Yaakov settled in the Land of Cana’an (Israel). His son with Rachel, Yosef, brought negative reports to him about the sons of Leah, his half-brothers. Yaakov gave Yosef a woollen tunic. Yosef’s brothers became jealous. Yosef had a dream in which all 12 brothers are binding sheaves in the field. The brothers’ sheaves gather around Yosef’s sheaf and bow to it. This increased their hatred. Yosef had another dream; the sun and moon and 11 stars bow to him. He related this to his brothers and to Yaakov, who rebuked him.
Yosef’s brothers shepherd Yaakov’s flock. Yaakov sent Yosef to meet them. His brothers plotted to kill him. Reuven dissuaded them, advising them to throw Yosef in a pit instead. Reuven planned to rescue Yosef and return him to his father.
Yosef’s brothers removed his tunic and threw him in the pit. They saw a caravan of merchants approaching. Yehuda suggested selling Yosef to the merchants to become a slave in Egypt. The brothers dipped the tunic in the blood of a goat and showed it to Yaakov, who concluded that Yosef was killed by an animal.
Yehuda has three sons – Er, Onan and Shela. Er married Tamar, but is killed by God. Yehuda instructed Onan to marry Tamar. Onan also died. Yehuda would not let his final son marry her, so Tamar disguised herself and approached Yehuda at a crossroads. Unaware of her identity, he consorted with her, for the wage of two kid goats. He left her his ring, coat and staff as surety. Yehuda sent a friend to take the payment to the unidentified lady but he does not find her. Yehuda is later told that Tamar is pregnant and ordered her to be burned to death. As she is taken out, she declared that the owner of the surety is the father. Yehuda recognised the objects and admitted his role. Tamar is spared and gave birth to twins, Peretz and Zerach.
Yosef was sold to Potiphar, the Chamberlain of the Butchers. Yosef was very successful and Potiphar placed him in charge of his household.
Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce Yosef, who rejected her advances. One day they were alone in the house. She tried again and caught his garment; he ran away. With Yosef’s garment in her hand, she summoned her household, showed them his garment and accused Yosef of attempting to seduce her. Potiphar imprisoned Yosef, who earned the trust of the chief prison officer.
Pharaoh’s baker and butler transgressed against Pharaoh and were sent to the same prison as Yosef. Each one had a dream, which Yosef interpreted: both will be taken out of prison in three days – the baker to be hanged and the butler to be restored to his post. Yosef asked the butler to mention his plight to Pharaoh, but he forgot to do so.