Old Testament

The Pentateuch

What sort of young man was Joseph?

When the narrative shifts from Jacob to Joseph (Genesis 37), Joseph is seventeen years old. The characteristics that inspire his brothers’ dislike are highlighted. First, Joseph was a tattletale (why he told on his brothers is not clear). Second, in his youthful pride, Joseph boasted about dreams he had in which his brothers and father were subject to him. Favorite son or not, even Jacob got a little riled at Joseph for this. “When [Joseph] told it to his father and brothers, his father reprimanded him, ‘What’s all this dreaming? Am I and your mother and your brothers all supposed to bow down to you?’” (The Message, Genesis 37:10)


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