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Bible Commentaries

Sermon Bible Commentary

Genesis 37

Verses 1-36

Genesis 37:0

Joseph's is one of the most interesting histories in the world. He has the strange power of uniting our hearts to him, as to a well-beloved friend. He had "the genius to be loved greatly," because he had the genius to love greatly, and his genius still lives in these Bible pages. We discover in Joseph

I. A hated brother. The boy was his father's pet. Very likely he was the perfect picture of Rachel who was gone, and so Jacob saw and loved in him his sainted wife. In token of love his father foolishly gave him a coat of many colours, to which, alas! the colour of blood was soon added. It was for no good reason that his brothers hated him. Joseph brought unto his father their evil report. Not that he was a sneaking tell-tale; but he would not do as they did, nor would he hide from his father their evil doings. God means the children of a family to feel bound together by bands that grapple the heart, and to stand true to one another to life's end. Reverence the mighty ties of kindred which God has fashioned. Joseph also teaches you never to make any one your foe without a very good reason. The weakest whom you wrong may one day be your master.

II. Joseph was also a blameless youth. Though terribly tempted, he never yielded. He was shamefully wronged, yet he was not hardened or soured. His soul was like the oak which is nursed into strength by storms. In his heart, not on it, he wore a talisman that destroyed sin's charms. The heavenly plant of his piety disclosed all its beauty, and gave out its sweet odours in the wicked palaces of Potiphar and Pharaoh.

III. Joseph was also a famous ruler. He entered Egypt as a Hebrew slave, and became its prime minister. He was the hero of his age, the saviour of his country, the most successful man of his day. He became so great because he was so good; he was a noble man because he was a thorough man of God.

IV. Joseph was a type of Christ. Joseph, like Jesus, was his father's well-beloved son, the best of brothers, yet hated and rejected by his own; was sold from envy for a few pieces of silver, endured a great temptation, yet without sin; was brought into a low estate and falsely condemned; was the greatest of forgivers, the forgiver of his own murderers; and was in all things the son and hope of Israel.

J. Wells, Bible Children, p. 35.

References: Genesis 37:0 F. W. Robertson, Notes on Genesis, p. 135; M. Dods, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, p. 139. Genesis 37:1-11 , A. Craig, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xiii., p. 358; R. S. Candlish, Book of Genesis, vol. ii., p. 113; W. M. Taylor, Joseph the Prime Minister, p. 7. Genesis 37:1-36 . Clergyman's Magazine, vol. iv., p. 99. Genesis 37:3 S. Cox, Expositor's Notebook, p. 31.

Verse 3

Genesis 37:3 , etc.

Jacob was wrong in making a favourite of Joseph. The coat of many colours was the dress the firstborn child was to wear. In giving it to Joseph, Jacob was making him like the firstborn son. It was a beautiful white tunic, with a great many pieces bound upon it not many colours like a rainbow.

I. Joseph's coat must have been a snare to him, for we read that he was a tell-tale. He told his father about the wrong things that his brothers did. Never tell of others till you have used every possible persuasion. If you try to do good to others, you must be very good yourself.

II. Just at that time Joseph had two dreams. Perhaps it was the wearing of the coat that made him have these dreams. He was a little proud about the coat, so he had proud dreams.

III. When his father sent him to Dothan, we find that Joseph was very obedient and very brave. He went at once. He lost his way, but he was so persevering he would not go back, because he was determined not to return without doing what his father told him; and even after his brothers had sold him, we find that he was patient and forgiving. The reason was that he loved God and tried to please Him. God took care of him and blessed him through life.

J. Vaughan, Sermons to Children, 4th series, p. 317.

References: Genesis 37:12 , Genesis 37:35 . W. M. Taylor, Joseph the Prime Minister, p. 20; R. S. Candlish, Book of Genesis, vol. ii., p. 120. Genesis 37:18 . Parker, Hidden Springs, p. 140. Genesis 37:19 . Parker, vol. i., p. 287; Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxvii., p. 262.Genesis 37:25-36 . R. S. Candlish, Book of Genesis, vol. ii., p. 128. Genesis 37:33 . Homiletic Magazine, vol. xii., p. 139. Genesis 37:36 . Preacher's Monthly, vol. vii., p. 167. Genesis 38:0 R. S. Candlish, Book of Genesis, vol. ii., p. 128. Genesis 39:0 F. W. Robertson, Notes on Genesis, p. 140; Parker, vol. i., p. 294; M. Dods, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, p. 165; R. S. Candlish, Book of Genesis, vol. ii., p. 138. Genesis 39:1 . Ibid., p. 128. Genesis 39:1-7 . W. M. Taylor, Joseph the Prime Minister, p. 33.Genesis 39:2 . Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxvii., No. 1610; G. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons, p. 369. Genesis 39:2-21 . Clergyman's Magazine, vol. xiv., p. 96. Genesis 39:7-23 . W. M. Taylor, Joseph the Prime Minister, p. 48.

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Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Genesis 37". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/sbc/genesis-37.html.