Chapter 37: Joseph Sold into Egypt
Jacob/Israel dwelt in the land of Canaan and loved Joseph more than all of his sons. Because Israel loved Joseph more than all of his other sons (the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah), his other sons despised Joseph because they were jealous.
Israel even gave Joseph a special coat, a coat of many colors. Joseph has a dream that his brothers would bow down to him and this upset everyone. Joseph’s brothers are in the land of Shechem feeding their father’s flock and Israel tells him to go and help them.
Joseph journey’s after his brothers, and when he cannot find them in the field a man tells him that they went down to Dotham, so he travels there, but as he travels his brothers look off from a distance and conspire to kill Joseph. So as Joseph approaches him, they take his coat from him and desire that he be placed into a pit in the wilderness, then cover the coat with sheep’s blood and tell Israel that he was devoured by a wild beast.
After they throw him in the pit, they sit and eat bread, when they notice some Ishmeelite merchants from Gilead coming towards them. So they decide to sell Joseph to these merchants. They sell him for twenty pieces of silver, and they bring Joseph to Egypt. Later he gets sold to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh’s in Egypt.
When Joseph’s brothers bring Israel the bloody coat and tell him that he was killed by wild beasts in the wilderness, Israel mourns for many days.
Chapter 38: Judah and Tamar
Judah goes down to a Canaanite named Shuah and lies with her and she bares a son named: Er. Then she conceives again and they name the son: Onan. Then she conceives yet again and bares a son and they name the son: Shelah.
Er marries Tamar and does evil in the sight of the Lord and the Lord slays him. Onan by custom would then come in and marry his brother’s widow, to raise seed unto Er. Well Onan does not like this and makes sure that Tamar cannot get pregnant, by “spilling his seed on the ground” (see Genesis 38:8-10), what Onan does, displeases the Lord and he is also slain by the Lord.
Now that Tamar is a widow with no one to take care of her, she is invited to come and live with her father, until Shelah is old enough to marry her. But when Shelah is old enough, Judah does not permit him to marry Tamar. During this time Judah’s wife also dies, so Judah takes a trip to where his sheep are being sheered and by the roadside Tamar disguises herself as a prostitute (because she knew that Judah would be coming that way).
So Judah asks this “prostitute” (not knowing that the “prostitute” was Tamar) to sleep with him, and Tamar asks him: “…What wilt thou give unto me, that thou mayest come in unto me?” (Genesis 38:16), Judah responds: “…I will send thee a kid from the flock (a young goat)… what pledge shall I give thee?” (Genesis 38:17-18) Tamar the “prostitute” asks for his signet, bracelets and staff, because it had his seal on it. Then she “lies” with him and conceives with him.
So, after this Judah sends a friend to bring this “prostitute” her young goats and to collect his things, but cannot find her anywhere. Judah gives up the search, for fear that he be ridiculed. But 3 months later he finds that Tamar is pregnant and commands that she be burnt and Tamar tells him here are the things of the man that I slept with. Judah realizes that it was him and Tamar does not get burnt. Judah also realizes that he was in the wrong, because he never had Shelah marry Tamar. Tamar bares two sons (twins), Pharez and Zarah.
Chapter 39: Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife
Joseph was brought down to Egypt and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh buys him from the Ishmeelites. Potiphar sees that the Lord is with Joseph and makes him the overseer of his house. Joseph was a good person and was highly favored. But Potiphar’s wife noticed Joseph and repeatedly asks him to “lie” with her, thus committing adultery.
After several failed attempts by Potiphar’s wife, because Joseph resisted her every single time. Potiphar’s wife grabs his garment as he fled from her one day and falsely accuses Joseph of wanting to lie with her. Potiphar finds out about this and sends Joseph to prison.
But the Lord looked out for Joseph and made the keeper of the prison realize how great Joseph was, and gave him the power to run/control the prison and the prisoners.