For me the beginning of the story of Joseph is important - as it is with all well-told tales – as it gives a clue to what will follow. In effect Joseph is a spoiled brat. He is his father’s favourite and he knows it. He lords it over them with his coat of many colours and his dreams surprisingly seem to confirm his favoured status. His brothers bow down to him symbolically in his dreams. There is a hint in the fall to come as one dream presents his father bowing down to him as well which does not please Jacob and his indulgence is stretched somewhat but is still intact. How many of us who have siblings long for place of the favourite in our parent’s eyes? Of course we often secretly believe that we hold that position but don’t give voice to it.
However, in the case of Joseph God’s hand seems to be guiding all the events including the dreams that Joseph is sent and even the way Joseph seems to misunderstand them. In the end they turn out to be prophetic and part of God’s plan for all concerned – at least for God’s chosen ones. But that too is not the view the Egyptians would take, is it?