Joseph: Savior of The World | Genesis 41
In Chapter 40 Joseph interpreted the dreams of two prominent Egyptian officials, one dream had a positive meaning, the other a very bad meaning. One official was restored to his position and the other was put to death. In this chapter, Joseph is going to interpret another dream, not just one another prominent official, but a dream of Pharaoh himself. In the end, Joseph will be exalted to be ruler of Egypt and savior of the world - a prophetic type of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
(Unedited Notes) Test
I. PHARAOH’S DREAMGenesis 41:1 And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river.
After interpreting the dreams of the baker and the butler, prior to this chapter, Joseph spent an additional two full years in prison. The chief butler had forgotten him, and Joseph was still in prison. Though Joseph was forgotten by man, he was not forgotten by God. God never forgets His promises! His word will come to pass. This dream of Pharaoh’s will eventually be the cause of Joseph’s freedom and exaltation.
Stood by the river- It doesn’t say which river, but is probably the Nile.
Genesis 41:2 And, behold, there came up out of the river seven well favoured kine and fatfleshed; and they fed in a meadow.
Genesis 41:3 And, behold, seven other kine came up after them out of the river, ill favoured and leanfleshed; and stood by the other kine upon the brink of the river.
Genesis 41:4 And the ill favoured and leanfleshed kine did eat up the seven well favoured and fat kine. So Pharaoh awoke.
Uh oh, Pharaoh just saw seven well fed cattle get eaten by seven starving cattle in his dream. Not good!
Interesting that the cattle are all coming from the river. The Nile River was vital to Egypt’s survival. If you look at a satellite image of Egypt you’ll see a big desert with a green strip running through it. That green strip is from the river. Without the Nile River Egypt would be nothing but desert.
Genesis 41:5 And he slept and dreamed the second time: and, behold, seven ears of corn came up upon one stalk, rank and good.
Genesis 41:6 And, behold, seven thin ears and blasted with the east wind sprung up after them.
Genesis 41:7 And the seven thin ears devoured the seven rank and full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and, behold, it was a dream.
That doesn’t seem good either. Good healthy corn stalks getting devoured by thin unhealthy ones. Appears to be a repetition of the same bad dream.
Genesis 41:8 And it came to pass in the morning that his spirit was troubled; and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all the wise men thereof: and Pharaoh told them his dream; but there was none that could interpret them unto Pharaoh.
There was none that could interpret them- Why couldn’t these most educated men interpret the dream. Same reason many highly educated people cannot see the truth today. They are blinded by their own self-conceit. “VERSE I have hid these things from the wise and prudent”.
II. THE BUTLER REPENTSGenesis 41:9 Then spake the chief butler unto Pharaoh, saying, I do remember my faults this day:
Genesis 41:10 Pharaoh was wroth with his servants, and put me in ward in the captain of the guard's house, both me and the chief baker:
Genesis 41:11 And we dreamed a dream in one night, I and he; we dreamed each man according to the interpretation of his dream.
Genesis 41:12 And there was there with us a young man, an Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard; and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams; to each man according to his dream he did interpret.
Genesis 41:13 And it came to pass, as he interpreted to us, so it was; me he restored unto mine office, and him he hanged.
I do remember my faults- At least this man acknowledged his error and attempts to make it right. Good for him. Repentance is so important. You should always own up to your mistakes, especially to your superiors.
III. JOSEPH BROUGHT BEFORE PHARAOHGenesis 41:14 Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh.
Genesis 41:15 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it.
I have heard say of thee- If you’re serving God and being diligent about your work, eventually you will get noticed. Be patient, put your trust in God, and everything will work out great in the end.
Genesis 41:16 And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.
Look at the humbleness of Joseph here. He doesn’t take credit for the gift God gave him. He gives all credit to God by saying, “It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer.”
IV. JOSEPH HEARS PHARAOH’S DREAMGenesis 41:17 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, In my dream, behold, I stood upon the bank of the river:
Genesis 41:18 And, behold, there came up out of the river seven kine, fatfleshed and well favoured; and they fed in a meadow:
Genesis 41:19 And, behold, seven other kine came up after them, poor and very ill favoured and leanfleshed, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for badness:
Genesis 41:20 And the lean and the ill favoured kine did eat up the first seven fat kine:
Genesis 41:21 And when they had eaten them up, it could not be known that they had eaten them; but they were still ill favoured, as at the beginning. So I awoke.
Genesis 41:22 And I saw in my dream, and, behold, seven ears came up in one stalk, full and good:
Genesis 41:23 And, behold, seven ears, withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them:
Genesis 41:24 And the thin ears devoured the seven good ears: and I told this unto the magicians; but there was none that could declare it to me.
But there was none that could declare it to me- None of the wise and most educated of all Egypt was able to interpret these dreams. But a man, who was sold into slavery by his brothers, put in prison because of a false accusation, will, with God’s help be able to interpret the dreams. My friends, we are nothing without God. No amount of reading, education, means anything if we do not put our trust in God.
The book of Proverbs says, “the beginning of knowledge is to fear the Lord”. That’s where it all begins! I don’t care if you are a rocket scientist or a factory worker. You are nothing without God.
V. JOSEPH INTERPRETS THE DREAMGenesis 41:25 And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: God hath shewed Pharaoh what he is about to do.
The dream is one- Both dreams have the same message. Use of repetition.
Genesis 41:26 The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one.
Genesis 41:27 And the seven thin and ill favoured kine that came up after them are seven years; and the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind shall be seven years of famine.
Genesis 41:28 This is the thing which I have spoken unto Pharaoh: What God is about to do he sheweth unto Pharaoh.
Genesis 41:29 Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt:
Genesis 41:30 And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land;
The dream was prophetic of seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine. Boy, if there was a stock market back then, knowing this ahead of time would make you quite wealthy. I often wonder if periods of good times and bad times are foretold of in the Bible even unto this day? It’s always kind of been a fascination of mine, I hope not an ungodly fascination. Throughout history the economy does appear to go up and down in cycles. Well, we could get into that another time.
Perhaps each year it wouldn’t be a bad thing for Christians to pray and ask God to show them the signs of the times, or how to rightly interpret the signs of the times.
Genesis 41:31 And the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following; for it shall be very grievous.
Genesis 41:32 And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.
The dream was doubled unto Pharoah twice- You know sometimes you have to illustrate something a couple different ways to get the point across. Our father is the master teacher, we can learn a lot from His ways.
VI. JOSEPH ADVISES PHARAOH TO PREPAREGenesis 41:33 Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt.
Genesis 41:34 Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years.
Don’t know why Joseph came up with one fifth, but he was obviously good at making calculations and knew what he was doing. Remember he had previously managed a household of a prominent Egyptian official (Potipher) for a number of years, successfully. I’m sure one fifth was exactly the right amount.
Genesis 41:35 And let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities.
Genesis 41:36 And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine.
Jesus told us that in the end there would be famines, troubles, and great earthquakes. We don’t know when those will happen, but we should be prepared at all times. It is a good idea to store up food for those times. Dry grains, flour, canned goods, water, etc., Be ready! Pharaoh was warned in a dream and we are warned by Jesus Christ himself.
VII. JOSEPH BECOMES RULER OF EGYPTGenesis 41:37 And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants.
Though Joseph was hated by his brothers, he is loved by the Egyptians. In other words, he was rejected by Israel but accepted by Gentiles. Do you see another parallel here between he and Jesus? Jesus “came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:11).
This is deep. Remember what the Apostle Paul said concerning Israel’s rejection of Jesus, “Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles how much more their fulness” (Romans 11:12)?
That’s exactly what happened to Joseph as well. If Joseph hadn’t been rejected by his brothers (Israelites) then he would not be in the position he is in now to be the savior of Egypt and the rest of the world!
Genesis 41:38 And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?
Interesting, back then, even Pharaoh appears to be acknowledging the One God and His Spirit. Later on, hundreds of years later we come across a different Pharaoh, the one who enslaved the Israelites who was much more paganized it seems than this guy.
Genesis 41:39 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art:
Think about this! Joseph is named the wisest man in Egypt!! This is quite a thing. This isn’t the only remarkable thing, the other remarkable thing is that Pharaoh is a believer! He believes this dream and interpretation is from God.
Genesis 41:40 Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.
VIII. PHAROAH’S DREAMGenesis 41:41 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.
Genesis 41:42 And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck;
Genesis 41:43 And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt.
Genesis 41:44 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.
My goodness, overnight God takes Joseph from being a prisoner in Egypt to being the ruler of Egypt! Just moments ago Joseph was doing the bowing and now the world is bowing to him.
What’s also amazing about this is that Pharaoh is not just a believer, he has also displayed his faith in God’s prophetic dreams by entrusting Joseph with all his affairs.
Genesis 41:45 And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnathpaaneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.
Zaphnathpaaneah- Egyptians scholars say his name means, salvation or savior of the age.
Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On- Now this is a perplexing thing to many people. How could Joseph say yes to marrying a pagan woman?
Asenath- belonging to the goddess Neith
Genesis 41:46 And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt.
Jesus too was about 30 years old when he began his ministry as saviour of the world. Lot of parallels between Joseph and Jesus. We showed a long list of them several studies ago.
Genesis 41:47 And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls.
Genesis 41:48 And he gathered up all the food of the seven years, which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which was round about every city, laid he up in the same.
Genesis 41:49 And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering; for it was without number.
7 YEARS OF FAMINE. After God gave Joseph understanding of Pharaoh's dream, that a dreadful famine was coming, Joseph devised a plan to store up enough grain to get Egypt and others through the famine (Gen. 41). Do you have enough TRUTH stored up in your mind to get you through the terrible times of deception foretold of in the great book of Revelation?
Genesis 41:50 And unto Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, which Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On bare unto him.
Two half Egyptian boys.
Genesis 41:51 And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house.
Genesis 41:52 And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.
Again, Joseph gives credit to God. What a thankful and humble guy. But I want you to notice something else. The two boys brought great comfort and healing to Joseph. After the birth of Manasseh, he said, “God hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father’s house.” It provided sort of a finish line for a life full of hardships. After all he went through, now he is the ruler of Egypt, married with two boys. He kept his faith in God and God came through, just like he will for us.
Genesis 41:53 And the seven years of plenteousness, that was in the land of Egypt, were ended.
Genesis 41:54 And the seven years of dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said: and the dearth was in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.
God’s Word coming to pass before their very eyes. What a witness!
Genesis 41:55 And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do.
Pharaoh seems to be a smart delegator. He has total faith in Joseph to get his people through this famine.
Genesis 41:56 And the famine was over all the face of the earth: And Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt.
Genesis 41:57 And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands.
And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph- Joseph is now acting as savior not only of Egypt, but the whole world! What a beautiful type of Christ. There is a famine for truth in the world today, and the only one who can provide that nourishment, is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In one place Jesus says, all who thirst come unto me.