Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure (Gen 41)

No comments at all from the SAB on this next chapter, so once again, I guess they have no problem with someone having a dream that accurately predicts the future. Actually, if you have no problem with that, you'd probably have little problem with Joseph's interpretation in this instance, as these dreams seem almost obvious.

So, two years have passed since Joseph thought he might get a chance to get out of prison, and the big break comes when Pharaoh has two dreams that wake him up at night. (Another interesting theme that repeats itself throughout the Bible is something important happening when a king finds himself unable to sleep.) Although these dreams seem the most obvious of any dreams interpreted in the Bible, nobody among Pharaoh's staff can explain them. Perhaps God didn't let them, because the time had finally come for Joseph to be moved into prominence?

In any case, the butler remembers Joseph, and mentions him to Pharaoh, so he is sent for. When the situation is explained, Joseph (like Daniel later on) gives credit for the interpretation to God. There are going to be seven years of plenty, followed by seven years of famine. Joseph suggests that if food is stored up in the first seven years, the latter seven will go more smoothly for Egypt, so Pharaoh ought to find somebody who can oversee such a project. Pharaoh thinks this is a great idea, and chooses Joseph himself, and gives him some fancy clothes and a royal ring. (Interestingly, whenever Joseph changes his position in the world, he also changes his clothing!)

Joseph carries out his duties, gets married, has a couple of kids, and eventually, the predicted famine comes, and all the surrounding nations come to Egypt for provisions, of course including Canaan.

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