What does Genesis 37:1 mean?
ESV: Jacob lived in the land of his father’s sojournings, in the land of Canaan.
NIV: Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, the land of Canaan.
NASB: Now Jacob lived in the land where his father had lived as a stranger, in the land of Canaan.
CSB: Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, the land of Canaan.
NLT: So Jacob settled again in the land of Canaan, where his father had lived as a foreigner.
KJV: And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan.
NKJV: Now Jacob dwelt in the land where his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan.
Verse Commentary:
This summarizes the story arc which began in Genesis 28, following Jacob's travels and adventures. He had fled home to escape the murderous rage of his twin brother (Genesis 27:42–43). That rage was driven by the bitter favoritism of Jacob's parents (Genesis 25:27–28) and Jacob's own deception (Genesis 27:30–35). After amassing wealth and a large family, Jacob was reunited with his brother (Genesis 33:1–4), but Esau's family moved away because the land couldn't support both massive tribes (Genesis 36:6–8).

Chapter 36 described the descendants of Esau and their conquest of the land of Seir. Jacob, renamed Israel by God (Genesis 35:10), remained in the territory Isaac had never left: the land of Canaan. This is the land God promised to make the possession of Jacob and his descendants (Genesis 12:4–7; 26:1–5; 35:9–12).
Verse Context:
Genesis 37:1–11 describes Jacob's love and favor for one of his sons, Joseph. The most obvious sign of this extreme partiality is an extravagant robe given to Joseph by his father. Jacob seems to have forgotten the damage done by his parents' own favoritism (Genesis 25:27–28). He ignores or fails to recognize the jealous hatred brewing among his other sons. The situation festers until the brothers can't say a kind word to Joseph. After Joseph reports two prophetic dreams which suggest he will one day rule over them all, they become even more jealous and enraged.
Chapter Summary:
Joseph, 17, is deeply loved by his father Jacob and deeply resented by his ten older brothers thanks to Jacob's favoritism. Jacob gives Joseph a princely robe, and Joseph reports dreams that predict his family will one day bow before him. When alone with Joseph in the wilderness, the brothers decide to kill him. Reuben stops them, suggesting they throw him alive into a pit, instead. While Reuben is gone, however, the brothers sell Joseph to slave-traders, later convincing their father Joseph has been killed by a wild animal. Joseph is placed in the home of an Egyptian nobleman.
Chapter Context:
Following the death of Isaac and the story of Esau's people, Genesis begins a section called the "generations of Jacob." The story will focus primarily on Jacob's son Joseph. Joseph is deeply hated by his brothers. While alone with him in the wilderness, they sell him to slave-traders, who take Joseph to Egypt. Chapter 38 details some of the scandals which happened while Joseph was gone. Genesis 39 will resume a focus on Joseph's experiences.
Book Summary:
The book of Genesis establishes fundamental truths about God. Among these are His role as the Creator, His holiness, His hatred of sin, His love for mankind, and His willingness to provide for our redemption. We learn not only where mankind has come from, but why the world is in its present form. The book also presents the establishment of Israel, God's chosen people. Many of the principles given in other parts of Scripture depend on the basic ideas presented here in the book of Genesis. Within the framework of the Bible, Genesis explains the bare-bones history of the universe leading up to the captivity of Israel in Egypt, setting the stage for the book of Exodus.
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