Post 326

Family Counselling, Part 2:
The Coat

BLOGGER: So let’s continue. How is everything else? We’ve talked about some of the history of your births, and now I understand who is the mother of whom, and I’ve written all of that down. Where does that leave everyone? I see and I have spoken about the tension between some of the mothers, and between Leah and Jacob, but how do the rest of you get along?

JACOB: Everything is good!

BLOGGER: Everything is good?


LEAH: Well, I wouldn’t say that.

JACOB: Yes, we all know what you think. We always know what you think!

LEAH: Oh, you! You don’t know everything. You just think you do!

BLOGGER: I would like someone else to answer. Someone else could speak about the current situation. Reuben, how about you? Are things good between everyone in this generation?

REUBEN: Things are good, yes.

JACOB: See! Just like I said.

SIMEON: We have no problems among us that are worth mentioning.

LEVI: We are shepherds, and we work together in the field. There is no dissension among us.

JUDAH: Mind you, to be fair, we should probably mention one thing, relating to one of us here.

LEVI: Do you mean?



BLOGGER: So there is something?

JUDAH: Something, yes.

BLOGGER: Go ahead. It relates to whom?

JUDAH: To him (pointing)

BLOGGER: To Joseph?


BLOGGER: What is it?

JUDAH: Well, to be frank, it’s his dreams.

BLOGGER: Dreams? As in, dreams when he sleeps?

LEVI: Yes! He says he has dreams!

BLOGGER: But — but why would this be a problem?

LEVI: It’s ridiculous! And he won’t stop with it!

BLOGGER: He won’t stop telling you about his dreams?

LEVI: Well, he tells about one dream, and then the next day, he’s got another one!

BLOGGER: You have dreams?


BLOGGER: Do you want to tell me about them?

SIMEON: Of course he’ll tell you about them! He’s not exactly secretive about them!

JOSEPH: I had two dreams. In the first dream, I was binding sheaves in the field with my brothers, and lo, my sheaf arose and stood upright. My brothers’ sheaves gathered round it, and bowed down to my sheaf.

BLOGGER: And your second dream?

JOSEPH: In my second dream, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.

BLOGGER: Wow, those are some dreams!


BLOGGER: And what do you make of them? How do you interpret them?

JOSEPH: I don’t understand them, but it seems that the sheaves represent my brothers, and the eleven stars are my brothers bowing down to me.



BLOGGER: And I can see why your brothers might not like to hear about them.

JACOB: It’s just a dream! Everyone has dreams. You sleep, you dream. It’s okay. Why is there a problem?

LEVI: Of course, you wouldn’t see the problem with it! You always favour him!

JACOB: Silence! You are not to speak to me that way, son!

BLOGGER: Why did you tell your brothers about these dreams?

JOSEPH: I don’t know. I just did. I never had dreams like these.

BLOGGER: Have you had more dreams like that?

JOSEPH: No, it was just those two.

BLOGGER: And they are important to you?



JOSEPH: I don’t know. They just felt different. They felt significant.

BLOGGER: A message from the Lord?

JOSEPH: I believe so, yes.

BLOGGER: How do you feel when you remember them? How do they make you feel?

JOSEPH: When I think upon them, I feel peaceful, even though I do not understand their meaning.

SIMEON: Peaceful!

LEVI: I can’t believe he says it so plainly.

REUBEN: He can’t help himself.

LEVI: Anyone who will listen to his dreams is his new friend.

JACOB: Silence! This is disgraceful! How can you speak this way about our Joseph?!

BLOGGER: It’s okay — we’ll move on. I think I understand better now. So it’s fair to say that when Joseph told you his dreams, you were not very pleased, because you felt like he was making up stories where he was superior? Am I right?

SIMEON: He has absolutely no business saying such things.

REUBEN: We are the elder brothers, and he needs to remember to be respectful.

JOSEPH: But how was I being disrespectful?

LEVI: You impudent thing! What right do you have to talk back like that?

SIMEON: He is getting a big head because our father favours him, and that’s really the true background here. So then it goes into his dreams.

LEVI: You think he actually had a dream like that?

SIMEON: Well, maybe, but I am not saying it means anything. It’s just because Father is always–

JACOB: What? What do I hear coming out of your mouth. What is this “Father always”?

SIMEON: I mean no offence. I am just explaining to the lady that maybe Joseph causes problems because you favour him.

JACOB: Favour him? Well, of course I favour him! He’s the son of my old age! Of course! He is all I have left from Rachel — along with Benjamin.

SIMEON (to Blogger): This is the problem behind the problem.

JACOB: What problem? Am I, as father, not allowed to love my own son? My own son, the child of my old age?

REUBEN (to Blogger): Have you noticed that Joseph is dressed more flamboyantly than the rest of us?

BLOGGER: Well, yes, I see that Joseph’s tunic is more elaborate than the ones everyone else is wearing.

JACOB: This is a beautiful coat I got him! It is beautiful! Most beautiful coat you can find!

BLOGGER: You purchased this coat for him?


BLOGGER: I am almost afraid of the answer, but I should ask: did you purchase such a coat for only Joseph?


BLOGGER: Not for any of your other sons?

JACOB: No, of course not! I can’t afford such coats for everyone! This is unique, and it was truly expensive!

BLOGGER: Okay. I think I might be seeing some of the problem here.

JACOB: I am not a poor man, but I can’t get coats like this for everyone! Why are you all looking at me like this? You need coats too?

BLOGGER: I think your sons feel that you love Joseph more than you love them. I think that’s part of the resentment.

JACOB: Resentment? What ‘resentment’? There is no resentment! Who has resentment?

SIMEON: And there’s something else.

BLOGGER: Other than the dreams and the coat?

SIMEON: Joseph is a tattle-taler.

BLOGGER: Meaning that he reports back to your father things that you don’t want him to report?

SIMEON: Exactly.

BLOGGER: Joseph?

JOSEPH: I have said only what is true.

BLOGGER: You have reported to your father the things that you have seen your brothers doing?

JACOB: See! You see how he honours me! I should know what happens under my own roof! I want to know — I have a right to know what happens on my own fields! Who will deny a father his right to know what his sons are doing to his name? I have a right to know!

BLOGGER: Okay, okay, so I think I’ve got it. Jacob, it seems that your sons believe that you love Joseph more than you love them.

JACOB: What? He is the son of my old age! The son of my Rachel! I break no laws! Tell me where it says that I cannot love him, my Joseph!

BLOGGER: Oh boy.