Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Genesis 37: Your Family Annoying? Sell Them!

Today's podcast

Joseph's Dream (v. 1-11)

Joseph was the favorite son of Jacob, he was given a "robe of many colors". His brothers hated him because of the favoritism.

One lesson here seems to be to not have a favorite child, or at least to not make it so obvious to them. You honestly can't blame them for having a serious emotional reaction to their father favoring a sibling. "Why does dad love Joseph so much? What's wrong with me?"

Guzik highlights this fact as well. He doesn't go so far as to say that Jacob shouldn't have done this, but does acknowledge that it was the source of much family conflict. 

He also points out that the robe is not a working man's robe, and that it signifies that he will get the birthright. Perhaps in a society where one son gets the birthright and the other's don't, it is impossible not to show favoritism.

Joseph had a symbolic dream that he would someday rule over his brothers and they would bow down to him. He told them about the dream and they hated him even more.

Okay, now Joseph just seems like an idiot. Granted, he's only 17 years old, but seriously dude, be a little bit more aware of your surroundings. If his brothers already hated him, why tell them about this particular dream. Furthermore, even absent that, don't be such a dick. Nobody is really going to like being told that they will be worshiping you in the future.

Guzik and I are once again on the same page, he points out how stupid Joseph was here, although he says "lack of tact" rather than "stupid"

Joseph had another dream where the sun (his dad), moon, (his mom) and the stars (his brothers) were all bowing down to him. He told his family about it. His father rebuked him for thinking he would rule the rest of them.

Yeah, Joseph just has no judgement here.

And again, me and Guzik have similar comments. If the brothers were upset before, he must really be out of it to tell this second dream. Guzik also points out that this story must be out of sequence from previous stories since Joseph's mother died before. Interesting, I hadn't noticed that.

But me and Guzik don't agree on everything, he says
The idea of the stars, moon, and sun representing the family of Israel is repeated in Revelation 12:1. That passage speaks of Jesus coming from the nation of Israel.
To insert Jesus into this story is completely insane in my opinion. Just because the sun, moon, and stars are used in two stories doesn't mean they have to be directly related. Hell, there aren't even the right number of stars. This story has 11, the revelation story has 12.

Joseph Sold by His Brothers (v. 12-36)

His brothers were out pasturing their flock and Joseph went out to meet them. When they saw him coming, the brothers decided they would kill him. However, Reuben said they should throw him in a pit and not hurt him, intending to come back later and rescue him.

It seems to me that Reuben is the hero of this story so far. 

Interesting, Guzik seems to think Reuben didn't do enough, 
Reuben could have simply rose up and said, “This is wrong! We can’t do this!” He didn’t because he wanted to do right by Joseph without alienating his brothers. His desire to be nice to everyone will fail to prevent a great evil. The good Reuben wanted to do (bring him back to his father) will not happen.
My read was that he was doing as much as he thought he could. If he pushed too hard his brothers would ignore him and kill the brother, he thought this was the best way to keep his brother safe. Honestly, both seem like reasonable interpretations, what do you think makes more sense?

They took Joseph's robe and threw him in a pit, intending to kill him later, but then a caravan of traders came by and they decided to instead sell him into slavery.

I guess this is better than just killing him. 

Guzik points out that the brothers reveled in taking the robe, then he makes an analogy with modern day Christians
Each believer in Jesus Christ is given special assurance of the Father’s favor. Certainly, many spiritual enemies want to rip from the believer the assurance of the Father’s favor.
Oh yeah, us atheists are exactly like Joseph's brothers...

When Reuben saw that Joseph was no longer in the pit he freaked out a bit and went back to the brothers, but then they ripped up the robe, put some animal blood on it, and told their father Joseph was dead. Jacob was inconsolable.

I guess this means Reuben wasn't around when Joseph was sold into slavery.

Still learning gimp, I'm happy with my progress

for the verses of note post


Genesis 37:5 Joseph tells his brother his dream that was obviously going to piss them off

"Now Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers they hated him even more."

--Family & Slavery--

Genesis 37:27 Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery

"Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother, our own flesh." And his brothers listened to him."


Genesis 37:3 Jacob had a favorite son and made this fact obvious

"Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his sons, because he was the son of his old age. And he made him a robe of many colors."


Genesis 37:23-24 Joseph's brothers stripped him and threw him in a pit and intended to kill him later

"So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the robe of many colors that he wore. And they took him and threw him into a pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it."

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