For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, see, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Stood upright.—Heb., took its station. It is the verb used in Genesis 24:13, where see Note. It implies that the sheaf took the position of chief. We gather from this dream that Jacob practised agriculture, not occasionally, as had been the case with Isaac (Genesis 26:12), but regularly, as seems to have been usual also at Haran (Genesis 30:14).Genesis 37:7. Behold, we were binding sheaves in the field — This was a secret intimation of the occasion of Joseph’s advancement, which was from his counsel and care about the corn in Egypt. Your sheaves stood round about — A posture this of ministry and service; and made obeisance to my sheaf — How wonderfully was this fulfilled when his brethren, making application to him for corn, came and bowed down themselves before him with their faces to the earth!Genesis 41:32. The former serves to interpret the latter. There the sheaves are connected with the brothers who bound them, and thereby indicate the parties. The eleven stars are not so connected with them. But here Joseph is introduced directly without a figure, and the number eleven, taken along with the eleven sheaves of the former dream, makes the application to the brothers plain. The sun and moon clearly point out the father and mother. The mother is to be taken, we conceive, in the abstract, without nicely inquiring whether it means the departed Rachel, or the probably still living Leah. Not even the latter seems to have lived to see the fulfillment of this prophetic dream Genesis 49:31. The second dream only aggravated the hatred of his brothers; but his father, while rebuking him for his speeches, yet marked the saying. The rebuke seems to imply that the dream, or the telling of it, appears to his father to indicate the lurking of a self-sufficient or ambitious spirit within the breast of the youthful Joseph. The twofold intimation, however, came from a higher source.
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].We were binding sheaves in the field; a secret insinuation of the occasion of Joseph’s advancement, which was from his counsel and care about the corn of Egypt.
Your sheaves stood round about; this was a posture of ministry and service, as is manifest both from Scripture and from common usage.
and, lo, my sheaf arose, and stood upright; it seemed to him, that after he had bound and laid it on the ground, that it rose up of itself, and stood erect:
and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf; the sheaves which his brethren bound up, they also stood upright, and all around his sheaf, and bowed unto it; so it appeared to him in his dream. This was a fit emblem of their coming to him into Egypt for corn, and bowing to him, when their sheaves were empty, and his was full. In an ancient book of the Jews (h) Joseph's sheaf is interpreted of the Messiah, whom they call the son of Ephraim. Joseph no doubt was a type of the true Messiah, and in this of his exaltation and glory, and of that honour given him by all his saints who come to him, and receive from him all the supplies of grace.For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7. sheaves] Joseph’s dream presupposes that the patriarch was leading a settled and agricultural life (cf. Genesis 26:12). In Genesis 46:31-34 Jacob and his family are shepherds and herdsmen, but the fact that the failure of crops compels them to seek for corn in Egypt, Genesis 42:1, shews that they were partly dependent upon local crops. Cf. Genesis 12:10, Genesis 36:1.Verse 7. - For (literally, and), behold, we were binding sheaves - literally, binding things bound, i.e. sheaves, alumim, from alam, to bind; the order of the words and the participial form of the verb indicating that the speaker describes the vision as it appeared to his mind (vide Ewald, 'Hebrews Synt.,' § 342) - in the field, - literally, in the middle of the field; from which it would appear that Jacob was not a mere nomad, but carried on agricultural operations like his father Isaac (Genesis 26:12) - and, lo, - "the הֵנּה, as repeated in his narration, shows that he had a presentiment of something great" (Lange) - my sheaf arose, and also stood upright (literally, stood, i.e. placed itself upright, and remained so); and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance - i.e. bowed themselves down (cf. Genesis 23:7, Abraham bowing to the Hethites) - to my sheaf. The fulfillment of this dream occurred in Egypt (vide Genesis 42:6; Genesis 43:26; Genesis 44:14). Genesis 37:1-2
The statement in Genesis 37:1, which introduces the tholedoth of Jacob, "And Jacob dwelt in the land of his father's pilgrimage, in the land of Canaan," implies that Jacob had now entered upon his father's inheritance, and carries on the patriarchal pilgrim-life in Canaan, the further development of which was determined by the wonderful career of Joseph. This strange and eventful career of Joseph commenced when he was 17 years old. The notice of his age at the commencement of the narrative which follows, is introduced with reference to the principal topic in it, viz., the sale of Joseph, which was to prepare the way, according to the wonderful counsel of God, for the fulfilment of the divine revelation to Abraham respecting the future history of his seed (Genesis 15:13.). While feeding the flock with his brethren, and, as he was young, with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, who were nearer his age than the sons of Leah, he brought an evil report of them to his father (רעה intentionally indefinite, connected with דּבּתם without an article). The words נער והוּא, "and he a lad," are subordinate to the main clause: they are not to be rendered, however, "he was a lad with the sons," but, "as he was young, he fed the flock with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah."
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