Genesis 37: Joseph's Really Bad Day

Genesis 37: Joseph's Really Bad Day

Journey through the Book of Genesis with me.  The plan is simple. Read ONE chapter a day. Blog or journal 5* things you learned that you previously didn't know and ask 5* questions about the chapter that you'll ponder all week. Let's go!

** You'll probably learn way more than 5 things and have more than 5 questions about each chapter. That's totally fine. The more the merrier! 

GENESIS 37:1-36


QUESTION 1: What was the nature of the “bad report” (v.2) Joseph brought to Jacob about his brothers?

QUESTION 2: Why did God choose to reveal to Joseph at an early (and immature) age what he would someday become? 

QUESTION 3: Had Joseph not revealed the dream to his brothers (and the resulting activities hadn’t occured), what path might he have taken to the throne that he would later ascend to in Egypt?

QUESTION 4: When verse 11 says, “Jacob kept the saying in mind”, as in he was pondering the implication of Joseph’s dream, how much of its ultimate reality could he have discerned? Having heard from, and actually wrestled with God earlier in life (Genesis 28, 32), should he have picked up on the sooner on what was starting to happen?

QUESTION 5: (Verse 18- 20) Why is fratricide the brother’s immediate reaction? (As opposed to a good beating or a "knocking around to get some sense into him”)?    

QUESTION 6: Why is Reuben (eldest brother) suddenly going out of his way to try and spare Joseph’s life?

QUESTION 7: (Verse 26) Is Judah’s attempt to save Joseph from death an honorable motive or is he merely driven the selfish desire to make money off him?


INSIGHT 1: By “loving Joseph more than any other of his sons” and making him “a robe of many colors”, Jacob was bestowing on him privileges that should have been reserved for the firstborn, thereby creating toxicity in the relational dynamics between his children.

INSIGHT 2: When Joseph’s brothers ask him in verse 8, “Are you actually going to reign over us? Are you really going to rule and govern us”, there is every indication that they weren’t being sarcastic, but actually threatened by the possibility that his dream would come to fruition.

INSIGHT 3: In Genesis 35:22, Reuben had committed incest by sleeping with one of his father’s wives, thereby falling out of favor with Jacob. It is possible that his attempt here in verse 21 to spare Joseph’s life is an attempt at falling into his father’s good graces once again. 

INSIGHT 4: (Verse 25) After violently grabbing him, stripping him of his clothes and tossing him in a pit, the brother’s conscience have become so numb that they’re actually able to sit down to eat! (v.25)

INSIGHT 5: Joseph would clearly not have been silent or pliant while his brothers stripped him of his robe, threw him in the pit, and then later pulled him out to be sold into slavery. Aside of the fear and terror, he would have been perplexed by the turn of events because it did not align with the life- trajectory that God head revealed to him in his dreams. 

INSIGHT 6: Reuben’s mourning, “The boy is gone, and I, where shall I go?” in verse 30 sounds more like the cry of a man who is worried he just lost his last chance to “get in good” with his father, than the cry of someone who is genuinely concerned about the welfare of his lost brother. 


Husband. Dad. Pastor. Nigerian American. Storyteller. Aspiring Prayer Warrior. Steak Lover. Follower of Jesus Christ reminding you that God the Father still loves you.