Pharaoh Elevates Joseph

Key Verses: “Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art: 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.”
—Genesis 41:39,40

Selected Scripture:
Genesis 41:25-49

FOLLOWING JOSEPH’S arrival in Egypt, he had many experiences which helped to prepare him for a prominent role of leadership in this foreign land. Initially he was sold to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, who recognized his strength of character and placed him in a position of authority to administer affairs relating to his household. Subsequently, Joseph was falsely accused of indiscretions involving Potiphar’s wife and he was imprisoned. While incarcerated, Joseph found favor with the prison keeper because of his integrity and organizational skills.—Gen. 39:1-23

“And it came to pass after these things, that the butler of the king of Egypt and his baker had offended their lord the king of Egypt. And Pharaoh was wroth against two of his officers, against the chief of the butlers, and against the chief of the bakers. And he put them in ward in the house of the captain of the guard, into the prison, the place where Joseph was bound. And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them: and they continued a season in ward.”—Gen. 40:1-4

While in prison, both the butler and the baker experienced dreams which troubled them, and in due course Joseph correctly revealed their meanings to each of them. As foretold, the baker was executed but the butler was ultimately restored to Pharaoh’s favor.—vss. 5-23

Two years later, Pharaoh had two dreams which troubled his spirit. None of his wise men could interpret them. In the first one, seven fat cows devoured seven ugly and thin cows. Next, he dreamed that seven plump grains came up on one stalk only to be subsequently consumed by seven thin heads of grain. His chief butler recalled that Joseph had interpreted his dream while in prison, so Pharaoh summoned him from the dungeon to appear before him. Joseph then explained the meaning of the dreams. Egypt would experience seven years of abundant harvest followed by seven years of famine, and someone should oversee the collection and storage of grain during the bountiful years so that there would be food available during the time of famine.—Gen. 41:1-38

Our Key Verses reveal that Pharaoh accepted this counsel and authorized Joseph to administer the program to ensure the Egyptians would survive the predicted famine. In many respects Joseph’s life is illustrative of how our Lord will provide for mankind’s needs in God’s kingdom. (Ps. 72:16) As devoted believers through obedience and faithfulness in our consecration vows, we may entertain the hope of assisting Christ in the wonderful work of restitution for the entire human family. “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”—Rev. 20:6