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C O U R S E 
Jesus in Scripture and Tradition
Gary Anderson, University of Notre Dame
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
Joseph's Dreams
Notes taken on August 24, 2015 by Edward Tanguay
issue of choseness
Jacob was renamed Isreal
Jacob is the chosen son over his brother Esau
poses problems for both men
important for the Bible's understanding of what choseness is all about
Joseph is the chosen son of his father
creates problems and challenges in the family
Joseph knows he is the privileged son and exploits this privilege to his own benefit
he informs his father of wrongdoing of others
makes him disliked
not just a problem of Joseph's immaturity, but a problem with the father, Jacob
as the paterfamilias, Jacob should be able to diffuse these tensions as they arrive
but he actually provides the groundwork for these tensions to rise in temperature
vests Joseph with a garment
so brothers are aware at all times of Joseph's special status
Joseph's dreams
Genesis 37:5-8
Joseph had a dream, and when they told it to them, they hated him more
we were binding sheaves
my sheaf arose and stood upright
and your sheaves gathered round and bowed down to it
are you indeed to reign over us?
so they hated him yet more
dreamed another dream
the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me
his father rebuked him
brothers were jealous of him
but his father kept the saying in mind
there are six dreams in three sets of two
the first two
the above mentioned dreams
introduce the cycle
the second two
the cup bearer
the baker
the last two
the dreams the pharaoh will have about plenty and of famine
only in the last four dreams that Jacob gives an authoritative interpretation of what the dreams mean
says comes to him by God
Joseph says that the significance that one individual had the same dream twice indicates that this dream is going to come to pass
in the Bible, with prophecies, there is also room for movement and change
the Prophet Jonah prophesied that in 40 days the city of Nineveh would be destroyed
but after the Ninevites repent, God rescinds this decree
it is also significant that Joseph had his dream twice
he knows that his dreams will be fulfilled
first two dreams, there is no authoritative interpretation
the brothers give an interpretation, which seems logical
are you indeed to reign over us?
dreams are about power that Joseph will enjoy and exploit and which the brothers will lack and suffer from
dreams are enacted later
several times show how the brothers will bow down in front of Joseph
Genesis 42:6
the brothers' first arrival in Egypt after the beginning of famine
they bow down to an Egyptian official
he is actually Joseph
Genesis 50:18
brothers know now who Joseph is
"His brothers also came and fell down before him, and said, Behold, we are your servants."
why are the brothers angry about the dreams
could be seen as a weakness or failure on their parts
Joseph's story we learn by the end of the story, is order by God
Joseph we know must get to Egypt to assist the Pharaoh in devising a strategy to be saved from the family, and to save Joseph's family from the same famine
yet this is not the way to understand the story
even though these dreams are given providentially