Genesis 41:1-36, “The Wise Counsel of Joseph”
In the Old Testament, before the scriptures were written, God gave the kings of the various countries dreams in order to warn them of danger to the country and in matters of other importance. In this passage, God gave Pharaoh two dreams.
In the first dream, Genesis 41:1-4, Pharaoh dreamed about 7 fat fleshed cows and 7 ill favoured cows. The 7 ill favoured cows ate up the 7 good cows. It was a strange dream. Pharaoh awoke.
In the second dream, Genesis 41:5-7, Pharaoh saw 7 good ears of corn. And then 7 bad ears of corn that were eaten up by the west wind. Again, it was a strange dream and then Pharaoh awoke.
In those days, the kings knew that God gave them dreams to warn them. But, Pharaoh did not know how to interpret the dreams.
Pharaoh asked the magicians and the wise men to interpret the dream but they could not: Genesis 41:8. Even though a person can be wise in the ways of the world; he may not be wise in the things of God.1 Corinthians 1:21, “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”
Previously, in Genesis 40:8 Joseph correctly stated, “Do not interpretations belong to God?” It would behoove every saint to understand that if a prophecy is not according to biblical interpretation than it is a false interpretation. If an individual teaches a false prophecy, even a saint, than one day he, or she, will stand before the Lord and give a personal account for his foolishness.
The chief butler heard of the dreams of Pharaoh and remembered that Joseph had correctly interpreted his dream and the dream of the baker, Genesis 41:9-13
Verse 14-16 Joseph gave God the glory
Pharaoh knew that the two dreams were important, so, he had Joseph taken out of the prison and cleaned up. Pharaoh asked Joseph a question, “I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it.” Genesis 41:15b
"And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace." Genesis 41:16 In the presence of a heathen king, an idolatrous Court, a Court full of sorcerers and magicians, Joseph made a clear statement of faith in his belief in God. God gives every man talents. Our talents come from God. Our health comes from God and God sits on His throne in heaven controlling the affairs of men. We need to be like Joseph and give God, the Lord Jesus, the glory for our health, our jobs, our lives and the blessings of life.1 Corinthians 1:31, “That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”
God can give peace. Even though Joseph had tribulations in his life, and imprisonment, he had peace in his heart. John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Joseph believed that God could give Pharaoh peace.
God is willing to give peace to those people who sincerely trust in Him.
Verse 17-24 The Two Dreams of Pharaoh
Pharaoh relates the two dreams to Joseph. Pharaoh also said that the magicians could not tell the interpretation of the dreams. The false prophet, the false teacher, and the false religions, cannot tell correct interpretations of prophecy in the Bible.
Verse 25 God is in full control of all things
Genesis 41:25, “And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: God hath shewed Pharaoh what he is about to do.” God is the creator of the universe and He is the one who controls the world. Nahum 1:3, “The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.”
In the church age, God does not use dreams to warn us: He uses the scriptures. The scriptures are the complete words of God. 1 Corinthians 13:10, “But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.”
Verse 26-32 Seven Years of Plenty and 7 Years of Famine
Joseph gave the correct interpretation of the two dreams. Joseph emphasized four things: 1. The 7 years of plenty will precede the 7 years of famine. 2. The famine will be very grievous. 3. The famine is established by God. 4. God will bring it to pass.
Also, the 7 years of famine, after a brief false peace from the anti-Christ, is a type of the grievous famine that will occur over all of the world during the entire 7 Year Tribulation Period throughout the whole earth. Revelation 6:8, “And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.” God gave us the book of Revelation so we can know what God will do in the end times and to warn the people of the earth to escape the wrath to come.
If a saint desires to know how to correctly interpret the end times of the book of Revelation, “The Time of Jacob’s Trouble,” specifically Revelation chapter 6, 7, 11, 12, and 19:16, it would be wise to study the interpretations of Joseph, the dreams of Joseph, and the wise counsel of Joseph.
Verse 33-36 “The Counsel of Joseph”
Joseph gave Pharaoh wise counsel. God warned Pharaoh because God was going to bring a grievous famine in the land of Egypt and the surrounding area. God is starting to raise up Joseph to save the land of Egypt from destruction, save his kinsmen, Jacob, his brothers, and their extended families.
Joseph is a type of Christ. God is going to bring a grievous famine upon the whole earth in order to save the remnant of the kinsmen of the Lord Jesus, His brethren, the Jewish race, and save as many as will repent of their sins during the reign of the anti-Christ during, “The Time of Jacob's Trouble.”
Furthermore, God gave us the Bible to let mankind know the truth of eternal life, heaven and hell, the Lord Jesus and things to come. In the spiritual battle, Ephesians 6:11-17 and 2 Timothy 2:1-5 and 4:1-8, that every saint faces, we need wise counsel to direct our paths. Proverbs 24:6, “For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counselors there is safety.” And, Proverbs 11:14, “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.”
Joseph is a type of Christ. The Lord Jesus, as we read the scriptures, can give us good counsel. Proverbs 8:14, “Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.” Good counsel for our work, our family, and our lives. A mature Christian will listen to the counsel of the Lord Jesus as recorded in the scriptures.