Day 39 of Reading the Bible in 365 Days
Gen 41 – 2 years had passed. Pharoah had a dream. He was standing by the Nile, when 7 cows came out of the river, sleek and fat, and they grazed among the reeds. After them, 7 other cows, ugly and gaunt, came up out of the Nile and stood beside those on the riverbank. The cows that were ugly and gaunt ate up the 7 sleek, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up. He fell asleep again and had a second dream: 7 heads of grain, healthy and good, were growing on a single stalk. After them, 7 other heads of grain sprouted–thin and scorched by the east wind. The thin heads of grain swallowed up the 7 healthy, full heads. Then Pharaoh woke up. In the morning his mind was troubled, so he sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt, but no one could interpret the dreams. Then the chief cupbearer told Pharaoh about Joseph interpreting the dreams for he and the baker and things turned out exactly as he had interpreted. Pharoah sent for Joseph and told him of the dreams and asked if he could interpret. Joseph explained he could not, but God could.
Then Joseph told Pharaoh the dreams are one and the same. God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. The 7 good cows are 7 years, and the 7 good heads of grain are 7 years. The 7 lean, ugly cows that came up afterward are 7 years, and so are the 7 worthless heads of grain scorched by the east wind. God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. 7 years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt, but 7 years of famine will follow them. Then all the abundance in Egypt will be forgotten, and the famine will ravage the land. The abundance in the land will not be remembered, because the famine that follows will be so severe. The reason the dream was given to Pharaoh in two forms is that the matter has been firmly decided by God, and God will do it soon.
It was suggested Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man and put him in charge of the land of Egypt; to appoint commissioners over the land to take a 5th of the harvest of Egypt during the 7 years of abundance. They should collect all the food of these good years that are coming and store up the grain to be kept in the cities for food. This food should be held in reserve for the country, to be used during the 7 years of famine so the country may not be ruined by the famine. The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his officials. Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.”
Pharaoh put Joseph in charge of the whole land of Egypt. He made him 2nd in command. Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah and gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, to be his wife. And Joseph went throughout the land of Egypt. Joseph was 30 years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. During the 7 years of abundance the land produced plentifully. Joseph collected all the food produced in those 7 years of abundance in Egypt and stored it in the cities. In each city he put the food grown in the fields surrounding it. Joseph stored up huge quantities of grain, like the sand of the sea; it was so much that he stopped keeping records because it was beyond measure. Before the years of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph by Asenath. Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” The second son he named Ephraim and said, “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”
The 7 years of abundance in Egypt came to an end, and the 7 years of famine began. There was famine in all the other lands, but in the whole land of Egypt there was food. 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 opened 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.