Verses 1, 2 – Jacob was in the land of Canaan now with all his sons. Joseph was 17. He was out in the fields tending sheep with Bilhah and Zilpah’s sons, his half brothers.
Verse 3 – This coat that Jacob gave Joseph must have looked like something royalty would wear. His brothers saw the favoritism being shown towards him and were jealous. After he told them about the two dreams he had where they were bowing down before him, they despised him. As a parent you may not be able to hide your favor of one, but you can control your actions toward the others.
Verses 6-11 – No one enjoys being around a bragger. Joseph had an immature attitude and a boastful manner in front of his brothers.
Verse 12 – His brothers left to go tend the flocks at Shechem.
Verse 14 – If Jacob had been paying attention to the animosity toward Joseph, he wouldn’t have sent him to them. God had a plan which we can’t always see. Sometimes we try to stop what God is trying to do because we don’t want to go through the pain. Our God only wants the best for us. He knows the end from the beginning.
Verse 18 – The brothers’ anger at Joseph turned to rage which turned into a plot of murder. There are always consequences to anger.
Verses 19, 20 – Ten men were willing to kill their own brother over a robe and a few dreams. Their jealousy had turned into rage, completely blinding them to what was right. The longer you cultivate jealous feelings, the harder it is to uproot them. The time to deal with jealousy is when you notice yourself keeping score of what others have.
Verses 26, 27 – Sometimes we come to a solution because it is the lesser of two evils. Judah was looking to make a profit. Ask yourself when coming to a solution if it is right.
Verse 28 – Although Joseph’s brothers didn’t outright kill him, they figured he wouldn’t survive as a slave either. Joseph faced a 30 day journey through the desert on foot and probably chained. He would not be treated well. When he got to Egypt he would be sold as a piece of merchandise. His brothers thought they would never see him again. This was all done while Reuben was not there.
Verses 29, 30 – When Reuben returned to the pit and found his little brother gone, he went into a panic. Was he more concerned about what Jacob was going to do to him or Joseph’s safety? When a tough situation arises, be more concerned about how it will affect others and you will find the right solution.
Verses 31-33 – Then the cover up began. They convinced Jacob that Joseph was dead.
Verse 34 – Tearing one’s clothes and wearing sackcloth were signs of mourning, much like wearing black today.
Verse 36 – Imagine the culture shock Joseph saw when he got to Egypt. The Ishmaelites were also called Midianites. They sold Joseph to Potiphar, a captain of the guard of Pharaoh’s house. Pharaoh was over all of Egypt.