Old Testament Story List

Ruler in Egypt

For two years Joseph remained in jail. And then one night Pharaoh had a strange dream. He told his magicians and they could not interpret it. He called all the wise men in Egypt, but none of them could help him. Only then did the chief butler remember Joseph, and that his own dream had turned out as Joseph had foretold. He told Pharaoh, who ordered Joseph to be brought to

him. Joseph was then hastily taken out of the prison, bathed and shaved, and given fresh clothes. Then he was brought before Pharaoh, who informed him of his strange dream.

"In my dream I stood on the bank of a river and saw seven fat cows come up out of the water to feed in a meadow. Seven other cows came up after them - poor, lean cows such as I have never seen in Egypt. These lean cows ate up the first seven fat ones, but they were still as thin as if they had eaten nothing. Then I awoke.

"I slept again and dreamed a second time that seven ears of corn came up on one stalk - healthy and good. And seven withered and thin ears came up after them and devoured them. I have told this to the magicians, but no one can declare the meaning of these dreams."

Joseph said to Pharaoh, "In your dream, God is showing you what He is about to do. The seven good cows and the seven good ears are seven years of great plenty throughout the land of Egypt. The seven lean cows and the seven thing ears are seven years of famine that shall follow. All the plenty shall be gone and forgotten. The famine will be great and will consume the land. God has sent you the same dream twice to show you how grievous it will be and to say these things will happen soon."

Therefore, Joseph told Pharaoh, he should soon choose a wise man to rule over the land of Egypt. This man should appoint officers over all the land who would see that one-fifth of all the food and corn planted during the seven plenteous years should be gathered and stored in the cities, under Pharaoh's seal. Then, when the seven years of famine should follow, the land of Egypt still would not want for food.

Joseph's words seemed very wise to Pharaoh and his servants, so the king said to Joseph, "Since God has shown all of this to you, you shall rule over my house and my people. Only on the throne shall I be greater than you."

And Pharaoh took off his ring and put it on Joseph's hand. He clothed him in fine linen, put a gold chain around his neck, and gave him his second chariot.

Joseph, then thirty years old, went throughout all the land of Egypt. In the seven plenteous years he saw that food and grain were gathered and stored equally in all the cities. Then came the famine over all the face of the earth. But in Egypt there was food. When the Egyptians were famished and cried out for bread, Pharaoh sent them to Joseph, for he was the governor of Egypt and had charge of all the royal storehouses. Joseph opened the storehouses and sold the people food. And people of all countries came to Egypt to buy corn, because in no other land had grain been stored for the years of famine.

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