Go to Joseph: Joseph’s Promotion

1. JOSEPH’S PROMOTION 38-45 a. No one wiser. After hearing his interpretation and advice the Pharaoh and all his servants were happy with the proposal as to how to respond to the message of the dream. And they also noticed that there was something special about Joseph. They ask amongst themselves, “Can we find a man like this, in whom is the Spirit of God?” The last phrase could also be rendered spirit of the gods. Either question would be appropriate here. Whichever way the passage ought to be read, it is clear that they recognize Joseph has a special connection with the divine. God is with Joseph and they cannot deny it. The very spirit of God is in Joseph. The gods are with him. Even if they followed their own false religion, it would be dangerous to go against Joseph. Could you throw one who God has blessed into prison again? Of course not. Pharaoh turns to Joseph and says, “Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discerning and wise as you are.” Joseph told Pharaoh that God would have to give the meaning and Pharaoh reasons that if God is giving him the meaning then there is no one wiser than Joseph since he has a direct connection with God. God has given Pharaoh some mental clarity here. Who is wiser than a person who knows God? As we know, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. What Pharaoh realized is still true today. The truly wise ones are those that bow the knee to God. b. Second in charge. Pharaoh then declares that Joseph is to be put in charge over his house and that the people shall do as he commands. The Hebrew idiom has the idea of kissing and comes from the same root that we have in Psalm 2 where it says to kiss the Son lest he be angry. The idea is that everyone is to pay homage, bow down, do everything according to what Joseph says. In Egypt, only the Pharaoh would be greater than Joseph. So Joseph becomes that wise and discerning man that is appointed over Egypt. He is given the signet ring so that he can make royal decrees. He is dressed as royalty. He rides around in the second-best chariot and when he shows up they call out to everyone to “Abrek!” or kneel before him. These would all be things typical for a person in the position that Joseph was given. Can you imagine the emotions and the praise in the mind of Joseph? He woke up that morning in his bed in the prison and that night he went to sleep in the palace. He went from one extreme to another in a matter of a day. c. A new name. Then Pharaoh gives Joseph a new name and a wife which would be fitting for a man in his position. He is named Zaphenath-paneah which is an Egyptian name that no one knows for sure what it meant. Some speculate it meant “revealer of secrets.” In the Latin Vulgate, it was translated as “savior of the world.” In Strong’s concordance, you have “the god speaks and he lives.” More modern scholars that have translated ancient hieroglyphics have suggested that it may not have been a proper name but a title that described his position as second in charge and keeper of the grain. His wife was an Egyptian name Asenath and she was daughter of Potiphera who is not to be confused with Potipher. Potiphera was the priest of On which was the center for sun worship. And with that, Joseph is ready to go out over the land of Egypt.

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