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GENESIS 41:1-4 "And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river. And, behold, there came up out of the river seven well-favored kine and fatfleshed; and they fed in a meadow. And, behold, seven other kine came up after them out of the river, ill-favored and lean-fleshed; and stood by the other kine upon the brink of the river. And the ill-favored and lean-fleshed kine did eat up the seven well-favored and fat kine. So Pharaoh awoke."

41:14-16 "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. 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. And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace."



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FROM THE DUNGEON TO THE PALACE

Joseph had to wait two years after the butler's dream for his release. Once he had his freedom, the butler promptly forgot all about Joseph until Pharoah had a troubling dream. The King first saw seven good cows come up from the river and feed in a meadow. Then seven thin cows came and ate the seven good cows. He then went back to sleep and had a second dream. He dreamed seven full ears of corn grew up on one stalk. He then dreamed that seven thin ears came up and ate the seven full ears.

Pharaoh called on all his magicians and wise men to interpret his dreams but they couldn't tell him what the dreams meant. Then the butler remembered Joseph. He told the king that Joseph had correctly interpreted his and the baker's dreams two years earlier. The king immediately called for Joseph to be brought from the dungeon. Joseph was cleaned up and presented to the king of Egypt. After Pharaoh revealed his dream to Joseph, Joseph told him what it meant. First there would be seven years of plenty in Egypt, as was represented by the seven fat cows and ears of corn. Then there would be seven years of famine, as was represented by the seven lean cows and corn. He advised Pharoah to search out a man who was wise and put him over the land to keep back a fifth of all the produce from the seven good years and lay it up in cities for the seven years of famine. Pharoah recognized something in Joseph that wasn't in anyone else in Egypt:

GENESIS 41:38-40 "And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the spirit of God is? And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shown thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art: Thou shat 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."

Given the highest authority by Pharaoh, Joseph set about storing food for the famine. During the seven plenteous years, he laid so much food away it was said to have been "without number." During these years there were two sons born to Joseph and his wife, Asenath (who was given to him by Pharaoh): Manasseh,meaning "causing to forget," and Ephraim, meaning "fruitful." These two sons would later become the heads of two of the tribes of Israel.

When the seven years of famine came, Joseph doled out the food to the Egyptians. The famine spread to the surrounding lands and those people also came down to Egypt in search of food. Joseph sold food to them, too.

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Notice how, in verse 16, Joseph gave all the credit for his ability to interpret dreams to God.

Why do you think the magicians and wise men of Egypt could not interpret Pharaoh's dreams?

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