Joseph, the eleventh son of Jacob, began having dreams of future personal greatness, the first of which he shared with his brothers (Genesis 37:5-8). In the first dream, the brothers were all in the fields, and their sheaves bowed down to Joseph’s upright sheaf. Incredible as this was to the brothers this was not a young boy’s arrogance. The second dream (vs. 9) was also shared with his brothers whose responses are not recorded. When Joseph told his father the dream, Jacob’s reaction was the same as the brothers’: incredulity, and with the added detail of the parents – Jacob and Rachel – (the sun and the moon) in addition to the 11 stars bowing down to Joseph.
Hate the dreamer
The hatred stirred up by the disclosure of these dreams boils up when when Joseph visits them on an errand from the father. The brothers plotted to throw Joseph into a pit, leave him to perish in the pit, then to report to Jacob that a wild animal had attacked and killed Joseph. Reuben, the eldest of the brothers, did not agree with killing Joseph, and he hoped to be able to rescue Joseph from the pit which had little or no water. When he returned to the pit Joseph was gone. The brothers had sold Joseph to traders who were on their way to Egypt. All of this was divinely arranged to begin the 400-year sojourn of the Hebrews in Egypt and their salvation in the Exodus.
Thus began a trail of intimidating prophets and kings, and rejecting ledership. Murder continued as a reminder of the fate of those who perished in the wilderness, who rejected Moses as leader in the wilderness journeys, failed to gain entrance to Canaan, and discounted Moses passing the Torch to a non-Levite king-priest. Dreamers then were not only people who received intsruction in their non-waking hours, but they were also the people who dared to attach their faith to the unseen and to the promises given to their ancestor, Abraham.