1And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan.
2 These are the generations of Jacob. 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.
3 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.
4 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.
5 And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.
6 And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed:
7 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.
8 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.
9 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.
10 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?
11 And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.
K.J.V. Bible Text
In Chapter 37 of Genesis, I recognize the beginnings of a story with which most of us are familiar to one extent or another. It is the story of Joseph, his ability to interpret dreams, how he was sold into slavery and eventually became an important man in Egypt. Today’s reading is only the beginning of the story.
Joseph at the age of 17 had a richly ornamented robe given as a gift from his father. (We generally hear this referred to as a “coat of many colors”.)
Because of the coat, and most likely other signs of favoritism of Joseph by their father, his older brothers were jealous of him and “hated” him.
Then when Jacob dreamed that the brothers were all together in the fields binding wheat and Joseph’s sheaf stood upright as the sheaves of the others bowed down to it, the implication of the dream, that someday the other brothers might bow down before Joseph, made them hate him all the more.
Then Joseph had another dream that the sun, moon and eleven stars were bowing down to him. When he told his father of the dream, his father wondered if it meant that someday all the family—mother, father and sons would l bow down to Joseph. He did not dismiss the idea but kept it in his mind.
Meanwhile, the other sons were more jealous than ever.
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