It Is Not In Me: Pharaoh’s Dream

a. Waiting on the Lord. Our chapter begins with the disappointing fact that these events don’t take place until “after two whole years.” Joseph had asked the cupbearer to remember him when he went before the Pharaoh but he had forgotten. Psalm 37:7-8 reminds us what to do when we find ourselves in the place of Joseph. “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.” And so Joseph must obediently wait upon the Lord to act. b. What Pharaoh dreamed. First, he saw seven fattened cows come up out of the Nile river and began to eat the vegetation that was along the river. After the seven good-looking cows came seven ugly cows came. Now the first cows acted as normal cows act but the second group of cows was cannibalistic which is something normal cows don’t do. Upon seeing this, the Pharaoh woke up. Though he had just seen a disturbing sight he was tired and went back to sleep. As he slept he saw a stalk of corn that had seven ears that were plump and good. There was a variety of corn that grew in Egypt that would produce multiple ears on one stalk. Following the seven good ears, seven thin ears blighted by the east wind sprouted. These seven ears swallowed up the good ears, which is weird to imagine. The clarity in these dreams was so great that the Pharaoh didn’t perceive he was dreaming until he woke up. When morning comes Pharaoh can’t forget about the dreams and so he sends for the magicians and wise men to have them interpret the dreams for him. The Nile is a huge player in the mythology and understanding of the Egyptians. And the cow was the sacred animal of Isis who was the goddess of fertility. Along with the imagery of the corn, these three things strike at the Egyptian heart. As the ten plagues that will come much later, this dream is confronting the very gods of Egypt. Though these dreams seem to be easier to interpret than the officials’ dreams, all of the wise men of Egypt could not decipher the dreams.

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