Joseph Interprets Pharoah’s Dreams

While serving as missionaries in Lebanon Ben and Carol Weir learned a great deal about prayer when Ben was suddenly kidnapped by Shiite Muslim extremists in 1984. He was held in solitary confinement, in cramped quarters for sixteen months. Carol wondered whether she would ever se … More


After hearing the contents of the dreams Joseph immediately interprets them. According to him both dreams meant the same thing (v. 25). It meant there would be seven years of plenty throughout the land, when everything would grow in abundance (v.26). Then after that there would be seven years of famine when nothing would grow (v. 27). As the seven thin cows ate up the fat ones, and the seven thin ears of corn ate up the good ones, so the seven years of famine would eat up the grain of the seven good years. God has shown you what He intends to do (v. 28). There will be seven years of plenty and then seven years of famine that will be so bad that people will forget that there was a time of plenty (vv. 29-31). He also said that the reason Pharaoh dreamed the same thing twice was because God was going to bring it to pass very soon (v. 32).

Joseph then advises Pharaoh to appoint a capable administrator over a nationwide farm program for all of Egypt (v. 33). Other people should be appointed to collect one-fifth of all crops during the good years to be used in the bad years (vv. 34-35). They should gather into the government storehouses the excess crops of the next seven years to be used when needed (v. 36).


Joseph was sharing with Pharaoh a basic principle of practical living. (That is wisely planning ahead, especially as it pertains to the basic necessities of life is very important). I should not spend everything as God provides it but have some type of savings plan for tomorrow? 

Genesis 41:25-36 (English Standard Version)

Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, "The dreams of Pharaoh are one; God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good ears are seven years; the dreams are one. The seven lean and ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, and the seven empty ears blighted by the east wind are also seven years of famine. It is as I told Pharaoh; God has shown to Pharaoh what he is about to do. There will come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt, but after them there will arise seven years of famine, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt. The famine will consume the land, and the plenty will be unknown in the land by reason of the famine that will follow, for it will be very severe. And the doubling of Pharaoh's dream means that the thing is fixed by God, and God will shortly bring it about. Now therefore let Pharaoh select a discerning and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt. Let Pharaoh proceed to appoint overseers over the land and take one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt during the seven plentiful years. And let them gather all the food of these good years that are coming and store up grain under the authority of Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them keep it. That food shall be a reserve for the land against the seven years of famine that are to occur in the land of Egypt, so that the land may not perish through the famine."

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