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Dreams

Pharaoh’s Dreams and the Mirroring of Joseph’s Inner Life

“I'll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours” ― Bob Dylan

Prof.

Meira Polliack

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Pharaoh and Joseph Speak of a Common God to Save Egypt

Before speaking with Pharaoh, Joseph adapts to Egyptian norms by shaving and changing his clothes. When he interprets Pharaoh’s dream, he only uses the generic word for God, Elohim, making no mention of YHWH. Pharaoh, in turn, declares Joseph to be wise and a man with the spirit of God, and puts aside Joseph’s ethnic and socio-economic background, appointing him viceroy to save Egypt from the pending famine.

Prof.

Safwat Marzouk

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Joseph Dreams that the Sun, Moon and Stars Bow to Him – Does It Come True?

Jacob berates Joseph when he hears his second dream: “Are we to come, I and your mother and your brothers, and bow to you?” (Gen 37:10) Rachel, his mother, was dead. What then did the dream mean?

Dr.

Mordecai David Rosen

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The Statue in Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream and the Golden Calf

Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a statue made of four metals in Daniel 2 was composed using Persian and Greek historiographic imagery. The crushing of the statue by a stone mountain alludes to the story of the golden calf, and is a message of hope to the Judeans that God will eventually crush their Greek oppressors.

Dr.

Naama Golan

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Joseph Interprets Pharaoh’s Dreams — An Israelite Type-922 Folktale

The story of Joseph in Pharaoh’s court (Genesis 41), like the story of Daniel in Nebuchadnezzar’s court (Daniel 2), is a Thompson Type 922 folktale in which an underdog gains his fortune by answering hard questions that elude his superiors. Paradoxically, viewing the story of Joseph through the lens of folklore studies allows us to appreciate the uniqueness of Israelite cultural religious orientation.

Prof.

Susan Niditch

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Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream: The Revision of Daniel’s Role During Antiochus’ Persecution

The first section of Daniel (chs. 2-6) is a collection of quasi-independent court tales. Once they were combined into the book of Daniel in its current form, the story of Daniel interpreting Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, which parallels Pharaoh’s dream in the Joseph story, was revised. It was further supplemented with Daniel’s prayer which creates a contrast between the power of God and that of Antiochus IV.

Prof.

Michael Segal

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The Joseph Story: Ancient Literary Art at Its Best

The Joseph story invites the reader to be transported to Egypt itself through the inclusion of Egyptian words, proper names, and customs; to analyze the unsurpassed use of repetition with variation; and to enter the mind of the character (in this case, especially Pharaoh) through the use of interior monologue.

Prof.

Gary Rendsburg

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Joseph: The Making of a Prophet

The Torah is silent about the nature of Joseph’s dreams: What do they mean?  Do they come from God? This ambiguity is part of the literary artistry of the story, which relates Joseph’s “coming of age” as a prophet.

Jason Tron

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Jacob’s Deal with God

The vow Jacob makes to God is ambiguous. Where does the condition of the vow end and his action begin?

Rabbi

Zvi Grumet

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Did Jacob Meet Yhwh by the Stairway to Heaven in Beth-El?

On his way to Haran, Jacob stops at a place, later named Beth-El, and sees in a dream angels going up and down a staircase to the gateway of heaven. In the story, Jacob also notices Yhwh standing beside him and and Yhwh speaks to him. Examined closely, this short story is beset with literary difficulties that suggest it is composed of two independent narratives.

Prof.

Baruch J. Schwartz

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Joseph and the Dreams of Many Colors

Understanding the practice of dream interpretation in the Joseph story by using the ANE interpretive traditions as background.

Prof.

Jack M. Sasson

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Daniel’s Vision of the Four Beasts: The Prehistory of Chanukah

The four beasts of Daniel 7 represent four kingdoms. The terrifying fourth beast with ten horns and iron teeth is the Greek kingdom of Syria. This beast grows a talking horn, which represents Antiochus IV, whose persecutions (167–164 B.C.E.), the biblical author believes, can only be stopped by divine intercession.

Prof.

Michael Segal

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