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Joseph the Dreamer   By:

Joseph the Dreamer by Amy Steedman

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[Illustration: Joseph as Ruler of Egypt speaks to his brothers.]







The Story of Joseph

[Illustration: The coat of many colours.]

This is the story of Joseph, the boy who had the strangest and most exciting adventures of any boy who ever lived.

Joseph was but a little lad when his mother died. His father, Jacob, had loved that mother more than any one else in the world, so that when she died leaving Joseph and a baby brother, Benjamin, all the love in the father's heart turned to his two little sons.

The elder brothers were strong, grown up men, quite able to look after themselves, and no longer needing their father's care; so perhaps it was no wonder that Jacob made a special favourite of the little lad Joseph, and loved him best.

At first the older brothers took no notice of their father's way with the younger boy; but as Joseph grew older they began to feel uneasy and envious. Why should this child be marked out for special favour? Their father took no pains to hide the fact that the boy was the apple of his eye. Even his clothes showed this.

While the brothers wore the ordinary shepherd clothing, Joseph had a beautiful coat of many colours. His father had made it for him of different pieces of coloured cloth joined together, and it was so gay and beautiful that every one who saw him wearing it said, "This must be the son of a great chief!"

But if the gay coat made them angry, they were more angry still when Joseph began to dream strange dreams, which he always told to them.

As they sat around in the fields watching the sheep, the boy would come running to them, full of excitement, as he begged them to listen to a wonderful dream he had had.

"Hear, I pray thee, this dream that I have dreamed!" he cried, sitting down amongst them. "We were binding sheaves in a field, and lo! my sheaf arose and also stood upright, and, behold, your sheaves stood round about and bowed to my sheaf!"

Another time his dream was about the stars; the sun and moon and eleven stars, he said, had all bowed down before him. This was really more than his brothers could bear. Did he really think he was going to rule over them? Were they to bow down before this boasting boy in his fine coat?

Even his father did not quite approve of these dreams. But Joseph had not really meant to boast. It was the wonder of the dreams that made him repeat them. If he was proud of his coat of many colours, it was only because it was a gift from his father. He was a straightforward good natured boy, clever and brave, and ready to take his turn in watching the flocks or helping his brothers with their work in the fields.

But it grew day by day more difficult to keep the peace at home, and the only quiet times were when the elder brothers went farther afield to find new pasture for their flocks.

It was at one of these times, when the brothers had been gone for some time, that Jacob called Joseph to him, and bade him go and find his brothers, and bring back news if they were safe and well.

Joseph was now a lad of about seventeen, and this would be the first journey he had taken by himself, so he was eager to show that he was to be trusted, and he set out most cheerfully.

After some days he arrived at Shechem, where his father had told him he would find his brothers. But he could find no signs of them there. Unwilling to go home without news, Joseph wandered about until he met a man who directed him to a place farther on where his brothers might be, and at last he caught sight of their tents in a field far ahead. How lucky he was to find them, he thought to himself, as he hurried forward eager to meet them.

It was a clear day, and the shepherds' keen eyes could see far along the winding road that stretched out across the low hills towards Shechem... Continue reading book >>

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