And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brothers, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)He dreamed yet another dream.—In Joseph’s history the dreams are always double, though in the case of those of the chief butler and baker, the interpretation was diverse.Genesis 37:9. Yet another dream — The repetition of the same thing in another shape, might have taught them that it was both certain and very observable. Behold the sun and the moon — His father and mother, here signified by the sun and moon, were not represented in the first dream, because, in the event, his brethren only went at first to Egypt, and there did him obeisance, and it was not till afterward that his father went with them.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].He dreamed another dream, that the repetition of the same thing in another shape might teach them that the thing was both certain and very observable.
The sun and the moon were not mentioned in the first dream, because in the event his brethren only went at first to Egypt and there worshipped him, as afterwards his father went with them.
Object. His father did not worship him in Egypt.
Answ. 1. He did worship him mediately by his sons, who in their father’s name and stead bowed before him, and by the presents which he sent as testimonies of that respect which he owed to him.
2. It is probable that Jacob did, before the Egyptians, pay that reverence to his son which all the rest did, and which was due to the dignity of his place. As the Roman consul was commended by his father for requiring him to alight from his horse, as the rest did, when he met him upon the way.
and told it his brethren, and said, behold, I have dreamed a dream more; another dream, and which he told, either as not knowing fully the resentment of his brethren at his former dream, or in order to clear himself from any charge of feigning the dream, or having any ill intention in telling it; seeing he had another to the same purpose, and therefore thought fit to acquaint them with it, that they might more seriously consider of it, whether there was not something divine in it, which he himself began to think there was:
and, behold, the sun, and the moon, and the eleven stars, made their obeisance to me: in his dream it seemed to him, either that he was taken up into the starry heaven, and these luminaries bowed unto him, or else that they descended to him on earth, and paid their respects unto him.And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)9. another dream] The repetition (cf. Genesis 41:5-32) seems to indicate stronger certainty and greater importance. The first dream had its symbolism on earth, the second in the heavens. The first included the brethren only. The second included the father and the mother in the same act of obeisance with the brethren. Israel, in its widest sense, as a father’s house, is to recognize the predominance of Joseph.
eleven stars] Supposed by some scholars to refer to the signs of the Zodiac (cf. 2 Kings 23:5 marg.), the twelfth being either Joseph or obscured by Joseph. But the theory is improbable: it is not “the eleven stars.”Verse 9. - And he dreamed yet another dream, - the doubling of the dream was designed to indicate its certainty (cf. Genesis 41:32) - and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun (הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ, the minister, from Chaldee root שְׁמַשׁ, the pael of which occurs in Daniel 7:10) and the moon - הַיּרֵחַ, probably, if the word be not a primitive, the circuit-maker, from the unused root יָרַח, = = אָרַח, to go about (Furst); or the yellow one, from יָרַח = = יָרַק, to be yellow, ח and ק being interchanged (Gesenius) - and the eleven stars - rather, eleven stars, כּוכָבִים, globes, or bails, from כָּבַב, to roll up in a ball (vide Genesis 1:10) - made obeisance to me - literally, bowing themselves to me, the participles being employed ut supra, ver. 7. It is apparent that Joseph understood this second dream, even more plainly than the first, to foreshadow, in some way unexplained, his future supremacy over his brethren, who were unmistakably pointed out by the eleven stars of the vision; and this remarkable coincidence between the number of the stars and the number of his brethren would facilitate the inference that his parents were referred to under the other symbols of the sun and moon. In the most ancient symbology, Oriental and Grecian as well as Biblical (Numbers 24:17), it was customary to speak of noble personages, princes, &c., under such figures; and the employment of such terminology by a nomadic people like the Hebrew patriarchs, who constantly lived beneath the open sky, may almost be regarded as a water-mark attesting the historic credibility of this page at least of the sacred record (vide Havernick, 'Introd.,' § 21), in opposition to Bohlen, who finds in the symbolical character of Joseph s dreams an evidence of their unreality, and De Wette, who explains them as the offspring of his aspiring mind. 2 Samuel 13:18, tunica talaris, Vulg. ad Sam.), i.e., an upper coat reaching to the wrists and ankles, such as noblemen and kings' daughters wore, not "a coat of many colours" ("bunter Rock," as Luther renders it, from the χιτῶνα ποικίλον, tunicam polymitam, of the lxx and Vulgate). This partiality made Joseph hated by his brethren; so that they could not "speak peaceably unto him," i.e., ask him how he was, offer him the usual salutation, "Peace be with thee."
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