Jacob is now 100 years old, he decides to stay in Hebron with his twelve sons. He loves his son Joseph more than his other sons and so he gives him a special many-colored coat as a gift. Joseph’s brothers are jealous of him. Joseph then tells his brothers about two dreams that he has in which he rules over them, and this gets them even more upset at him.
The brothers go to fields near Shechem to bring their sheep to the pastures there. Joseph stays behind to keep Jacob company but, after a bit, Jacob sends him his brothers to see how they are doing. Shimon and Levi decide to kill Joseph but Reuben convinces them not to; he suggests rather that they throw Joseph into a pit, thinking he’ll go back and save him from the pit later. Reuben then goes back home to Jacob because it is his turn to take care of him, and while he’s away Judah sells Joseph to a caravan of Ishmaelites. When Reuben finds out that Joseph was sold, he is very upset.
The brothers then deceive their father Jacob, by dipping Joseph’s special coat into the blood of a goat, which is similar to the blood of a person, so Jacob thinks that Jospeh was killed by a wild animal. Jacob tears his clothing in mourning as he mourns Joseph and no one is able to comfort him. The Ishmaelites then sell Joseph to Medianites who take him to Egypt and sell him to Potiphar, a minister of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt.
Joseph is blessed by G-d: he is well liked by everyone and everything he does is successful. He is soon put in charge of running Potiphar’s house. One day though, Potiphar’s wife lies, saying that Joseph tried to hurt her. So Joseph is sent to prison, and even in prison people are impressed with Joseph, with his attitude and his way of talking to others. He becomes an important person in the prison and becomes in charge of the other prisoners there.
At one point Joseph meets two important people in prison: Pharaoh’s chief butler who was in charge of the wine and the chief baker who was in charge of the bread baked for Pharaoh. They both have dreams which they cannot understand, and Joseph is able to explain the dreams. He tells them that in three days the butler will be freed from prison and that the baker will be hanged. Joseph asks the butler to ask Pharaoh to free him once he himself is freed. Indeed, Joseph's dream interpretation's come to pass--the chief butler is freed and the chief baker is killed. But the butler forgets about Joseph and Joseph continues to languish in prison.