Joseph was the second youngest son of Jacob and his favorite. His father, Jacob, made him richly ornamented robe (the "coat of many colors").
Joseph's brothers were jealous of Jacob's love for Joseph and offended by Joseph's dreams.
His brothers were so enraged and jealous of his brother that they began to plot to kill him. One day, Jacob sent Joseph to the fields to check on his brothers (notice he was the only one not working in the field - further evidence of Jacob's favoritism). As they saw him approaching, they realized this was their chance to kill him. Reuben was the only one with a soft heart (mostly for his father), and convinced the other brothers to just leave him in a cistern and tell Jacob he was killed by a wild animal. Judah wanted to get something out of it though, and convinced them to sell Joseph into slavery for money. They waited for some Ishmaelites to come by and sold him.
Joseph was sold to the Ishmaelites while they traveling to Egypt. The Ishmaelites descended from Abraham’s first son Ishmael. You can remind your students that Abraham also had Isaac. Isaac and Ishmael were half brothers. Isaac had Jacob, who had Joseph. This means Joseph was sold to his great uncle’s family. The Ishmaelites then sold him to Potiphar when they got to Egypt. Potiphar worked for the Pharaoh.
What is the strangest dream you’ve ever had? Dreams are important in our Bible story today.
It is very important that you have an overall understanding of the story and can emphasize how Joseph got from the land of Canaan to Egypt. This will set up the story next week when we learn about how Joseph's family came to Egypt.
Read story from a Children's storybook Bible for younger children.
For older children, read the story from an age-appropriate Children's storybook Bible or tell the story yourself.
Scripture for Kids to Read Aloud Genesis 37:19-28
First, ask the children if they have any questions about the story. What to do if you don't know the answer?