In Genesis 29-31 the Bible speaks of Jacob, his wives Leah and Rachel (as well as their maidservants), and the births of his twelve sons. Jacob’s eleventh son (first born to him by Rachel) was Joseph.
In Genesis 37:3 the Bible speaks of Jacob’s (renamed as Israel-Genesis 32:28) feelings toward Joseph: “Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his sons, because he was the son of his old age. And he made him a robe of many colors.” Interestingly, the next verse speaks of Jacob’s other sons reactions to this: “But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peacefully to him.”
The jealousy of Joseph’s brothers leads them to betray him in Genesis 37. In Genesis 37:19-22, Joseph’s brothers plot to kill him; however, one of the brothers, Reuben, convinces the others to not take Joseph’s life. When Joseph comes to his brothers, they strip him of his robe of many colors and they cast him into a pit. As they are eating a meal a group of Ishmaelites passes by and they decide to sell Joseph to them. The brothers continue their plot by slaughtering a goat, dipping Joseph’s coat in the blood, and presenting it to their father leading him to believe that Joseph is dead.
This story is filled with many different things a person should not do. In fact there is very little positive in this story. The main lesson of this part of Joseph’s story is that jealously can overcome people. Joseph’s brothers were so jealous of him that they were willing to kill him. They were willing to kill him – their own brother!! In the end they decide not to kill him; however, they do betray him.
Joseph’s story continues throughout the rest of the book of Genesis. Be watching for the next entries of “Bible Stories to Share with Your Children” for the continuation of his story.