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Coats, Dreams and Jealousy
Video 10 of 21
So these are the four perspectives. About all these four perspectives we’ll be talking about and sort of ask what were they thinking; what was Jacob thinking when he sent his son into such dangerous circumstances, was there like a plan there? What were the brothers thinking? How they think they can get away with it? Why were they thinking they really needed to do this? What was Joseph thinking? What did the events seem like from his perspective? How did he view what was happening to him? And then what was God thinking about everything that was happening? So this is the general structure of what we are going to be doing here.
Until this point, we have focused on this piece of it, what’s Jacob’s perspective on the story. In order to get a better perspective of Jacob’s view of the story, I want to start focusing on this over here, which is, what is the brother’s view of the story? Okay. So we’re going to start looking at events from the brother’s perspective. What were they thinking? How did they understand the events of which they were apart that led up to the sale of Joseph?
Okay, so let’s ask this very simple question, a very simple question of which there may be a layered answer. What cause the brother’s animosity towards Joseph? Why is it that they resented him or hated him or jealous of him? So there is kind of two levels of answer to this, there is kind of what the text says, and there is kind of what the text doesn’t say, and I am going to talk a little bit more about what I mean by ‘what the text doesn’t say’, but let’s first talk about what the text says.
So the first thing we learn, reading chapter 37, is that Joseph brought back bad reports about the brothers, vayave Yosef et-debatam raah el-avihem and this piece over here is certainly something which did not endear Joseph to the brothers. The text does not comment after this and say that the brothers hated him, but we can sort of surmise that it was not a good thing. The next thing that happened is that the brothers saw that their father loved Joseph, vayiru echav ki-oto ahav avihem mikol-echav v’yisnu oto l’lo yachlu dabroleshalom. And after this it says that the brothers hated him and couldn’t speak in peace with him. So then the next piece in this drama as it were was when Joseph tells the brothers the first dream, the dream would seem to suggest that he is going to be ruling over them because their sheaves are bowing to his sheaves. And when he tells that dream, it says “they hated him even more”. And finally what seems to be the last piece of the puzzle, almost the straw that breaks the camel’s back, is when Joseph tells the brothers and his father the second dream. And in this dream again, the second dream of rulership, this time he is telling his father, and we talked about how maybe his father’s reaction solidifies the reality of this in the mind of their brothers, the father is taking this seriously and they responded with jealousy, they were jealous of him.
So, over here on the right had side, we’ve got the responses of the brothers as the text gives them, and over here on the left hand side, we have the events that causes these responses; the response is they hate him, they hate him even more, they were jealous, so all of this over here, this is all what the text says. The next question is, what did the text not say that’s a part of the story too? Okay. So what I mean by that of course is, where there any covert concerns that the brothers had about Joseph? We’ve been talking about the overt concerns, the ones that are explicit in the text. Are there any covert, implied sort of concerns, things that you’ve learned by sort of reading between the lines, if you read carefully but aren’t explicit in the text?
So what I want you to do is go back to the beginning of Chapter 37, maybe even focus just on the beginning of it, I think you can even see it in the first two verses, it’s as if the text is sort of tipping it’s hat, the narrator is giving you a foreshadow of sort of one of these covert concerns. Read it through and see what you think and let’s compare notes.
1. What Were They Thinking?
2. Building Tensions
3. From Hatred to Jealousy
4. What Was Jacob Thinking?
5. A Break From the Action
6. The Original Internet
7. The Hidden Hyperlinks
8. A Confluence of Echoes
9. Where Have I Heard This Before?
10. The Brothers' Perspective
11. When Three Are One
12. Will the Real Firstborn Please Stand Up?
13. Bechor: A Tale of Twos
14. Rabbi Soloveitchik's Theory
15. Joseph's Undershirt
16. The Meaning of the Second Coat
17. Four Links
18. Double Entendre
19. The Riddle of the Bowing Moon
20. The Hidden Angel
21. Chain of Words
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