9 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.

10 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?

I wanted to look at Joseph’s second dream a little more before moving on. I mentioned yesterday that Jacob interpreted the sun and moon and stars in Joseph’s dream as representing Jacob, Rachel, and all of Joseph’s brothers. And if this interpretation is correct, then the doubling of Joseph’s dreams, first with the sheaves of wheat and second with the heavenly bodies, likely signified the two times his family would make special obeisance to him. The dream with only the eleven sheaves would be indicating the first time that Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt, asking for grain, and bowing before Joseph. This second dream with the stars and the sun and the moon would be indicating later when Joseph had revealed his identity and all the household came to live under Joseph’s protection.

But that being said, I’m not entirely sure that Jacob was correct in his interpretation. The fact that he says “I and thy mother” seems to suggest that this dream was given when Rachel was still alive. But by the time that Joseph came into power his mother was long since dead. Rachel was never present to see, and make obeisance, to Joseph as an Egyptian prince. Perhaps the sun and the moon could instead represent the two nations who depended on Joseph for survival: Egypt and Israel.

Of course, that other interpretation depends entirely on whether Rachel was still alive at this point or not. We know that she died during the birth of Benjamin, but we do not know how old Joseph was when his younger brother was born. Is it possible he never knew the boy before he was sold off to Egypt? If that were the case, then eleven stars would have seemed strange to the family, as Joseph would have only had ten brothers so far.

Which perhaps means that Benjamin was already born, Rachel had already passed away, and if the sun and moon really did signify Jacob and Rachel showing reverence to their son, perhaps it was meant in a spiritual sense instead of physical.

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