a. Where shall I go? Reuben goes back to the pit and presumably missed the selling of Joseph. When he sees Joseph is gone he tears his clothes in a rage and returns to his brothers and says, “The boy is gone, and I, where shall I go?” He is the firstborn. Is he supposed to go back to their father and tell him that he allowed them to sell Joseph into slavery? Reuben is thinking of himself, which we see, has been an issue for Jacob as well. And I, where shall I go. Reuben didn’t say, “let’s go after the caravan and get him back.” He was content with Joseph being gone but he didn’t know what he was to do next. Reuben will remind his brothers many years later what he was feeling in this moment. “Did I not tell you not to sin against the boy? But you did not listen. So now there comes a reckoning for his blood.” He was afraid of the reckoning. He was scared of what would happen to him because of Joseph. Their answer is to go back to what they planned to do if they had killed Joseph; take his robe and pretend that he had been killed by a wild animal. b. Jacob mourns. The brothers send the robe to their father and ask that he identify it. Jacob sees the robe and believes their deception. The irony cannot be lost on us. The discipline of the Lord continues in the life of Jacob, the deceiver. He tears his garments in grief and puts on sackcloth and mourns many days for Joseph. His sons and daughters try to comfort him but he refuses. His sons must have been poor comforters since they all concealed the truth that would relieve their father’s pain. Jacob vows to go down to Sheol, to the grave, mourning. Jacob’s preference and love for Rachel spilled over into Joseph and now he had lost both of them. Jacob does not see how there will be any more days of joy in his life. What time he has remaining in his life will be spent mourning. He has hardened to his heart with his grief. This is a common occurrence as you well know. Jacob’s desire to stay in mourning has consumed the lives of many people. That is not what God has called us to do. We mourn and we mourn with those who mourn, but we do not mourn as if we do not have hope. God is our hope. c. To be continued. Verse 36 is another one of those connecting verses we’ve seen before. We are told that Joseph is sold to a man named Potiphar who is the captain of the guard to the Pharaoh. So Joseph does not end up in some obscure house in Egypt but at an officer’s house. This sets up for the continuation of the story in chapter 39. But before we get there, Moses takes us on a tangent. In this chapter, Moses tells us about Judah’s role in Joseph entering Egypt. In the next, we have another disturbing story, but in it, we find out about how the birth of Perez came about.