Bible & Quran

The Jealousy of Joseph’s Brothers

The Qur’an

“The Jealousy of Joseph’s Brothers”

Sura 12

Yusuf

4. When Yusuf said to his father: O my father! surely I saw eleven stars and the sun and the moon-- I saw them making obeisance to me.
5. He said: O my son! do not relate your vision to your brothers, lest they devise a plan against you; surely the Shaitan is an open enemy to man.
6. And thus will your Lord choose you and teach you the interpretation of sayings and make His favor complete to you and to the children of Yaqoub, as He made it complete before to your fathers, Ibrahim and Ishaq; surely your Lord is Knowing, Wise.
7. Certainly in Yusuf and his brothers there are signs for the inquirers.
8. When they said: Certainly Yusuf and his brother are dearer to our father than we, though we are a (stronger) company; most surely our father is in manifest error:
9. Slay Yusuf or cast him (forth) into some land, so that your father’s regard may be exclusively for you, and after that you may be a righteous people.
10. A speaker from among them said: Do not slay Yusuf, and cast him down into the bottom of the pit if you must do (it), (so that) some of the travellers may pick him up.
11. They said: O our father! what reason have you that you do not trust in us with respect to Yusuf? And most surely we are his sincere well-wishers:
12. Send him with us tomorrow that he may enjoy himself and sport, and surely we will guard him well.
13. He said: Surely it grieves me that you should take him off, and I fear lest the wolf devour him while you are heedless of him.
14. They said: Surely if the wolf should devour him notwithstanding that we are a (strong) company, we should then certainly be losers.
15. So when they had gone off with him and agreed that they should put him down at the bottom of the pit, and We revealed to him: You will most certainly inform them of this their affair while they do not perceive.
16. And they came to their father at nightfall, weeping.
17. They said: O our father! surely we went off racing and left Yusuf by our goods, so the wolf devoured him, and you will not believe us though we are truthful.
18. And they brought his shirt with false blood upon it. He said: Nay, your souls have made the matter light for you, but patience is good and Allah is He Whose help is sought for against what you describe.
19. And there came travellers and they sent their water-drawer and he let down his bucket. He said: O good news! this is a youth; and they concealed him as an article of merchandise, and Allah knew what they did.
20. And they sold him for a small price, a few pieces of silver, and they showed no desire for him.

 

The Bible

“The Jealousy of Joseph’s Brothers”

Genesis

Chapter 37

2. These 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 their evil report.
3. Now 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 colours.
4. And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.
5. And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.
6. And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed:
7. For, 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.
8. And 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.
9. And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.
10. And 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?
11. And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.
12. And his brethren went to feed their father’s flock in Shechem.
13. And 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.
14. And 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.
15. And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field: and the man asked him, saying, What seekest thou?
16. And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks.
17. And the man said, They are departed hence; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan.
18. And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.
19. And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh.
20. Come 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.
21. And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him.
22. And 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.
23. And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him;
24. And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.
25. And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt.
26. And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood?
27. Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.
28. Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.
29. And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes.
30. And he returned unto his brethren, and said, The child is not; and I, whither shall I go?
31. And they took Joseph’s coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood;
32. And they sent the coat of many colours, and they brought it to their father; and said, This have we found: know now whether it be thy son’s coat or no.
33. And he knew it, and said, It is my son’s coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.
34. And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days.

 

COMMENTARY

In the Qur’an:

1. Jacob encouraged Joseph not to tell his dream to his brothers and prophesied that Joseph would be an interpreter of dreams.

2. One of the brothers purposed not to kill Joseph but to throw him into a pit instead so that travelers would find him. They agreed to this plan even before Joseph came to them.

3. The brothers actually asked their father’s permission to let Joseph go with them so that they might execute their plot against him.

4. Jacob did not believe their story that a wolf had devoured Joseph.

5. Travelers found Joseph by accident in the well.

6. His brothers somehow were able to sell Joseph to the travelers, in spite of fact that those travelers found Joseph on their own. Or perhaps travellers found him while brothers were far away from the well and sold Joseph to the Egyptians for a small amount of silver.

 

In the Bible:

1. Joseph had two dreams and recounted them to his father and his brothers. Jacob interpreted Joseph’s dream and rebuked him.

2. His brothers had gone into the fields with their flocks and Jacob asked Joseph to find them and bring back news to him. As they saw Joseph approaching, the brothers plotted to get rid of him. Reuben, his oldest brother, tried to stop the other brothers from killing Joseph and proposed throwing him into the well, planning to rescue Joseph later and return him to his father. Reuben mourned over Joseph’s fate after his brothers sold Joseph into slavery.

4. Jacob believed the story about the death of Joseph and “...mourned for his son many  days.”

 

5, 6. His brothers saw travelers who happened to be descendants of Ishmael, and sold Joseph to them for twenty pieces of silver .

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