Genesis Chapter 37 & 38

Chapter 37

So Jacob moved back to Canaan with the family and settled down. The author is still referring to him as both Jacob and Israel which can get confusing. Anyway, it turns out that Joseph is a little snitch and Israel loves him more than any of his other sons (he’s obviously going for father of the year). He even made him a special robe. Now, the NRSV simply calls it a long robe with sleeves, but it has been referred to as a coat of many colors, and in one musical acid trip, a technicolor dreamcoat. So take it as you will. Anyway, because of Israel’s love for Joseph, the other sons were jealous of him and hated him. And then Joseph told them about the dream he had.

6He said to them, “Listen to this dream that I dreamed. 7There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright; then your sheaves gathered around it, and bowed down to my sheaf.” 8His brothers said to him, “Are you indeed to reign over us? Are you indeed to have dominion over us?” So they hated him even more because of his dreams and his words.

Bibles, Harper . NRSV Bible with the Apocrypha (Gen. 6-8, p. 95). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

I’m going to guess that Joseph was a bit socially awkward and maybe wasn’t self-aware, either. I mean, the way he’s being written, he hasn’t a clue that his brothers hate him. Then he tells them about another dream where the sun, moon, and eleven stars bow down to him. His father was having none of it and rebuked him.

Joseph was sent to report on his brother who were minding the sheep, but when he got there, they were nowhere to be found. He asked a passerby where they were and he was pointed in the right direction. The brothers plotted to kill him and toss him in a pit, but Reuben didn’t like that idea, so they agreed to just throw him in a pit. So, they took his robe, threw him in the dry pit, and sat to eat lunch. Then they decided to sell him to some Midianite traders for twenty pieces of silver.

I am the younger of two brothers and I fully admit that I annoyed the crap out my brother on a near daily basis. However, I am reasonably certain that he never would have sold me to anyone for any amount (I am at least 63.275% sure of this). He probably would have killed me first.

The brothers took Joseph’s coat/robe/dreamcoat and dipped it in goat’s blood and took it back to their father who was quite upset that he tore his own clothes and then wore sackcloth and mourned. He is gonna be pissed when all those dreams come true and when he finds out that his sons got twenty pieces of silver.

Meanwhile…

The Midianite traders sold Joseph to Potiphar, the captain of the Pharaoh’s guard. I hope they made a profit (or a prophet! Guffaw).

Chapter 38

We have another soap opera chapter full of sex, wives, and deception.

1IT happened at that time that Judah went down from his brothers and settled near a certain Adullamite whose name was Hirah. 2There Judah saw the daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua; he married her and went in to her.

Bibles, Harper . NRSV Bible with the Apocrypha (p. 97). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

Wow, no courtship, no dating, not even a pizza night in with Netflix or Hulu. They just go straight into the baby making. They had three sons, Er, Onan, and Shelah, but God saw that there was wickedness in his firstborn, Er, so God put his to death. How’d that flood work out again? Anyway, Judah instructed Onan to go into his brother’s wife and raise up offspring for his brother. Since Onan knew that the offspring would not be his (huh?) he spilled his seed on the ground. God didn’t like that either, so he struck him down as well.

Here we have another definition of Biblical marriage. If the man dies (or is struck down by God), then it his younger brother’s duty to take his wife and give him offspring.

Judah instructs Tamar to live in her father’s house as a widow until the youngest kid, Shelah, is old enough. So Tamar went home and stayed with dear ol’ dad.

OK, I’m going to summarize this part…Judah goes to Timnah to get his sheep shorn, as you do. Tamar finds out and disguises herself as a prostitute and Judah rents her services for the cost of one young goat. She asked for his signet, cord, and staff until he paid her.

Months pass and Judah has been looking everywhere for the prostitute that he promised the goat to, but she was nowhere to be found. He did find out that Tamar “played the whore” and  got herself knocked up. Judah called for her to be burned. That is until she produced Judah’s signet, cord, and staff. He said that she was in the right and that was that.

Tamar had twins, Perez and Zerah. Zerah was coming out first, but then his hand went back in and it was Perez who came out first.

One thought on “Genesis Chapter 37 & 38

  1. So much of this makes me want to cringe which is probably why I never hear sermons from these scriptures. I’m also not sure if enough years have passed to allow me to see Kramer and not immediately cringe also. I saw a shirt this week on sale that had the Kramer portrait on it which is a really funny episode but then I thought, do I want to walk around with a picture of a racist on me so I passed on that.

    Liked by 1 person

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