BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 26, Day 2: Genesis 37:1-11

YEAH, JOSEPH!!!!!!!!  MY FAVORITE!!!!!!!!

Summary of passage:  Joseph at age 17 attended the flocks with his brothers and wives. It seemed he tattled on them quite frequently.  Joseph as Rachel’s first-born son was Jacob’s favorite and everyone knew it.  Jacob gave him a richly ornamented robe.  The brothers hated him for his father’s favoritism.

Joseph made the mistake of telling his brothers the dream he had of how they were all sheaves of grain and they bowed down to him (which as we know comes true in Genesis 42:6).  This only enraged his brothers more against him.

Not learning his lesson, Joseph tells his brothers another dream he has where the sun, moon, and 11 stars were bowing down to him (Genesis 40:41, 43).  This is NOT endearing him at all.

Joseph told his father this dream as well and Jacob rebuked the arrogant Joseph out of disbelief but Jacob it seems wondered about it.

Questions:

3a)  As God walked with Abraham and decided to reveal his intentions for Sodom to Abraham (Genesis 18:17-21), we learn  God revealed to him because he was the chosen one.  So too was Joseph.  He was chosen to save his people from a famine and to accomplish this he gave Joseph the gift of dream interpretation for the Pharaoh.  He was preparing Joseph to trust his dreams and to interpret them in order to fulfill God’s purpose on earth and for His people.

A simple answer is because God wanted to.  He chose Joseph and this was the method He would communicate with him.

b)  No.  Very bad idea.  It only incited their hatred against him.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Sometimes it’s best to keep things to yourself.  We must remember though Joseph is only 17 here.  He is spoiled, naive, and probably a bit arrogant (hubris of the youth).  He truly doesn’t know any better.  I think he was just retelling his dream and wondering out loud what it meant.  It was his audience he should have chosen better.

It’s the old adage “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.”  We must be considerate of others’ feelings when speaking due to the power of our tongue.  Here, it’s all about Joseph.

The Matthew verse says to not give what is sacred or valued to those who will just crush it and use it against you.  This is what Joseph did and it was definitely used against him.

4)  For a reason not in Joseph’s control:  They hated him because he was the favorite of their father, Jacob, so he was showered with gifts, treated special, and could do no wrong in Jacob’s eyes.  Jacob was probably lax on the rules with Joseph and probably let Joseph do less work than the others.  Their hatred should have been towards their father (the brothers were wrong to hate at all.  That is the devil at work.  What I’m saying is since they had hatred in their hearts it should have been towards their father, not Joseph.  It wasn’t his fault his mother was Rachel and Jacob treated him as such).

Conclusions:  Another example of how playing favorites in a family can lead to hurt feelings, pent up frustrations, and ultimately to horrible acts against family members.  It seems to be a dysfunctional cycle that is being passed down through the generations in this family.

Interesting to note what an age-old problem this is.  We, as humans, still do this today and often with the same disastrous results.  It is another sin, another human condition, we must consciously fight against in this world.

Joseph’s fabled coat-of-many-colors signifies that he is to receive the birthright.  Can you imagine how Reuben, the firstborn who is supposed to receive the birthright, felt? Ironically, it is Reuben who saves Joseph from death (Genesis 37:21-22).  And God’s plan is now set in motion.

Note the sheaves of wheat in the first dream of Joseph.  His brothers will bow down to him, asking for wheat.  Nothing is insignificant when done by God.

Telling his family his dreams was definitely in a lack of taste and in poor judgement.  I believe these dreams were meant only for Joseph so he would know his fate.  Instead, he blabbed in human pride and arrogance.  But like I said, he is young.  He will learn.

End Notes:  This section of Genesis is not in chronological order.  Notice how Jacob says “your mother and I” in verse 10.  This shows that Rachel was still alive when this happened even though we just read about her death in Genesis 35.

Scholars believe Genesis 37:2 is a breaking point, showing Jacob’s writing or preservations ending and Joseph’s beginning in 37:3.

The sun, the moon, and the 11 stars represents the family of Israel and is also found in Revelation 12:1.  This passage points to Jesus and his lineage from the tribes of Israel.

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5 comments on “BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 26, Day 2: Genesis 37:1-11

  1. Jennifer says:

    Good lesson. Yes we definitely need to be descreet about holding our peace. Not only that but favoritism is demonic. God bless you sister.

  2. MarjorieMagayanes says:

    Please send me your answer/opinion on Lesson 27 Day 1 to 6 for my compilation and guidance. Thanks and God Bless you. I am an avid reader of your column.

    • atozmom says:

      Hey Marjorie,

      I just started Lesson 26 and haven’t done Lesson 27 yet. Please check back next week or subscribe to get the postings in your email.

      Thanks!

  3. Sweet Mama says:

    Joseph is my favorite, too. I’m so glad to finally be here! I’ve been waiting all year for this.

  4. Michelle says:

    Little side note to your mention of how Rueben must have felt being the 1st born and not receiving the coat. Rueben forfeited his birthright when he slept with Bilhah. Sleeping with her was an attempt to undermine Jacob’s authority in the family and to keep Bilhah from becoming the front running matriarch after Rachel and Leah’s death. It violated God’s law and his birthright was in fact given over to Joseph after he did that, which is what the coat of many colors signified. Their resentment was in no small part because of the fact that Joseph seriously line jumped ahead in birthright status.

    1 Chronicles 5:1-2 says: “Reuben the firstborn of Israel (he was the firstborn, but when he defiled his father’s marriage bed, his rights as firstborn were given to the sons of Joseph son of Israel; so he could not be listed in the genealogical record in accordance with his birthright, and though Judah was the strongest of his brothers and a ruler came from him, the rights of the firstborn belonged to Joseph).”

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