[b-hebrew] Joseph's Age II
Bryant J. Williams III
bjwvmw at com-pair.net
Thu Dec 13 18:44:51 EST 2007
We have gone over this ground before, but you have not proven by any means that
the Hebrew calendar used in the Patriarchal narratives was of 6 months duration.
In fact, you have continued to use faulty reasoning concerning the ages of all
the patriarchs because you still cling to the notion that the ages represent
half-years which the Hebrew text does not support. This is called eisegesis.
1) Jacob still favors Joseph. It is quite reasonable to see Jacob having
Joseph staying around him when he sends the rest of the kids up to Shechem.
2) It is also quite reasonable for Joseph, being seventeen years of age and a
teenager to boot, to report his dreams to the brothers.
3) It is also quite reasonable for the response of the brothers to be quite
upset (hatred) about what the dreams portended.
4) Teenagers at any age and any era are bound to have their good, mature
moments and their bad, immature moments. This was both.
5) Since Joseph was reporting what the brothers were doing to Jacob was part
of his responsibility to do, then it is also quite reasonable for the brothers
to be angry for Joseph doing so. It is a natural human response.
Each incident in this tale of woe is shown to indicate the character of each
person. Joseph is shown in a good light. The brothers, and Jacob, is shown in a
Rev. Bryant J. Williams III
----- Original Message -----
From: <JimStinehart at aol.com>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2007 11:56 AM
Subject: [b-hebrew] Joseph's Age II
> We now return to our story of Joseph going up north to meet his older
> half-brothers. At long last, we are starting to get to the points that you
> specifically raised in your question.
> (g) If Joseph were a grown adult, age 17 or 18 regular years or so, there is
> no way that Joseph would have insisted that his older brothers must hear his
> latest dream, which to his older brothers sounded as if Joseph is foretelling
> that all of his older half-brothers will have to bow down to Joseph. Note
> that relating that dream at Genesis 37: 9-11 makes sense for an innocent,
> boy age 9 regular years, but would be obvious fighting words, and would
> basically be dumb, if related by a grown man age 17 or 18 regular years.
> (h) Jacob’s oldest son is Reuben, age 15 regular years. None of Jacob’s
> sons has married yet. If Joseph were age 17 regular years, several of Joseph’
> older half-brothers would be married and would have their own children, but in
> fact nothing along those lines has happened yet. Simeon and Levi in
> particular do not have wives to calm them down, nor do they have their own
> which might have made them think twice about killing their own brother Joseph.
> Each of Simeon and Levi is awkward age 13 regular years, and acts it. If
> Simeon and Levi were in their 20s, married with children, they would not be
> acting like such hotheads.
> (i) Jacob now determines that young Joseph should be sent up to Shechem to
> see how Jacob’s other sons are doing with tending the valuable flock in Jacob’
> s absence. Genesis 37: 12-14 Since the bloody Shechem incident has not
> happened yet, Jacob does not forsee any trouble. Jacob naturally sends
> servants with Joseph. There had been no trouble traveling south from Shechem
> Hebron, so why should there be any trouble now, in going north from Hebron
> back up to Shechem? Indeed, there are no problems on the road.
> Jacob, consumed with his own worries, does not realize how angry his older
> sons are with him and Joseph for Jacob’s obvious favoritism of Joseph. Nor
> could Jacob have anticipated what plucky young Joseph went and did.
> (j) Note the odd, but telling, detail that Joseph was sent up to Shechem to
> meet up with his older half-brothers and the family flock, but Joseph does not
> actually meet his brothers until he has gone much farther north than that,
> all the way past Shechem to Dothan. And the circumstances under which Joseph
> finds out where his brothers have gone are odd. A man finds Joseph wandering
> a field near Shechem. Genesis 37: 14-17 What must have happened is this.
> Joseph must have been all alone, with his father’s servants some distance away
> in the field, when Joseph found out at Shechem that his brothers were tending
> the flock at Dothan. Joseph, age 9½ regular years, thought he would play a
> harmless prank, that would show his older half-brothers that young Joseph was
> the cusp of becoming a man now, and did not have to be handled by servants
> any longer. Joseph apparently tells that man in the field not to tell the
> servants where Joseph’s brothers are. Plucky young Joseph then gives the slip
> his father’s servants at Shechem, and lights out on the double for Dothan.
> Joseph has at least a few hours’ lead time on the servants, who do not know
> has happened, and who do not yet know where the family flock is being tended
> by Joseph’s brothers.
> Joseph then grandly waltzes into the Dothan area to see his older
> half-brothers all by himself, wearing his infamous “coat of many colors”, and
> given the slip to his father’s servants back at Shechem. Joseph is truly all
> alone at this moment, with no servants around. This is the one moment of
> opportunity for Simeon and Levi. If something bad happened to Joseph, there
> servants of Jacob around to see it, and to report back to Jacob. This was a
> one-time opportunity, that would not likely come around again.
> Here is the text:
> “And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan. And they saw
> him afar off, and before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to
> slay him. And they said one to another: 'Behold, this dreamer cometh. Come
> now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into one of the pits, and we
> will say: An evil beast hath devoured him; and we shall see what will become
> of his dreams.'” Genesis 35: 17-20
> Now here is the same text, to which I have added my editorial comments in
> “And Joseph[, having given the slip to his father’s servants back in
> Shechem,] went after his brethren [all alone, without a single servant
> him at this point], and found them in Dothan. And they saw him afar off,
> [waltzing into Dothan all alone, without a single servant, acting like a
> who, at the tender age of 9½ regular years, no longer considered that he
> needed to be accompanied by servants,] and before he came near unto them, they
> conspired against him to slay him. And they said one to another: 'Behold,
> dreamer cometh. [This is our one and only chance to kill young Joseph and get
> away with it, because there are no servants around, and such an opportunity
> will probably never come around again. And behold, we must act very fast,
> before our father’s servants find out that we are at Dothan and come looking
> their wayward charge.] Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him
> into one of the pits, and we will say: An evil beast hath devoured him; and
> shall see what will become of his dreams.'” Genesis 35: 17-20
> I realize that this has been a much longer explanation than you bargained
> for. But this is my considered view of how the author of the Patriarchal
> narratives wants us to view this famous, chilling story. It really only makes
> if (i) Joseph is only age 9½ regular years (or else Joseph would never have
> told those incendiary dreams to his older half-brothers, and then given his
> father’s servants the slip in going to meet his older half-brothers), and (ii)
> bloody Shechem incident has not happened yet (or else none of this story
> would be happening in the Shechem area).
> Jim Stinehart
> Evanston, Illinois
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