Coachlight Bible Study – Genesis Lesson 42 – Genesis Chapter 37

A Shepherd’s Trial


Colossians 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

Colossians 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

Colossians 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

Colossians 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.


The story is actually the fading of the story of Jacob and the beginning of the story of Joseph.  It has been 200 years since God called Abraham, and to the natural eyes, the covenant could not be seen.  Isreal had no land except a small tract which he purchased and all the male seed could fit in one tent!

Jacob had gotten complacent and spent too much time in Shecham and paid for it with the moral corruption of his family.  Now his family has to learn to look at the covenant as God sees it.


I. The Obedient Shepherd – Prefigures The Loving Shepherd


Genesis 37:1 And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan.

Genesis 37:2 These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.


A.  Joseph Was Hated By His Brethren Because He Exposed The Evil Of Their Hearts.

B. At 17, Joseph Visited His Brethren Who Were Tending Their Sheep In Shechem.

1. Joseph Saw The Wicked Conduct Of His Brothers

2. And Reported It To Their Father:

D. For This Joseph Was Hated All The More.

E. Our Lord Jesus Too, When He Came Into This World,

1. He Was Hated Because He Revealed Man’s Wickedness

2. He Was Hated Because He Testified Against Them. Christ Said:


John 7:7 “The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.”


F. Joseph Was Well Beloved Of The Father. We Read:


Genesis 37:3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours.

Genesis 37:4 And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.



G. Jesus Too, Was The Well-Beloved Of The Father.

1. He was also the Son of His Father’s old age

2. Even from eternity

3. One of His names is the Ancient of Days


II. Joseph The Dreamer – Prefigures Christ as The Prophet


Genesis 37:5 And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.

Genesis 37:6 And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed:

Genesis 37:7  For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.

Genesis 37:8 And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.



A.  Joseph Prefigured Christ As The Prophet

1. The foreteller of the future

2. Especially his own future

B. Already Joseph Was Hated By His Brethren

1. He had testified to his father concerning their wicked deeds

2. He was his father’s favorite son

a. He was honored by wearing a coat of many colors

b. This distinguished him from the rest of them

C. But He Caused Them To Hate Him Even More Bringing His Prophetic Dreams.

1. First Joseph saw his brethren

a. As sheaves of wheat in the field, bowing down to him,

b. This was a prophetic vision which would be fulfilled in Egypt.

2. In the second dream he saw the sun and the moon and eleven stars making obeisance to him.


Genesis 37:9 And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.


a. They hated him not only because of who he was - His father’s beloved son

b. They also hated him because of what he said.


c. It was his words to which they took exception


Genesis 37:8 And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.


D. This Is Actually A Prediction Of The Hatred Of Jesus’ Enemies.

1. They too hated Him because of what He claimed Himself to be:


John 5:18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.


2. They also hated Him for what He said:


John 8:40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.


E. Typical Significance Of The Dreams -  Two Separate Areas For The Setting Of Two Separate Dreams – Prefigures Christ’s Two Sovereign Reigns

1. The first was on earth.

a. Joseph saw sheaves of grain in the field, bowing down to him

b. The field is the world

c. The Dream deals with earthly sovereignty

2. The second dream was in the heavens

a. He saw the sun, moon and eleven stars making obeisance to him

b. The dream deals with the sovereignty in the heavens

c. Joseph looks forward to the Lord Who will reign as sovereign Lord and King, like He is today Lord in heaven

d. The sheaves bowing probably deal with His earthly kingdom, the promised Davidic kingdom.

e. The sun, moon and stars point to His heavenly people, the church, and the redeemed of all ages.


F. A Matter Of Mindset - His Brethern Envy Him – His Father Observes The Saying


Genesis 37:10 And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?

Genesis 37:11 And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.


1. His Brethren Envied Joseph

2. His father Observed the saying – He kept the Word of God much like Mary did


Luke 2:51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.



III. He Came To His Own


Genesis 37:12 And his brethren went to feed their father's flock in Shechem.

Genesis 37:13 And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? come, and I will send thee unto them. And he said to him, Here am I.

Genesis 37:14 And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.

Genesis 37:15 And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field: and the man asked him, saying, What seekest thou?

Genesis 37:16 And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks.

Genesis 37:17 And the man said, They are departed hence; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan.

Genesis 37:18 And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.

Genesis 37:19 And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh.


A. Joseph, The Beloved Of The Father, Was Sent By The Father

1. To visit his brethren

2. Present to them his gift.

B. The Father Was Deeply Interested In The Welfare Of The Brethren, And Sought Their Good:

C. Joseph Went To Shechem
D. The Brothers Had Moved To “Dothan” – “Two Wells”

E. 3. But When They Saw Him Coming, They Were Filled With Hatred And Said:


Genesis 37:19 “…Behold, the dreamer cometh.”


IV. The Brothers Came Up With An Evil Plot Against Jacob


Genesis 37:20 Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.

Genesis 37:21 And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him.

Genesis 37:22 And Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him; that he might rid him out of their hands, to deliver him to his father again.


1. They wanted to get rid of him.

2. They cast him into a pit - with no water

3. They weren’t sure what to do with him.

4. Then they had a break (or so they thought),

a. A band of Ishmaelites came passing by.

b. Joseph’s brothers sold him as a slave to the Ishmaelites

1. For twenty pieces of silver

2. Joseph was exiled in Egypt


V. They Stript Him Out Of His Coat - The Simile  - Between The Treatment Of Joseph, By His Brethren And The Abuse Jesus Suffered By His Brethren


Genesis 37:23 And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him;

Genesis 37:24 And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.


A.The Coat Of Many Colors Mentioned So Often In The Text

1. It was a very expensive, valuable coat.

2. It was given to him by his father to mark him as a specific figure.

B. This Coat Was Evidently A Seamless Robe

1. Woven in one piece with openings only at the top and the bottom

2. It had to be put on over the head or stepped into

a. Having no openings on the sides, front or back.

b. This is certainly indicated by the language in our Scripture. Notice:


Genesis 37:23 “…they stript Joseph out of his coat…”


3. Notice it does not say they took the coat off

a. They stript it from Joseph

b. They stript him out of his coat.

4. It is not an accident that in Jesus’ trial we read the same story

a. After the scribes and Pharisees and His brethren tried to kill Him

b. They found the pit dry – they could find no fault except in their tradition

c. They turned Him over to the Gentiles

d. Before stripping Him and keeping the seamless coat - We read of the soldiers and Jesus:


John 19:23  Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.

John 19:24 They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.


C. Joseph, The Type And Jesus The Anti-Type

1. Both wore the distinguishing garment of a father’s special love

2. Both wore a seamless garment.

D. After They Stripped Joseph And Cast Him Into The Pit - Look At This:


Genesis 37:25 “And they sat down to eat bread…”


1. While their brother was in the pit - the place of potential death

2. The Brethren were unconcerned and went right on eating their lunch


Matthew 27:35 And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.

Matthew 27:36 And sitting down they watched him there;


VI. His Brethern Sell Him For Pieces Of Silver


Genesis 37:25 And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt.

Genesis 37:26 And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood?

Genesis 37:27 Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.



Genesis 37:28 Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.

Genesis 37:29 And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes.

Genesis 37:30 And he returned unto his brethren, and said, The child is not; and I, whither shall I go?

Genesis 37:31 And they took Joseph's coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood;

Genesis 37:32 And they sent the coat of many colours, and they brought it to their father; and said, This have we found: know now whether it be thy son's coat or no.

Genesis 37:33 And he knew it, and said, It is my son's coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.


A. The Anger And Jealousy Reached Its Peak

1. And Joseph was betrayed

2. Was sold for 20 pieces of silver

B. And Note Also Who It Was That Lead The Betrayal – Judah!

1. This Is Translated From The Hebrew Name ‘Yehuda’,

2. And It Is The Same Name Which Can Be Translated Judas!

C. No Surprises Then That Jesus, Like Joseph,

1. Would Be Betrayed By One Of Those Closest To Him

2. This Time For A Great Total Of 30 Silver Pieces!


Matthew 26:14 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests,

Matthew 26:15 And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.

Matthew 26:16 And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.


D. This Was A Fulfillment Of The Great Prophecy In Zechariah Where God Himself Is Priced At 30 Pieces Of Silver!


Zechariah 11:13 ‘And the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the handsome price at which they priced me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the LORD to the potter.’


While Joseph didn’t understand it, God had other plans and would use this betrayal to exalt Joseph and through him give the means by which both Gentiles and Joseph’s own Jewish family would be saved. I’m sure you see the picture of Jesus!