“Israel loved Joseph best of all his sons, for he was the child of his old age; and he had made him a long ornamented tunic.”
“When his brothers saw that their father loved him best of all his brothers, they hated him so much that they could not say a kind word to him.”
Source: USCCB.org “Genesis” chapter 37:3-4
God Renames People for “Special Missions”
An Excerpt from The Didache Bible, Genesis 35:9-19 Pages 43-44
“God appeared to Jacob again, when he came from Pad’dan-ar’am, and blessed him. And God said, ‘Your name is Jacob; no longer shall your name be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name.'”
Renaming Examples: “Abram becomes Abraham. Sarai becomes Sarah. Jacob becomes Israel. Simon becomes Peter.”
This Week’s Prayer
“Thank you, Lord, that you are
always with me no matter what.
In the name of the Father, and of
the son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Source: Catholic Book of Bible Stories Page 27
For Parents to Share with Their Children
We Memorize the “Apostles’ Creed”
This is an ancient profession of faith that states all that we believe as Catholics. It is shorter than the Nicene Creed and less complicated. Children can memorize the Apostles’ Creed easily, by reciting it out loud daily. Soon, they will have it memorized.
An Excerpt from the USCCB.org
Source: USCCB.org “Genesis”, chapter 37:1-28
“Joseph Sold into Egypt”
.1 “Jacob settled in the land where his father had sojourned, the land of Canaan.
*2 This is the story of the family of Jacob.* When Joseph was seventeen years old, he was tending the flocks with his brothers; he was an assistant to the sons of his father’s wives Bilhah and Zilpah, and Joseph brought their father bad reports about them.
3 Israel loved Joseph best of all his sons, for he was the child of his old age; and he had made him a long ornamented tunic.
*4 When his brothers saw that their father loved him best of all his brothers, they hated him so much that they could not say a kind word to him.
5* Once Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers, they hated him even more.
a6 He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had.
7 There we were, binding sheaves in the field, when suddenly my sheaf rose to an upright position, and your sheaves formed a ring around my sheaf and bowed down to it.”
8 His brothers said to him, “Are you really going to make yourself king over us? Will you rule over us?” So they hated him all the more because of his dreams and his reports.b
9 Then he had another dream, and told it to his brothers. “Look, I had another dream,” he said; “this time, the sun and the moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”
10 When he told it to his father and his brothers, his father reproved him and asked, “What is the meaning of this dream of yours? Can it be that I and your mother and your brothers are to come and bow to the ground before you?”
11 So his brothers were furious at him but his father kept the matter in mind.
12 One day, when his brothers had gone to pasture their father’s flocks at Shechem,
13 Israel said to Joseph, “Are your brothers not tending our flocks at Shechem? Come and I will send you to them.” “I am ready,” Joseph answered.
14 “Go then,” he replied; “see if all is well with your brothers and the flocks, and bring back word.” So he sent him off from the valley of Hebron. When Joseph reached Shechem,
15 a man came upon him as he was wandering about in the fields. “What are you looking for?” the man asked him.
16 “I am looking for my brothers,” he answered. “Please tell me where they are tending the flocks.”
17 The man told him, “They have moved on from here; in fact, I heard them say, ‘Let us go on to Dothan.’” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them in Dothan.
18 They saw him from a distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him.
19 They said to one another: “Here comes that dreamer!
20 Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the cisterns here; we could say that a wild beast devoured him. We will see then what comes of his dreams.”c
21* But when Reuben heard this, he tried to save him from their hands, saying: “We must not take his life.”
22 Then Reuben said, “Do not shed blood! Throw him into this cistern in the wilderness; but do not lay a hand on him.” His purpose was to save him from their hands and restore him to his father.d
23 So when Joseph came up to his brothers, they stripped him of his tunic, the long ornamented tunic he had on;
24 then they took him and threw him into the cistern. The cistern was empty; there was no water in it.
25 Then they sat down to eat. Looking up, they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, their camels laden with gum, balm, and resin to be taken down to Egypt.
e26 Judah said to his brothers: “What is to be gained by killing our brother and concealing his blood?
f27 Come, let us sell him to these Ishmaelites, instead of doing away with him ourselves. After all, he is our brother, our own flesh.” His brothers agreed.
28 Midianite traders passed by, and they pulled Joseph up out of the cistern. They sold Joseph for twenty pieces of silver* to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt.g”
Note* The symbols and letters are related to the commentary on the USCCB.org webpage that has this reading, Genesis, chapter 37. All of the Bible readings have this notation for readers.
An Excerpt for Children
“Joseph’s Brothers Sell Him into Slavery”
“When Joseph came up to his brothers, they ripped off his long coat with full sleeves. Then they took him and threw him into the well, which was dry.
While they were eating, they suddenly saw a group of Ismaelites traveling from Gilead to Egypt. Their camels were loaded with spices and resins. Judah said to their brothers, ‘What will we gain by killing our brother and covering up his murder? Let’s sell him to the Ismaelites. Then we won’t have to hurt him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.’ His brothers agreed.”
Source: The Catholic Children’s Bible, Genesis chapter 37:23-27 Page 78
An Excerpt for Young Children
“The Wonderful Coat” Genesis 37
“Jacob lived in Canaan. He had twelve sons, but Joseph was his favorite. To show Joseph just how much he loved him, Jacob had a wonderful coat made for him–a long-sleeved robe covered with colorful embroidery.
His brothers were jealous, but what really angered them was when Joseph began telling them of the dreams he had had.”
Source: The Illustrated Bible for Little Ones, Page 37
Psalm 23 from The Didache Bible Page 628
Joseph pre-dated David by centuries, but this Psalm reflects Joseph’s trust in the Lord that helped him survive his many difficulties.
“The Divine Shepherd”
“A Psalm of David”
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I
shall not want;
he makes me lie down in
He leads me beside still waters;
he restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of
the shadow of death,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil,
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall
all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
Joseph’s brothers are vivid examples of what jealousy, envy, and coveting can lead to. It’s hard to imagine such horrible behaviors from brothers to another brother for being their father’s favorite child. The brothers of Joseph were not children. They were grown men. Joseph was seventeen-years-old. It it a story that teaches us about the weakness of human beings when they feel they have been left out or denied something they believe to be theirs–like Joseph’s coat, and their inheritance. Usually, the oldest son received the father’s patrimony (wealth, land, possessions). This must have increased the jealousy towards Joseph, the youngest son.
“Jealousy is a desire to have what someone else has. Jealousy causes hatred and sadness. You see jealousy at work in the story of Joseph. Joseph’s brothers were jealous of him because their father made Joseph a beautiful coat. Joseph made things even worse. He told his brothers that in his dreams, he ruled over them.
His brothers were so jealous, they decided to kill Joseph. They took Joseph’s coat and threw him in a dry well. After thinking about it, the brothers changed their minds. They decided not to kill Joseph. Instead, they sold Joseph as a slave.
When the brothers returned home, they made their father, Jacob believe that Joseph was dead. Imagine the pain this caused the father.”
Source: The Catholic Children’s Bible, Genesis chapter 37:12-35 Page 79
Project Suggestions–“Make An Emotions Checklist”
For the “Joseph and His Brothers” writing project, work as a family. Invite your children to write down words of behaviors that hurt feelings, such as actions of jealousy and anger, and then talk about what is opposite to those emotions. For example, the opposite of “mean” is “kind.” The opposite of “stingy” is “generous.”
The main goal is to identify emotions that need to be talked about rather than to be left festering and not dealt with. Young children can certainly understand and write “mad,” “sad” “hurt,” “mean,” etc. Older children will be able to discuss the more complex feelings, such as “covet,” “rage,” “vengeance,” etc. Talking to Mom and Dad about feelings is the antidote to the emotions that cause us stress, anger and pain.
Sample Opposite Words List
Art Project–Joseph “Mosaic”
A mosaic is an artwork made with small objects ( rocks, tile bits, glass, paper pieces, etc.) to create a larger picture or decoration. They can be on huge walls or floors. Or, can be used to decorate plates and other smaller ceramic or metal objects. The photo below is a large mosaic of a crane from ancient Israel. A mural is a painting or mosaic design painted or installed on a wall. There are many ancient murals or fragments of murals thought the world.
Source: Israel: Ancient Mosaics, Pl. XXll
I am exploring making paper cut-outs of old paintings I didn’t like, or have made expressly to become “mosaics.” I “slimmed ” Joseph’s coat down because I didn’t like the fullness of it in the original painting. Since murals and mosaics are an ancient art form, I decided to create the mosaic below. It’s a fun project that older kids will enjoy. If it’s too much work for the younger children, encourage them to paint the colorful coat in any way they wish. Watercolors are the fastest way to do this and are lovely.
For an interesting conversation, ask your children how dyes were made in ancient times!
Hint: animal ( crushed insects, sea snails, mollusks and animal bones), mineral (stones, gems, ore, dirt, mud), and vegetable ( herbs, flowers, plants, resins).
For a list of natural methods of dyeing fabrics that include animal, mineral, and vegetable Click Here!