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Bring Me: Joseph the Dream Interpreter

"I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it?" And after hearing Pharaoh's question, Joseph responds by saying: "I cannot do it, but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires."

(Article Covers : Genesis 41:14-36)

Short Recap?

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In the last couple of articles we'd learned, that after Pharaoh's cupbearer and chief baker were imprisoned for their alleged crimes against the Egyptian kingdom -- the Sacred Record would reveal one day, that the two would eventually have disturbing dreams.

The cupbearer and chief baker's dreams were so disturbing, that Joseph would immediately take notice of the very concerned countenance, that were on their faces.

And due to Joseph's request to hear about the dreams, it would be at that point, that the two would tell Joseph about them.

And it was with the help of the Most High -- that Joseph would interpret their dreams for them. Now when it came to the cupbearer's dream... this is what he'd told him:

"[Cupbearer] this is what [your dream] means; the three branches are three days. Within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your position and you will put Pharaoh's cup in his hand, just as you used to do when you were his cupbearer." -- Genesis 40:12,13

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As For The Chief Baker?

And when it came to the chief baker's dream... this is what he'd told him: "[Chief baker] this is what [your dream] means: The three baskets are three days. Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head and hang you on a tree. And the birds will eat away your flesh." -- Genesis 40:18,19

Now as we can see, even though the chief baker interpretation wouldn't go so well; when it came to the cupbearer, the news couldn't have been better. For he'd just learned, that not only would his life be spared -- but he would once again, place Pharaoh's cup into the Egyptian ruler hands.

And it would be (mainly) for this reason, that Joseph would ask the cupbearer to remember him, by speaking a good word to Pharaoh after he had been restored back to his high ranking position, from within the Egyptian royal courts.

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The Forgotten Servant of God?

But nonetheless, after three days had passed, the cupbearer had been released from his prison sentence, and he was restored to his royal position, just like Joseph's dream interpretation had been foretold -- the Sacred Record reveals that the cupbearer had forgotten about Joseph. As a matter of fact, two full years would pass before Joseph would be placed on the cupbearer's mind again.

But I want you to understand, that this would be at the doing (and timing) of the Almighty God -- for it was at this time, that the Lord had also caused Pharaoh to have a pair of disturbing dreams. And just like the cupbearer and chief baker who had theirs before him, Pharaoh would be troubled by what he'd saw when it came to these dreams... and because of this, the Egyptian ruler would summon all the magicians and sages from throughout the land.

Now once assembled, the magicians and sages would come before the Egyptian ruler -- and it would be at this time, that Pharaoh would tell these men about his dreams. But unfortunately for Pharaoh... none of these men would be able to interpret his dreams for him. And it would be during this moment, that the cupbearer would be reminded about Joseph. For he'd remembered that Joseph was that certain dream interpreter -- who'd once interpreted his troubling dream correctly, as he was serving time in prison.

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My lord! I Know of Someone?

So the cupbearer would quickly tell Pharaoh about Joseph and his gift of interpreting dreams (perhaps thinking that this would solidify a more favorable position with Pharaoh in the process?):

"Today I am reminded of my shortcomings. Pharaoh was once angry with his servants and he imprisoned me and the chief baker in the house of the captain of the guard. Each of us had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own. Now a young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of Potiphar. We told him our dreams, and he interpreted them for us, giving each man the interpretation of his dream. And things turned out exactly as he interpreted them to us: I was restored to my position, and the other man was hanged." -- Genesis 41:9-13

However that may, or may not have been (when it comes to the "real reason why" the cupbearer had told Pharaoh about Joseph) with Pharaoh being extremely bothered by these dreams, he immediately sent for this so-called "dream interpreter."

And after Joseph had received word that he had been summoned by the Egyptian ruler... it's at this point that another side of Joseph would be revealed by the Sacred Record? For we'll now see, how Joseph would show great respect when it came to the Egyptian culture, and the high office that Pharaoh held -- in spite of the harsh treatment that he had endured thus far, from within the land. Understand that this respect was shown by Joseph... when he'd shaved his face (which was custom amongst the Egyptian men) and changed into more appropriate clothing before he had been presented to Pharaoh.

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Joseph Comes Before Pharaoh?

Nonetheless... finally, Joseph would be brought before Pharaoh. And it's at this moment that the Egyptian ruler asked him a question: "I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it?" -- Genesis 41:15

And after hearing Pharaoh's question, Joseph responds by saying: "I cannot do it, but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires." -- Genesis 41:16

And you know, every time I come to this part -- I'm reminded how often times, a person could get so caught up in what's before them -- to where the person in question, could tend to forget, just how to be a true representative for Almighty God... while they're successfully operating from within the gifts that the Lord had provided them with? But make no mistake, when it came to Joseph -- no matter where he'd went (regardless if he wanted to, or was forced to be there) he never forgot, that he was a servant and a representative to the Almighty God. And he also knew, that all that he had, or all that he could do, started and ended with the Lord.

And this is displayed by Joseph when we find him standing in front of the most powerful man in that region (perhaps the world at the time), and this Egyptian ruler knows about Joseph and his great reputation when it came to dream interpretations. And yet, Joseph remembers to stay humble, by giving God all the glory: "I cannot do it, but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires."

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Pharaoh Tells Joseph About The Dreams?

Nonetheless, after Pharaoh had heard Joseph's reply, he began to tell him about his dreams:

"In my dream I was standing on the bank of the Nile, when out of the river there came up seven cows, fat and sleek, and they grazed among the reeds. After them, seven other cows came up -- scrawny and very ugly and lean. I had never seen such ugly cows in all the land of Egypt. The lean ugly cows ate up the seven fat cows that came up first. But even after they had ate them, no one could tell that they had done so; so they looked just as ugly as before. Then I woke up.

"In my dreams I also saw seven heads of grain, full and good, growing on a single stalk. After them, seven other heads sprouted, withered and thin and scorched by the east wind. The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven good heads. I told this to the magicians, but none could explain it to me." -- Genesis 41:17-24

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Seven Years of Abundance?

Now after Joseph had heard about the dreams, he gives Pharaoh his interpretation:

"The dreams of Pharaoh are one and the same. God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good heads of grain are seven years; it is one and the same dream. The seven lean, ugly cows that came up afterward are seven years, and so are the seven worthless heads of grain scorched by the east wind: They are seven years of famine. It is just as I said to Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what He is about do. Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt, but seven years of famine will follow them." -- Genesis 41:25-30

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The Famine of Seven Years?

Joseph continues on:

"Then all the abundance in Egypt will be forgotten, and the famine will ravage the land. The abundance in the land will not be remembered, because the famine that follows it will be so severe. The reason the dream was given to Pharaoh in two forms is that the matter has been firmly decided by God, and God will do it soon. And now let Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man and put him charge of the land of Egypt.

"Let Pharaoh appoint commissioners over the land to take a fifth of the harvest of Egypt during the seven years of abundance. They should collect all the food of these good years that are coming and store up the grain under the authority of Pharaoh, to be kept in the cities for food. This food should be held in reserve for the country, to be used during the seven years of famine that will come upon Egypt, so that the country may not be ruined by the famine." -- Genesis 41:31-36

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Following God's Plan?

Now perhaps one of the most interesting things about this interpretation, deals with the fact, that Joseph actually follows it with some divine wisdom? Now the reason why I'm stating that this is "divine wisdom" and not just some "good counsel" -- deals with the notion, that when it came to Joseph... he always tried to operate from within a way, that would be pleasing to the Lord. And never mind the fact, that God truly has a reason, for helping and saving Egypt during this whole entire ordeal, that they are about to face.

Now I'd like to briefly point something out, if you don't mind... Notice how Joseph's dream interpretation is pretty much straight forward, but there's one part of that interpretation that I would like to make a clarification on? And it deals with Joseph saying: "Let Pharaoh appoint commissioners over the land to take a fifth of the harvest of Egypt during the seven years of abundance."

Now although Joseph did a great job, when it came to his explanation to Pharaoh about the dreams -- Again I just want to quickly point out something, that dealt with Egypt's fifth of the harvest that was to be taken up for each year, the Egyptians were to have an abundance. Know that the fifth of the harvest, basically represented what a normal harvest would have been during that year (without the added increase.) So if Joseph's instructions are followed correctly by Pharaoh -- overall, the Egyptian kingdom should be able to stored up enough grain surpluses, that should supply the Egyptians with enough food, that would last throughout the severe seven year famine that was to immediately follow.

In the next Bible Study Online Article:

Will Pharaoh humble himself and take heed to the advice that was given by Joseph? And if Pharaoh does act upon this advice, who will be put in charge of this very important project? Could Joseph finally be released from prison, being that he was able to interpret Pharaoh's dreams?

May God blessings be upon you, and thank you for your support

Related - Bible Study Online Articles - Links

Start Reading a Different - Bible Study Online Series:

God Creates the Earth

The Sons of God - The Daughters of Men

The Introduction of Abraham

The Birth of Isaac

The Birth of Esau & Jacob

Jacob - The Path of Uncertainty

Jacob - Wrestles with God


Joseph the Overseer of Egypt

Continue Reading - Current Bible Study Online Series:

67) The Descendants of Esau

68) Joseph the Favorite Son

69) Joseph the Interpreter of Dreams

70) Joseph & The Murder Plot

71) Joseph & The Pit of Darkness

72) Jacob the Father of Sorrow

73) The Importance of Judah's History

74) Judah's Early Household

75) The Reaping Season of Judah

76) Tamar's Revenge

77) Tamar's Vindication

78) Joseph the Servant of Favor

79) Potiphar's Wife Lies on Joseph

80) Joseph Goes to Prison

81) Joseph the Promoted

82) The Dreaming Cupbearer & Baker

83) Pharaoh's Dark Dreams


85) Joseph the Overseer of Egypt

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