Joseph’s dreams in Genesis 37

Joseph happened to be the eleventh and the favorite of Jacob’s twelve children. Even his name in Hebrew, Yosef (He will add) points at abundance,whether it is in terms of adding another child to his mother or regarding material abundance.

The story of Joseph is a very uncommon destiny. Hashem speaks to Joseph through dreams and also confers him the ability to interpret other people’s dreams.

Rejected and unloved by most of his brothers, misunderstood by his own father, Joseph will literally endorse the role of a savior towards his family.

Joseph prefigures the mission of our Messiah (who is ben Yosef as well as ben David).

When Hashem chooses you to fulfill His purpose, do not expect relatives and friends to understand you. You might even get misinterpreted or misquoted in many ways.

The story, as told in Genesis 37, tells us about two specific dreams young Joseph had. It also shows us that Joseph was disliked by many of his brothers. Apparently, Jacob’s concubines’ sons were misbehaving, and Joseph was reporting their behavior to his father.

The simple fact of reporting their bad behavior must have caused resentment in Joseph’s brothers’ hearts. But Jacob’s wholehearted love for Joseph fired the fuel of their jealousy even more.

So when Joseph came up with his first dream, even if the dream was expressed in the form of a parable, it increased their hatred and jealousy. Joseph was being favored, even in his dreams, and they were symbolically bowing before him.

Joseph addresses his brothers:

Hear this dream that I have dreamed: Behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and behold,my sheaf arose and stood upright. And behold, your sheaves gathered around it and bowed down to my sheaf.”

The thought of Joseph ruling over them was just unbearable. He must have seemed so presumptuous to his brothers, because according to the story, they did not walk in righteousness.

His brothers are already fuming. Then Joseph comes up with a second dream :

« Behold, I have dreamed another dream. Behold, the sun, the moon and the eleven stars were bowing before me. »

Joseph’s second dream causes him even to be rebuked by his own father. Joseph’s Hashem sent dreams are mistaken for misplaced pride and they will dramatically change Joseph’s destiny.

His brothers are plotting to kill him. Despite his eldest brother, Reuben’s efforts to bring him back to his father, Joseph will be sold to the Ismaelites and brought to Egypt. Jacob will live for years with the thought that his beloved son is dead, gone forever from his life.

One can imagine that he will report most of his affection on Benjamin, his twelvth and last son.

Dreams, visions and Hashem’s plan

God often uses dreams and visions to speak to us. We know that these dreams and visions come from Him, because they are very symbolic and part of the divine universe.

Even at a time I hadn’t given my heart to Yeshua, I received an amazing amount of visions, back in 1996. I knew they were God-given. I saw Torah scrolls flying in the sky and was even taken once to the Mount of Olives during my sleep.

Sometimes, like in Joseph’s case the symbols that appear in our dreams, can contain Hashem’s plan for the future. They are not always easy to decrypt and sometimes we are only capable of reading their very meaning backwards.

We must realize that Hashem’s vision is much bigger than one individual. Our human vision is very short sighted if we compare it with our Lord’s wide and global vision.

Joseph suffered for a while, but through his destiny, Hashem saved Israel from the famine.

Increase your trust in Hashem. Whatever is part of the plan is good, even if you don’t understand the why’s yet.

Copyright© by Isabelle Esling

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