A Short Study in Genesis 37
First, read Genesis 37 and then spend some time working through the following questions.
What are your initial impressions of Joseph? Of the brothers? Of Jacob?
How old was Joseph? What job did he have? (Think: Who else in the Bible had a similar job?)
How did Jacob feel about Joseph, and how did he show this feeling (vs 3,4)? How did Joseph’s brothers react?
What did Joseph dream about? (vs 5-11)
Why do you suppose Joseph told his family about his dreams?
Summarize three things from verses 1-11 that led Joseph’s brothers to be angry with him.
Who was it that protected Joseph when his brothers wanted to kill him, and what did this person convince the brothers to do?
(Think: Why might this brother want to help Joseph?)
Who suggested another alternative regarding Joseph, what reason did he give, and what was done to Joseph (vs 26-28)?
How did Jacob react to the news about Joseph?
Read Genesis 50:20. How does this verse explain the apparent absence or silence of God in chapter 37? Where is the reader expected to see God in chapter 37?
Remember, the original audience for Genesis 37 was the Exodus community of Israel. They are in the wilderness, waffling between following Yahweh towards the promised land or returning to slavery in Egypt. What significance might they find in this story?
Read the following portion of Westminster Confession of Faith and briefly summarize the meaning of each paragraph. How are these paragraphs applicable to our study of Genesis 37?
I. God the great Creator of all things does uphold direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things, from the greatest even to the least, by His most wise and holy providence, according to His infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of His own will, to the praise of the glory of His wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy.
II. Although, in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first Cause, all things come to pass immutably, and infallibly; yet, by the same providence, He orders them to fall out, according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently.
III. God, in His ordinary providence, makes use of means, yet is free to work without, above, and against them, at His pleasure.
Worship Songs for Sunday:
- Bible Questions on Genesis by David E. Pratte
- Bible Wise Study Guide on Genesis, Various Authors
- Westminster Catechism & Applicable Bible Stories, Various Authors