12 Feb. Genesis 37:1-11

12 Feb. Joseph’s dreams make his brothers jealous

“Jacob lived in the land of Canaan, where his father had lived. This is the family history of Jacob:”

“Joseph was a young man, seventeen years old. He and his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives, cared for the flocks. Joseph gave his father bad reports about his brothers.”

“Since Joseph was born when his father Israel [Jacob] was old, Israel loved him more than his other sons. He made Joseph a special robe with long sleeves. When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father loved him more than he loved them, they hated their brother and could not speak to him politely.”

“One time Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers about it, they hated him even more. Joseph said, ‘Listen to the dream I had. We were in the field tying bundles of wheat together. My bundle stood up, and your bundles of wheat gathered around it and bowed down to it.’”

“His brothers said, ‘Do you really think you will be king over us? Do you truly think you will rule over us?’ His brothers hated him even more because of his dreams and what he had said.”

“Then Joseph had another dream, and he told his brothers about it also. He said, ‘Listen, I had another dream. I saw the sun, moon and eleven stars bowing down to me.’”

“Joseph also told his father about this dream, but his father scolded him, saying, ‘What kind of dream is this? Do you really believe that your mother, your brothers and I will bow down to you?’”

“Joseph’s brothers were jealous of him, but his father thought about what all these things could mean.”

          (Genesis 37:1-11)



Jacob continued to live at Hebron, in Canaan, where his father Isaac and grandfather Abraham had lived.

Jacob had twelve sons by four different wives – six by his wife Leah, two by Leah’s slave girl Zilpah, two by his favourite wife Rachel, and two by Rachel’s slave girl Bilhah. But his favourite son was Joseph, Rachel’s elder son, born to him when he was an old man.

When Joseph was seventeen years old, Jacob gave him an expensive multi-coloured coat with long sleeves. This made his brothers very jealous as a long coat was only suitable for someone of high social status. Labourers usually wore a short jacket with short sleeves as a long coat would have got in the way of their arms and legs when working in the fields.

Joseph dreamed about his brothers’ sheaves of wheat bowing down to his own sheaf, and when he told his brothers about his dream, it only fuelled their jealousy further.

When Joseph told them of another dream about eleven stars bowing down before him, the eleven brothers were furious. Even his father reprimanded him for his apparent audacity and impudence, though his father was also curious to understand the meaning of this strange dream.

The photo shows a wheat field in southern Israel.

You can read more about Joseph and his brothers @ The Bible Journey | Joseph is sold into slavery in Egypt

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