-In this chapter we see the turning point in Joseph’s life. In the land of his affliction, he is raised up and given incredible honor and power because of the LORD his God.
-Two full years after the cupbearer was released, Pharaoh had a dream that no one could interpret. He was standing by the Nile and seven sleek and fat cows came up from it grazing in the marsh grass. Then seven ugly and emaciated cows came up and ate the healthy cows. Then Pharaoh had a second dream. Seven ears of grain came up on a single stalk that were plump and good. After this seven thin ears scorched by the east wind sprouted up. When Pharaoh awoke, his spirited was troubled and he sought in vain for answers in all the land.
-It was at this point that the cupbearer related his experience when Pharaoh was furious with him and put him in prison where he met Joseph, the interpreter of his dream that came true. He also recounted what happened with the chief baker and the hanging.
-Pharaoh immediately calls for Joseph and after a shave and change of clothes he came before the king of Egypt. Pharaoh speaks of his reputation as an interpreter of dreams. Joseph’s response once again reveals his Godly character. He says, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer (Genesis 41:16).” *Application* God will eventually lift up His servants and those who will give Him ultimate glory.
-Joseph interprets the dreams and reveals that God is showing Pharaoh what is about to take place in the next fourteen years with seven years of blessing and prosperity followed by seven years of famine and incredible worldwide need. The dream was given twice because the matter was determined by God and would happen quickly. Joseph recommends actions to be taken in preparation for the seven lean years and Pharaoh fully supports his ideas.
-In fact Pharaoh is so supportive and realizes that Joseph has the Divine Spirit within him that he places him as second in command in the whole nation with the signet ring, garments of fine linen and the golden necklace. He had Joseph ride in his second chariot and made the people pay him homage.
-Joseph has charge of all the taxation of food in the country and he goes about faithfully fulfilling his duties just as he had done in Potiphar’s house and the jail where he was incarcerated. The Pharaoh had shown great faith and trust in the words of Joseph as to the interpretation of the dream. Pharaoh obviously took the matter seriously and responded as the LORD would have desired. It is unclear if this Pharaoh had a relationship with God, but he no doubt has a great respect for the things of God and acts in accordance to the LORD’s will for the salvation of many lives. For this he is to be highly commended.
-Joseph is given an Egyptian name, Zaphenath-paneah (possibly the Egyptian term for God speaks; He lives). He is also given a wife, Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On (Heliopolis). Before the famine came, Joseph had two sons, Manasseh “making to forget,” and Ephraim “fruitfulness.” God had made him forget all his trouble and his father’s household and made him fruitful in the land of his affliction. These names of his sons represent the faithfulness of God to His servant even in difficult circumstances. *Application* Stay faithful and true to a faithful and true God. He will deliver and rescue.
-The famine comes just as prophesied and people begin to cry out for food and sustenance. Now Joseph opens up all the storehouses in the cities where he had collected. He had authority over all of this from Pharaoh to sell to whomever he chose. The peoples of all the earth came to him because there was food in Egypt. *Application* God works His plan and favors His people in every situation. Trust Him and do not give up hope.
Verse to memorize: Genesis 41:16