Bible Stories
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Pharaoh's Dream

Genesis 39 to Genesis 41

Pharoah asks for the meaning of his dream.

THE MERCHANTS WHO bought Joseph sold him to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who treated him very favorably, and put all his affairs under Joseph's care. But after he had served his master faithfully for some time, Joseph was falsely accused of some wrong doing; and his master, without inquiring into the matter, shut him up in prison.

       But God was with him in the prison, as He had been while Joseph was ruling over Potiphar's household; and He caused the keeper of the prison to put trust in him, so that he had the whole care of the other prisoners, and of all that was done there.

       Two of these prisoners, chief servants of Pharaoh, dreamed strange dreams, and God gave Joseph wisdom to interpret them. He told one of them that his dream signified that in three days he should be taken out of prison and hanged; the other prisoner's dream signified that in three days he should be released and restored to favor. And he begged this one, after he should be set at liberty, to try to get him also out of prison. But when the man got out of prison, he thought no more about Joseph for two whole years.

       At the end of that time, Pharaoh, to whose service he was restored, had two dreams that made him unhappy, and whose meaning none of his wise men could tell him.

       He dreamed that seven fat cattle were feeding in a meadow, and that seven lean ones came and ate them up. Again he dreamed of seven ears of good corn on one stalk, and that seven blighted ones sprang up and devoured them. And when no one could tell him what these dreams meant, the chief butler remembered how Joseph had explained to him his dream in the prison.

       So he told the king, who immediately sent for Joseph out of prison, related his dreams to him, and asked him what they signified. Joseph answered the king that in these dreams God had showed him what He was about to do: that He was going to give Egypt seven years of plenty, and after them seven years of famine. And he advised Pharaoh to seek out some discreet person whom he might set over the land of Egypt, with officers under him, to store up, during the years of plenty, corn enough to supply them in the years of famine.

       Pharaoh thought the advice was good, and that no one was so fit as Joseph to do all this; so he made him ruler. And Joseph stored up the corn, so that, when the famine came, other countries sent to Egypt to buy food.


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