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Joseph's Dreams

"Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report. Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours. And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him." (Genesis 37:2-4 KJV)

"the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me"

Jacob, who The Lord renamed as Israel, had children from all of his two wives (Rachel and Leah) and two concubines (Bilhah and Zilpah). Jacob however plainly loved Rachel more than all of the others, and her son Joseph more than his other sons (see Children of Jacob) - a sure recipe for trouble. Adding to it was a dream that Joseph had (that would be fulfilled later in Egypt - see the Fact Finder question below) that portrayed Joseph's brothers bowing before, not only their brother, but their younger brother.

Israel in Egypt

"And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.

And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf." (Genesis 37:5-7 KJV)

Their reaction was pure human nature.

"And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? Or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.' (Genesis 37:8 KJV)

It did didn't end there. Joseph had another prophetic dream (that would also later be fulfilled in Egypt) in which he would have political power over not only his brothers, but his father Jacob as well.

"And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me." (Genesis 37:9 KJV)

Jacob at first didn't appreciate his son's dreams any more than Joseph's brothers did, but Jacob, a man of God who also had experienced prophecies from The Lord, "observed the saying," realizing that what was happening was not merely the idle dreams of a boy, but the Word of God.

"And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth? And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying." (Genesis 37:10-11 KJV)

Fact Finder: What did Joseph's jealous brothers do to him because of his dreams? How did Joseph's dreams continue in Egypt?
See Potiphar


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