Today's scripture: Genesis 41:14-24 (ESV*)
Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they quickly brought him out of the pit. And when he had shaved himself and changed his clothes, he came in before Pharaoh. And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” Joseph answered Pharaoh, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer." Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Behold, in my dream I was standing on the banks of the Nile. Seven cows, plump and attractive, came up out of the Nile and fed in the reed grass. Seven other cows came up after them, poor and very ugly and thin, such as I had never seen in all the land of Egypt. And the thin, ugly cows ate up the first seven plump cows, but when they had eaten them no one would have known that they had eaten them, for they were still as ugly as at the beginning. Then I awoke. I also saw in my dream seven ears growing on one stalk, full and good. Seven ears, withered, thin, and blighted by the east wind, sprouted after them, and the thin ears swallowed up the seven good ears. And I told it to the magicians, but there was no one who could explain it to me.”
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT...
- The Hebrew word used in verse 14 for "dungeon" is bôr, which can also be translated as "pit," "cistern," or "well." This is the same word that is used for the pit that the brothers threw Joseph into in 37:22. What is the significance of this?
- How would you imagine Joseph is feeling as he moves from pit to palace?
- What could be the significance to Joseph's shaving and changing clothes before the interview with Pharaoh, beyond his need to be cleaned up?
- Pharaoh tells Joseph that he has heard that Joseph can interpret dreams. Joseph had interpreted the dreams of the cupbearer and baker in prison without hesitation, so why here does he tell Pharaoh that he cannot do it, but that God can?
- How would you have felt in Joseph's shoes as Pharaoh related the contents of his dreams?
- What do you imagine the court magicians and counselors were thinking as they waited to hear Joseph's answer?
* The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.