This Week's Story

Joseph's jealous brothers sell him into slavery.

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Joseph: Please, no drama!
part one

Do you want “drama”?  Join my family.  I suppose I love them.  I know that I am sick of all of them.  Joseph is the problem!

When Joseph wanted us to hear about his dream about grain bundles, he declared, “Listen, brothers! In my dream, we were all working in fields, tying bundles of grain.  My bundle stood up.  Yours moved together and bowed to mine.”    I think Joseph thought he was giving a prediction from God.

When Joseph told us his dream, Simeon exploded with anger and grabbed Joseph.  “You listen!  We are going to bow, to you?  I don’t think so.  Here’s the way it is!  Every day we know you are Dad’s chosen one.  Who are you?  Nobody, but a seventeen year old snitch!  You wear a beautiful coat.  We have never received a gift like it from Dad.  No, it was his gift to you.  Yeah, he loves you; well, we despise you!”

Simeon is brutal.  After Joseph’s dream where the sun, moon, and

eleven stars bowed to him, Simeon told me, “Reuben, why don’t you do something about Joseph?  You are the oldest.  Shut him up.”

What could I do?  Dad was upset about this second dream.  He asked Joseph, “What do you mean?  Do you believe that your mother, brothers, and I are going to bow to you?”

Later I heard him talking to my mom.  “Leah, I wonder about Joseph’s dreams.  Could they be prophecies from God?”

Mom tried to soothe Dad, “Jacob, be wise.  You know Joseph’s brothers are jealous of him.  They do not understand your feelings about Joseph.  I understand that he was born when you were old and his mother had died.  Your attention to Joseph is making big trouble in our family.”

Mom was right.  I have watched Dad’s eyes when he looks at Joseph.  They are hopeful and proud.  Dad acts as though Joseph is God’s gift to him.  What do my brothers and I mean to Dad?  He never tells us.  I know I am the oldest and I take the responsibilities Dad gives me.

Oh…none of these thoughts matter now.  My brothers have sold Joseph.  Dad sent Joseph to check on us brothers, as we were caring for our family herds of sheep, goats, and cattle.  When my brothers saw Joseph coming in the distance, they began wild talk about killing Joseph and throwing him into a deep hole.  They planned how to lie to Dad and tell him that a wild animal had killed Joseph.  I told them, “Don’t kill Joseph.  Just put him into a deep hole.”  I thought that secretly I could rescue him after I moved cattle.  But, when I returned to the hole, Joseph was not in it. Stunned I ripped my shirt off.  What was I to do?

My brothers and I deceived our father.  We took Joseph’s beautiful coat and smeared goat’s blood over it.  Then we showed it to Dad.  He assumed Joseph had been killed by a wild animal.

Now we try to comfort him, but for weeks he has said, “I will die mourning for my son.”

My brothers see Dad’s tears and we remember how Joseph begged, “Please don’t throw me into the hole.  I want to live.”

When Joseph’s brothers sold him to traders, who bought and sold people, he pleaded, “What will happen to me?  You are my family.  Don’t leave me!”  He cried as the traders took him away to Egypt.

My brothers and I are guilty.  How do we live, knowing we are lying cowards?

Father claims that there is one god who has promised to bless our family.  Through coming years we are to become a great nation.  God, how does good come from our jealousy and deceit?

This is Barbara Steiner with a famous Bible story from the life of Joseph.

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This story shows us that jealousy causes problems between siblings and parents. We as parents need to treat all our children with love and equality to help them with problems in the future. from Francesca

Quiero escriber en ingles.  The brothers were jealous and the father had deep emotions for Joseph.  It gives me sadness for the brothers, because they are not loved as much by their father.  I love all my kids the same all the time.  My feelings are the same for all three, not just one.   from Francesca

Dear Francesca,

Jealousy and favoritism  will destroy any family.    Leah

It makes me feel like no one should be jealous. Everyone should be kind to each other.   from Kenna

Dear Kenna,

I love your attitude.  Your responses always reflect a good heart.  Our world today needs more of these thoughts and actions.   Leah

Who was the brother telling the story?  He might have feared what his brothers would do to him.   from Janet

Dear Janet,

Reuben, the oldest brother was telling the story.  I believe his biggest fear was his own guilty conscience.   Leah

It's amazing how jealousy can make people act harmfully against each other.  This story shows perfectly how God took something horrible and later turned it into something great!   from Caleb

Dear Caleb,

You've either read ahead or know your Bible well. In either case, keep up the good work!   Leah

Why did the father like Joseph the best?  What happened to his mother when he was a kid?   from Liz

Dear Liz,

Isn't it wonderful to know these answers can be found in the Bible?!  Your comment inspired me to research it.  That was a blessing, thank you!   Leah

As this story was from Reuben's perspective, I definitely could understand why his brothers were jealous and angry.  Also, I never understood before how Reuben took responsibility as the oldest brother.  He secretly tried to save Joseph.  from Ashley

Dear Ashley,

This new perspective is popping possibilities for me!     Leah

Oh, Joseph was a faithful servant.  His brothers were jealous of him and they sold him into slavery.  Joseph had his dad's favor. In my family, my dad treated us all the same.  But because Joseph had favor with his father and God, he went through what he did.  In the end he was blessed.   from Felix

Dear Felix,

You know the story well.  We hope you will continue to read and respond.   Leah

My sister is not like me.  She graduated from a university and is an architect.  My other family members trusted her and that led me to be jealous.  Recently, it came to my attention that I should pray for her, for my family members, and for myself, so that we have unity.  What it really came down to was that it was my stinking attitude.  My attitude needed to change to simply be grateful to have my family.   from Michael C.

Dear Michael C.,

Your comments remind me to do two things more often: count my blessings and choose to rejoice.  Thank you!   Leah

Jealousy causes people to do crazy things.  I've watched people eaten alive with jealousy.  I've watched from the sideline and not been able to do anything.  Reuben should have done something.    from Matthew

Dear Matthew,

The struggles that can devour us can be transformed by God if we allow Him to do so.


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