Joseph a Pharaoh’s dream
1: And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river. 2: And, behold, there came up out of the river seven well favoured kine and fatfleshed; and they fed in a meadow. 3: And, behold, seven other kine came up after them out of the river, ill favoured and leanfleshed; and stood by the other kine upon the brink of the river. 4: And the ill favoured and leanfleshed kine did eat up the seven well favoured and fat kine. So Pharaoh awoke. 5: And he slept and dreamed the second time: and, behold, seven ears of corn came up upon one stalk, rank and good. 6: And, behold, seven thin ears and blasted with the east wind sprung up after them. 7: And the seven thin ears devoured the seven rank and full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and, behold, it was a dream. 8: And it came to pass in the morning that his spirit was troubled; and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all the wise men thereof: and Pharaoh told them his dream; but there was none that could interpret them unto Pharaoh. 9: Then spake the chief butler unto Pharaoh, saying, I do remember my faults this day: 10: Pharaoh was wroth with his servants, and put me in ward in the captain of the guard's house, both me and the chief baker: 11: And we dreamed a dream in one night, I and he; we dreamed each man according to the interpretation of his dream. 12: And there was there with us a young man, an Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard; and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams; to each man according to his dream he did interpret. 13: And it came to pass, as he interpreted to us, so it was; me he restored unto mine office, and him he hanged. 14: Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh. 15: And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it. 16: And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace. 17: And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, In my dream, behold, I stood upon the bank of the river: 18: And, behold, there came up out of the river seven kine, fatfleshed and well favoured; and they fed in a meadow: 19: And, behold, seven other kine came up after them, poor and very ill favoured and leanfleshed, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for badness: 20: And the lean and the ill favoured kine did eat up the first seven fat kine: 21: And when they had eaten them up, it could not be known that they had eaten them; but they were still ill favoured, as at the beginning. So I awoke. 22: And I saw in my dream, and, behold, seven ears came up in one stalk, full and good: 23: And, behold, seven ears, withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them: 24: And the thin ears devoured the seven good ears: and I told this unto the magicians; but there was none that could declare it to me. 25: And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: God hath shewed Pharaoh what he is about to do. 26: The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one. 27: And the seven thin and ill favoured kine that came up after them are seven years; and the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind shall be seven years of famine. 28: This is the thing which I have spoken unto Pharaoh: What God is about to do he sheweth unto Pharaoh. 29: Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt: 30: And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land; 31: And the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following; for it shall be very grievous. 32: And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass. 33: Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. 34: Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years. 35: And let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. 36: And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine.
Joseph ruler of Egypt
37: And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants. 38: And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is? 39: And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art: 40: Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou. 41: And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. 42: 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; 43: 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. 44: And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt. 45: And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnath-paaneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Poti-pherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt. 46: And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt. 47: And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls. 48: And he gathered up all the food of the seven years, which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which was round about every city, laid he up in the same. 49: And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering; for it was without number. 50: And unto Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, which Asenath the daughter of Poti-pherah priest of On bare unto him. 51: And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house. 52: And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction. 53: And the seven years of plenteousness, that was in the land of Egypt, were ended. 54: And the seven years of dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said: and the dearth was in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. 55: And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do. 56: And the famine was over all the face of the earth: and Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt. 57: And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands.
Joseph’s brothers visit Egypt
1: Now when Jacob saw that there was corn in Egypt, Jacob said unto his sons, Why do ye look one upon another? 2: And he said, Behold, I have heard that there is corn in Egypt: get you down thither, and buy for us from thence; that we may live, and not die. 3: And Joseph's ten brethren went down to buy corn in Egypt. 4: But Benjamin, Joseph's brother, Jacob sent not with his brethren; for he said, Lest peradventure mischief befall him. 5: And the sons of Israel came to buy corn among those that came: for the famine was in the land of Canaan. 6: And Joseph was the governor over the land, and he it was that sold to all the people of the land: and Joseph's brethren came, and bowed down themselves before him with their faces to the earth. 7: And Joseph saw his brethren, and he knew them, but made himself strange unto them, and spake roughly unto them; and he said unto them, Whence come ye? And they said, From the land of Canaan to buy food. 8: And Joseph knew his brethren, but they knew not him. 9: And Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them, and said unto them, Ye are spies; to see the nakedness of the land ye are come. 10: And they said unto him, Nay, my lord, but to buy food are thy servants come. 11: We are all one man's sons; we are true men, thy servants are no spies. 12: And he said unto them, Nay, but to see the nakedness of the land ye are come. 13: And they said, Thy servants are twelve brethren, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and, behold, the youngest is this day with our father, and one is not. 14: And Joseph said unto them, That is it that I spake unto you, saying, Ye are spies: 15: Hereby ye shall be proved: By the life of Pharaoh ye shall not go forth hence, except your youngest brother come hither. 16: Send one of you, and let him fetch your brother, and ye shall be kept in prison, that your words may be proved, whether there be any truth in you: or else by the life of Pharaoh surely ye are spies. 17: And he put them all together into ward three days. 18: And Joseph said unto them the third day, This do, and live; for I fear God: 19: If ye be true men, let one of your brethren be bound in the house of your prison: go ye, carry corn for the famine of your houses: 20: But bring your youngest brother unto me; so shall your words be verified, and ye shall not die. And they did so. 21: And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us. 22: And Reuben answered them, saying, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? therefore, behold, also his blood is required. 23: And they knew not that Joseph understood them; for he spake unto them by an interpreter. 24: And he turned himself about from them, and wept; and returned to them again, and communed with them, and took from them Simeon, and bound him before their eyes. 25: Then Joseph commanded to fill their sacks with corn, and to restore every man's money into his sack, and to give them provision for the way: and thus did he unto them. 26: And they laded their asses with the corn, and departed thence. 27: And as one of them opened his sack to give his ass provender in the inn, he espied his money; for, behold, it was in his sack's mouth. 28: And he said unto his brethren, My money is restored; and, lo, it is even in my sack: and their heart failed them, and they were afraid, saying one to another, What is this that God hath done unto us? 29: And they came unto Jacob their father unto the land of Canaan, and told him all that befell unto them; saying, 30: The man, who is the lord of the land, spake roughly to us, and took us for spies of the country. 31: And we said unto him, We are true men; we are no spies: 32: We be twelve brethren, sons of our father; one is not, and the youngest is this day with our father in the land of Canaan. 33: And the man, the lord of the country, said unto us, Hereby shall I know that ye are true men; leave one of your brethren here with me, and take food for the famine of your households, and be gone: 34: And bring your youngest brother unto me: then shall I know that ye are no spies, but that ye are true men: so will I deliver you your brother, and ye shall traffick in the land. 35: And it came to pass as they emptied their sacks, that, behold, every man's bundle of money was in his sack: and when both they and their father saw the bundles of money, they were afraid. 36: And Jacob their father said unto them, Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me. 37: And Reuben spake unto his father, saying, Slay my two sons, if I bring him not to thee: deliver him into my hand, and I will bring him to thee again. 38: And he said, My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he is left alone: if mischief befall him by the way in the which ye go, then shall ye bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.
Joseph’s brothers return again
1: And the famine was sore in the land. 2: And it came to pass, when they had eaten up the corn which they had brought out of Egypt, their father said unto them, Go again, buy us a little food. 3: And Judah spake unto him, saying, The man did solemnly protest unto us, saying, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you. 4: If thou wilt send our brother with us, we will go down and buy thee food: 5: But if thou wilt not send him, we will not go down: for the man said unto us, Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you. 6: And Israel said, Wherefore dealt ye so ill with me, as to tell the man whether ye had yet a brother? 7: And they said, The man asked us straitly of our state, and of our kindred, saying, Is your father yet alive? have ye another brother? and we told him according to the tenor of these words: could we certainly know that he would say, Bring your brother down? 8: And Judah said unto Israel his father, Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go; that we may live, and not die, both we, and thou, and also our little ones. 9: I will be surety for him; of my hand shalt thou require him: if I bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, then let me bear the blame for ever: 10: For except we had lingered, surely now we had returned this second time. 11: And their father Israel said unto them, If it must be so now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds: 12: And take double money in your hand; and the money that was brought again in the mouth of your sacks, carry it again in your hand; peradventure it was an oversight: 13: Take also your brother, and arise, go again unto the man: 14: And God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may send away your other brother, and Benjamin. If I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved. 15: And the men took that present, and they took double money in their hand, and Benjamin; and rose up, and went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph. 16: And when Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the ruler of his house, Bring these men home, and slay, and make ready; for these men shall dine with me at noon. 17: And the man did as Joseph bade; and the man brought the men into Joseph's house. 18: And the men were afraid, because they were brought into Joseph's house; and they said, Because of the money that was returned in our sacks at the first time are we brought in; that he may seek occasion against us, and fall upon us, and take us for bondmen, and our asses. 19: And they came near to the steward of Joseph's house, and they communed with him at the door of the house, 20: And said, O sir, we came indeed down at the first time to buy food: 21: And it came to pass, when we came to the inn, that we opened our sacks, and, behold, every man's money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight: and we have brought it again in our hand. 22: And other money have we brought down in our hands to buy food: we cannot tell who put our money in our sacks. 23: And he said, Peace be to you, fear not: your God, and the God of your father, hath given you treasure in your sacks: I had your money. And he brought Simeon out unto them. 24: And the man brought the men into Joseph's house, and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their asses provender. 25: And they made ready the present against Joseph came at noon: for they heard that they should eat bread there. 26: And when Joseph came home, they brought him the present which was in their hand into the house, and bowed themselves to him to the earth. 27: And he asked them of their welfare, and said, Is your father well, the old man of whom ye spake? Is he yet alive? 28: And they answered, Thy servant our father is in good health, he is yet alive. And they bowed down their heads, and made obeisance. 29: And he lifted up his eyes, and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother's son, and said, Is this your younger brother, of whom ye spake unto me? And he said, God be gracious unto thee, my son. 30: And Joseph made haste; for his bowels did yearn upon his brother: and he sought where to weep; and he entered into his chamber, and wept there. 31: And he washed his face, and went out, and refrained himself, and said, Set on bread. 32: And they set on for him by himself, and for them by themselves, and for the Egyptians, which did eat with him, by themselves: because the Egyptians might not eat bread with the Hebrews; for that is an abomination unto the Egyptians. 33: And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his youth: and the men marvelled one at another. 34: And he took and sent messes unto them from before him: but Benjamin's mess was five times so much as any of theirs. And they drank, and were merry with him.
In today’s reading we find that Joseph is elevated to ruler of Egypt through the dream of Pharaoh. Then we have the incident in which Joseph’s brothers arrive in Egypt because the famine is so pervasive in the world. God is using famine as a discipline on the children of Israel as well as the bring Joseph to power. The Lord is bringing them back to himself and in this case back to Joseph his ordained leader. There are so many similarities between this story and the story of Daniel. Only after two full years in prison do we find that God moves again and like Daniel it is through a dream of a gentile king. Just like Josephs dreams the king has double dreams. When God speaks twice it means that he is determined to get his message through. The dreams of Pharaoh were told through the medium of cattle and corn. Pharaoh called for the Magi of Egypt but Nebuchadnezzar called for the Magi of Babylon. When nobody could tell the dream the butler remembered Joseph and he told the story of Joseph and the dreams of the baker and butler. Joseph was sent for and he very quickly made himself ready. Joseph was quick to point out that the interpretation of dreams belongs to the Lord. When Pharaoh explained the dreams Joseph said the dreams are both the same message. God is telling Pharaoh what he is going to do. The double dream means that it is going to happen very soon. Then Joseph gave him advice about what to do. Set a man over the whole of Egypt and take a double tithe of every man for the seven years of plenty. Then there will be plenty to eat In the years of famine. Pharaoh liked the concept and so he appointed Joseph as the man to accomplish this. Joseph had such power that only in the throne was Pharaoh greater than Joseph. He gave him the ring from his finger and clothed him in fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck and he rode in the second chariot and they cried before Joseph – Bow the knee! He was given the name Zaphnath-paaneah which means - the one who furnishes the nourishment of life. Joesph took Asenath as his wife. Joseph took the rule of Egypt at 30 years of age. Joseph gathered so much corn that they stopped counting it. Like Christ his provision was innumerable. Joseph had two sons. He named the first Manasseh because the Lord enabled him to forget the years of toil and his fathers house. And Ephraim because God had caused him to be fruitful. Sometimes the two greatest gifts is the ability to forget the bad days and the joy of fruitful days in the blessing of God. When the years of famine came Joseph found that the famine affected all the earth. When the famine came Joseph open the store houses and sold the corn and all countries came to buy bread. This is where the immense wealth of Egypt came from. The sons of Jacob came to the old man and he told them to go to Egypt to buy bread. Joseph kept Benjamin with him to make sure he was safe. When his brethren came to buy bread Joseph deliberately made himself a stranger to them so that they would not know him. He spoke roughly to them accusing them of coming to spy out the land. Like Christ he came unto him own and his own knew him not. Joseph remembered his dreams. They said we are twelve sons of one man and one son is at home and one is dead. So he said you must bring the younger brother to prove what you are saying is true. He put them all in prison for three days. Then he demanded his conditions. Reuben answered again (to his credit) to his brothers l told you that God would require the blood of your brother Joseph. They did not know Joseph because he spoke through an interpreter. Then Joseph overcome with emotion went out a wept. Then he took Simeon and bound him in front of them. Then Joseph filled the sacks with corn and gave them their money back. Joseph ever sold bread to his brethren. He always treated them in grace. On the journey one of the brethren opened his sack to give his donkey something to eat and found his money in the top of his sack and he was afraid when he found the money. They told their father everything that had happened to them. Jacob was very reluctant to allow Benjamin to go to Egypt. However the famine continued and eventually they had to consider returning to Egypt. On their second return to Egypt they took Benjamin as Joseph had demanded. Judah gave his own sons as a guarantee of safety of Benjamin. They also took special presents for Joseph, balm, honey, spices, myrrh, nuts and almonds. They also took twice as much money in case they had to pay for the first lot of corn. When they arrived Joseph took them all including Benjamin and he made a midday dinner for them. They brought their gifts and Joseph asked of the health of their Father. When Joseph saw Benjamin his heart went out to him and said God is gracious to you my son. Joseph rushed out and went into his private bedroom to wept for the emotion he felt toward his brother. How often did Christ weep over Jerusalem? One day he will wept in front of them again when they come to him to save them. Then Joseph washed his face and dinned with them controlling his emotions. He did not eat with them because it was an abomination for Egyptians to eat bread with Hebrews. They sat and eat before Joseph and could not believe what they were doing. When Benjamin’s food was seen it was five times more than all the rest. They drank wine and were merry in their ignorance.