|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
37:5-11 God gave Joseph betimes the prospect of his advancement, to support and comfort him under his long and grievous troubles. Observe, Joseph dreamed of his preferment, but he did not dream of his imprisonment. Thus many young people, when setting out in the world, think of nothing but prosperity and pleasure, and never dream of trouble. His brethren rightly interpreted the dream, though they abhorred the interpretation of it. While they committed crimes in order to defeat it, they were themselves the instruments of accomplishing it. Thus the Jews understood what Christ said of his kingdom. Determined that he should not reign over them, they consulted to put him to death; and by his crucifixion, made way for the exaltation they designed to prevent.
Verse 5. - And Joseph dreamed a dream (in which, though, as the sequel shows, intended as a Divine communication, there was nothing to distinguish it from an ordinary product of the mind), and he told it to his brethren: - not in pride, since there is no reason to suppose that Joseph as yet understood the celestial origin of his dream but in the simplicity of his heart (Kalisch, Murphy), though in doing so he was also guided, unconsciously it may be, but still really, by an overruling providence, who made use of this very telling of the dream as a step towards its fulfillment (Lawson) - and they hated him yet the more - literally, and they added again to hate him.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren,.... As a dream, in the simplicity of his heart; not understanding it, or imagining there was any meaning in it; he told it not with any design to affront them, but as an amusement, and for their diversion, there being something in it odd and ridiculous, as he himself might think:
and they hated him yet the more; not only because he had carried an ill report of them to his father, and because he loved him more than they, but still more because of this dream; the meaning of which they at once understood, though he did not, which yet they supposed he did, and that he told them it in a boasting manner, and to irritate them.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Ge 37:5-36. The Dreams of Joseph.
5. Joseph dreamed a dream—Dreams in ancient times were much attended to, and hence the dream of Joseph, though but a mere boy, engaged the serious consideration of his family. But this dream was evidently symbolical. The meaning was easily discerned, and, from its being repeated under different emblems, the fulfilment was considered certain (compare Ge 41:32), whence it was that "his brethren envied him, but his father observed the saying" [Ge 37:11].
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