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The Pharaoh's Dreams
The term "Pharaoh" was originally the designation for the royal palace of the kings of Egypt. Eventually however it came to mean the king himself. In the time of Jacob's exiled son Joseph (see The Israelite Patriarchs - Joseph), the Pharaoh had a prophetic dream:
"41:1 And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river [i.e. the Nile River; see The Nile Delta]. 41:2 And, behold, there came up out of the river seven well favoured kine and fatfleshed; and they fed in a meadow. 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. 41:4 And the ill favoured and leanfleshed kine did eat up the seven well favoured and fat kine. So Pharaoh awoke.
"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"
It was a startlingly realistic dream - and appropriately so. What Pharaoh saw was actually coming upon his kingdom. But the king didn't yet realize what the dream meant, nor did any of his officials. It was at that point that the king's butler remembered a young Hebrew that he met in prison.
"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.
The purpose of Joseph's tribulation was coming to fruition; the Pharaoh sent for him.
"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.
The dream was given, by the LORD, for Pharaoh to have, and for Joseph to interpret. The dream was a warning of what was coming - and who it was (i.e. Joseph) that could guide Egypt through the crisis, not only for the sake of the people of Egypt, but for the survival of the people of Israel who would come to take refuge there (as Joseph later explained to the brothers that sold him away i.e. "50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive" Genesis 50:20 KJV; see Joseph's Coat Of Jealousy).
"41:25 And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: God hath showed Pharaoh what he is about to do. 41:26 The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one. 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.
Unlike many national leaders who are made arrogant by power, the Pharaoh was wise enough, and thereby humble enough (arrogance is the mark of a fool) to heed the warning.
"41:37 And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants. 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?
Fact Finder: Joseph's God-given ability to interpret the dreams of the nation's king enabled him to become the Prime Minister of the country that not long before held him as a slave. What other prophet rose to become a king's Prime Minister in the very same way?