The Story of Joseph page 2 of 4
Meanwhile, during their duties of serving Pharaoh, his butler and cake baker as it is sometimes referred to, had offended Pharaoh which caused them to be put in prison. Joseph had control over them while they were there.
As it were, the two servants of Pharaoh had separate dreams that bother them greatly. Joseph asked them what they were worried about. They both told Joseph about their dreams. Joseph replied “Do not interpretations belong to God”? “tell me your dreams. The butler then told Joseph his dream;
Behold, in my dream a vine was before me, and in the vine were three branches; it was as though it budded, its blossoms shot forth, and its clusters brought forth ripe grapes. Then Pharaoh's cup was in my hand; and I took the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh's cup, and placed the cup in Pharaoh's hand.”
“This is the interpretation of it: The three branches are three days. Now within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your place, and you will put Pharaoh's cup in his hand according to the former manner, when you were his butler. But remember me when it is well with you, and please show kindness to me; make mention of me to Pharaoh, and get me out of this house. For indeed I was stolen away from the land of the Hebrews; and also I have done nothing here that they should put me into the dungeon.”
The cake baker told Joseph of his dream also;
“I also was in my dream, and there were three white baskets on my head. In the uppermost basket were all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, and the birds ate them out of the basket on my head.”
So Joseph answered and said, “This is the interpretation of it: The three baskets are three days. Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head from you and hang you on a tree; and the birds will eat your flesh from you.”
Three days after this it was Pharaoh's birthday. Both the butler and cake baker were brought before Pharaoh. The butler was indeed restored to his former position but the cake baker was sentenced to death and Pharaoh had his head cut off and body impaled on a pole to which the birds came and fed on his flesh. The butler did not remember or think any more about Joseph.
Then it came to pass, at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh had a dream; and behold, he stood by the river. Suddenly there came up out of the river seven cows, fine looking and fat; and they fed in the meadow. Then behold, seven other cows came up after them out of the river, ugly and gaunt, and stood by the other cows on the bank of the river. And the ugly and gaunt cows ate up the seven fine looking and fat cows. So Pharaoh awoke. He slept and dreamed a second time; and suddenly seven heads of grain came up on one stalk, plump and good. Then behold, seven thin heads, blighted by the east wind, sprang up after them. And the seven thin heads devoured the seven plump and full heads. So Pharaoh awoke, and indeed, it was a dream.
Pharaoh called all his magicians to interpret his dreams but no one was able to do so. Then the butler told Pharaoh about how Joseph interpreted his and the cake baker's dreams and that what Joseph had interpreted had come to pass. So Pharaoh called Joseph to appear before him. Pharaoh said to Joseph that he heard that he could interpret dreams, Joseph replied;
“It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace.”
Pharaoh then told Joseph the details of both of the dreams. With that Joseph replied;
“The dreams of Pharaoh are one; God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do: The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good heads are seven years; the dreams are one. And the seven thin and ugly cows which came up after them are seven years, and the seven empty heads blighted by the east wind are seven years of famine. This is the thing which I have spoken to Pharaoh. God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do. Indeed seven years of great plenty will come throughout all the land of Egypt; but after them seven years of famine will arise, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine will deplete the land. So the plenty will not be known in the land because of the famine following, for it will be very severe. And the dream was repeated to Pharaoh twice because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass. Now therefore, let Pharaoh select a discerning and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt. Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, to collect one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven plentiful years. And let them gather all the food of those good years that are coming, and store up grain under the authority of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. Then that food shall be as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which shall be in the land of Egypt, that the land may not perish during the famine.”
Pharaoh was pleased with Joseph's interpretation and discussed with his advisors who should be in charge of this project of gathering food. It was decided that Joseph would be the one to do it. Joseph was brought up to a level of great status in Egypt. He had many servants and was given the chariot of Pharaoh's second in command. Whenever Joseph would approach, it would be called out to the people to “kneel down” before him.
Joseph had surely prospered. Along with this prosperous position that God allowed him to have, he married and had two sons of his own.