Pentecost +8 - Year A
Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28
Ah the joy of loving too much. Here it brings an unintended consequence of envy, jealousy, and hatred from others.
A reason given for loving too much is that it is established in old age when a new perspective on preciousness begins to set in. The run-of-the-mill births before this were just that. They happened. We won't comment on Joseph being a first son of Rachel.
At any rate, a long and colorful garment set Joseph apart from the others. How Fabulous it must have been! This was an outward and visible sign of preference by the patriarch Jacob/Israel.
An inward sign of preference by G*D is an ability to interpret dreams. This is not as noticeable, unless Joseph opens his big yap. A braggart from a trickster is quite a gene pool.
The brothers might well reason that Joseph carried recessive genes and it would be appropriate to send him packing with those other recessive gene holders - the Ishmaelites - like to like.
And so 20 pieces of silver enters the symbolic jargon of relationships. You might wonder who got the 20 pieces of silver in the recent American debt ceiling negotiations. I'm sure someone thought a deal of delayed death would be worth getting their cut on the side. One can only hope that some strange twist, to be revealed much later, after much more difficulty, will have what was intended as a win-win for the brothers and a lose-lose for Joseph and Jacob be turned around as a benefit for all (at least for a short while, until we again forget our blessings and focus on our fears).