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Coats, Dreams and Jealousy
Video 7 of 21
Okay, so let’s read. We’re up to verse 18 over here. Vayiru oto merachok– “So the brothers saw him coming from far away,” u’biterem yikrav alehem vayitnaklu oto lahamito – “and before Joseph actually came to them, they started gathering together or plotting to try and kill him.”
Now, here is the first of the echoes, the first of the echoes is going to be right here in verse 18, and it is going to appear in this opening salvo, the very first words in the actual story of the sale of Joseph over here in verse 18, vayiru oto merachok – “and they saw him coming far away”. What other narrative has that very phrase; ‘seeing something from a far’? Where else do we have that in the Book of Genesis? So I am kind of tickling here at the edges of your experience, if you’re familiar with Genesis, you may already have gotten it. But if not, maybe the accumulation of hints may kind of give it away to you. So let’s keep on reading. That’s one connection over here; we’re just going to mark this, ‘Connection#1’. Vayomru ish el-achiv hineh baal hachalomot halzeh ba- “So then one brother says to another, ‘oh, the dreamer is coming’.” V’atah lechu v’nahargahu– “Let’s go and let’s kill him,” v’nashlichehu b’achad haborot– “and let’s cast him, his corpse, in one of the pits around here in the deserts.” V’amarnu chayah raahachalathu– “Our alibi will be that a terrible beast has devoured him,” v’nireh mah-yiheyu chalomotav – “and we will see what will become of his dreams.”
So there is actually an evolution in what they want to do. The first thing they want to do is, they are plotting to kill him. However, that gets foiled by Reuben. V’yishma Reuven. Reuben is the oldest of the children, the oldest child of Leah, the bechor, the first born child over here. So Reuben hears this, vayatzilehu miyadam, and he actually saves Joseph from the hands of their brothers by saying the following, vayomer lo nakenu nafesh– “No. Let’s not actually kill him, vayomer alehem Reuven– “Reuben says to them,” al tishpechu-dam – “Let’s not actually spill his blood,” hashlichu oto el-habor haze hasher bamidbar– “let’s throw him in this pit like you’ve said, but let’s do so alive.” v’yad al tishlechu-bo – “Let’s not let our hands be upon him,” lemaan hatzil oto miyadam lahashivu el-aviv. So the quotation marks end over here. This is what Reuben said, this phrase over here, and then this over here is the narrator talking.
Why did Reuben say this? Reuben said it, lemaan hatzil oto miyadam lahashivu el-aviv – “In order to save Joseph from their hands, to return him to their father.” In other words, of this is subterfuge. The reason why Reuben is saying this is in order to return him to their father because Reuben is pretending that he is going along with the idea to actually kill Joseph, but what Reuben wants is Reuben wants Joseph’s body in the pit alive so that, he’s saying “we’ll leave him there to die”, “doesn’t make sense we actually kill him. Why not just leave him there to die, that we won’t be guilty of murder outright”, at least that’s what he is telling the brothers. But Reuben’s own plan is that he is going to sneak back in the middle of the night and bring him back to his father; lemaan hatzil oto miyadam lahashivu el-aviv – “in order to return him to his father, Reuben is planning on going back.”
So this is the next evolution of the plan, they are not going to kill him outright, they’re going to leave him in the pit to die. At this point, at least that’s what the brothers think; Reuben has other plans. Okay. So that’s verse 22.
Now, talking about the resonances, let me just get a little different color marker out here. So, here are other words which resonates in the Book of Genesis. Yad al-tishlechu-bo – “Don’t stretch out your hand upon him, upon this kid.” That phrase, also a very distinctive phrase, that’s going to be phrase number two that appears earlier in the Book of Genesis. So where does it appear? Well fascinatingly, it’s going to appear in the same story elsewhere in the Book of Genesis.
There is a story X which appears elsewhere in the Book of Genesis, and story X is going to have the reverberations of ideas number one, vayiru oto merachok – “They saw him coming from a far”, and reverberations of idea number two, yad al-tishlechu-bo – “Let’s not stretch out our hands upon him.” Okay, do you get any hints so to speak yet? Do you understand what narrative I am talking about? Can you go further and see anything else in this narrative that echoes earlier in the Book of Genesis in the same narrative X? Okay, so the mystery deepens. I am going to look a little bit more in the story of Joseph being cast in the pit after verses 23, 24 and keep on reading 25, 26, read the rest of the story and do you hear anything else? Are you going to hear a third resonance? Are you going to hear any more resonances of this other earlier mystery story which I have been calling ‘X’, earlier in the Book of Genesis? See if you can come up with anything. I am kind of teasing you here and then let’s reconvene the next video and I will share with you my thoughts on this.
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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