Genesis

Translated by Victor Alexander 2003 (posted February 16, 2003)

Genesis 37

1. And Jacob settled in the land that he occupied, the land of his father, the land of Canaan.
2. And these were the children* of Jacob -- when Joseph was a seventeen-year-old boy,* he was tending the flocks with his brothers, and he spent much time with the children of Zilpah and the children of Bilhah, his father's women, and Joseph brought their worst behavior to the attention of their father.
3. And Israel had more compassion for Joseph than all his other sons, because he had had him in old age -- and so he had made him a seamless, hand-woven robe.
4. And his brothers saw that he had more compassion for him than for all of them, so they hated him and could not bring themselves to greet him with peace.
5. And Joseph dreamt a dream and told his brothers about it, and they hated him more,
6. As he told them, "Listen to this dream that I dreamt,
7. "Behold, we were as though bound sheaves inside a field that are bound and left after the harvest and, behold, my sheaf stood up and was lifted up, while, behold, around it your sheaves bowed down and worshipped it."
8. And his brothers said to him, "Will you reign like a king over us, will you? Or will you have authority over us like a ruler, will you?" And they hated him more for his dreams and for his explanations.
9. And Joseph dreamt again another dream and he let his brothers know about it, and he told them, "Behold, I dreamt another dream, and, behold, the sun, the moon and the eleven stars worshipped me."
10. And as he told it to his father and his mother, his father yelled at him and said, "Who did you dream this about? Is it going to come to it that your mother and I and all of us will bow down to your worship on this earth?"
11. And his brothers made ironic insinuations about him, but his father made a note of what he said.
12. And the brothers of Joseph went to shepherd the flocks of their father in Shechem.
13. And Israel said to Joseph, "Behold, your brothers are tending flocks in Shechem, come, let me send you to them," and Joseph said, "Here, I am ready."*
14. And his father told him, "Go seek the peace of your brothers and bring me back the produce of the flocks,"* and so Jacob sent him from the depth of Hebron and he came to Shechem.
15. And a man found him, as he was lost in the fields, and he asked him, "Who are you looking for?"*
16. And he said, "I am looking for my brothers,* show me, where are they pasturing the flocks?"
17. The man said to him, "They took off from here and I heard they said that they were going to Dothan."* And so Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan.
18. And as they saw him from afar, until he stood before them, they intended to kill him.
19. And the man said to his brother, "Behold, the dreamer of the dreams is coming,
20. "Let us kill him and throw him in one of the holes and say that an evil creature devoured him, and let us see what becomes of his dreams."
21. And Reuel heard it and delivered him from their hands.
22. And he said to them, "Do not take his life." Reuel said to them, "Do not spill his blood, throw him in this hole in the wilderness here; do not lay a hand on him." He said this so as to deliver him from their hands and return him to his father.
23. And as Joseph came to his brothers, they took off the seamless, hand-woven robe that he wore.
24. Then they took and threw him in the hole, and the hole was empty and without water.
25. And they sat down to eat bread, and they raised their eyes and looked and, behold, an Arabian caravan coming from Gilead, with their camels carrying spices, silks and nuts, taking them on their way to Egypt.
26. And Judah said to his brothers, "What is the use of killing our brother and spilling his blood?
27. "Come, let us sell him to the Arabs, and let us not be responsible for him,* because he is our brother and of our flesh," and his brothers listened to him.
28. And so these traders went over and saved Joseph, pulling him out of the pit, they were Midianite men* who bought Joseph for twenty pieces of silver and brought him to Egypt.
29. And Reuel returned to the pit and, behold, Joseph was not in it, and he tore his garments in anguish.
30. And he went back to his brothers and asked them, "Where is the boy? Where shall I go now?"
31. And they took Joseph's robe and slaughtered some young goats, and they rolled the robe in their blood,
32. And they sent over the robe of virgin wool and they brought it to his father and said, "This we found, do you recognize this robe as your son's or not?"
33. And he recognized it and said, "This is my son's robe, evil creatures have eaten him; my son Joseph has been torn to pieces."*
34. And Jacob tore his garments in anguish and wore the sackcloth on his back and cried his heart out for many days.
35. And there stood there all his sons and all his daughters in order to console him,* but he would not be consoled, saying, "I will mourn my son unto sheol," and the father wept for his son.
36. The Medianites, however, sold him into Egypt to the faithful Potiphar, Pharoah's chief general of the cavalry.

*37:2.1 Lit. Ar. id.: "Births."
*37:2.2 Lit. Ar. id.: "Son."
*37:3 Like the one Jesus had at the Cross, a one piece cotton loom.
*37:13 Lit. Ar. id. "Behold, I," or: "Here I am."
*37:14 Lit. Ar. idiomatic construction: "Go see the peace of your brothers and the peace of the flocks, that they give me an explanation."
*37:15 Lit. Ar. idiomatic expression: "What do you want?"
*37:16 Lit. Ar. idiomatic expression: "I want my brothers."
*37:17 Lit. Aramaic: "Native land."
*37:22 Lit. Ar. idiomatic expression: "Do not kill the soul."
*37:27 Lit. Ar. idiomatic expression: "Let not our hand be with him."
*37:28 Arab traders who were from Medina, the city that became Mecca in the Islamic period.
*37:33 Lit. Ar. idiomatic figure of speech: "Breaking broken."
*37:35 Lit. Ar. idiomatic expression: "Give him heart."

Genesis 38

1. And in that season Judah went down from his brothers and sought an Arlamite* man and his name was Hirah.*
2. And Judah saw Taman, the daughter of Shoa', a Canaanite man. And he consecrated her [as his wife] and entered upon her.
3. And she became pregnant and gave birth to a son and named him Eir.
4. And she became pregnant again and gave birth to a son, and his name was called Ownan.
5. And she grew big again and gave birth to a son, and his name was called Shelah. And her childbearing came to an end with his birth.
6. And Judah consecrated a wife for Eir his heir, and her name was Tamar.
7. And Eir, Judah's first born was evil before the Lord, and the Lord took his life.*
8. And Judah told his son Ownan, "Enter upon your brother's wife and make her conceive and raise offspring for your brother."
9. And Ownan knew that the offspring would not be considered his, so whenever he entered upon his brother's wife, he masturbated on the ground, so as not to raise offspring for his brother.
10. And what he did offended the Lord and He took his life also.
11. So Judah said to Tamar, his daughter-in-law, "Sit as a widow in your father's house until my son Shelah has grown up," because he said to himself, "Lest he may also die like his brothers." And so Tamar went and sat at her father's house.
12. And the days passed and the daughter of Shoa', the wife of Judah, died, and Judah mourned her, and he went up to the sheep pasture at Timnath, together with Hirah, the Arlamite, his father-in-law.
13. And they saw Tamar and told her, "Behold, your father-in-law is going up to Timnath to sheer the flocks."
14. And she divested herself of the widow's tunic and wrapped the veil over her body and made herself up, and she sat at the crossroads of Tinnath, because she saw that Shelah was all grown up but she was not given to him in marriage.
15. And Judah saw her and thought she was a prostitute, because she wore the veil over her face.*
16. And he accosted her on the road and said to her, "Come, let me enter upon you," because he did not know she was his daughter-in-law; and she said to him, "What will you pay to enter upon me?"
17. And he said, "I will send a goat's kid from the flocks." She told him, "If you give me a pledge until you send it..."
18. And he said, "What pledge shall I leave you?" And she said, "Your ring seal, your cord and the staff in your hand." And he gave them to her and entered upon her and she became pregnant through her intercourse with him.*
19. And she got up and went and removed the veil of prostitution from her, and she put on the tunic of widowhood.
20. And Judah sent the goat's kid through his Arlamite father-in-law to recover the deposited pledges from the hands of the wife and he did not find her.
21. And he asked the country folk, saying, "Where is that prostitute that sat at the crossroads?" And they told him, "There is no such prostitute."
22. And he returned to Judah and said, "I did not find her, and even the country folk said that there is no such prostitute."*
23. And Judah said, "Give it to her, lest I become a laughingstock -- behold, I send a goat's kid and you did not find her."
24. It came to pass after three months, they came to Judah and told him, "The prostitute is Tamar, your daughter-in-law, and behold, she is pregnant as a result of her prostitution." And Judah said, "Bring her out and expose her."*
25. And as they brought her out, she revealed to her father-in-law, "I was made pregnant by the man to whom these belong," and she charged, "Whose ring seal, cord and staff are these?"
26. And then Judah admitted and said, "She is more pious than me, because I did not give her Shelah my son," and he did not pursue the matter any further.*
27. And the season of her childbirth arrived and, behold, she had twins in her belly.
28. And as the infant's hand protruded, she tied a crimson thread to his hand, saying, "This one came first."
29. And as he pulled back his hand, his brother came out and she said, "Why was the breach against you?* And she called his name Peres.*
30. And afterwards there emerged his brother, upon whose hand was the crimson thread, and she called his name Zerah.*

*38:1.1 Lit. Aramaic retained: "Adullamites," in English versions. "Urr-la-ma-yah," the name means "a man who owned much land," or "a people that owned land,"  or "landed gentry."
*38:1.2 Lit. Ar. name: "Khee-ra," or "the free." "Freeman" would be a comparable name.
*38:7 Lit. Ar. idiomatic expression: "Deadened him."
*38:15 Traditional style of prostitution; prostitutes revealed their faces only when paid.
*38:18 Lit. Ar. expression: "She became pregnant from him."
*38:22 Note, in the Western Bibles this is translated as "temple harlot" or "temple prostitute."
*38:24 Lit. Ar. expression: "Let her burn." First reddening of the sky at sunrise.
*38:26 Lit. Ar. idiomatic expression: "Add to knowing her."
*38:29.1 Lit. Ar. idiomatic expression: "Why did the breach breach you?"
*38:29.2 Lit. Aramaic: "Breacher."
*38:30 Lit. Aramaic: "Crimson sun ray."

Genesis 39

1. The Midianites brought Joseph down to Egypt, and Potiphar, the faithful chief of the cavalry, bought him -- an Egyptian man -- off of the hands of the Arabs who brought him there.*
2. And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a man who built the assets of his Egyptian master.
3. And his master noticed that the Lord was with him, and whatever he did the Lord turned it into assets in his hands.
4. And Joseph found favor in his eyes with his services, so he put him in charge of his household, and he gave everything he had into his hands.
5. And it came to pass that as of the season that he put him in charge of his household and all that he had, the Lord blessed the house of the Egyptian because of Joseph, and the Lord's blessings were upon everything he had at home and in the field.
6. And he left everything that he had in Joseph's hands, and he did not know what Joseph did with it* except for the bread that he ate; and Joseph was handsome in appearance and generous in manner.
 
7. And after these circumstances, the wife of his master cast her eyes upon Joseph and said to him, "Sleep with me."
8. But he would not. And he said to his master's wife, "Behold, my lord knows not what there is with me in his house, and everything he has he has placed in my hands.
9. "And there is no greater master than me here, and he has not withheld anything from me, with the exception of you who are his wife -- how could I do this great evil and sin against God?"
10. And she kept telling him this everyday, but he did not listen to her; he did not sleep with her or be with her.
11. And on one of those days Joseph entered the house to do some work and found none of the household members home.
12. And she grabbed him by his clothes and said to him, "Sleep with me," and he left his clothes in her hand and he ran out into the street.
13. And as she saw that he left his clothes in her hands and ran out into the street,
14. She called the members of the household and told them, "Look, we had a Hebrew servant for a caretaker; he entered upon me and wanted to sleep with me and I screamed in a loud voice.
15. "And as he heard that I screamed, he ran out into the street."
16. And she kept the clothes with her until her master came home.
17. And she told him such words like these, "The Hebrew servant you gave us, to make us into a laughingstock, he entered upon me.
18. "And as I raised my voice and shouted, he left his clothes in my hands and ran out into the street."
19. And as he heard the words that his wife told him, that this is what your servant did to me, his anger flared.
20. And his master fetched him and threw him in prison in the country, where the royal prisoners were held.
21. And the Lord was with Joseph, casting favor over him and finding mercy in the eyes of the prison's warden.
22. And the prison's warden put in Joseph's hand all the prisoners of the ward and he put him in charge of all they did and he followed his lead in everything.
23. And the prison's warden saw to nothing himself, putting everything into Joseph's hands, because it was the Lord who was with him, and whatever Joseph did, the Lord made it come to rights.

*39:1 Note, the Arabs had not yet conquered Egypt and practically wiped out the original Egyptians. The Coptic Christians of today may be the remnant of the original Egyptians.
*39:6 Lit. Ar. idiomatic expression: "What he with him," or: he trusted him completely.

Genesis 40

1. And after these circumstances, the chiefs of the wine servants and the bakers sinned against the king of Egypt.
2. And the Pharaoh was enraged at his faithful servants, at the chief wine server and the chief of the baking furnace.
3. And he cast them into prison by the chief of his army, where Joseph was a prisoner.
4. And the commander of the armies put Joseph in charge of them, and Joseph took care of them, and they spent a number of days in prison.
 
5. And both of them had a dream, each one dreamed according to one interpretation, that of the king of Egypt's wine server and that of the baker, while they were prisoners;
6. And there came to them Joseph in the morning and saw that they were both moody.
7. And he asked the faithfulls of Pharaoh, with whom he was numbered in the house of his master,* and he said to them, "Why are your faces downcast on this day?"
8. And they told him that we have dreamt a dream that has no interpretation. Joseph said to them, "Behold, God will diving your dreams; relate them to me."
9. And the chief wine server related his dream to Joseph, saying, "In my dream, behold, the vines shot up, and there were three offshoots, and as soon as they branched out, the leaves shot up and their clusters were filled with grapes.
11. "And there was the cup of Pharaoh in my hand, and I took the grapes and squeezed them into Pharaoh's cup and I handed the cup to Pharaoh."
12. Joseph said to him, "This is the interpretation of your dream, the three offshoots of your dream, these are three days.
13. "For after three days, the Pharaoh shall remember you and return you to your routine, and you will give the cup into Pharaoh's hand, according to the first order of things, when you used to serve him the wine.
14. "But you remember me now, when you are back into his graces and bring me also under that grace and do right by me; remember me before Pharaoh and get me out of this prison.
15. "For I have been truly kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I did nothing to deserve being thrown into prison."
16. And as the chief baker saw that he interpreted the dream beautifully, he said to Joseph, "I, too, in my dream and, behold, three white-bread baskets on my head.
17. "And in the uppermost basket was Pharaoh's food, the products of my furnace, and the hungry creatures ate them from the basket above my head."
18. And Joseph replied and said, "This is the interpretation of your dream, the three baskets are three days.
19. "After three days, Pharaoh shall have you beheaded, and he will have you nailed to the wood and the birds will eat your flesh."
20. And on the third day, it was the Pharaoh's birthday, and on that day the Pharaoh planned a feast of libation for all his servants.
21. And he remembered his chief wine server and his chief baker together with his servants, and he restored his chief wine server to his routine, and he gave the cup into the hands of Pharaoh.
22. But the chief baker he crucified, as Joseph had revealed in his interpretation.
23. And the chief wine server did not remember Joseph, and he forgot about him.

*40:7 Note, prophesying regarding Jesus who would be counted as a transgressor.

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