Dare to dream, but know just how, when where and with whom you share those dreams.
In this not-so-well-blended family, the head has a really soft spot for his last son, Joseph. Joseph’s mother who was his favourite woman, died during childbirth bringing Joseph into the world. So, Jacob doted on this “child of his old age” showing his favour by giving him a special robe.
In the Caribbean, we have beautiful multi-coloured garden crotons that are called Joseph’s Coat and there are many varieties of Coleus that go by the same name, given the traditional rendering of this as a ”coat of many colours.”
This preferential treatment was enough to stir up jealousy. Further, there was little Joseph’s role as helper which he might have understood as “overseer” or “peeping Tom”. He was helper to the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah who became wives to Jacob only to fill his need for children. Their mistresses Racheal and Leah, who were then childless, thought that their maids could be substitutes in meeting Jacob’s need for progeny.
So already, his brothers had reason (so they thought) to hate Joseph. Now there was this little monster telling tales on them. And he took it to the limit by not only dreaming of greatness, but actually telling them his dream. Little upstart!
“Listen to this dream that I dreamed. There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright; then your sheaves gathered around it, and bowed down to my sheaf.”
And if that were not enough, there was another dream in which all were subjugated to him!
But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him, and said to him, “What kind of dream is this that you have had? Shall we indeed come, I and your mother and your brothers, and bow to the ground before you?”
I suppose that “your mother” is the father’s scolding is Leah, indicating that this household, though having its flaws, was an ordered one. Joseph did not, it would seem, grasp that mother and father were the bosses. But we read on that the father “kept these things in mind”.
Many a time, a parent has to go back to the happenings and utterances in early childhood to “figure out”” what the child was saying, because children are often not believed, especially when they dream too big.