Friday, October 20, 2006

Genesis 41 "Cows and Corn" "Good Years and Bad Years"

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."

Now, Joseph's special ability to tell what a dream means will come to use at the highest level. Pharaoh dreamed of standing on the bank of the river and seeing 7 cows (kine) come up and they were very fat and healthy. Then he saw 7 cows which were thin which stood by the fat ones. The thin cows devoured the fat ones.

Then again, he dreamed of a stalk of corn with seven ears on it. They were good corn. But he also saw 7 bad ears of corn which devoured the good corn.

Pharaoh is upset. He called for his usual magicians to tell him what it all meant but none of them had an answer. Then the butler suddenly remembered something. He apologized to the Pharaoh then told him about Joseph, who was still down in the prison, and how he had interpreted his dream and that of the baker.

Joseph is now retrieved from the prison, he shaved, and is ushered in to the Pharaoh. He is not daunted by being there. He gave God credit for the interpretation before he even started. Then he told the Pharaoh how it would be. There will be seven years of plenty and then seven years of famine. He went on to say that God told him twice and so it was settled.

Genesis 41:25 "And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: God hath showed Pharaoh what he is about to do."

Pharaoh could have done several things. He could have asked Joseph what a poor Hebrew would know about such things and tossed him back in prison. He could have told Joseph that God was not his god and so disown the interpretation. But he was a wise man. He accepted what Joseph said and put him in charge of Egypt as his second in command.

Genesis 41:42-43 "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. 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."

Not a bad move up the ladder, from prisoner to ruler. I suppose the captain of the guard was glad he had been nice to Joseph. Joseph is now 30 years old. He was 17 when his brothers sold him.

Joseph is also given a wife and they had two sons before the famine hit. Their names were Manasseh and Ephraim. The good years passed while Joseph had the whole kingdom storing up for the 7 years of famine. When the famine came, the people cried to Pharaoh for food but he referred them to Joseph.

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."

I really love this story for several reasons. One is I like Egyptian history. It is amazing to me to read stories about them opening up a tomb and stepping back in history by thousands of years. What could it have been like then? I also like to see a plan come together. God saw that famine coming long before this and Joseph is put in place to store up food for the bad years. He is in a position to save his people. The main thing I like about it is how the life of Joseph corresponds to the life of Christ. Did you notice that Joseph assumed his position at the age of 30? Just as Christ began his ministry at the age of 30. I will try to do a whole lesson on the similiarities soon.

Proverbs 21:1 "The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will."

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