Sleeping to Dream

In class when we were talking about the book of Genesis, we discussed some of the reasoning and importance of Joseph’s dreams. There are three instances in Genesis where dreams determined a pivotal moment in the story about Joseph. Starting in chapter 37 Joseph has two dreams, which according to his angry and jealous brothers, foreshadows the future where Joseph will one day reign over them.

Genesis 37:6-7 “He said to them, “Hear this dream which I have dreamed: we were binding sheaves in the field, when suddenly my sheaf stood up and remained upright; then your sheaves gathered around and bowed low to my sheaf.”


The second and third pair of dreams in Genesis were not the dreams of Joseph, but ones from his fellow prison mates and the Pharaoh. However, the interpretations of these dreams were completed through Joseph by the grace of God. God enables him to translate the meaning of these dreams to predict the outcome of the prison mates lives and to help the Pharaoh decide a certain course of action to take in an upcoming crisis.

Genesis 40:8 “And they said to him, “We had dreams, and there is no one to interpret them.” So Joseph said to them, “Surely God can interpret! Tell me [your dreams].”

Genesis 41:15-16 “And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, but no one can interpret it. Now I have heard it said of you that for you to hear a dream is to tell its meaning.”  answered Pharaoh, saying, “Not I! God will see to Pharaoh’s welfare”

In my paper I want to go farther into detail and explain the significance of these three incidents of the dream interpretations. To do this I will talk about trends found in each of the pairs of dreams, such as how every time a dream occurs they come in pairs. Also, I will discuss the pattern of Joseph’s unjust karma that leads him to the dreams he has to interpret.

Another topic I’m going to talk about is how God changed his way of communication to his people. Instead of confronting and speaking to Joseph face-to-face, He becomes a more mysterious God and communicates to Joseph in a non-direct way. Some questions that could be answered are: Why does God change his way of communication? How does God choose the people He wants to carry out His plan through? Why does God pick to speak through dreams?

In order to write my paper i plan to use peer-reviewed sources, other blog-post concerning dream analysis in Genesis, and of course the Jewish Study Bible to help support my ideas. I also plan on using some of Freud’s work on dream analysis to help compare and contrast my explanation on the significance of the dreams found in Genesis. Here are a few of the sources in which I plan on using: The Lord Of Dreams: A Semantic and Literary Analysis of Genesis 37-50, Dream Solving, Jung’s and Freud’s Contributions to Dream Interpretation: A Comparison, and Psychoanalysis of Dreams: Dream Theory and Its Relationship to literature.

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2 Responses to Sleeping to Dream

  1. joe9brown says:

    Bringing Freudian Dream Analysis into the essay would definitely make for a truly interesting argument! I actually suspect that Joseph was a candidate for “Inception”. Haha.

  2. jtb31 says:

    I can tell that you have already started developing your paper in your head, which is a good thing. Knowing which passages you are going to focus on, which characters will be central to your project, and questions you seek to answer are all good indications that you are set on a topic and know where you want to take this paper. Also, having listed outside sources you plan on using as well shows that you are beginning to organize things and compile information into readable material. I would challenge you to bring in a few modern, present-day applications that readers can relate to. Maybe even bring in books, movies, songs, or something relevant to the topic of dreams. Overall, I would say that you have the beginnings of a solid research paper. I look forward to seeing how your essay turns out.

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