Genesis 37:16 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 37:16, NIV: He replied, 'I'm looking for my brothers. Can you tell me where they are grazing their flocks?'

Genesis 37:16, ESV: “I am seeking my brothers,” he said. “Tell me, please, where they are pasturing the flock.”

Genesis 37:16, KJV: And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks.

Genesis 37:16, NASB: He said, 'I am looking for my brothers; please tell me where they are pasturing the flock.'

Genesis 37:16, NLT: 'I'm looking for my brothers,' Joseph replied. 'Do you know where they are pasturing their sheep?'

Genesis 37:16, CSB: "I'm looking for my brothers," Joseph said. "Can you tell me where they are pasturing their flocks? "

What does Genesis 37:16 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jacob sent Joseph to Shechem to gather a report on the flocks from his brothers (Genesis 37:12–14). It might have been suspicion which motivated Jacob, since Joseph arrives to find they are not in the expected location. Instead, he finds himself wandering the fields looking for the family. A stranger noticed the lost-looking 17–year-old and asked what he is searching for. Now Joseph asks where his brothers have gone.

The following verse reveals they have moved the flocks to Dothan, even farther from home (Genesis 37:17). By the time Joseph finds them, he will truly be isolated from any protection his father might have provided. Joseph's furious and jealous older brothers are stung by Jacob's favoritism (Genesis 37:3–5) and Joseph's dreams (Genesis 37:5, 9). Catching their hated sibling far from home is an opportunity they won't pass up (Genesis 37:18, 28).