13 Feb. Genesis 37:12-24

13 Feb. Joseph’s brothers plot to kill him

“One day Joseph’s brothers went to Shechem to herd their father’s flocks. Israel [Jacob] said to Joseph, ‘Go to Shechem where your brothers are herding the flocks.’ Joseph answered, ‘I will go.’ His father said, ‘Go and see if your brothers and the flocks are all right. Then come back and tell me.’ So Joseph’s father sent him from the Valley of Hebron.”

“When Joseph came to Shechem, a man found him wandering in the field and asked him, ‘What are you looking for?’ Joseph answered, ‘I am looking for my brothers. Can you tell me where they are grazing the flocks?’”

“The man said, ‘They have already gone. I heard them say they were going to Dothan.’ So Joseph went to look for his brothers and found them in Dothan.”

“Joseph’s brothers saw him coming from far away. Before he reached them, they made a plan to kill him. They said to each other, 'Here comes that dreamer. Let’s kill him and throw his body into one of the wells. We can tell our father that a wild animal killed him. Then we will see what will become of his dreams.’”

“But Reuben heard their plan and saved Joseph, saying, ‘Let’s not kill him. Don’t spill any blood. Throw him into this well here in the desert, but don’t hurt him!’ Reuben planned to save Joseph later and send him back to his father.”

“So when Joseph came to his brothers, they pulled off his robe with the long sleeves and threw him into the well. It was empty, and there was no water in it.”

          (Genesis 37:12-24)



Joseph’s brothers took the family’s flocks north from Hebron to graze in the less arid hill country near Shechem. Joseph, aged seventeen, was sent by their father Jacob (Israel) to find out how they were getting on.

Joseph arrived at Shechem but discovered that his brothers had already left the area. He eventually found them grazing the flocks on the fertile pastures near Dothan - on the plain between the hills of Samaria and the Mount Carmel range.

The brothers saw Joseph coming and quickly plotted their revenge on their younger brother whom they hated. They initially intended to kill him, but Reuben, the eldest brother, persuaded them not to shed any blood. So they threw Joseph into a dry well, while Reuben decided to rescue Joseph later and send him back to their father.

Dothan was a thriving Canaanite city in Joseph’s day. Today, the site of the city is marked by Tel Dothan, an impressive settlement mound on the plain west of the Palestinian town of Jenin.

The photo (by Daniel Ventura) shows Tel Dothan, where Joseph’s brothers plotted to kill him.

You can read what happened next @ The Bible Journey | Joseph is sold into slavery in Egypt

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