The Bible Story of Joseph

The Bible story of Joseph can be found in Genesis, Chapters 37-50. Joseph's story is one of the longest continuous narratives in the Bible. It is a story loved by children, a story in which a man is betrayed by his brothers, taken into slavery and wrongly punished by his master.

Throughout his ordeals Joseph holds firm to his belief in God and in the end triumphs as ruler of all Egypt.

Below you will find the 21st Century King James Version Bible story of Joseph, Chapter 37. We chose this version because it is available in public domain, allowing me to copy it and post it here for your use.

We recommend that if you are using this Bible story of Joseph with children, that you simplify the text for easier understanding and provide fun learning activities to enhance their experience. You can find links to the online resources we've collected to provide you with free, printable activities and lesson plans associated with the Bible story of Joseph at the bottom of the page.

Genesis 37

1And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan.

2These are the generations of Jacob.

Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives. And Joseph brought unto his father an evil report about them.

3Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age; and he made him a coat of many colors. 4And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him and could not speak peaceably unto him.

5And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it to his brethren; and they hated him yet the more. 6And he said unto them, "Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: 7For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and lo, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf."

8And his brethren said to him, "Shalt thou indeed reign over us? Or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us?" And they hated him yet the more for his dreams and for his words.

9And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it to his brethren and said, "Behold, I have dreamed one dream more; and behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me."

10And he told it to his father and to his brethren; and his father rebuked him and said unto him, "What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?" 11And his brethren envied him, but his father observed the saying.

12And his brethren went to feed their father's flock in Shechem. 13And Israel said unto Joseph, "Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? Come, and I will send thee unto them." And he said to him, "Here am I."

14And he said to him, "Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren and well with the flocks, and bring me word again." So he sent him out of the Vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem. 15And a certain man found him, and behold, he was wandering in the field; and the man asked him, saying, "What seekest thou?"

16And he said, "I seek my brethren. Tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks."

17And the man said, "They have departed hence, for I heard them say, `Let us go to Dothan.'" And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan. 18And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.

19And they said one to another, "Behold, this dreamer cometh. 20Come now therefore and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, `Some evil beast hath devoured him'; and we shall see what will become of his dreams."

21And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands and said, "Let us not kill him." 22And Reuben said unto them, "Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him" -- that he might rid him out of their hands to deliver him to his father again.

23And it came to pass, when Joseph had come unto his brethren, that they stripped Joseph of his coat, his coat of many colors that was on him; 24and they took him and cast him into a pit. And the pit was empty; there was no water in it.

25And they sat down to eat bread; and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and behold, a company of Ishmaelites came from Gilead with their camels, bearing spices and balm and myrrh, going to carry them down to Egypt.

26And Judah said unto his brethren, "What profit is it if we slay our brother and conceal his blood? 27Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh." And his brethren were content.

28Then there passed by Midianite merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. And they brought Joseph into Egypt.

29And Reuben returned unto the pit, and behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes. 30And he returned unto his brethren and said, "The child is no more; and I, whither shall I go?"

31And they took Joseph's coat, and killed a kid from the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood. 32And they sent the coat of many colors, and they brought it to their father and said, "This have we found. Know now whether it be thy son's coat or not?"

33And he knew it, and said, "It is my son's coat. An evil beast hath devoured him. Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces."

34And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days. 35And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted, and he said, "For I will go down into the grave unto my son, mourning." Thus his father wept for him.

36And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh's and captain of the guard.

For the rest of the Bible story of Joseph, visit Bible Gateway

Scripture quotations taken from the 21st Century King James Version®, copyright © 1994. Used by permission of Deuel Enterprises, Inc., Gary, SD 57237. All rights reserved.

Okay, so how do you make sure your kids understand the important lessons stemming from the Bible story of Joseph?

Well, here are a few resource links that will take you to sites that offer printable activity sheets, bible coloring pages, bible lessons plans, everything we need to aid in our children's learning experience.

  • Calvary Chapel Children's Curriculum: Great worksheets, coloring pages and activity sheets available for you to print out and use immediately. When you get to the page scroll down to Course #'s 28-33 for the lessons centered around the Bible story of Joseph.

  • Hubbard's Cubbard: this link takes you directly to the page that lists Bible story of Joseph themed activities for toddlers.

  • Garden of Praise: Here you will find a child friendly version of the Bible story of Joseph along with activities, tests, songs.

The above links are to the specific pages that contain resources centered around the Bible story of Joseph. However, I recommend exploring all three sites, and becoming familiar with their layouts – because they are a wealth of information and can assist you in other Bible story topics you may be interested in sharing with your children.

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