What does Genesis 37:15 mean?
ESV: And a man found him wandering in the fields. And the man asked him, “What are you seeking?”
NIV: a man found him wandering around in the fields and asked him, 'What are you looking for?'
NASB: A man found him, and behold, he was wandering in the field; and the man asked him, 'What are you looking for?'
CSB: A man found him there, wandering in the field, and asked him, "What are you looking for? "
NLT: When he arrived there, a man from the area noticed him wandering around the countryside. 'What are you looking for?' he asked.
KJV: And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field: and the man asked him, saying, What seekest thou?
NKJV: Now a certain man found him, and there he was, wandering in the field. And the man asked him, saying, “What are you seeking?”
Verse Commentary:
Joseph doesn't seem to know the danger he is in, but as readers we are fully aware. The tension keeps ratcheting up. Overt favoritism (Genesis 37:3–4), Joseph's reports on his brothers (Genesis 37:2) and his audacious dreams (Genesis 37:5, 9) have enraged his older brothers. He has arrived in Shechem (Genesis 37:12), sent by his father. His purpose is to gather a report on the flocks from his brothers (Genesis 37:13–14). He is alone and isolated.

Surprisingly, though, he can't find his brothers. This hints at a possible reason for Jacob sending Joseph to check on the flocks. A stranger from the area finds the 17–year-old wandering in the fields and asks what he is looking for.
Verse Context:
Genesis 37:12–36 describes how Joseph's wildly resentful brothers finally get rid of him. They hate Joseph for being Jacob's favorite (Genesis 37:3) and for his grandiose dreams (Genesis 37:5, 9). When Joseph arrives alone at the camp of his brothers, very far from home, they have an opportunity. Only Reuben's intervention keeps them from killing Joseph outright. Instead, while Reuben is absent, the brothers sell Joseph to passing slave traders and later convince their father he has been killed by a wild animal. Joseph becomes a slave in an Egyptian home. Genesis 39 will return to Joseph's story.
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 5/21/2024 11:57:53 AM
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