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The Bloody Coat

Genesis 37

Once upon the time, there was a family with twelve sons and several daughters. A family that has twelve children must be crowded, don't you think? Among the twelve sons, the tenth son was named Joseph, that means Joseph had ten older bothers and one younger brother. On the year Joseph was seventeen, all his older brothers had grown up; some of them had families, only the little brother was still young. Joseph loved his young brother very much because he and Joseph were the children of the same mother, and their mother had died for a long time.

One day, Joseph's father gave him a beautiful coat of many colors; probably because Joseph was young and good, so his father rewarded him. All his older brothers saw their father loved Joseph, they became envious; eventually, they hated Joseph. They commanded Joseph to do all kinds of different things and even made Joseph angry. One night, Joseph was sleeping, he had a strange and clear dream, so Joseph came to tell his older brothers. Joseph said: "I saw everyone was working on the field. My sheaf stood up, but your sheaf bowed down to mine." After hearing that story, all the brothers hated Joseph even more.

Another time, Joseph had a dream again and he also told his brothers. This time Joseph saw the sun, the moon, and eleven stars all bowed down to Joseph. After listening to this dream, the older brothers told Joseph that he was young but proud, and wanted to have control of them. Joseph's father also scolded Joseph why he dared to say so. Even though he scolded Joseph, but he remembered everything in his heart. The brothers still hated Joseph very much; not only they did not treat kindly to Joseph, but also they began to find way to harm Joseph. Mean while Joseph still loved his brothers, he would tell his brothers everything he had known.

After a little while, the brothers must took their animals out to the fields for them to eat grasses, only Joseph himself and the youngest brother stayed home. After the older brothers had gone for several weeks, their father asked Joseph to bring food to them and find out if they were fine or not, and then let him know about them. Following his father's words, Joseph prepared the food and left. Because he didn't know the roads, so Joseph got lost; he had to ask many people in order to find his brothers. When just seeing Joseph coming from far away, the brothers thought this time was the good chance to pay back; therefore, they planned together to kill Joseph. When the oldest brother heard that, he immediately found way to interfere. He told the other brothers to drop Joseph in the well but don't kill him so that they wouldn't have sin. He said so because he planned that after the other brothers had left, he would come and pull Joseph out of the well and take him home to his father.

When the older brothers just made the plan, Joseph also came. Walking alone during several days, now he met his older brothers, he was so happy, ran toward and hold them. But the brothers stormed toward him, took away the food basket on Joseph's hands, and then took off the colorful coat that their father had given to him. Joseph was too afraid and cried his eyes out, but his older brothers didn't let him go. They carried Joseph to a well near there and dropped him down. Fortunately for Joseph, that was a dry well, so Joseph didn't die.

After dropping Joseph down in the well, the older brothers went back to their place and took the food basket that Joseph brought to them, they opened it and ate together happily as nothing had happened. While they were eating, there was a trading group walking by. These were the salesmen from one land to another. They transported by camels and carried with them a lot of merchandise. So that, the brothers had thought: "Oh, maybe we should sell Joseph to these salesmen to have some money, this way is more beneficial than killing him." With that thought, they called the salesmen and told them that they wanted to sell a boy as a slave. The brothers came back to the well and hauled Joseph out of the well. Joseph was so happy, he thought his brothers stopped their anger so that they let him free. But his happiness became his fear when he saw his brothers took him to a stranger. Joseph hasn't had a chance to ask anything; the stranger came near, hold Joseph's hand, picked him up from the ground, put him on the back of the camel, and then paid his brothers twenty pieces of silver. Joseph was too scared, crying out loud, begging, but no one had pity on him.

Joseph had never met these people, but also he could not understand their language; but now, his brothers forced him to go with them. Joseph didn't know where they were taking him to, and what they would do with him. With that thought in mind, Joseph was too afraid, turned around to look at his brothers to beg for salvation, but no one had pity on him and saved him. Therefore, Joseph was taken to a very far away place, and he would never be allowed to see his father and his little loving brother. When Joseph was sold away, the oldest brother was not present there. A little while after that, he came back to the well to haul Joseph out, but he didn't see Joseph anywhere. He thought his younger brothers had killed Joseph, so he was very sad and worry. He knew that he would be scolded by his father, since he was the oldest and he had to take the responsibility. Feeling too sad, the oldest brother sadly walked away.

Since the brothers sold Joseph away, they now had to find a way to lie about their sin. After discussing together, they caught a goat and killed it, then they spread its blood on Joseph's coat of many colors. They tore and rumpled the coat so it would look like Joseph was killed by wild beast. After that, they sent it to their father and said: "Father takes a look at this, is it Joseph's coat?" Saw the coat with full of blood, the father believed right away that Joseph was killed by wild beast; therefore, he cried with heart-rending.

The older brothers probably satisfied when seeing their father was too sad, moaning, because he had lost the loving son.. These brothers destroyed Joseph so their father couldn't love Joseph more than he loved them. Joseph's brothers had achieved what they wanted, that was: separated Joseph from their family, sent Joseph away from their father's love. All happened because of their jealous and selfish hearts. The older brothers were very jealous and selfish so that none of them thought about their old father suffering miserable and dared to tell the truth to him that Joseph was still alive. From that, Joseph's father lived in sadness, lonely, sorry for the good son had died painfully.

QUESTIONS:

  1. Why did the older brothers hate Joseph?
  2. Because of jealousy, what did the older brothers do to harm Joseph?
  3. Is the sin of jealousy dangerous? Why?
  4. Please tell several cases that you have felt jealous with other people.

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Written by Minh Nguyen
Translated by D. Ngo



2002 Vietnamese Christian Broadcast and its Audio Content Provider. Used With Permission.