I like to get feedback when possible on thought processes. Discussions help me understand texts differently, and writing thoughts makes it easier for me to participate in class. I've decided to start writing all of my thoughts down relating to some of my classes, so that I'll have them if something should crash. I'm making it public, so others can read if they want. Feedback is welcome, but not required. I just want to get these thoughts written down so I don't lose them.
The first thought I have is that Joseph's life isn't a straight line. It's not like tthe plot lines we drew in school, with one climax and then a resolution. Joseph keeps having crappy things happen to him. He's also not perfect, even though I always thought he was. He was rather errogant, which I never realized in Sunday school. It was kind of wrong to talk about one of the heroes of the Bible like that, but it's true. If you have a dream like he did, wouldn't you keep it to yourself? Ticking off several grown men is not a good idea, if you ask me.
Anyway, back to the plot. Something good happens (the coat, Potiphar's favor, for example), then something bad happens to him (getting sold, getting sent to prison and accused of rape). It's not this steady ascent into happiness and perfect order. In short, his life was messy. There are several climaxes, and several side plots.
I notice that this account reads more like a story. Instead of getting context as we do in other areas of the Bible, it is assumed that we know who Joseph is and know about Rachel being Jacob's beloved wife.
It's interesting that the beginning of this story and the end of it are about Joseph's quest to be respected and Jacob's love for his son. Jacob blesses his family, but blesses Joseph's kids first. It's also about coming home. In the beginning, Jacob has been trying to get back to his home land. At the end, he is telling his family where to live.
Each character has an important role in this story. The first character is Joseph. First, we see the spoiled son. Joseph is loved the most, and he knows it. He's even got the coat to prove it. He tattles on his brothers and tells them about the dreams. He even manages to tick off Jacob. Then, his brothers want to kill him. Reuben saves him in the sense that he gets them to not kill him, but Joseph gets sold into slavery.
Chapter 38 is confusing to me. It seems to be a lot of sleeping around. I'm incredibly lost!
The rest of the story I've summarized some. It's just interesting that Joseph went through all of that putting stuff in his brother's sacks. Why did he do that?
I'll have more reflections, but don't have time to write them down right now.