I have some questions regarding the interpretation and fulfillment of Joseph’s second dream. 1. What do the sun, moon and 11 stars represent in the dream? 2. Was Jacob right at the interpretation of Joseph’s second dream? 3. If Jacob was sun, 11 stars were 11 sons of Jacob, then who was moon? Do we take the moon from among the living concubines (Zilpah and Bilhah) or wife (Leah) of Jacob at that time( during Joseph conveying the dream to his father)? Presuming the literal fulfillment of second dream, we have the sun i. e Jacob, 11 stars i.e Jacobs 11 sons but what about the moon? The moon must be: Rachel, but she was long dead, or Leah but she was also died according to Genesis 49:31 or Zilpah or Bilhah could have been died because they were not mentioned in the group who had been to Egypt in Genesis 46:5-7. So… Who was the moon in the dream? Do you have any other interpretation to the second dream of Joseph? Should we have to take this dream as literal or as a broad indication to the Joseph’s supremacy in the future with respect to his family?
I believe that the “obvious” interpretation is the correct one. It is that the sun is Jacob, the moon is Joseph’s mother, which is Rachel, and the eleven stars are his eleven brothers, all of whom bowed down to Joseph. Of course, I understand that Rachel did not literally bow to Joseph in Egypt, as she had died by the time the dream/prophecy was fulfilled, but at the time Joseph had the dream Rachel was still alive. The point is that with a sun, a moon and eleven stars in Joseph’s dream, the meaning would have been really obvious to his brothers. If it had simply been a sun and eleven stars, that would have been confusing to his brothers, father and mother at the time. Given that his mom died between the time of the dream and its fulfillment, God had to either include Rachel in the dream or not to include her. I am sure that Jacob and Joseph’s brothers, to whom the prophecy was made, understood the implication of the dream, and that was the point. You ask if we should take the dream literally or as a broad indication of his supremacy over the family. I do not think that we necessarily have to choose between the two as, when the dream happened it was literally true, but when it was fulfilled it was no longer “literally” true.