« PreviousContinue »
Gospel age God has ceased to use dreams, and it is, as you say, only ignorant or.superstitious people who believe in them. When Joseph heard that it was their dreams that had made them unhappy he said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? tell them me, I pray you.” (xl. 8.) You see here, Harry, that Joseph does not try to make them suppose that he was able to explain their dreams by himself, and therefore makes them understand that it is God alone who could show them their meaning. The chief butler then told his dream to Joseph, who informed him that after three days he would be received into the king's favor again, and asked him to think of him then. When the baker heard that, he also asked Joseph what his dream signified, and Joseph told him that after three days he would be hanged. (Refer to Gen. xl, 9–19.)
Harry.—I should not think the baker would feel very happy after Joseph had told him what his dream meant. Were his interpretations true, Grandmama? for he gave a very different one to each man!
Grandm.— Yes, my dear, Joseph was perfectly right, because God had revealed to him what would happen to each of them. You may remember that he told them first that interpretations belonged to God, and they
must have seen that such was the case. The butler was restored to his butlership three days after, which was Pharaoh's birthday, and he gave the cup to Pharaoh again as Joseph had predicted, and the baker was hanged.
Harry.--I hope, Grandmama, that the butler did not forget what Joseph had asked him to do when he left the prison ?
Grandm.-I am sorry to say, Harry, that the butler was like many other persons, and forgot that Joseph had obliged him, when he was once more well off himself, and it was only when Pharaoh had had a dream that could not be understood by any one, that the butler recollected Joseph. We need not read Pharaoh's dream, as you know about that: it is mentioned in the xli chap, 1–7 verses.
Harry.-Yes, Grandmama, I remember it quite well, but can you tell me why they are called “kine” here, Grandmama ? were they any particular kind of cows ?
Grandm.-No, Harry, I believe not, but it is a word that we find used several times in the Bible. It is quite out of use now, however. Pharaoh was very unhappy about these dreams, and sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt, to tell him the meaning of them, but God had not made known his intentions to any of them, so that they could
not interpret the dreams, and it was then that the chief butler remembered Joseph and told Pharaoh of his having given the true interpretation of both his own and the chief baker's dream. As soon as Pharaoh heard that, he sent for Joseph out of the prison. Joseph immediately appeared before the king, having first shaved and dressed himself, and Pharaoh told him he had heard that he could interpret dreams. Joseph answered him, “It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace. (xli, 16.) Pharaoh then told his dream to Joseph; who first tells Pharaoh that both dreams are the same, and that God is shewing the king in his dreams what is going to happen.
“The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years; the dream is one. 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. 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 then 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 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. (chap. xli, 26–32.)
Joseph then recommends Pharaoh to look out for some discreet and wise man that he can set over the land of Egypt, that he may lay by the fifth part of the corn during each of the seven plentiful years. Pharaoh took his advice and selected Joseph himself to do it, saying, “Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is? And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God has showed 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. (Gen. xli, 38—40.)
Pharaoh then having told Joseph that he had chosen him to take charge of the land of Egypt, took off his own ring and gave it to him, and also presented him with fine linen dresses, and put a gold chain about his neck.
Harry.- Tinen dresses are not thought much of with us, Grandmama, are they ?
Grandm.-No, Harry, linen is not so niuch
Egypt, to also preseccold chain
valued among us as it was amongst the ancients. The best linen was made in Egypt, as the finest flax grew there. But, Harry, it may be doubtful whether it was linen that Joseph's vestures were made of, as in the margin you will find it is “silk.” Pharaoh also made him ride in the second chariot " which he had ; and they cried before him, “Bow the knee:” and Joseph was made ruler over all the land of Fgypt.
Harry What a change it must have been to Joseph, Grandmama, to have been taken out of prison and immediately to find himself promoted to be only second in command through all the kingdom !
Grandm.-- Indeed, Harry, it must have been a very great change for him, and it would have been more than most people could have borne, but Joseph looked only to God, who therefore gave him sufficient strength of mind to carry him through all his trials, and, perhaps, this may be considered as one of his greatest,
Harry.—How old was Joseph then Grandmama ?
Grandm.- The Bible tells us that he was thirty years old at this time, and, therefore, as he was seventeen when he was sold to the merchants by his brethren, he must have been in Egypt for thirteen years. Pharaoh changed