They conspired to kill him to end his dreams. In their sarcasm they are resentful, indignant, and full of contempt. There is absolutely no consideration whatsoever of God’s revelation in dreams to Joseph. Their hatred and rivalry simply dismisses God from the equation in pursuit of their own dreams.
· he extreme measures Joseph’s brothers considered to silence him may not just have been personal hatred springing from jealousy, but they may have wanted to alter the will of God as revealed in Joseph’s dreams as well. The brothers’ hate is therefore a rebellion against the matter contained in the dreams, against the divine power itself, standing behind them, who had given the dreams.
An Application—Those who determine to faithfully discharge the will of God can expect to be opposed by those who want to violate the will of God. That may include intrigue, threats, treachery, deception, and persecution in order to prevent God’s servant from fulfilling that will. The ridicule and opposition can even come from those closest to you in your family or ministry.
· The verbs translated , , and sound alike in Hebrew; the repetition of similar sounds draws attention to Reuben’s words making the speech a memorable one in the narrative. The question is, will it make a difference.
· Reuben, as the first-born, looked after his father’s interests and, knowing what sorrow Joseph’s death would bring to Jacob, sought to spare Joseph’s life and release him from the pit later. Perhaps Reuben wanted to get back in the good graces of his father after his folly with his father’s concubines (cf. 35:22).
. Why Joseph was wearing the coat is not clear, but the site of it on him surely incited the brothers to act with contempt against Joseph.
· Here is supplemental information that helps the reader or hearer to picture what happened. Joseph’s place of confinement was evidently a dry well or cistern.
The next time the brothers would eat a meal in Joseph’s presence he would sit at the head table (43:32-34).
· invites the reader to see the event through the eyes of the brothers they raised their eyes and looked. The solution would be a caravan on their way to Egypt.
Verse 26—Judah, like Reuben, did not relish killing Joseph. Yet he was not willing to let him go free either.
Verse 27——His speech, the third of the brother’s decisions, called for the sale of Joseph. His suggestion that the brothers sell Joseph implies that he knew slave trading was common in Egypt. Ishmaelite is the more generic term for groups of Bedouin nomads. It became a general designation for desert tribes.
· They had not only sold their brother, but in their brother they had cast out a member of the seed promised and given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, from the fellowship of the chosen family, and sinned against the God of salvation and His promises.
PT—The text passes over Joseph’s personal suffering, concentrating on the brothers’ wickedness. However, we get a glimpse of Joseph’s terror when the brothers are finally confronted with their wicked deed in Joseph’s court in Egypt twenty years later. Then they said to one another, "Truly we are guilty concerning our brother, because we saw the distress of his soul when he pleaded with us, yet we would not listen; therefore, this distress has come upon us" (Genesis 42:21). They confessed to each other that, because they heard Joseph’s cries for mercy and saw Josephs terror—probably when they attacked him and cast him into the pit, and then when they pulled him out and sold him off—and would not respond, distress had now come upon them.
An Application—God will accomplish His purposes no matter the opposition against it. Those willing to participate in the will of God cannot be prevented from fulfilling their God-given destiny. In spite of envy, jealousy and hatred the spiritual leader can rest assured that God may use the opposition in working out his will.
An Application—Ultimately, the brothers rebelled against the will of God for Joseph as well as for themselves. We may find ourselves being unjustly treated simply because we are participating in the will of God. Just because you may do the will of God never means that it will be easy. It may be the most difficult thing you do or cause the most pain in your life. The pain may even be caused by those who have been supportive of your walk with God or closest to you in life and ministry.
Implications for the 12 tribes
· That this serves as a warning about the 12 brother’s motivation by treachery and deception to conspire against Joseph, the faithful son, to rid themselves of the favored son so to perhaps open the way for a better status for themselves.
PT—You can’t rebel against the revealed will of God and expect things to work out better for you. The brothers thinking was get rid of Joseph and we will not have to bow down to him at all. They were forced to do so anyway, but they just made it much harder for themselves.
· That the blessing of God will not go to the ones who conspire to get that blessing outside of the will of God.
· That God’s choosing of a leader amongst the tribal families cannot be so easily altered no matter what the people may think of God’s choice.
· That God will intervene against the intrigues marshalled against His will and utilize even strange circumstances and voices of moderation to move things along to the eventual fulfilment of God’s will.
PT—Notice God did not intervene to remove Joseph from these threats. God let the threats play out even for Joseph as part of Gods plan to bring Joseph into leadership over the family. Joseph was not spared the pain and hurt and terror of being unjustly treated. The brothers conspired against Gods plan. God used the hardship created by the brother’s willful rejection of Gods plan to further the plan for Joseph to lead the family.
A Review of Stephen’s Speech in Acts 7
PT— Defending himself against the charge of blaspheming God, Stephen covers the history from Abraham to Joseph and the Egyptian Bondage in Acts 7. In verses 9-18 Josephs story is rehearsed.
Verse 9—The patriarchs became jealous of Joseph and sold him into Egypt. Yet God was with him—Genesis 50:20 reads, as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. The patriarchs were guilty of opposing God and His purpose. They sold Joseph, but God rescued him. The nation’s rebellion against God began with the patriarchs. And now the Jews were guilty of doing the same thing in falsely accusing Stephen.
Verse 10—God granted him favor and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh, king of Egypt—God not only controls events, He controls the results of the events. Joseph could have interpreted dreams, etc. and made no impression on Pharaoh.
An Application—You do what is right in God’s sight, and He will decide whether to honor you in the sight of others (1 Chronicles 29:12). Do not grow weary of doing good (2 Thessalonians 3:13). We can become weary of doing good if we are not thanked or honored for it. Jesus said if you do things to be honored, you have your reward. But when you do it for God, He will see it and reward you in heaven (Matthew 6).
Verse 11—a famine came...and great affliction—Stephen said God used this suffering to move the Israelites to Egypt, where they would multiply as a separate people, what He wanted them to do in the first place. The Jews’ rejection of the Messiah also will bring a spiritual famine and great affliction. This will last until the day when all Israel will be saved (Romans 11:26).
An Application—God may use suffering to drive you to your knees, to compel you to spend time with Him, to remove you from a sinful situation, etc.
Verse 14—seventy-five persons in all—Sometimes 70 is the number given (Genesis 46:27; Exodus 1:5). But it depends on who is included. If you add Joseph’s seven grandsons and don’t add Jacob and his wife, you get 75. If you add Jacob and his wife and don’t include Joseph’s grandsons, you get 70.
Verse 16—they were removed to Shechem and laid in the tomb—Jacob was buried in Abraham’s burial plot in Machpelah (Genesis 50:13). Therefore, the “they” needs to be restricted to the immediate antecedent of “our fathers” in verse 15, i.e., Joseph and his brothers (Joshua 24:32).
• which Abraham had purchased for a sum of money from the sons of Hamor in Shechem—According to Joshua 24:32, Jacob purchased the plot at Shechem. Abraham had built an altar in Shechem (Genesis 12:6-7), and it is likely that he purchased the ground on which he built the altar. But he did not settle there, so over time, the site may have reverted to the occupying people of Hamor, thus necessitating Jacob’s repurchase of it (Archer, “Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties,” p. 379-81).
PT—Another possible explanation is that Stephen put the two things together. We do not have enough information to know exactly what happened. Having defended himself against the charge of blaspheming God, Stephen now moves to the second accusation, rejection of Moses (6:11). He does this by continuing his historical survey. In the first 16 verses, he covered the period from the call of Abraham to Joseph and the captivity of Israel in Egypt. Now he talks about the second great period of Israel’s history: from Moses to the Babylonian Captivity.
Verse 17—the people increased and multiplied in Egypt—The patriarchs were dead. The people were content to stay in Egypt. But the time of the promise was approaching which God had assured to Abraham—It was time for God to fulfill His promise to Abraham of giving his descendants the land. So, God orchestrated events to move Israel out of Egypt, just as He had moved them there to multiply many years before.
Verse 18—until there arose another king over Egypt who knew nothing about Joseph. Exodus 1:9-10 says, He said to his people, “Behold, the people of the sons of Israel are more and mightier than we. Come, let us deal wisely with them, or else they will multiply and in the event of war, they will also join themselves to those who hate us, and fight against us.
Verse 19—Pharaoh commanded that the boy babies be cast into the Nile to die (Exodus 1:22).