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Bereishis/Genesis  37:1 - 40:23

Chapter 37

1 Jacob settled in the land of his father's sojournings, in the land of Canaan.  2 These are the chronicles of Jacob - Joseph, at the age of seventeen, was a shepherd with his brothers by the flock, but he was a youth with the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives; and Joseph would bring evil reports about them to their father.  3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons since he was a child of his old age, and he made him a fine woolen tunic.  4 His brothers saw that it was he whom their father loved most of all his brothers so they hated him; and they could not speak to him peaceably.

5 Joseph dreamt a dream which he told to his brothers, and they hated him even more.  6 He said to them, "Hear, if you please, this dream which I dreamt.  7 Behold! — we were binding sheaves in the middle of the field, when, behold! — my sheaf arose and remained standing; then behold! — your sheaves gathered around and bowed down to my sheaf."

8 His brothers said to him, "Would you then reign over us? Would you then dominate us?" And they hated him even more — because of his dreams and because of his talk.

9 He dreamt another dream, and related it to his brothers. And he said, "Look, I dreamt another dream - Behold! the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me."

10 And he related it to his father and to his brothers; his father scolded him, and said to him, "What is this dream that you have dreamt! Are we to come — I and your mother and your brothers — to bow down to you to the ground?"  11 So his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.

12 Now, his brothers went to pasture their father's flock in Shechem.  13 And Israel said to Joseph, "Your brothers are pasturing in Shechem, are they not? Come, I will send you to them." He said to him - "Here I am!"  14 And he said to him, "Go now, look into the welfare of your brothers and the welfare of the flock, and bring me back word." So he sent him from the depth of Hebron, and he arrived at Shechem.

15 A man discovered him, and behold! — he was blundering in the field; the man asked him, saying, "What do you seek?"  16 And he said, "My brothers do I seek; tell me, please, where they are pasturing."  17 The man said - "They have journeyed on from here, for I heard them saying, 'Let us go to Dothan.' " So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan.

18 They saw him from afar; and when he had not yet approached them they conspired against him to kill him.  19 And they said to one another, "Look! That dreamer is coming.  20 So now, come and let us kill him, and throw him into one of the pits; and we will say, 'A wild beast devoured him.' Then we shall see what will become of his dreams."

21 Reuben heard, and he rescued him from their hand; he said, "We will not strike him mortally!"  22 And Reuben said to them - "Shed no blood! Throw him into this pit in the wilderness, but lay no hand on him!" — intending to rescue him from their hand, to return him to his father.

23 And so it was, when Joseph came to his brothers they stripped Joseph of his tunic, the fine woolen tunic that was on him.  24 Then they took him, and cast him into the pit; the pit was empty, no water was in it.

25 They sat to eat food; they raised their eyes and they saw, behold! — a caravan of Ishmaelites was coming from Gilead, their camels bearing spices, balsam, and lotus — on their way to bring them down to Egypt.  26 Judah said to his brothers, "What gain will there be if we kill our brother and cover up his blood?  27 Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites — but let our hand not be upon him, for he is our brother, our own flesh." His brothers agreed.  28 Midianite men, traders, passed by; they drew Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit and sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver; then they brought Joseph to Egypt.  29 Reuben returned to the pit — and behold! — Joseph was not in the pit! So he rent his garments.  30 Returning to his brothers he said, "The boy is gone! And I — where can I go?"  31 They took Joseph's tunic, slaughtered a goatling, and dipped the tunic in the blood.  32 They dispatched the fine woolen tunic and they brought it to their father, and said, "We found this; identify, if you please - Is it your son's tunic or not?"  33 He recognized it and he said, "My son's tunic! A savage beast devoured him! Joseph has surely been torn to bits!"  34 Then Jacob rent his garments and placed sackcloth on his loins; he mourned for his son many days.  35 All his sons and all his daughters arose to comfort him, but he refused to comfort himself, and said - "For I will go down to the grave mourning for my son." And his father bewailed him.  36 Now the Medanites had sold him to Egypt, to Potiphar, a courtier of Pharaoh, the Chamberlain of the Butchers.

Chapter 38

1 It was at that time that Judah went down from his brothers and turned away towards an Adullamite man whose name was Hirah.  2 There Judah saw the daughter of a prominent merchant whose name was Shua; he married her and consorted with her.  3 She conceived and bore a son and he called his name Er.  4 She conceived again and bore a son and she called his name Onan.  5 And yet again and she bore a son; and called his name Shelah; and it was in Chezib when she bore him.

6 Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn; her name was Tamar.  7 But Er, Judah's firstborn, was evil in the eyes of Hashem, and Hashem caused him to die.  8 Then Judah said to Onan, "Consort with your brother's wife and enter into levirate marriage with her, and establish offspring for your brother."

9 But Onan knew that the seed would not be his; so it was, that whenever he would consort with his brother's wife, he would let it go to waste on the ground so as not to provide offspring for his brother.  10 What he did was evil in the eyes of Hashem, and He caused him to die also.

11 Then Judah said to Tamar, his daughter-in-law, "Remain a widow in your father's house until my son Shelah grows up" — for he thought, "Lest he also die like his brothers." — So Tamar went and lived in her father's house.

12 Many days passed and Shua's daughter, the wife of Judah, died; when Judah was consoled, he went up to oversee his sheepshearers — he and his Adullamite friend, Hirah — to Timnah.

13 And Tamar was told, as follows, "Behold your father-in-law is coming up to Timnah to shear his sheep."  14 So she removed her widow's garb from upon her, covered herself with a veil, and wrapped herself up; she then sat by the crossroads which is on the road toward Timnah, for she saw that Shelah had grown, and she had not been given to him as a wife.

15 When Judah saw her, he thought her to be a harlot since she had covered her face.  16 So he detoured to her by the road and said, "Come, if you please, let me consort with you," for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law. And she said, "What will you give me if you consort with me?"

17 He replied, "I will send you a kid of the goats from the flock." And she said, "Provided you leave a pledge until you send it."

18 And he said, "What pledge shall I give you?" She replied, "Your signet, your wrap, and your staff that is in your hand." And he gave them to her, and consorted with her, and she conceived by him.

19 Then she arose, left, and removed her veil from upon her, and she put on her widow's garb.

20 Judah sent the kid of the goats through his friend the Adullamite to retrieve the pledge from the woman; but he did not find her.  21 He inquired of the people of her place, "Where is the prostitute, the one at the crossroads by the road?" And they said, "There was no prostitute here."  22 So he returned to Judah and said, "I did not find her; even the local men said, 'There was no prostitute here.' "

23 So Judah said, "Let her keep them, lest we become a laughingstock; I really sent her this kid, but you could not find her."

24 And it was when about three months had passed, that Judah was told, "Your daughterin-law has committed harlotry, and moreover, she has conceived by harlotry." Judah said, "Take her out and let her be burned!"

25 As she was taken out, she sent word to her father-in-law, saying, "By the man to whom these belong I am with child." And she said, "Identify, if you please, whose are this seal, this wrap, and this staff."

26 Judah recognized; and he said, "She is right; it is from me, inasmuch as I did not give her to Shelah my son," and he was not intimate with her anymore.

27 And it came to pass at the time she gave birth that behold! There were twins in her womb.  28 And it happened that as she gave birth, one put out a hand; the midwife took a crimson thread and tied it on his hand saying, "This one emerged first!"  29 And it was, as he drew back his hand, that behold! his brother emerged. And she said, "With what strength you asserted yourself!" And he called his name Perez.  30 Afterwards his brother on whose hand was the crimson thread came out; and he called his name Zerah.

Chapter 39

1 And Joseph had been brought down to Egypt. Potiphar, a courtier of Pharaoh, the Chamberlain of the Butchers, a prominent Egyptian, purchased him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him down there.  2 Hashem was with Joseph, and he became a successful man; and he remained in the house of his Egyptian master.  3 His master perceived that Hashem was with him, and whatever he did Hashem made succeed through him.  4 Joseph found favor in his eyes, and he attended him; he appointed him over his household, and whatever he had he placed in his custody.

5 And it happened, that from the time he appointed him in his house and over whatever he had, Hashem blessed the Egyptian's house on Joseph's account, so that Hashem's blessing was in whatever he owned, in the house and in the field.  6 He left all that he had in Joseph's custody and with him present he concerned himself with nothing except for the bread he ate. Now Joseph was handsome of form and handsome of appearance.

7 After these things, his master's wife cast her eyes upon Joseph and she said, "Lie with me."  8 But he adamantly refused; he said to his master's wife, "Look — with me here, my master concerns himself about nothing in the house, and whatever he has he placed in my custody.  9 There is no one greater in this house than I, and he has denied me nothing but you, since you are his wife; how then can I perpetrate this great evil and have sinned against God!"

10 And so it was — just as she coaxed Joseph day after day, so he would not listen to her to lie beside her, to be with her.  11 Then there was an opportune day when he entered the house to do his work — no man of the household staff being there in the house;  12 that she caught hold of him by his garment, saying, "Lie with me!" But he left his garment in her hand, and he fled, and went outside.

13 When she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and fled outside;  14 she called out to the men of her household and spoke to them saying, "Look! He brought us a Hebrew man to sport with us! He came to lie with me but I called out with a loud scream.  15 And when he heard that I raised my voice and screamed, he left his garment beside me, fled, and went outside!"

16 She kept his garment beside her until his master came home.  17 Then she told him a similar account saying, "The Hebrew slave whom you brought to us came to me to sport with me.  18 But it happened that when I raised my voice and screamed, he left his garment beside me, and ran outside."

19 And it was, when his master heard his wife's words which she spoke to him, saying, "Your slave did things like these to me," his anger flared up.  20 Then Joseph's master took him and placed him in the prison — the place where the king's prisoners were confined — and he remained there in prison.

21 Hashem was with Joseph, and He endowed him with charisma, and He put his favor in the eyes of the prison warden.  22 The prison warden placed all inmates of the prison in Joseph's custody, and everything that was done there, he would accomplish.  23 The prison warden did not scrutinize anything that was in his charge inasmuch as Hashem was with him; and whatever he did Hashem made successful.

Chapter 40

1 And it happened after these things that the cupbearer of the king of Egypt and the baker transgressed against their master, against the king of Egypt.  2 Pharaoh was enraged at his two courtiers, the Chamberlain of the Cupbearers and the Chamberlain of the Bakers.  3 And he placed them in the ward of the house of the Chamberlain of the Butchers, into the prison, the place where Joseph was confined.  4 The Chamberlain of the Butchers appointed Joseph to be with them, and he attended them and they remained in the ward for a period of days.

5 The two of them dreamt a dream, each one had his dream on the same night, each one according to the interpretation of his dream — the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt who were confined in the prison.

6 Joseph came to them in the morning. He saw them and behold! they were aggrieved.

7 And he asked Pharaoh's courtiers who were with him in the ward of his master's house, saying, "Why do you appear downcast today?"  8 And they said to him, "We dreamt a dream, but there is no interpreter for it." So Joseph said to them, "Do not interpretations belong to God? Relate it to me, if you please."

9 Then the Chamberlain of the Cupbearers recounted his dream to Joseph and said to him, "In my dream — behold! there was a grapevine in front of me.  10 On the grapevine were three tendrils; and it was as though it budded — its blossoms bloomed and its clusters ripened into grapes.  11 And Pharaoh's cup was in my hand and I took the grapes, pressed them into Pharaoh's cup, and I placed the cup on Pharaoh's palm."

12 oseph said to him, "This is its interpretation - The three tendrils are three days.  13 In another three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and will restore you to your post, and you will place Pharaoh's cup in his hand as was the former practice when you were his cupbearer.  14 If only you would think of me with yourself when he benefits you, and you will do me a kindness, if you please, and mention me to Pharaoh, then you would get me out of this building.  15 For indeed I was kidnaped from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing for them to have put me in the pit."

16 The Chamberlain of the Bakers saw that he had interpreted well, so he said to Joseph, "I, too! In my dream — behold! three wicker baskets were on my head.  17 And in the uppermost basket were all kinds of Pharaoh's food — baker's handiwork — and the birds were eating them from the basket above my head."

18 Joseph responded and said, "This is its interpretation - The three baskets are three days.  19 In three days Pharaoh will lift your head from you and hang you on a tree; birds will eat your flesh from you."

20 And it was on the third day, Pharaoh's birthday, that he made a feast for all his servants and he counted the Chamberlain of the Cupbearers and the Chamberlain of the Bakers among his servants.  21 He restored the Chamberlain of the Cupbearers to his cupbearing and he placed the cup on Pharaoh's palm.  22 But the Chamberlain of the Bakers he hung, just as Joseph had interpreted to them.

23 Yet the Chamberlain of the Cupbearers did not remember Joseph, but he forgot him.


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