ImmerseBeginnings NLT - Flipbook - Page 71
distance coming toward them. It was a group of Ishmaelite traders taking
a load of gum, balm, and aromatic resin from Gilead down to Egypt.
Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain by killing our brother?
We’d have to cover up the crime. Instead of hurting him, let’s sell him to
those Ishmaelite traders. After all, he is our b rother—our own flesh and
blood!” And his brothers agreed. So when the Ishmaelites, who were Midianite traders, came by, Joseph’s brothers pulled him out of the cistern and
sold him to them for twenty pieces of silver. And the traders took him to
Some time later, Reuben returned to get Joseph out of the cistern. When
he discovered that Joseph was missing, he tore his clothes in grief. Then
he went back to his brothers and lamented, “The boy is gone! What will
I do now?”
Then the brothers killed a young goat and dipped Joseph’s robe in its
blood. They sent the beautiful robe to their father with this message:
“Look at what we found. Doesn’t this robe belong to your son?”
Their father recognized it immediately. “Yes,” he said, “it is my son’s
robe. A wild animal must have eaten him. Joseph has clearly been torn
to pieces!” Then Jacob tore his clothes and dressed himself in burlap. He
mourned deeply for his son for a long time. His family all tried to comfort
him, but he refused to be comforted. “I will go to my grave mourning for
my son,” he would say, and then he would weep.
Meanwhile, the Midianite traders arrived in Egypt, where they sold Joseph to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. Potiphar was
captain of the palace guard.
About this time, Judah left home and moved to Adullam, where he stayed
with a man named Hirah. There he saw a Canaanite woman, the daughter
of Shua, and he married her. When he slept with her, she became pregnant
and gave birth to a son, and he named the boy Er. Then she became pregnant again and gave birth to another son, and she named him Onan. And
when she gave birth to a third son, she named him Shelah. At the time of
Shelah’s birth, they were living at Kezib.
In the course of time, Judah arranged for his firstborn son, Er, to marry a
young woman named Tamar. But Er was a wicked man in the Lord’s sight,
so the Lord took his life. Then Judah said to Er’s brother Onan, “Go and
marry Tamar, as our law requires of the brother of a man who has died.
You must produce an heir for your brother.”
But Onan was not willing to have a child who would not be his own
heir. So whenever he had intercourse with his brother’s wife, he spilled the
semen on the ground. This prevented her from having a child who would