● Gen 37:5-8 . . Once Joseph had a dream which he told to his brothers; and they hated him even more.
. . . He said to them: Hear this dream which I have dreamed. There we were binding sheaves in the field, when suddenly my sheaf stood up and remained upright; then your sheaves gathered around and bowed low to my sheaf.
. . . His brothers answered: Do you mean to reign over us? Do you mean to rule over us? And they hated him even more for his talk about his dreams.
Considering the already hostile mood fomenting among his brothers, Joseph really should have kept the dream to himself. There wasn't any real need for the others to know about it anyway, and I just have to wonder if maybe Joseph wasn't gloating over them just a little.
● Gen 37:9-11 . . He dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers, saying; Look, I have had another dream: And this time, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.
. . . And when he told it to his father and brothers, his father berated him. What; he said to him; is this dream you have dreamed? Are we to come, I and your mother and your brothers, and bow low to you to the ground? So his brothers were wrought up at him, and his father kept the matter in mind.
As the family's prophet, Jacob's inspired intuition instantly caught the dream's message; though he was a bit indignant. However, Jacob didn't brush the dream off because his prophetic insight told him there just might be something to it.
Jacob interpreted the moon in Joseph's dream sequence to be Rachel; so one might ask: How could she be subject to Joseph while deceased?
Well; the mother element of the family of Israel at that time was a composite unity consisting of four biological moms-- Rachel and Leah, and Bilhah and Zilpah --not just the one. So the logical conclusion is that the moon's identity wasn't restricted to Rachel; there were still three moms remaining alive to represent the moon and thus fulfill Joseph's dream.
● Gen 37:12-14a . . One time, when his brothers had gone to pasture their father's flock at Shechem, Israel said to Joseph: Your brothers are pasturing at Shechem. Come, I will send you to them. He answered: I am ready. And he said to him: Go and see how your brothers are and how the flocks are faring, and bring me back word. So he sent him from the valley of Hebron.
A guy like Joseph is every supervisor's dream. When asked to do something, his response was; "I am ready."
Hebron (a.k.a. Hevron, a.k.a. Al Khalil) is still on the map. It's about 18½ miles west of the Dead Sea, as the crow flies, and about 20½ miles south of Jerusalem.
Shechem (a.k.a. Nablus) is still on the map too. It's about 48 miles north of Jerusalem; ergo: 68½ miles north of Hebron.
So Joseph had a long ways to go. It's amazing that people pastured their herds so far from home in those days; but then it wasn't unusual for out-west cattle barons during America's 1800's to pasture cows that far; and even farther.
The Prairie Cattle Company once ranged 156,000 cows on five million acres of land. At 640 acres per square mile; that factors out to something like 7,812 square miles; viz: an 88⅜ mile square; which really isn't all that big when you think about it. It's a lot of area; but 88⅜ miles is really not all that great a distance for an automobile; though the distance around the perimeter would be something like 353½ miles. At 55 mph it would take roughly 6½ hours start to finish-- quite a bit longer on a camel and/or a donkey's back.
Personally, I would have been concerned about Joseph's safety more than anything else; but apparently nobody interfered with Jacob's family in those days (Gen 35:5) so they pretty much had carte blanche to graze wherever they liked in those parts.
● Gen 37:14b-17 . .When he reached Shechem, a man came upon him wandering in the fields. The man asked him: What are you looking for? He answered: I am looking for my brothers. Could you tell me where they are pasturing? The man said: They have gone from here, for I heard them say "Let us go to Dothan". So Joseph followed his brothers and found them at Dothan.
It's interesting that the man isn't on record asking Joseph who he was nor who his brothers might be. Probably everybody around Shechem knew Jacob's family personally because they had all lived around there for some time before moving south. In America's olde West, people knew each other for miles around because, quite simply, there just wasn't all that many people to know.
Dothan has yet to be precisely located. Some say it was about 12 miles north of Shechem; but that's really only an educated guess. Years later, Dothan became the stage for a pretty exciting event. (2Kgs 6:8-23)
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