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and perhaps foresaw. No doubt Joseph's mind was greatly impressed with these things : perhaps he now began to see the meaning of his own dreams, and how Providence was %rad1T ually working for their accomplishment. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, In my dream, behold, I stood upon
18 the bank of the river: And, behold, there came up out of the river seven kine, fat fleshed and well favoured:
19 and they fed in a meadow: And, behold, seven other kine came up after them, poor and very ill favoured and lean fleshed, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for bad
20 ncs3: And the lean and the ill favoured kine did eat up the
21 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 ill favoured, as at the beginning. So 1 awoke.
22 And I saw in my dream, and, behold, seven ears came up in
23 one stalk, full and good: And, behold, seven ears, withered, thin, [and] blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them:
24 And the thin ears devoured the seven good ears: and I told [this] unto the magicians; but [there was] none that could declare [it] to me.
25 And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh [is] one in signification, that is, both dreams signify the same thing;
26 God. hath showed Pharaoh what he [is] about to do. The seven good kine [are] seven years; and the seven good ears
27 [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,
28 shall be seven years of famine. This [is] the thing which I have spoken unto Pharaoh: What God [is] about to do, he
29 showeth unto Pharaoh. Behold, there come seven years of
50 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 Egyptj there shall be no remains of former plenty ; their prestnt misery shall make
51 them forget it; and the famine shall consume the land; And the plenty ,shall not be known in the land by reason of that
SI 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; it is both certain end near. Upon this Joseph, under the influence of that Sfiirit by which he liad inter.
33 preted the dream, gives this Wise and prudent advice; Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and
S4 set htm 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.*
• If it be vkeil. Why no more than a fifth part? Tt may be replied. That a tenth wai the usual tax of the king; this year it might he double the quantity of former years, be. carae of the jrreat plenty. He miffht also purchase a fifth part beside the tax; and all tbia, inapUntiful jear, would be eqiulto a whole crop in a common season.
35 And let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, according to Pha
36 raoh's appointment, 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
37 land perish not through the famine. And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants. Having truly interpreted the butler's dream, and hit interpretation of this being so natural and likely,greatly affected the king's mind, and the mitids of Iris courtiers.
38 And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find [such an one] as this [is,] a man in whom the Spirit of God [is ?3 such prudence as God by his Spirit hath bestowed on this man in
39 such a singular manner? And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath showed thee all this, given thee thin extraordinary gift offoreseeing and foretelling things to come, and of giving such prudent advice for the future, [there is}
+0 none so discreet and wise as thou [art:] Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be
4>I ruled : only in the throne will I be greater than thou. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the
*2 land of Egypt. And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him ii» vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain, an ensign
43 of honour, about his neck; And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had ; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: the Hebrew word signifies, the king's father or tender father, kind saviour of the people; or perhaps it was a common phrase, as ' God save the king,' it with us : and he made him [ruler] over all the land of Egypt.
44 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I [am] Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt; that it,as sure as lam king, so sure without thy advice and authority shall no man do any thing in point of govern
45 meat. And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnathpaaneah; most commentators say it means a revealer of secrets, but Jerome says, it means the saviour of the country. It is common to this day for eastern kings to give names to their favourites, significant of some service they have done, or some honour conferred upon them* And he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest, or prince, of On ; a city afterward called Heliopolis, where was a famous temple dedicated to the tun. And Joseph went out over [all] the land of Egypt.t
* See De la VM?% Travels to the East.
t A late infamous writer endeavours to tolly the character of Joseph, and taprOTehlsn, ambitions, tyrannical, and oppressive ; and says, that Pharaoh divesred Umtel l of all regal authority, and put the whole military force of the kingdom into Joseph's hands, and
fave him the nommation to all places of power and trust. But these things arc evidently alse, for Pharaoh says in v. Ao. In the throne nuitt I be greater than thou; he rode only In. Che second chariot. The assertion, that he had the military forces under his command, is founded on a marginal reading; v. 40. At thy word shall ail my people be arwe41 but fav
46 And Joseph [was] thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of
47 Egypt. And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought
48 forth by handfuls. And he gathered up all the food of the seven years, which were in the land of Egypt, the fifth part ("u. 34.^ of all manner of ratable things, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which [was] round about
49 every city, laid he up in the same. And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering the measures; for [it was] without number.
50 And unto Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, which Asenath the daughter of Potipherah
51 priest, or prince, of On bare unto him. And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh, that is, forgetting: For God, [said he,] hath made me forget all my toil, hath expelled all sorrowful remembrance of it by my present comfort and glory, and all my father's house, that is, all my sufferings there from.
'52 my brethren. And the name of the second called he Ephraim, tliat is, fruitful: For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.
53 And the seven years of plenteousness, that was in the land
54 of Egypt, were ended. And the seven years of dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said: and the dearth was in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.
55 And when all the land of Egypt was famished, or pinched with famine, the people cried to Pharaoh, as to their king and common father, for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the
56 Egyptians,Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do. And the famine was over all the face of the earth: and Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians;
57 and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt. And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy [corn ;] because that the famine was [so] sore in all lands. No doubt this business was managed with great prudence and compassion^ corn was sold at a reasonable price, and the people were not oppressed, though the king was enriched.
most other places (some critics say in all) it signifies to Hit, or pay civil respect, as in Psalm ii. 12. kiss the Son, &c. And that he was empowered to nominate whom ne pleased to places of trust, is equallv ffroundless. for he had not power to raise his brethren what th»y came, or to send for hu lather, without Pharaoh's command. See chap. Kiv. la.
dreams troubled him ; so did Nebuchadnezzar's and Belshazzar's, of which we read in the Book of Daniel. How easily can he scare men with dreams and visions on their bed ! As we have reason to believe that this extraordinary method of communicating convictions and knowledge is ceased, let us not be anxious about these things, but keep close to God's written word. I do not ,say, that God never communicates admonitions this way, but we have no reason to expect it. In the multitude of dreams, says Solomon, Eccles. v. 7. there are divers vanities; butfear thou God. 2. See how easily God can deliver his people, and turn their
after a delay of two full years. Deliverances are often nearest when least expected; and, when most unlikely, they are most seasonable and welcome. 'Behold,' says Bp. Hall, 4 one hour has changed his fetters, into a chain of gold ; his prison garments, into robes of fine linen; his stocks, into a chariot, and his gaol, into a palace; Potiphar*s slave, to be his master's lord ; and the noise of his chains, into the acclamation of the people, bow the knee.' The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of all their tribulations; and those who suffer for well doing, and commit the keeping of their souls to him, shall at length be advanced to all the dignity and glory of heavenly beings.
3. See the influence of God on the spirits of men, in Joseph thus interpreting the dreams, and in Pharaoh and his courtiers falling in with his advice. God inclines men to do those things that answer the schemes and purposes of his providence. Let us reverence and adore him, who orders all things according to the purposes of his own will, who is wonderful in council, and excellent in working, or in contrivances.
4. Let us learn, from such interpositions of Providence as these, to commit our ways to the Lord, and trust in him for deliverance, till the happy time shall come, when he will make us forget all our sorrows. They were significant names which Joseph gave his children. It is God who sends us such comforts, as make us forget our sorrows, and remember our troubles no more. The afflictions of his people arc designed to make them fruitful ; and they should bear with patience, what he lays on them, and wait all the days of their appointed time, till their change comes. God's providence may be working for us, though we cannot perceive it; and those light afflictions which are but for a moment, may be working out for us a far more exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory.
captivity into triumph
Jacob sends his sens into Egypt to buy corn; their treatment b\f their brother there, and return to their father with an account of it. It may appear strange that Jacob never heard of his son's advancement, and that Jonrph never sent to his father, or paid him a visii when he went through the land, and was within forty orfifty mites of the place inhere he lived} but undoubtedly the hand of Providence was in it ; and Joseph, who had the gift from God of interpreting dreams, might so far understand his own, as to wait till his brethren bowed themselves before liim; and if Jacob and his family heard of such an extraordinary person in Pharaoh's court, they would not have known his new name.
1 TVT ^ when Jacob saw, or heard from some of his neigh-L\ bours, who had been there, that there was corn in. Egypt, Jacob said unto his sons, Why do ye look one upon
2 another ? sit still, and do nothing in this time of distress? And he said, Behold, I have heard that there is corn in Egypt: get you down thither, and buy for us from thence ; that we
3 may live, and not die. And Joseph's ten brethren went
4 down to buy corn in Egypt. But Benjamin, Joseph's brother, Jacob's dearest child by his beloved wife Rachel, Jacob sent not, with his brethren; for he said, Lest peradventure mis.
. 5 chief befal him: And the sons of Israel came to buy [corn] among those that came: for the famine was in the land of Canaan.
• And Joseph [was] the governor, or sultan over the land, [and] he [it was] that, by his officers, sold to all the people of the land: but the names of all the purchasers might be brought to him, especially foreigners, that he might keep a watchful eye over them: and Joseph's brethren came and bowed down themselves before him [with] their faces to the earth, and thusful.
7 fiiled his dream. And Joseph saw his brethren, and he knew them, but made himself strange unto them, and spake roughly unto them; and he said unto them, Whence come ye?
• And they said. From the land of Canaan to buy food.* And Joseph knew his brethren, but they knew not htm, being much altered in his countenance, stature, and apparel, and speaking
9 to them by an interpreter. And Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them, so as to observe their accomplishment, and said unto them, Ye [are] spies; this he speaks only by way of trial and discovery, as if he had said, One may well suspect you to be spies, if you cannot clear your
• He deals that with them, that he might bring them to make a full relation of the present state of their family ; to humbltf them the better with the rcmumbrance of their" former sins; to enhance their joy when the truth of things should be discovered t; and the. snore fully to manliest the accomplishment of his dreams, when, being udder his power., they should in an bumble manner sue to him for their liberty.