December 4, 2023

Genesis 37:1-11 (HCSB)
Joseph’s Dreams

37 Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, the land of Canaan. 2 These are the family records of Jacob. At 17 years of age, Joseph tended sheep with his brothers. The young man was working with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives,and he brought a bad report about them to their father. 3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than his other sons because Joseph was a son born to him in his old age, and he made a robe of many colors for him. 4 When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not bring themselves to speak peaceably to him. 5 Then Joseph had a dream. When he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. 6 He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: 7 There we were, binding sheaves of grain in the field. Suddenly my sheaf stood up, and your sheaves gathered around it and bowed down to my sheaf.” 8 “Are you really going to reign over us?” his brothers asked him. “Are you really going to rule us?” So they hated him even more because of his dream and what he had said. 9 Then he had another dream and told it to his brothers. “Look,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun, moon, and 11 stars were bowing down to me.” 10 He told his father and brothers, but his father rebuked him. “What kind of dream is this that you have had?” he said. “Are your mother and brothers and I going to come and bow down to the ground before you?” 11 His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.

Julia Burns
The story of Joseph.  This story is a continuation of God’s promise to Abram (Abraham) in Genesis 12:1-2. There are two parts to the promise: I will make you a great nation All nations of the earth will be blessed by you. This is a promise of the future coming, Messiah, Jesus.  Chapter 37 opens with Joseph, a 17-year-old boy, the eleventh of Jacob’s sons, going out to check on his older brothers, who were tending sheep. He comes back to his father with a bad report. God had changed Jacob’s name to “Israel”. Joseph is Jacob‘s youngest and favorite, born to his beloved wife Rachel in his old age. Jacob gave Joseph a coat of many colors, which showed favoritism and set him apart from his brothers. His brothers hated him. Joseph has a dream and tells it to his brothers. It’s about their sheaves of grain bowing down to his sheave of grain. This makes the brothers hate him even more. There was a second dream about the sun, moon, and 11 stars bow down to him. He tells the dream to his brothers and his father. And again, the brothers hate him. The father only takes the matter under consideration. This is a great study of a dysfunctional family. What can we learn from this?

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