A certain man found Joseph

Genesis Bible Background

01.15.2017 – Old Testament: Gen 37.15–17

To read the Bible in a year, read Genesis 36–37 on January 15, In the year of our Lord 2017

By Don Ruhl

Israel sent his son Joseph to see how Joseph’s brothers were doing with their flocks. As Joseph wandered about looking for them, the Bible inserts this interesting incident,

Now a certain man found him, and there he was, wandering in the field. And the man asked him, saying, “What are you seeking?” So he said, “I am seeking my brothers. Please tell me where they are feeding their flocks.” And the man said, “They have departed from here, for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan.” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them in Dothan (Genesis 37.15–17). 

Why did the Holy Spirit provide this detail for us, but not other details of Joseph’s journey? Who was this man?

Whether the man himself was significant or not, the Bible does not say, but we do know that God wanted to get Joseph down into Egypt that he might send for his family 22 years later. Since Joseph was, “wandering in the field,” he needed help to get to his brothers who would sell him into Egyptian slavery.

The Lord works in our lives, but we often do not realize what He does, such as what appear to be insignificant events in our lives. The man in the story may have had no idea how he fit into God’s story, but God included him anyway.


  • Does God use you to further along someone else’s journey?
  • Has God used others or situations in your life to get you where He wants you to be?

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