Saturday, June 13, 2015

Reading 7: Joseph's Dreams

Genesis 37:1-36

Here we are at our last passage of Genesis. Joseph was the second youngest of 12 brothers. That usually doesn't bode well for you being one of the youngest of 12 because that makes you the easy target to pick on. His brothers' feelings towards him weren't helped by Jacob, their father, who "loved Joseph more than any of his other children because Joseph had been born to him in his old age" (Genesis 37:3). Also Joseph was the first born of Rachel, who was Jacob's favourite wife. To show this special love he had for Joseph Jacob made him a special coat. All this favouritism towards Jacob caused a separation between Joseph and his brothers. "But his brothers hated Joseph because their father loved him more than the rest of them. They couldn't say a kind word to him" (Genesis 37:4)

Sharp Dressed Man
Joseph doesn't help his case either. Joseph would often have prophetic dreams from God. Dream 1: "We [Joseph & his brothers] were out in the field, tying up bundles of grain. Suddenly my bundle stood up, and your bundles all gathered around and bowed low before mine!" (Genesis 37:7). Joseph basically told them he was going to rule over them. If your brothers already hate you don't say that to them. Their response to this was hating him even more. Joseph didn't learn his lesson and told them another one of his dreams: "The sun, moon, and eleven stars bowed low before me!" (Genesis 37:9). The sun was his father, Jacob; the moon was his mother, Rachel; and the eleven stars were his brothers. Again he was saying he would rule over them and the brothers still hated him.

His brothers' hatred and jealousy all come to a head when Joseph is sent to check on them and how their shepherding is going. They see him coming and plan on killing him. Reuben, the oldest, convinced them to just through him into a well and leave him to die, so that he could come back later and save him. So they throw him into the well and all is well (pardon the pun) and good until some slavers come along on their way to Egypt. They decide they might as well make some money and sell Joseph for 20 pieces of silver (Jesus was betrayed by Judas for 30 pieces). 

Well, well, well... Whose ruling over who now?
Joseph is taken to Egypt where he eventually rises through the ranks from slave, to prisoner, to basically treasurer. He stores up grain for the famine that God warned him about and soon Egypt is the only place with food in the land. His brothers, hearing that Egypt has food, travels to Egypt and comes to Joseph, though they do not know it is him, and bow down to him fulfilling Joseph's first dream. He makes them go back and bring his parents who all come and bow down before him fulfilling the second dream. He reveals it is him and the whole family moves into Egypt where they are blessed by the Egyptians. This is how Israel came to be in Egypt.

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