Genesis Chapter 41
"Joseph Interprets Pharaoh's Dream."
Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's
Genesis 41:1 "And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river [2975 ye` or (yeh-ore'); the Nile]."
The butler forgot his promise to Joseph, and now two years later the Pharaoh is dreaming his dream.
Genesis 41:2 "And, behold, there came up out of the river seven well favoured kine and fat fleshed; and they fed in a meadow."
"Seven well favoured kine" are "seven fat cows".
Genesis 41:3 "And behold, seven other kine came up after them out of the river, ill favoured and leanfleshed; and stood by the other kine upon the brink of the river."
The first cows to appear in Pharaoh's dream are the seven fat cows, heavy and well fed, and now following these fat cows we see seven more cows coming. These second seven cows are starved, and skinny with their ribs sticking right through their sides.
Genesis 41:4 "And the ill favoured and leanfleshed kine did eat up the seven well favoured and fat kine. So Pharaoh awoke."
Cows are not meat eaters, so when these seven skinny cows started to eat the larger fat cows, this caused Pharaoh to wake up.
Genesis 41:5 "And he slept and dreamed the second time: and, behold, seven ears of corn came up upon one stalk, rank and good."
This is now a second dream, still two years after the butler was released from prison, and Joseph still remained in that prison. In this dream of Pharaoh, he envisioned seven fat full ears of corn growing all on one stalk of corn. In normal agriculture three ears on one stalk is considered pretty good, however here Pharaoh dreamed the stalk had seven ears of corn on it.
These two dreams that the Pharaoh has had is a double witness of something that God wanted the Pharaoh to understand. Now rather than cattle, He is using the grain to stress the point.
Genesis 41:6 "And, behold, seven thin ears blasted with the east wind sprung up after them."
Then in the same vision, here came seven puny sets of just shucks [blasted], with no corn on any of the ears. It is blasted, which means that it didn't fill out, and produce any grain. It is good for nothing. The east wind is hot and dry in this hemisphere, and it will cause the blasting of the corn stalk.
Genesis 41:7 "And the seven thin ears devoured the seven rank and full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and, behold it was a dream."
Here again the dream is so strange that it caused him to wake up.
Genesis 41:8 "And it came to pass in the morning that his spirit was troubled; and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all the wise men thereof: and Pharaoh told them his dream: but there was none that could interpret them unto Pharaoh."
I'm sure that this dream was very confusing to them, for cattle do not eat cattle, and corn will not eat corn, it is physically impossible and not in their nature. It is beyond the scope of reason.
Genesis 41:9 "Then spake the chief butler unto Pharaoh, saying, I do remember my faults this day:"
This butler is the cup bearer that promised Joseph that he would get him out of jail. He now admits that his oversight of Joseph and leaving him to rot in prison was a fault of his. Now the Pharaoh's dream brought that promise to his remembrance.
Genesis 41:10 "Pharaoh was wroth with his servants, and put me in ward in the captain of the guard's house, both me and the chief baker:"
The "captain of the guard's house" is the prison, and Genesis 37:36 tells us that the Captain of the guard is Potiphar. Potiphar is the one who purchased Joseph from the Ishmaelites when they arrived in Egypt from Canaan. Now the butler is telling the Pharaoh of the dreams that he and the baker had while in prison, and the fact that Joseph interpreted those dreams accurately.
Genesis 41:11 "And we dreamed a dream in one night, I and he; we dreamed each man according to the interpretation of his dream."
Genesis 41:12 "And there was there with us a young man, an Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard; and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams; to each man according to his dream he did interpret."
Joseph did interpret each dream accurately. Potiphar is holding Joseph, and even though Joseph has gotten free run of the prison, to the point of running the prison, he is still not a free man two years later.
Genesis 41:13 "And it came to pass, as he interpreted to us, so it was; me he restored unto mine office, and him he hanged."
A prophet that prophecies and it does not come to pass is a false prophet. Joseph had the ability to understand dreams and vision that are from God, so the butler is relaying this to the Pharaoh.
Genesis 41:14 "Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh.
In the Hebrew text it relates that they made Joseph run from the prison, and in haste, Joseph had a bath, shaved, and put on the proper cloths to stand before the Pharaoh. It was a shame and a disgrace for the Hebrew men to not have a beard in Palestine, and in Egypt, the shame is on those with a beard. So Joseph, the Hebrew, was now to stand before the Pharaoh in honor, not in disgrace.
Genesis 41:15 "And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it."
Joseph is a young man in his early twenties, rushed from prison and bathed, shaved and made proper to stand before Pharaoh. He had been sold by his brothers because to their hatred for him, locked away in prison for two years, because of Potiphar's wife's lies, and now in a rush, stands before the king.
The Pharaoh is now speaking to this young man, and expecting an answer that all the wise men of the country could not give.
Genesis 41:16 "And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace."
Notice who gets the credit for any answer that is given. Joseph knew God, and trusted Him, even in the Prison, and through all the times of testing.
Relate this to each gift that you have, whether in sports, business, physical or spiritual; when the gift is used, who receives the credit for that talent. When you teach others in the word of God, is it your talent, or do you recognize that all gifts are given by God. It is God that gives all gifts, and even the breath of life with in your being. Joseph is giving God all the glory.
Joseph has been in prison for the past two years, and he still knows that all things will work for the glory of God, and to his purpose and plan. Joseph had the patience to wait upon the Lord, and knowing that he would be used in God plan in His appointed time. Joseph had a chance to build himself up before Pharaoh, yet he chose to give God all the credit. This is what faith is, in action, as Joseph sat in prison two years, yet he knew that God would bless him, when it fit God's times.
Genesis 41:17 "And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, In my dream, behold, I stood upon the bank of the river:"
Genesis 41:18 "And, behold, there came up out of the river seven kine, fatfleshed and well favoured; and they fed in a meadow:"
Genesis 41:19 "And , behold, seven other kine came up after them, poor and very ill favoured and leanfleshed, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for badness:"
Genesis 41:20 "And the lean and the ill favoured kine did eat up the first seven fat kine:"
Genesis 41:21 "And when they had eaten them up, it could not be known that they had eaten them; but they were still ill favoured, as at the beginning. So I awoke."
Genesis 41:22 "And I saw in my dream, and, behold seven ears came up in one stalk, full and good:"
Genesis 41:23 "And, behold, seven ears, withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them:"
Genesis 41:24 "And the thin ears devoured the seven good ears: and I told this unto the magicians; but there was none that could declare it to me."
When the Pharaoh had completed telling his dreams to Joseph, he reminded Joseph that there was no one that could tell him the dream.
Genesis 41:25 "And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: God hath showed Pharaoh what he is about to do."
Joseph is telling the Pharaoh that the dreams being one, is a double witness that God has emphasized for you what is about to happen. God is showing Pharaoh what God intends to do.
We can apply this to these final days, for if the Pharaoh knew what was going to come about over the next fourteen years, then he can prepare for the hard times to come. God does not leave his elect alone and ignorant of His plan in the final generation. God has given us a detailed schedule of events that will come about in the last days, just before His coming. If you choose to ignore those signs, then you will suffer the consequences. When you place those signs in your mind, then you can have the patience as Joseph did to wait upon the Lord and not become part of the Antichrist's one world political system, [that will fall apart]; nor the religious system that will follow.
Man only fears the unknown, and all maters have been recorded in His Word, and nothing will happen unless God has warned His elect first. This is why God's elect has nothing to fear about Antichrist for we know exactly what to look for before his coming, and that he will come at the fifth trumpet [Revelation 9:1-5], and we will see him before we will see the True Christ coming at the seventh and last trumpet. We also know that the Antichrist can not harm a hair on the head of God's people, for God has limited Satan's authority and power.
Genesis 41:26 "The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one."
The seven ears and cows stand for seven years, they both mean the same thing.
Genesis 41:27 "And the seven thin and ill favoured kine that came up after them are seven years; and the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind shall be seven years of famine."
We are dealing with a fourteen year period, whereby the first seven years are going to be very good years, while that second seven year period will be a time of famine.
Genesis 41:28 "This is the thing which I have spoken unto Pharaoh: What God is about to do he sheweth unto Pharaoh."
Joseph is telling Pharaoh that God is good to him, for He has told Pharaoh what is about to happen upon the earth.
Genesis 31:29 "Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt:"
Genesis 41:30 "And the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following; for it shall be very grievous."
Egypt will be very prosperous for seven years, yet "plenty shall not be known", which means the last seven years will consume all the prosperity of the first seven years.
History bears out the word of God, and This explains and confirms the hieroglyphic inscription discovered by Wilbour at Sehel in the tomb of Baba, at El-Kab. It is translated by Brugsch [History of Egypt, i, 304]. In July 1908, Brugsch Bey discovered inscriptions which tell how "for seven successive years the Nile did not overflow, and vegetation withered and failed; that the land was devoid of crops, and that during these years, famine and misery devastated the land of Egypt".
The date is given as 1700 B.C. which cannot be earlier, therefore, than the last year of the famine. The last year of the plenty years ended in 1708 B.C. This is a second witness to the truthfulness of God's word as verified by secular sources.
Genesis 41:31 "And the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of the famine following; for it shall be very grievous."
Joseph is telling the Pharaoh that it is going to take every grain that you can store to see his people through the famine. Every last grain of corn will be consumed by the people in the second set of years.
Genesis 41:32 "And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass."
This looses a little in the translation, for Joseph is telling the Pharaoh that because of the double witness of the dream, in two visions, the cows and the corn, it is to emphasize the hardness of the famine, and it will come to pass soon.
Genesis 41:33 "Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt."
Genesis 41:34 "Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years."
In the Hebrew it is saying; Take action Pharaoh, and let him set up officers to govern the land, and start immediately to store the grain. The order by God to Pharaoh is to collect one fifth of everything that is grown, and put it into the storehouse.
Genesis 41:35 "And let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities."
The warning to Pharaoh is that he control the storage, and the collecting of the grain.
Genesis 41:36 "And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine."
The thing that we must remember here, is that the reason that Joseph is standing before the Pharaoh now, is that he had two dreams himself. Those dreams revealed to Joseph that his family would bow down to him, and then in rage of hatred, his own brothers sold him into Egypt. Now the time is coming when when Joseph's dreams are coming true, and he will save his own brethren, through the position that he will receive.
This is a type of the coming of the Messiah, for in Joseph, as in Jesus Christ, it is not his own people only that will be saved, but the whole world. In saving the world, he saves his own. God placed Joseph in the right place and stored him in prison so that at the right time he could provide the service to God.
Our Savior Jesus Christ came to earth, born as a baby, and reserved for the service God had intended for Him, and at the appointed time, He became our sacrifice for one and only time. Not for His own [Israel only], but for all those of all races that would call upon His name.
God will use Joseph to save Israel during the famine, and give Jacob and his entire household a haven during the world wide famine. In saving his own family, he saves the Egyptians, and the world that comes to Egypt to be fed.
Genesis 41:37 "And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants."
Pharaoh and his entire household were impressed with the simplicity that Joseph handled his dreams and made the interpretation.
Genesis 41:38 "And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we fine such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?"
Within Egypt there were many gods, yet Pharaoh has come to know the one true God, through the faithfulness of Joseph. In the expression by Pharaoh, "the Spirit of God" tells us that Pharaoh believes that God has become personal to him, through his dreams.
Genesis 41:39 "And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art:
Do you see how the two years in prison paid off here, and disappointment in the butler, could be the act of not trusting in God to provide Joseph. No, Joseph relied on God in all matters, and wherever he viewed it as a place where God had placed him, and at the appointed time Joseph was prepared to be used of God. God brought Joseph from the dungeon to the top of the nation in the same day, because Joseph was ready to be of service to God.
Genesis 41:40 "Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou."
Think about that, from two years of waiting in prison, to the equal of the the Pharaoh himself. Every person in the entire land of Egypt will bow to Joseph by nightfall, when that morning he awoke in prison, unshaven, in ragged cloths, and scorned upon by the Egyptians. Why? Because he had the Spirit of God in Him, and the knowledge and trust to wait upon the Lord God.
Genesis 41:41 "And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt."
Joseph is now ruling over all Egypt, and his brethren are still out in Canaan herding sheep. The boy with the coat of many colors is now ruling Egypt.
Genesis 41:42 "And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck;"
The king's ring is his signet, and when the ring is applied to the seal it become the supreme authority of the land. The Pharaoh put his ring on Joseph's hand, and this show the authority of Joseph was that equal to his own authority. Joseph was placed over the nation, and as such goes all the fine cloths, and jewelry of royalty that goes along with it.
Joseph was seventeen when he was sold into Egypt, and now it is years later, and through the years he has become proficient in the Egyptian language. At first as a servant to Potiphar, then elevated to the head of the household; and then in due course of time, to rule over the very prison he was confined to. God was preparing Joseph to be able to handle the job he was about to be given.
Genesis 41:43 "And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt."
There will be times that we will feel like we are at the very bottom, however when God handles our affairs, and we are firm in our faith, God will bless at the appointed time. Our Father owns all things, and they are his to give, only you have to prove to Him that you are worthy of what He will give you. That proof is in our faithfulness, and trusting in Him. That faithfulness and worthiness is shown by our studying His word, and doing the work of our Heavenly Father while we are here on earth. Our faith is the action that our beliefs commit us to do, and the confidence that we have in God, that He will see us through with what ever service we are committed to Him to do.
As a servant to Potiphar, Joseph was the best servant that he could be, even to the point taking over all of Potiphar's household, and business affairs. As the Prisoner, Joseph was placed over the running of the prison. Now he has been promoted to run the entire nation, on behalf of the Pharaoh.
This term "bow a knee" is not from the Hebrew, but of the ancient Sumerian, "Abrek", and was a form of showing respect for authority. It would demand that all subject of the king bowing to the ground in prostration as the ruler passed by.
Genesis 41:44 "And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt."
Pharaoh is giving over his full control to Joseph in telling people what to do, and what not to do.
Genesis 41:45 "And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnathpaaneah [Zaph'-nath-pa-a-ne'-ah]; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipher-ah priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt."
Jerome called this name "the saving one", however it is not an Hebrew name or expression, but Egyptian, and means "abundance of life,", or "of food for the living".
Egypt was ruled at this time by the Hyksos, or shepherd kings. We know also that Potiphar was also from this group. Potipherah, Joseph's father in law was also of this same ruling class, who ruled in the city of On. The term "priest" is not the indication of a religious leader, but a prince, or civil official, as pointed out in Strong's Hebrew dictionary #3548. Joseph's wife was not from the heathen mixtures of bloodlines, as were present in the land of Canaan.
In as much as Joseph will take Asenath for his wife, the two sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh will come from this woman. These Hyksos people were from father Abraham, and they migrated throughout the middle east, and came into Egypt and threw out other kings of Egypt, as well as the Egyptian's many forms of gods, to replace it with the one God.
We have seen through the many generation from Adam, through Noah, and Abraham how that God has protected the bloodline of his people, for it is through them that the messiah will come. This is why it is easy to accept that this woman is from a pure linage, not contaminated by the Nephilim, or the Kenites. Satan has tried to break the pure linage that the Christ would come through, and he failed. Today, the Kenite minds have so distorted the word of God that many Christians simply do not understand or accept the idea of God plan through which the Messiah was to come. It has become a stumbling block to them.
Genesis 41:46 "And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt."
Genesis 41:47 "And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls."
The time of the bumper crops have arrived.
Genesis 41:48 "And he gathered up all the food of the seven years, which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which was round about every city, laid he up in the same."
Joseph had granaries, and storage places in every town and city. Joseph didn't stay just at On, but he stored in and at the places where the crops and the people were.
Genesis 41:49 "And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering; for it was without number."
So much grains were gathered that they simply stopped counting the amount. This reminds me of of harvest time in Kansas where all the elevators are so full that they just pile up the grain on the ground and throw tarps over the grain.
Genesis 41:50 "And unto Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, which Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On bare unto him."
Genesis 41:51 "And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house."
Joseph was so business with the affairs of his office that he forgot his own kindred, and his father's house. He didn't miss it, because he even thought of himself now as an Egyptian. This is also a type of today, for the offspring of Manasseh are the people of the United States, as we will see later, and our people today have forgotten who they even are, or where they came from.
We enjoy the blessings of God, and to most Americans, they could care less where they came from, or the fact that they are part of the blessings that God promised to Abraham. They call themselves "Caucasians", and think it is a race. They don't even know it was the record of an event of the scattering of the ten northern tribes of the House of Israel. They passed through the Caucasus mountains, and on into Western Europe, and to the Americas. The Christians of today have forgotten, just as Joseph had forgotten his past.
Genesis 41:52 "And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath cause me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction."
Ephraim today is a kingdom and fruitful. Ephraim is the British people, and they have always had plenty. In latter chapters we will see how these people can be identified in the latter days.
Genesis 41:53 "And the seven years of plenteousness, that was in the land of Egypt, were ended."
Genesis 41:54 "And the seven years of dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said: and the dearth was in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread."
Genesis 41:55 "And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you; do."
The time of storing up is over, for the famine is now here. When the people went to their king for help, the Pharaoh sent them to Joseph, with the command to follow Joseph's instructions.
Genesis 41:56 "And the famine was over all the face of the earth: and Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians: and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt."
Genesis 41:57 "And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands."
The Pharaoh knew that Joseph had the ear from God, and he knew that this food had to be given out to last for the full seven years. The Pharaoh now trusted God, and he trusted Joseph's abilities in running the affairs in these extreme times. The amount of stored food was great, so much so that Egypt was able to feed the world.
This famine was historically recorded, and covered the entire earth. Was the food given away? No, it was sold and rationed out. It is quite the opposite from our give-away programs. God has placed the right man in control.
You want to be very careful before you sell your brother into bondage, for it may come back to haunt you. It is from the famine that Joseph will be reunited with his family, however much will happen before that comes to pass.
Plough .~ Seeds .~ Vine .~ Potter .~ Seasons .~ Sonshine .~ Rain .~ Field