Richard Agee

Genesis 41, part 1: Yosef foretells of seven famine years in Mitsraim

Richard AgeeYosef (Joseph) rose quickly from forgotten prisoner to second in command of Mitsraim (Egypt), all over two strange visions Pharaoh had of fat and famished cows then plump and withered heads of grain. Behind all this we see the Creator’s hand at work, teaching Pharaoh, Mitsraim and us about where we should put our trust.

Pharaoh’s dream was after two years, which means it was in the third year since the cupbearer’s restoration to Pharaoh’s house, mentioned in Genesis 40. It’s hard to see the Messiah in this chapter, but He is there. At this point in Genesis, Ya’akov (Jacob) and the brothers of Yosef are no longer the focus of the story. 

Pharaoh’s dream starts with seven beautiful cows feeding beside the Nile and seven skinny, ugly cows come out of the Nile and eat the seven beautiful cows. Cows in nature do not cannibalize each other. Their teeth and digestive system are not made for that. That’s proof that this dream is symbolism, not rooted in reality. 

The second dream was of a stalk of grain with seven heads on it. Then seven heads of grain sprout up from another stalk that were scorched and beaten by the east wind. The scorched stalks consume the healthy stalk. The east wind comes from the direction sunrise. 

The Pharaoh’s cupbearer hears about Pharaoh’s dream and he was reminded of his faults and sins. The cupbearer did not reveal what he knew about Yosef dream interpreting prowess, not because of fear of provoking Pharaoh or anyone else but because God was not ready for the cupbearer to reveal that information. The cupbearer was He was the guilty one, not the baker.

Was the cupbearer spared or the baker killed because Pharaoh was unfair? No, this is an account for us. God wanted the cupbearer spared, so he was spared. Just as God grants us mercy before we repent (Rom. 5:8), Pharaoh granted the cupbearer a reprieve too. 

We don’t know if the cupbearer repented before he was spared or after his life was spared. 

Yosef was only 28 years old when he met the cupbearer and the baker in the prison and God was not ready for Yosef to be released from prison until he was 30 years old. God can cause us to forget and remember certain events in our lives when He wants that event to be recalled publicly. 

When Pharaoh heard about Yosef, he had him called up from the prison to meet him. He had to shave himself and dress himself appropriately to meet the supreme ruler of Egypt, which means he had to look like an Egyptian. 

When Pharaoh saw Yosef for the first time, he immediately asked Yosef to interpret his dream. That is all he asked of Yosef.

Yosef told Pharaoh that God would give Pharaoh the meaning of the dream. Yosef was not the witness; God was the witness.

Yosef said that God will give Pharaoh a shalom answer. God would tell Pharaoh what His planning to do in the future. Even though the future was going to be difficult, the answer still gave Pharaoh peace because it’s a complete and honest answer to his question about the purpose of the dream. 

We often talk about preaching the Kingdom of God and the “good news.” But before the culmination of the Kingdom of God, a lot of horrible suffering, war, famine, etc. will occur, yet we still call it “good news.” 

The word that is translated as determined or established is the Hebrew word כּוּן kun (Strong’s lexicon No. H3559). This was an appointed famine, appointed by God. The fact that God gave Pharaoh the same basic dream twice is the two witnesses. The Pharaoh was given a “double whammy.” This means that God has set this course, and He was not going to deviate. 

Reader: Jeff. Speaker: Richard Agee. Summary: Tammy.


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