Bible Study

Genesis 37:1-17

Joseph's Dreams

Are wrong attitudes as bad as wrong actions? Why or why not?


I. Joseph's brothers hate him

Why did Israel (Jacob) love Joseph more than his other sons?

Why did Joseph's brothers hate him?

Why did Israel tend to show favoritism?
This is the account of Jacob.
Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them.
Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made a richly ornamented robe for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him. Genesis 37:1-4, NIV
II. Joseph dreams of sheaves

What was the meaning of this dream?

How did Joseph's brothers respond to this dream? Why?
Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. He said to them, "Listen to this dream I had: We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it."
His brothers said to him, "Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?" And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said. Genesis 37:5-8, NIV
III. Joseph dreams of stars

What was the meaning of this dream?

How did Joseph's father respond to his brothers' jealousy?
Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. "Listen," he said, "I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me."
When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, "What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?" His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind. Genesis 37:9-11, NIV
IV. Joseph searches for his brothers

What was significant about Shechem? (Genesis 34:1-31)

Why do you think Israel sent Joseph to check on his brothers?

Do you think Israel was aware of the danger into which he was sending Joseph?
Now his brothers had gone to graze their father's flocks near Shechem, and Israel said to Joseph, "As you know, your brothers are grazing the flocks near Shechem. Come, I am going to send you to them."
"Very well," he replied.
So he said to him, "Go and see if all is well with your brothers and with the flocks, and bring word back to me." Then he sent him off from the Valley of Hebron.
When Joseph arrived at Shechem, a man found him wandering around in the fields and asked him, "What are you looking for?"
He replied, "I'm looking for my brothers. Can you tell me where they are grazing their flocks?"
"They have moved on from here," the man answered. "I heard them say, 'Let's go to Dothan.'"
So Joseph went after his brothers and found them near Dothan. Genesis 37:12-17, NIV


What results should you expect when you show favoritism?

How should you deal with jealous attitudes within your family?

What is your attitude toward the talents God has given you?

How does your attitude affect the reception your words will get from others?

How willingly do you relinquish leadership to others?

Is there a situation in your life that you need to deal with more actively? What should you do?

Are there places or people to which you cannot return because of something in the past? How could you make things right?

What should determine the boundaries you set for your children?

Should you allow (or require) your children to participate in dangerous activities? Why or why not?

Why is it important to be involved in your children's lives?


Study Genesis 37:18-36, Joseph Sold by His Brothers.

Dave Bowser

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