5 ¶ And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more. 6 And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: 7 For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf. 8 And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words. 9 And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me. 10 And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth? 11 And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.
Joseph’s two dreams indicate that he has been given knowledge that he will have supremacy over his brothers and, indeed, even over his father, in a manner of speaking. This adds fuel to the fire of his brothers’ envy against him. Jacob’s statement about Joseph’s mother, who was Rachel who died giving birth to Benjamin, seems to indicate that these dreams had been something he revealed some time previously that had helped create the resentment that his brothers felt for their father’s favorite. Matthew Henry noted that Joseph is more of a prophet than a politician in that he blurts these things out. He is a very young man, still a child by our standards today, though. But, while Jacob objected he still pondered what the dream that was spoken that seemed to include him meant.
One valuable note here of Bible definitions of words is the context of to reign over and to have dominion over in verse 8. To have dominion means to reign over here as it means to have power over and authority over in other places.
Psalm 8:6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:
And did not man have power and authority over life on earth?
Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
Joseph’s dreams will yet save a heathen nation from ruin and save his own people from starvation, setting off events that will reverberate through all history.