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Genesis 37:1-36 - Brotherly Hate - Part 2
Last week we left off with Joseph giving a bad job evaluation report to his father concerning his brothers. To make matters worse, note vs. 3.
Vs. 3-4 - “Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate robe for him.
When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.”
This multi-colored coat here, what we have in the Hebrew literally, is a tunic that extends to the ankles and out to the wrists. Your garden variety tunic was sleeveless and it stopped at the knees. And those normal tunics were typically worn by those “blue-collar” people. This tunic was worn by those who were in management. The proper translation we have here in the NIV says it is an “Ornate Robe.” This garment designates Joseph as the head of his family. He was white collar and his brothers were blue-collar.
As Jacob puts this coat now upon Joseph, what he was doing IN THAT is really setting up his plans for the future of the family. He’s telling the other boys - “This is the son who’s going to get the main part of the inheritance, the priest of the family, to whom I am giving authority to!” And of course this ain’t gonna fly well with the other brothers! Here’s the younger brother who’s going to have dominion over the older brother - yeah, right!
We can imagine that this was a pretty lonely household for Joseph to grow up in. 3 times in the text it says his brothers “Hated him.” So the brothers here didn’t have anything good to say about him, and they certainly wanted no part of what we’re about to read in vs. 5.
Vs. 5-12 - “Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. 6 He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.”
His brothers said to him, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said.
Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”
When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?”
His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.”
God has dropped these dreams on Joseph. God has given Joseph these words. We know this is prophecy from the Lord because all of these things are going to come to pass.
Isn’t it interesting that down the road in ch. 42, his brothers are going to be literally and figuratively, bowing down to him, and the circumstance that’s giving rise to that bowing - it’s gonna be be GRAIN. There’s going to be a famine in the camp of Israel and Jacob’s going to send the guys in 2 waves. He’s going to be there in the third one. He’s going to send the boys over to Egypt which will then be under Joseph’s rule, by that time Joseph will have been exalted, so this prophecy will there find it’s fulfillment.
And, of course, eventually what God is doing and orchestrating is taking the whole camp of Israel and transporting them to the womb of Egypt where they will begin to multiply in Exodus Ch. 1. God is behind the scenes here, rolling out His will.
You and I have been given the full counsel of God. You and I have the totality of God’s revelation to us here in His word, and as we pursue God, as we prayerfully engage in the Word of God, there is no doubt there are going to be times in life where God will be moving upon us to share some particular truth with another individual. And it is always a challenge, it can always be a difficult thing to know when and how exactly to engage that other person. Because we recognize, as was the case here, that the heart of the person you are talking to will often times receive what truth you have for them in a very negative way. And yet, like Joseph, as the Lord is asking us to deliver His truth, we need to do that faithfully.
Knowing the character of Joseph from the totality of the Scriptures, he’s not trying to cause trouble here. He’s a truth carrier, a conveyor, and I believe he is simply sharing the truth in the innocence of his heart and it is the truth that God had brought to him.
It is interesting that his dad publicly rebuked him, but he sorta knows something is up. Remember, Jacob has been spoken to in this way also. So Jacob is publicly rebuking him, but privately, notice in vs. 11, he’s wondering, he’s thinking: “I wonder what’s going on here, maybe the Lord is up to something.”
Join us next week as we continue with the text.
Blessings to you all.