It occurred to me as I was going over the parshah this week, why was Yosef dreaming about binding sheaves in the field? That was NOT the family business. The Torah tells us a few verses back that he and his brothers were shepherds.
This was Yosef’s vision of the future. He was trying to tell his brothers that it was time to consider another business.
I think that this dream was the beginning of a vision that Yosef would carry with him for the rest of his life. He understood that the world would always undergo famines. He heard how his great grandfather Avraham, a shepherd, had to flee because of a famine. He heard how his grandfather Yitzchak had to move because of a famine. He figured that it was just a matter of time before another famine would hit and they would all have to go down to Egypt.
The point of his dream was to tell his brothers his Epiphany. It was time to go out of the sheep business and go into the agriculture business. We can start bundling and hoarding sheaves now and when the next famine comes around, instead of us having to go to Egypt for food, they will have to come to us.
But his brothers, in their envy, only heard the part about him reigning over them.
I think that their focus on the bowing part also affected the way that Yosef started thinking and his next dream is all about bowing.
The first dream has he and his brothers bundling sheaves together. They could have gone into business together. Yosef would have been the boss, but they all would have been together.
That also explains why Pharaoh gravitated to Yosef’s understanding of his dreams. Pharaoh shared the same dream in a way. Something was bothering him. He had the beginning of the idea, but he needed Yosef to articulate it.
So instead of making his own family wealthy, he made Egypt wealthy. Instead of gathering sheaves with Yosef, his brothers had to come down to Egypt and bow down to him. What a shame.