Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Story Time: Joseph, Part 3-On the Way to Bad

When we last left Joseph he was on his way to Shechem to check up on his brothers. His brothers were very jealous of him because Jacob loved him more than them. To make things worse, Joseph had had some crazy dreams in which he dominated over his brothers.

Part 3
Joseph walked and walked and walked. Eventually he came to Shechem and began to look for his brothers. He looked in all the usual places, but he couldn’t find them. Such a large herd of sheep (it must have been large because all 10 of his brothers were watching it) is hard to misplace so Joseph must have been rather confused and puzzled. A man saw Joseph looking and asked him what he was looking for. Joseph told him that he was looking for his 10 brothers and their sheep. The man had seen Joseph’s brothers and had even overheard them talking to each other. They had finished grazing at Shechem and moved on to Dothan. Joseph sighed and changed his course. He had to find his brothers. His father had told him to.
He walked on, lost in his own world.
As he walked his brothers noticed him coming and their jealousy rose. As brothers are prone to do, they began to plot about how to get even with him. After all, they were far enough away from their father that he would not know what they were doing. And as things are prone to do, they got out of hand. What may have first started as an innocent prank quickly escalated to a plot to kill Joseph. I am glad that these were not my brothers…I would have been dead many times over by now. I imagine their conversation started innocently enough. “Let’s throw dirt at him” “How about we steal his coat and throw it in the mud” and then somehow, someway, it ended at “Let’s kill that dreamer!”
Thankfully for Joseph, his older brother Reuben did not get caught up in the fervor and provided a voice of reason. “Let’s not kill him.” (good plan Reuben) “Let’s just throw him in this old dry deep hole. That’ll teach him a lesson and we won’t have to kill him. Sound like a plan?” The other nine agreed and Reuben breathed a sigh of relief. That had been too close for comfort.
Joseph got closer.
As soon as he reached his brothers they attacked him. All their anger and resentment and jealousy towards him spilled out. I have never been attacked by ten guys at once, but I can’t imagine it was pleasant. I also don’t imagine that Joseph willingly let himself been attacked. It must have been quite a brawl and very unfair. 10 brothers against 1, and he was younger than all of them to boot, means that the 10 likely won fairly easily.
After they had subdued Joseph they ripped his beautiful coat off of him. This coat (talked about in part 2) represented everything they hated so much about him. After they ripped his coat off, they picked him up and chucked him into the deep dry hole. Joseph hit the bottom with a thump. How could his brothers do this to him? They were his family after all! And what about his dreams? Weren’t they supposed to bow down to him? Surely they would pull him out soon…They certainly wouldn’t leave him there, would they?

So, Joseph is in the pit.  Things are bad.  That's where I'm going to leave him for now.  I really ought to be writing my paper, but I didn't want to leave Joseph alone too long.  It was a long journey to Shechem after all. :)

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