Genesis 41

1. The chain of events that brought Israel to Egypt is now brought before us. Joseph, being twelve (or thirteen) years in prison was released to stand before the king of Egypt; he was thirty years old (41:46). The king has him brought forth because he had heard it said of him that he is able to interpret dreams, but Joseph accepts no credit for this; instead he gives all attention (glory) to God (41:16).

2. When Pharaoh replays his dream Joseph gives him the meaning of the dream. He declares that the two dreams are one and that the “doubling of Pharaoh’s dream means that the thing is fixed by God” (41:32). The wording of this verse might encourage one to think that the lack of doubling-dreams by the chief baker and the cupbearer would suggest that the interpretations were not fixed by God. This would be a mistake in understanding; when the Lord brings about a dream for those involved – it is fixed.. The Chumash reads this way, “As for the repetition of the dream to Pharaoh – two times – it is because the matter stands ready before God, and God is hastening to accomplish it.”

3. So impressed was Pharaoh that after the recommendation by Joseph concerning how to address the upcoming fourteen years he placed him in authority over all (41:44). Now married to the daughter of an Egyptian priest, two sons were born to him and his wife. Having made all the necessary preparations the famine comes (41:54).

4. Application: For a period of 12 or 13 years Joseph was in prison and, all of a sudden like, he is removed, cleaned up, and is standing before the king. To make the circumstances all that more anxious, it is demanded of him to hear and interpret the king’s dream. Perhaps Joseph was in full control of all his emotions at this juncture; on the other hand, perhaps he was feeling the stress of it all. In either case, it is likely he knew that an interpretation not liked or received could result in death – even if God gave the answer. Joseph stays the course (41:16). Again, suddenly he is thrust from the position of a slave to the second highest ranking man in Egypt. Did his managerial skills over a household and over prisoners prepare him for this? Whether it did or not, we can say for certain that the Lord prepared him. Has the Lord prepared you for a work to be done?