By Ashlee Price
Judah’s dark eyes glowed with rage. He viciously ripped the bark off a tree branch with his hunting knife. “I hate Joseph!” He and his brothers were sitting in the shade of a large oak tree in the fields far from their homeland in Canaan, tending to their father’s sheep.
“Agreed.” Issachar seethed. “Father loves him more than any of us!”
Naphtali pulled a blade of grass out of the ground. “Something must be done to him!”
The ten brothers contemplated in their hearts all the things that had happened between them and Joseph. Their father, Jacob, loved Joseph more than his other sons. Joseph was the firstborn of Rachel, Jacob’s favourite wife. What bothered Joseph’s brothers most was that none of them could find a fault in him. He seemed to do everything right. The brothers often tried to tempt him to do something wrong, yet he would never give in to their temptations. They were annoyed with Joseph because his righteous life condemned their own sinful lives and revealed how unwilling they were to change their ways.
“Oh look! Here he comes now,” Dan scorned, his eyes burning with anger.
All the brothers looked in the direction that Dan was pointing in, to see their little brother bouncing joyfully over the hill, grasping his shepherd’s staff, and singing a song to himself. Their father had sent him to deliver food to his brothers.
“It’s the dreamer,” Asher spat.
“Yes, that so-called dreamer,” Simeon growled, leaping to his feet. “Remember when he told us he dreamt that our bales of hay bowed down and worshiped his bale of hay, and then the second dream where we were all represented by stars in the night sky who bowed down to him, and even Father and Mother, who were represented by the moon and sun, bowed down to him as well.”
“It was like God was revealing something to him,” Zebulun exclaimed fiercely, joining in on the attack.
“Don’t forget that wretched coat of many colours that Father gave him the other week.” Naphtali reminded his brothers of their father’s open favouritism towards their younger brother.
“Yeah, where’s our beautiful coats?” Issachar mocked. “Father doesn’t love us enough to give us any of our own.”
“I say we kill Joseph,” Judah grinned maliciously. “Then we will never have to see that repulsive coat or our brother ever again.”
A murmur of unison swept through the group of brothers, but Reuben, the eldest in the family, stood up from the dusty ground. “What would it gain us to kill him? Let us just throw him into a pit and leave him to die.”
Secretly, Reuben planned to come back and rescue Joseph after the other brothers had left, seeing he could not bear to see his younger brother – his own flesh and blood—die out here all alone in the wilderness.
The brothers watched Reuben quizzically as he stepped past them all and disappeared over a hill. Reuben felt that if he stood there any longer with his brothers, he would give away his secret plan.
Meanwhile, Joseph had almost reached the spot where his brothers sat talking, completely unaware of their murderous scheming. He smiled as he drew closer, waving to them, but suddenly shrank back in fear as he saw his brothers slowly coming towards him with menacing looks in their eyes.
As he began to turn and run, they easily chased him down and grabbed his beautiful coat, tearing the precious garment from his back. Their grimy fingernails dug painfully into his skin as they seized his arms and dragged him to an empty well close by.
“Brothers, what are you doing?” Joseph screeched in surprise at the turn of events. “Let me go!”
But his cries for help were unheeded as he was picked up and hurled into the dark well. It happened so fast that he hardly knew what was happening until he felt himself falling, falling, falling …
PICTURE CREDIT – FreeBibleimages