ABC:Genesis 37

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Verse 28[edit]

TheThinkingAtheist.com claims the Bible is wrong about the following passage in the section "Who did the Midianites sell Joseph to?", and makes the following comments:[1]

Genesis 37:28 Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.

The Midianites sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites.

Genesis 37:36 And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh's, and captain of the guard.

Sold to Potiphar. Same chapter. Same book.

As often happens, the critic's faulty reading comprehension comes into play here. The passage never says "The Midianites sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites." Reading the passage in context clearly shows it was Joseph's own brothers who sold Joseph to the Midianites/Ishmeelites.

Ishmeelites was just a synonym for the Midianites. Joseph's own brothers sold him to the Midianites/Ishmeelites. In fact, the passage itself clearly shows this if read in context, but TheThinkingAtheist.com failed to quote the key verse 27 that would've made this obvious.

Genesis 37:27 Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.
28 Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.

As v. 27 clearly shows, it was Joseph's brothers who sold him to the Ishmeelites, because the Ishmeelites and Midianites are one and the same. For example, I am both an American and an Illinoisan, they are two different names for what I am, but one defines me by continent, and one by state. In the same way, one can be a member of two groups. The context in this passage was very obvious just from a single verse earlier, that this got called a contradiction is simply ridiculous.

Therefore, Joseph's brothers sold him to the Midianites/Ishmeelites, who in turn sold him to Potiphar. A reading of the chapter in context clearly shows these were two separate events.

Sources[edit]

  1. TheThinkingAtheist. Bible Contradictions. Retrieved from http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/page/bible-contradictions.