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Famine of Seven Years

"When all Egypt began to feel the famine, the people cried to Pharaoh for food. Then Pharaoh told all the Egyptians, 'Go to Joseph and do what he tells you.' When the famine had spread over the whole country, Joseph open the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout Egypt."

(Article Covers : Genesis 41:53-57)

Short Recap

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In the last article, I'd briefly went over the notion (that it wasn't just Joseph who had to deal with a major transitional period in his life) for we also find, that the Egyptian kingdom as an whole, were in fact... going through their very own transitional period as well. For I'd quickly pointed out, that the Egyptian kingdom at this point in time, were witnessing (or experiencing) their very prosperous "Middle Kingdom" period coming to an end.

For this was the period in which Egypt's: Twelfth, Thirteenth and Fourteenth royal family dynasties had reigned.

And from within this group of royal dynasties, it was the Twelfth family dynasty that had made this period in time for the Egyptians quite successful.

But unfortunately for Egypt, it would be their Thirteenth and Fourteenth family dynasties that would drop the ball (so to speak) when it came to their superiority coming to an end.

For they had reigned after the very prosperous and successful Twelfth family dynasty, and it would be during their (Thirteenth and Fourteenth family dynasties) reign, that the Egyptian kingdom would become weaken as an whole. And because of this, Egypt would fall into total disarray -- therefore allowing the Bedouins (who were foreigners in the land) to take advantage of Egypt's situation, by seizing the middle and lower parts of the Egyptian kingdom.

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My Point Behind All Of This?

Now the reason why I took the time to point all of this out -- is that I wanted to show, that during this point in time, that it wasn't just Joseph who was going through a season of transition in his life, but the Egyptian kingdom as an whole, were also experiencing their very own problems -- problems that were totally separate from the record of Joseph.

I also wanted to point out, that the Pharaoh that had promoted Joseph to be Egypt's new Overseer (Prime Minister of State) wasn't your typical Pharaoh that had inherited his throne through traditional means -- but he'd wrongfully (and somewhat forcefully) acquired his ruled through a method that was known usurpation.

Nonetheless, in spite of this -- after his promotion, things would finally begin to go Joseph's way, when it came to his life overall. And on top of this, we also began to see, how Joseph's dream interpretations for Pharaoh (beginning with Egypt's seven years of abundance) would start to come to pass as well.

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Joseph's Interpretations Coming to Pass?

Now we have reached the point from within this Sacred Account -- that begins to confirm the second half of Joseph's interpretation to Pharaoh's dream, which dealt with the "famine of seven years": "The seven years of abundance in Egypt came to an end, and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. There were famine in all the other lands, but in the whole land of Egypt there was food." -- Genesis 41:53-54

And with the confirmation that had came from this passage, we're beginning to see that Joseph himself, is still prospering, in spite of the "seven year famine" that's wreaking havoc upon the land of Egypt. For I hold true to the notion, that Joseph is still reaping his season of favor -- from when he'd stayed true and obedient, when it came to him following the ways of the Lord... for he had held true and firm, while he was in the midst of a "season of suffering." Make no mistake -- Joseph has now found himself, being personally rewarded with a "season of recompense and abundance" -- in spite of the famine that now surrounds him and the Egyptian kingdom.

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Earning God's Trust?

Know that God was able to trust Joseph -- when it came to him following His ways. And again, Joseph stayed true to the Lord... even though he was going through a period in his life, that was filled with: uncertainty, unfairness, disgrace, hardships and affliction. And of course there were times, where Joseph had became concerned and somewhat disappointed, when it came to his overall situation -- but in spite of this, he never wavered in his beliefs and duties, when it came to the One True God. And because of this, the Lord was able to elevate him to a higher level -- for He knew, that Joseph would stay humble and obedient to His ways, regardless of how successful he would become in his life.

And like always, the Lord was right... for we find, that Joseph would not lose sight of what the Lord had shared with him, through the dream interpretations that he'd given to Pharaoh. For Joseph had shown great wisdom, while staying focused, as he managed the land of Egypt well, during its "seven years of abundance." Now things have dramatically changed, and the land of Egypt has entered into a period, that is now dealing with the "famine of seven years." Keep in mind, that Joseph had foretold this interpretation to Pharaoh -- some seven years earlier. And thanks to Joseph and the instruction, and direction, that he'd followed from the Almighty God... the Egyptian kingdom was fully prepared to sustain the full blunt of the "famine of seven years."

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Trusting God -- No Matter What?

Know that I hold true to the notion, that there's a great lesson that we can gain and learn from Joseph's experiences... and it deals with the preparation of one's self, especially when it comes to the task at hand, or the task to come. Understand that there will be many different "seasons" that we'll experience through life -- seasons that will forever be, constantly changing. Also keep in mind, that we'll have seasons, where we're prosperous, while finding ourselves in a "state of easement." But unfortunately, there will also be some seasons, that will bring us some type of loss, while we find ourselves in a constant state of suffering and uncertainty.

But don't fret, for one would also find -- that often times, suffering and uncertainty will come first... and through faith (which affords us the ability to rely on God) we're able to make it through a period of such challenges. For the Sacred Record teaches us, to have a high level of confidence, when it comes to the Most High -- so much so, that we should be able to keep our head held up high, no matter what we are going through in life.

For we must also learn to stay true, to who we are in the Lord -- regardless of the challenges in life, that we may face at times. Also know, that by doing this -- we'll show the Lord that we can be trusted in return. And if God is able to trust us, I like to think, that He will add more to us, as He continues to prepare and build us up, just like He did for Joseph.

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God Made Sure Joseph Was Ready?

Understand, that when we go through a process of such, it allows us to enter into a period from within our lives, with added wisdom and insight. And because of this added increase, we're now able to make better decisions, without the "emotion of fear" paralyzing us -- when it comes to taking the necessary steps, that will help us to succeed and profit greatly, when God presents us with a new and unfamiliar opportunity.

I like to think that this type of process is crucial, for what good comes from a "season of abundance" if the increase is wasted through poor decisions and foolishness, when it comes to us doing our parts as stewards over the blessing that God has given us? Keep in mind, that although the "seven years of abundance" had came before the "famine of seven years" Joseph had already gone through a season of great suffering and hardship, in which he was constantly being tested.

Joseph would eventually, faithfully pass through everything he'd endured and been tested with. And because of this, Joseph would now find himself, being trusted with a very high level promotion (thanks to God) from within the Egyptian kingdom that he was once a prisoner of.

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The Famine of Seven Years?

Nonetheless, let's move forward...

"When all Egypt began to feel the famine, the people cried to Pharaoh for food. Then Pharaoh told all the Egyptians, 'Go to Joseph and do what he tells you.' When the famine had spread over the whole country, Joseph open the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout Egypt. And all the countries came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe in all the world." -- Genesis 41:55-57

Like I stated earlier, Joseph had been well prepared for what the Lord had brought him into. And depending on what type of perception one might have, it would seem that Joseph had received another promotion, after he was promoted to "prime-minister of state?" Now I know a statement of such, would cause one to ask: "Antonio, what promotion could be greater than the position he currently held, for he couldn't surpass Pharaoh... right?"

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This Is True -- But?

And this is true, for Joseph couldn't go higher than Pharaoh (for the Egyptian ruler wouldn't have allowed this) but we must understand, that the whole Egyptian empire had been elevated because of this famine? How so? Keep in mind, that now, other surrounding countries were now forced to go and purchase grain from the Egyptians... or else starve from the "famine of seven years" that was wreaking havoc upon them.

Because of this, during this period in history, Egypt would once again become very powerful. And so therefore, the position that Joseph now held, would further grow in responsibility -- being that he now had to deal with the neighboring countries as well, and not just Egypt. I often wonder, that if a man who did not follow the ways of the Lord... had held this type of powerful position, that Joseph had gained -- he would have probably used this power in the wrong kind of way.

Make no mistake, that this type of person would have been found to be wicked in the eyes of the Lord. But with Joseph, the other countries will now find relief during this time of great dearth, And so therefore, Joseph had became a blessing, not only to the land of Egypt... but to the other surrounding countries as well.

In the next Bible Study Online Article:

The famine was wide spread, far beyond the borders of Egypt. This is proven, because Joseph's father's household was now feeling the effects of this famine as well. Joseph's father Jacob -- would be forced to send his sons (Joseph's brothers) to Egypt to buy grain.

Remember that it was Joseph's brothers, who had sold him into slavery some twenty years before. Now one must wonder, what kind of reception they will get, when they come before that same person, who now holds a position of great power and authority -- from within a land that they now need help from?

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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 Favorite Son


The Unveiling of Joseph

Continue Reading - Current - Bible Study Online Series:

83) Pharaoh's Dark Dreams

84) Joseph's Dark Dreams Interpretation

85) Joseph the Overseer of Egypt

86) Joseph the Revealer of Secrets

87) The Unveiling of Pharaoh

88) The Seven Years of Abundance


90) Joseph the Egyptian Prime Minister

91) Joseph's Temptation of Revenge

92) Joseph's Tipping Point

93) The Confessions of the Ten Tribes

94) The Returning Nine Tribes

95) Jacob the Bereaved

96) Jacob's Reality Check

97) Joseph's Secret Delight

98) Joseph the Great Host

99) Judah Pleads For Benjamin

100) The Unveiling of Joseph

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