Jacob: The Dreaming Son
Posted by Douglas, Apr 25, 2008. 2283 views. ID = 1196
This post was written in 47 minutes.
|Jacob seems to have the ability to see the world exactly as he wants to see it, regardless of reality. If you're paying close attention you'll catch some ways in which the "reality" in Jacob's mind does not match true reality.|
|This post has been awarded 20 stars by 5 readers.|
|This post is Part 3 of a writing series titled Joseph's Story.|
"Dad, can I talk to you?"
It was Reuben, standing at the entrance to my tent, seeking permission to enter. I gave a quick and pointed glance at my second wife, Leah, who got up from the tent floor and exited as her firstborn son entered.
Reuben, dressed in a dusty and dirty purple robe that had lost its vibrancy through long use, sat cross-legged in front of me. Reuben was a good boy, probably Leah's very best and brightest son - though one day he shall certainly be punished for taking one of my concubines to himself - and unlike some of his brothers, he never bothered me with stupid quarrels and bickering among his siblings - which is why his opening words surprised me.
"Dad, it's your son, Joseph."
Joseph. Now there was a boy a man could be proud of. Polite, courteous, respectful, obedient, Joseph was my eyes and ears among my twelve sons. It was Joseph who would keep me apprised of any trouble brewing among the brothers.
"What about him?" I said testily.
"Dad, he's stirring up a lot of hatred among the brothers. He came out to the fields today and was bragging about his dream he had last night."
"I haven't heard about any dream," I said.
"He dreamed that we were all out in the fields gathering wheat, and when we had all laid our sheaves on the ground, his rose up in the middle, and all the others bowed down to his."
I wanted to laugh at the mental image of eleven bundled piles of wheat bowing low before Joseph's. It also made me want to cry for joy. I considered my words carefully before I said, "Reuben, you know that dreams come from God Himself. If Joseph dreamed that he will rule over you, and you will bow down to him, you must prepare yourself for that day, for it will come."
What I didn't say was that I had long known this to be true. As Leah's firstborn child, Reuben might wear the purple robe, but my boy Joseph is the one who will inherit all.
"Now go," I said, "And tell your brothers not to bother Joseph about his dream. The lad is young, and does not know enough to understand that others might not share his joy at learning of his great future."
Reuben looked unhappy with my answer, and I can't blame him for that, but he stood, bowed low before me, and exited the tent.
Once he was gone, I let out a joyous laugh, and praised God for the good news I had received; my son truly would be the great and powerful man I had always dreamed he would be. The promise of God to Abraham would be fulfilled through my son: A great nation would be made of him, and through him all the nations of the world would be blessed.
The rest of his brothers - they would go the way of Ishmael and Esau. I would give to them the gifts of a man to his concubine's sons, and send them on their way. But oh, my Joseph - what a kingly man he will become, ruling over all this promised land!
The next day, as we sat down to eat supper, with Joseph on my right, Leah on my left, and all the rest of the family scattered in a circle about me, Joseph said, "Father, I had a dream."
I heard the beginning of mutterings among the children of my wives, but I held up my hand for silence, and my stern expression silenced the angry voices. I nodded wisely and said, "Tell us all, my son, of the dream you had."
I expected he would retell the story of the sheaves, but this was a different dream. "Father, I saw the strangest sight in my dream. It was a day like no other day, and a night like no other night, for there in the sky I saw both the sun and the moon together, and with them both, even through the brightness of the sun I could see eleven glowing stars shining with a beautiful, piercing light."
I smiled. Joseph was learning a bit about dealing with his brothers. That's it, my son, soften the blow for them by telling them that their stars shine with a beautiful light. They will not mind so much that they must bow to you, if they know they have your respect.
Joseph continued, "In my dream, the stars, the moon, and even the sun itself turned and faced me on this strange night-day, and each one bowed low before me."
My anger burned so bright and fast that I didn't even stop to think before my hand - almost of its own accord - reached out and slapped my boy across the face. Bright red streaks stood out on his cheek where my fingers had struck. "How dare
you," I said, "Do you think that I am stupid? Do you think I don't know that you have imagined me to be the sun, and your mother to be the moon? Do you really think that any of us will ever bow down to you?"
Startled and hurt by my outburst, my beloved Joseph bowed low in humiliation, saying, "Father, I have sinned against you and I am ashamed." Then, without another word he stood and walked away.
As I look around the circle now, I see laughing, mocking faces all around me; the sons of my wife and concubines have taken great pleasure in my son's humiliation.
But Reuben - that boy has an entirely different look on his face. There is a smile, but it is cynical rather than mirthful, and in his questioning gaze I can read clearly the sardonic query: "How is it Father, that one dream must be from God, yet the other is not?"
Joseph is not the only boy I want to slap tonight.Copyright 2008 Douglas. All rights reserved. FifteenMinutesOfFiction.com has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.
|This post has been awarded 20 stars by 5 readers.|
|This post is Part 3 of a writing series titled Joseph's Story. The next part of this series can be found here: Reuben: The Pit and The Caravan.|
|This is a revised version of a post. Click here to view the original version
Search for Great Fiction
Use the google search bar below to find writings exclusively on this site.