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GEN. 37. 19. And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh.
You have reard that at the age of 17 years, Joseph led a shepherd's life and fed sheep, the same employment in which his brethren were engaged; that he brought to his father a report of their conduct when absent from home, not by way of telling tales, but that his father might reprove and admonish them, which he dare not do, because he was so young. You have heard that his father loved him more than all his children, and made him a coat of many colours. When his brethren saw, that their father loved him more than all of his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him. This hatred was increased by the relation of two remarkable dreams. They seemed to have impressed the mind of Joseph so much that he could not conceal them from his father and
his family. They were also prophetical of his future greatness.
I. I shall relate these two remarkable DREAMS which JOSEPH DREAMED.
"And he said unto them, hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: For, be hold, 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. And his brethren said unto him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? Or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams and for his words.
"And he dreamed yet another dream, and he told it to his brethren and said; Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold the sun and moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me. And he told it to his father and to his brethren; and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, what is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I, and thy mother, and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth? And his brethren envied him; but his father observed
observed the saying." His brethren explained these dreams according to their true meaning. It is not necessary that any other explanation should be given at present.
We see that though his father gave him at gentle rebuke, yet they seemed to have made a very different impression on his mind from that which they made on Joseph's brethren. They envied him and hated him yet the
II. We notice JOSEPH'S VISIT to hisBRETHREN.
"And his brethren went to feed their father's flock in Shechem. And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? Come, and I will send thee unto them. And he said unto him, here am I. And he said unto him, go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem." Little did Jacob think when Joseph left his tent, that she should never return to that tent again, and that it would be three
and twenty years before he saw his face again. What a kind visit this was. Perhaps they had been absent from Hebron some days, and Jacob was anxious to know how they were. How dutiful and obedient is Joseph to his father's wishes and commands. Many a favorite but spoiled child, would have said, no, I won't go, they hate me, and why should I go and see, they will only call me names or beat me. No, tho' Joseph knew that they hated and envied him, yet he made no objection. No excuse that the distance was great, or the journey long and dangerous. He cheerfully obeyed his father and was ready to shew how much he loved and respected his brethren. To love those that hate us, and to pray for those that despitefully use us, is one of the precepts of Christ in his Sermon on the Mount. "And a certain man found him, and behold he was wandering in the field. And the man asked him, saying, what seekest thou? And he said, I seek my brethren, tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks. And the man said, they are departed hence, for I heard them say, let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren and found them in Dothan." This shews
that Joseph not only undertook this journey in obedience to his father's commands, but out of love to his brethren. For when he did not find them at Shechem, he might have returned to Hebron and told his father that he could not find his brethren. No, he wanders about the field, he went from place to place, he seeks diligently till he finds them. When he heard from the man who met him that they were gone to Dothan, he went after them and there he found them. Let brotherly love continue. Shechem was about forty miles from Hebron, and Dothan was about eight miles further, so that Joseph travelled a journey of fortyeight miles to see his brethren.
III. Let us hear the RETURN which JoSEPH'S BRETHREN made for this KIND VISIT. "And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him. And they said one to another; Behold, this dreamer cometh. Come now there. fore, let us slay him, and let us cast him into some pit, and we will say some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams. And Reuten heard it, and he delivered