What does Genesis 37:35 mean?
ESV: All his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted and said, “No, I shall go down to Sheol to my son, mourning.” Thus his father wept for him.
NIV: All his sons and daughters came to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. 'No,' he said, 'I will continue to mourn until I join my son in the grave.' So his father wept for him.
NASB: Then all his sons and all his daughters got up to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. And he said, 'Surely I will go down to Sheol in mourning for my son.' So his father wept for him.
CSB: All his sons and daughters tried to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. "No," he said. "I will go down to Sheol to my son, mourning." And his father wept for him.
NLT: His family all tried to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. 'I will go to my grave mourning for my son,' he would say, and then he would weep.
KJV: And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him.
NKJV: And all his sons and all his daughters arose to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted, and he said, “For I shall go down into the grave to my son in mourning.” Thus his father wept for him.
Verse Commentary:
Convinced by his sons (Genesis 37:31–34) that his favorite son (Genesis 37:3–4) is dead, Jacob has entered a period of customary mourning. This included wearing rough clothes, tearing them, and openly expressing sorrow. He continues in this heartbroken state of mourning long past the customary week or month. He refuses all efforts to comfort him, even when his children apparently try to talk him into moving on. Instead, Jacob insists that he will continue in this state of intense anguish until he dies.

Jacob reveals his expectation that when he dies, he will go to a place known as sheol, where he expects to be reunited with Joseph. Ancient Israelites held only a vague set of beliefs about this part of the afterlife. Sheol wasn't pictured as a happy place, necessarily, but neither was it a place of torment. Rather, it was something of a shadowy underworld. Psalm 16:10 includes the confident statement that God would not abandon the writer's soul to sheol, looking forward to an existence with the Lord apart from that place.

The verse ends with a simple statement that Jacob wept for Joseph, indicating that his mourning was not a show. He was utterly devastated. This created discomfort for his older 10 sons, as well, as they watched their father suffer on and on because of their secret crime. This would even influence Judah, many years later, to offer his own freedom in exchange for sparing Jacob from another such experience (Genesis 44:18, 30–34).
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 5/25/2024 12:41:28 AM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV, NKJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.
www.BibleRef.com