|BOYS and girls, and almost everybody else, have
dreams. Most dreams are not important. Whether our dreams are good or bad, it is usually
best to forget about them as soon as we can. But in the long, long ago some of the people
who were especially loved by God were given dreams from him which had important meanings.
A young man by the name of Joseph was given such a
dream from the Lord. In fact, he had two dreams. In both of these dreams God showed to
Joseph some of the things that were to come into his life when he grew older. This young
man, Joseph, was a son of Jacob. Jacob was, you will remember, the one who bought the
birthright from Esau. After Jacob obtained the birthright from his father, Isaac, his twin
brother Esau was very angry with him, and he had to flee for his life. He went into the
land of his grandfather's and his mother's people. In fact, he found his uncle's home.
This uncle was named Laban.
Jacob stayed at Laban's home for many years. He had
twelve boys who are spoken of in the Bible as the twelve sons of Jacob. Joseph was next to
the youngest one of these boys. When they grew up they were herdsmen, or keepers of cattle
and sheep. Jacob loved his son Joseph very much. Joseph loved God and the promises of God.
In order to show how much he loved Joseph, his father made him a beautiful coat of many
This made the other boys jealous of Joseph.
I have told you in other stories how terrible it is
to be jealous. It was jealousy that caused Cain to kill his brother Abel. And now these
older brothers of Joseph became jealous of him, and the Bible says that they hated him.
Just about this time Joseph had his first dream. He
dreamed that he and his brothers were all out in a field gathering grain. Each of them had
gathered up a bundle of grain called "shocks." Joseph's bundle stood straight up
in the field, and all the other bundles bowed down toward it.
It might have been better for Joseph if he had kept
this dream to himself. But he was so excited about it that he told his brothers, and when
he told them of this dream they understood it to mean that Joseph expected that some day
they would all bow down to him, and that made them more jealous than ever, and they hated
him even more.
A little later Joseph had another dream. In this
dream, which was even more wonderful than the first one, Joseph saw the sun and the moon
and eleven stars bow down to him. Joseph told this dream to his brothers, and also to his
His father was just a little angry about it because
it seemed to mean that some time in the future he, as the father of Joseph, would, have to
bow down to his son. Of course Joseph's brothers were made more angry than ever.
Not long after this Joseph's brothers went to a part
of the country called Shechem to find better fields for their flocks. They were too far
away from home to come back each night, so after they had been gone for a while, Jacob
wondered how his sons were getting along, and how their flocks were faring.
Joseph was too young to work in the fields with his
brothers, so he had stayed at home. His father asked him if he would go to Shechem, find
his brothers, learn how they were getting along, and bring back word to him. Well, Joseph
had the Boy Scout spirit, and he was willing to do this errand for his father. So he
started on his way to Shechem.
When he arrived there he couldn't find his brothers,
and lie was wandering around in the fields when a man came up to him and asked:
"What seekest thou?"
Joseph told the man he was looking for his brothers,
and the man replied:
"I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan."
So Joseph traveled still farther until he came to
Dothan, and here he found his brothers taking care of their flocks.
His brothers saw him coming. He was probably
walking, and it took him some tim to reach them. So this gave his brothers a chance to
make some plans. They decided that they would kill their brother, just as Cain, because of
jealousy, decided that he would kill Abel. Jealousy, you see, always leads people into
They called their brother a dreamer. So instead of
letting him go back to his father, they seized him, and were ready to take his life. The
name of the oldest son was Reuben. Evidently Reuben was not quite so wicked as the others,
and he pleaded with his brothers not to kill Joseph. He suggested that they put Joseph in
a pit. Reuben's plan was that when the others were not watching, he would rescue Joseph so
he could go back to his father again.
Reuben's brothers agreed to this, not knowing, of
course, what Reuben was hoping to do. But after they had put Joseph into the pit the
brothers noticed that traveling nearby was a group of what the Bible calls Midianites.
They were merchants, or storekeepers, rom the country called Midian. Joseph's brethren
decided to sell Joseph to them. These Midianites were on their way to Egypt, and Joseph's
brethren knew that in Egypt, Pharaoh the king, and probably other rich people there,
So they sold Joseph to the Midianites, who took him
to Egypt, where he was sold to an officer of the king as a slave. Then the brothers took
Joseph's coat of many colors which his father had made for him and dipped it in the blood
of a goat, and returned it to their father. When their father saw this coat covered with
blood he was sure that his beloved boy Joseph had been killed by a wild beast. So years
and years went by, and Jacob thought that Joseph was dead, while all the time his brothers
knew that he was a slave in Egypt.
Yes, Joseph's brothers called him a dreamer. Those
two wonderful dreams that God gave to Joseph had caused him a lot of trouble. No doubt his
brothers thought that those dreams would never come true. How could Joseph ever rule over
them now that he was away down in Egypt, working for some rich man as a slave?
But there was one thing Joseph's brothers did not
know. They did not know that those wonderful dreams were given to Joseph by God, and that
God would be sure to make them come true.
As year after year went by, no doubt Josephs
brethren would remember what they had done, and perhaps they said to themselves with a
"We fixed him, all right. He thought that we
would have to bow down to him, but he was mistaken."
But was he?
A BOY WH0 DREAMED
Who was Joseph, and why did his father, Jacob,
love him more than he did his other sons?
What were the two dreams of Joseph, and why
did the telling of these dreams make his brothers angry?
Why did Joseph's brothers sell him to the
Midianites, and how did they make their father believe that Joseph had been killed?