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JOSEPH IN EGYPT.
tation of the chief butler's dream was so good, he was glad, and said to Joseph, "I also was in my dream, and behold, I had three white baskets on my head and in the uppermost basket there was of all manner of bake-meats for Pharaoh ; and the birds did eat them out of the basket upon my head." And Joseph answered and said, "This is the interpretation thereof: the three baskets are three days yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thine head from off thee, and shall hang thee on a tree; and the birds shall eat thy flesh from off thee."
And it came to pass on the third day, when Pharaoh kept his birthday, that he remembered the two prisoners, and he restored the chief butler again to his office; but he hanged the chief baker, as Joseph had interpreted to them. "Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him.” a And Joseph had to pass two years more in prison. -God knows the best time for deliverance.
Two years afterwards Pharaoh had a dream, and no one could be found who was able to interpret it. Now the chief butler remembered his promise. He told the king that there was a young man in prison, who had once interpreted so wisely to him and to the chief baker their dreams. Joseph was immediately sent for out of prison, and brought before the king. The king said to him, “I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it." And Joseph answered, "It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of
a Gen. xl. 5-23.
peace." And the king said, "In my dream, behold, I stood upon the bank of the river" (the river Nile, which flows through Egypt): "and, behold, there came up out of the river seven kine fatfleshed and wellfavoured; and they fed in a meadow and, behold, seven other kine came up after them, poor, and very illfavoured and leanfleshed, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for badness: and the lean and the illfavoured kine did eat up the first seven fat kine: and when they had eaten them up, it could not be known that they had eaten them; but they were still illfavoured, as at the beginning. So I awoke. And I saw in my dream, and, behold, seven ears came up in one stalk, full and good: and, behold, seven ears, withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them: and the thin ears devoured the seven good ears.'
And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, "The dream of Pharaoh is one: God hath showed Pharaoh what he is about to do. The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one. And the seven thin and illfavoured 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.
This is the thing which I have spoken unto Pharaoh: What God is about to do he showeth unto Pharaoh. Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt: and there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land: and the plenty shall not be known in the land, by reason of that famine following; for it shall be very
JOSEPH IN EGYPT.
grievous. And 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. Now, therefore," Joseph proceeded to say, "let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years. And let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine." b
Pharaoh was pleased with the interpretation, as well as with this good counsel. "Where can we," said Pharaoh, “find such a man as this, in whom the Spirit of God is?" So Pharaoh set Joseph over the whole land, and said to him, "Only in the throne will I be greater than thou." And he took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and clothed him in white silk, and put a golden chain round his neck; and he made him ride in one of his royal chariots; and they cried before him, "Bow the knee." And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, "So surely as I am Pharaoh, without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt."a
So God led Joseph from his father's house into the pit, from the pit into slavery and into a prison, and from the prison to the king's palace. Joseph
b Gen. xli. 1-36.
c Luther's version, and English marginal reading.
d Gen. xli. 37-44.
was about seventeen years of age when he was sold into Egypt, and he was thirty years of age when he stood before the king.
As God had foretold, so it came to pass. seven plenteous years came, and Joseph gathered the fifth part of all the corn in all the land of Egypt; of which he collected together so great a quantity, that they were obliged to give up measuring it. The seven years of scarcity also did not fail to come; and in the very first year of the
COME TO EGYPT.
scarcity, the famine in the neighbouring lands was so great, that the people all came to Egypt to buy food of Joseph.
There was famine also in the land of Canaan. Then Israel said to his sons, "Why do ye look one upon another? Behold, I have heard that there is corn in Egypt: get you down thither, and buy for us from thence; that we may live, and not die." The ten brothers accordingly went to Egypt. Benjamin alone remained with his father. They came into Joseph's presence, and they fell down before him, as before a great Egyptian prince. He, however, knew them; but he made himself strange to them, and spoke roughly to them in the Egyptian language through an interpreter: "Whence come ye?" They answered, "From the land of Canaan, to buy food." Joseph said, "Ye are spies; to see the nakedness of the land ye are come. "Nay, my lord," they answered, "but to buy food are thy servants come. We are all one man's sons; we are true men; thy servants are no spies. We are twelve brethren, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and, behold, the youngest is this day with our father, and one is not." And Joseph said unto them, "Hereby ye shall be proved whether ye speak the truth. Send one of you, and let him fetch your brother, and the rest of you shall remain here in prison."
And he put them all together into ward, and left them there three days. On the third day he had them brought to him again, and he said unto them, "This do, and live; for I fear God. Let one of you remain behind in prison, but the rest of you go and carry home the corn you have bought; but bring your youngest brother unto me; so shall