Day 34 of Reading the Bible in 365 Days
Genesis 36 is basically the rundown on Esau’s (that is, Edom) descendants and the rulers of Edom.
Genesis 37 —
Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, Canaan. This is the account of Jacob. Joseph, at 17, was tending the flocks with his brothers. Israel (aka Jacob) loved Joseph more than his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornamented robe for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more them, they hated him. Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. He described his dream where it made him look as though he were to reign over them. He had a second dream and described it to his brothers and father where the sun, moon and 11 stars bowed down to him. His brothers were jealous of him but his father kept the matter in mind.
His brothers went to graze their father’s flocks near Shechem. Israel/Jacob told Joseph to go see if his brothers and the flocks were well and to bring word back to him. A man found Joseph searching for his brothers and directed him to Dothan. When his brothers saw him in the distance, they plotted to kill him and claim that a ferocious animal devoured him. When Reuben heard this, he suggested they not kill him, but throw him into the cistern, so they did. A caravan of Ishmaelites were coming from Gilead taking products to Egypt. Judah suggested to his brothers that they sell Joseph rather than kill him, so they sold him for 20 shekels of silver. When Reuben came to check the cistern to rescue Joseph, he tore his clothes and confronted his brothers. They took Joseph’s ornamented robe, slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in blood. They took it to their father and he recognized it and said some ferocious animal must have devoured him. Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and mourned his son many days. All his sons and daughters came to comfort him but he refused comfort. So his father wept for him. Meanwhile, the Midianites sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard.
What do you believe the significance is of the men tearing their clothes?