What does Genesis 37:11 mean?
ESV: And his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the saying in mind.
NIV: His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.
NASB: And his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.
CSB: His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.
NLT: But while his brothers were jealous of Joseph, his father wondered what the dreams meant.
KJV: And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.
Verse Commentary:
The ten older half-brothers of Joseph already hated him so deeply they couldn't bring themselves to say a single friendly word to him (Genesis 37:4). After all, he and his baby brother Benjamin were the youngest of the 12, but their father clearly loved them best (Genesis 37:3; 42:3–4). Worst, Jacob had given Joseph a princely robe, perhaps signaling his preference to give Joseph the family birthright and a greater share of the inheritance when the time came (Genesis 37:3).

Then came Joseph's dreams of all of them bowing down to him (Genesis 37:5–9). Even Jacob rebuked Joseph for sharing these visions (Genesis 37:10). His brothers' jealousy has reached dangerous new levels. The following verses will reveal they are ready to harm their younger brother (Genesis 37:18, 28).

Interestingly, even though Jacob scolded Joseph for sharing his dream of ruling over the family, he doesn't entirely dismiss the vision. Jacob, himself, saw God-given dreams (Genesis 28:10–16). He doesn't reject the possibility that Joseph's dream may have some validity (Genesis 42:6), though he does not share that thought with the rest of the family. Jacob simply keeps the idea in the back of his mind.
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.
Accessed 4/22/2024 2:16:02 AM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.
www.BibleRef.com