TWO years pass, and Joseph is still in prison. The cupbearer has not remembered him. Then one night Pharʹaoh has two very special dreams, and he wonders what they mean. Do you see him sleeping there? The next morning Pharʹaoh calls his wise men and tells them the things that he has dreamed. But they are not able to tell him the meaning of his dreams.
Now the cupbearer at last remembers Joseph. He says to Pharʹaoh: ‘When I was in prison there was a man there who could tell the meaning of dreams.’ Pharʹaoh has Joseph brought out of prison right away.
Pharʹaoh tells Joseph his dreams: ‘I saw seven fat, beautiful cows. Then I saw seven very thin and bony cows. And the thin ones ate up the fat cows.
‘In my second dream I saw seven heads of full, ripe grain growing on one stalk. Then I saw seven thin, dried-out heads of grain. And the thin heads of grain began to swallow up the seven good heads of grain.’
Joseph says to Pharʹaoh: ‘The two dreams mean the same thing. The seven fat cows and the seven full heads of grain mean seven years, and the seven thin cows and the seven thin heads of grain mean seven more years. There will be seven years when a lot of food will grow in Egypt. Then there will be seven years when very little food will grow.’
So Joseph tells Pharʹaoh: ‘Choose a wise man and put him in charge of collecting food during the seven good years. Then the people will not starve during the following seven bad years when very little food will grow.’
Pharʹaoh likes the idea. And he chooses Joseph to collect the food, and to store it up. Next to Pharʹaoh, Joseph becomes the most important man in Egypt.
Eight years later, during the famine, Joseph sees some men coming. Do you know who they are? Why, they are his 10 older brothers! Their father Jacob has sent them to Egypt because they were running out of food back home in Caʹnaan. Joseph recognizes his brothers, but they do not recognize him. Do you know why? It is because Joseph has grown older, and he is dressed in a different kind of clothes.
Joseph remembers that when he was a boy he dreamed about his brothers coming to bow down to him. Do you remember reading about that? So Joseph can see that it is God who has sent him down to Egypt, and for a good reason. What do you think Joseph does? Let’s see.
Genesis 41:1-57; 42:1-8; 50:20.