Bible stories : 09 Joseph, part 5.

Part 5 : Pharaoh’s dreams.

1600 - 1700-ish B.C.

Pharaoh is having dreams. Bad dreams. Which means he’s not sleeping well, which means he’s in a bad mood, which makes everyone around him very uneasy and very anxious for him to be in a good mood again, which means he needs to start sleeping well, which means he needs to stop having bad dreams. Is there anyone who can help with dreams? Suddenly, suddenly, finally, the butler’s memory is jogged.

“I might know somebody,” he timidly suggests.

So Joseph is summoned to the Pharaoh’s presence and the dream is described. The details are unimportant, except to say that it had to do with fat cows and skinny downs and ripe ears of corn and shriveled up ears of corn, which Joseph deduced meant that…

“...there’s gonna be seven years of great harvests,” Joseph says. “After that, there’s gonna be seven years of famine. It’s gonna get ugly.”

“Any ideas?” says Pharaoh. “And, uhh, thanks.”

“Don’t thank me,” says Joseph. “Thank God. And yes, I do have an idea. An idea that God gave to me.”

He goes on to explain. Basically the idea is to save up a certain percentage of crops during the plentiful years and to put somebody in charge of organizing and enforcing the strategy. When the famine hits, Egypt will be prepared. As long as they’re someone super smart in charge. “Well, I guess I should head back to prison now,” he says.

“Okay, bye,” says Pharaoh. “Thanks again.”

“Sure thing,” says Joseph. “I’ll tell God thanks for you.”

Pharaoh suddenly has an epiphany. “Hey Joe,” he says slowly…”what would you say to being my guy?”

Joseph grins. “I accept.”

In one swoop, Joseph goes from being inmate to being vizier of Egypt. He is second-in-command to Pharaoh; one of the mightiest men in the land at age 30.

For the next seven years, he puts the plan into action, making sure that twenty percent of all grain that is produced is put into massive storehouses to save for the bad times, because they are a-comin.’

Also, he gets married to a lovely woman; a woman who happens to be the daughter of his old boss Potiphar and his old boss’s wife...yes, the wife who was responsible for him being thrown into prison. And yes, that would make her his mother-in-law. Strange times, strange times.

Finally, the famine arrives. Is it bad?

Yes.