Shechem, he gets information that they had traveled to Dothan (vv. 15-17). However, while they saw the ‘dreamer’ coming, some of his brothers conspired to kill him, with a plan to say that a wild animal had devoured him (vv. 18-20). Rueben stepped in to save Joseph (vv. 21-22). “As the eldest brother (29:32), Reuben assumed leadership in Jacob’s absence and was responsible for the safety of his brothers (vv. 29, 30).” (NGSB 71) When Joseph arrived they stripped off his special coat of many colours, given to him by his father, and cast him into a pit without water (vv. 23-24 Cf. Mt. 27:28). Then as some Ishmaelites passed through they sold him as a slave, and he was taken to Egypt (vv. 25-28). So they didn’t murder him, but they did put blood on his tunic and took it to their father, in support of their deception that he had been devoured by a wild animal (vv. Vv. 31-33). Jacob then mourned for what he thought was the loss of his favoured son (v. 34), and he could not be comforted (v. 35). “Now the Midianites had sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharoah and captain of the guard” (v. 36). Hatred and envy in the hearts of Joseph’s brothers, issued in lies and deception, and nearly in his murder. Their deception was like their father.