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  The Great Bible Story #24
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God exalts Joseph

Jacob Ninan
While Joseph was in jail, Pharaoh's baker and cup bearer were thrown into the jail. The jailer put Joseph in charge of them. One morning he found both of them gloomy, and found out that they were troubled by dreams they had seen. He asked them to tell him their dreams so that he could ask God to tell the meaning. The cup bearer had seen a vine with three branches, which bloomed and bore grapes and then he crushed them and gave the drink to Pharaoh. Joseph's interpretation was that in three days Pharaoh would restore him to his job. What the baker had seen were three baskets of bread on his head for Pharaoh, but birds were eating from it. Joseph told him he would be hanged in three days and birds would eat his flesh. He told the cup bearer that he was in jail for no fault of his own, and asked him to tell Pharaoh about him so that he could be set free. Three days later it happened to these two exactly as Joseph had said. But after the cup bearer was in the court with Pharaoh, he totally forgot about Joseph!

Two years later, Pharaoh saw two dreams. He was standing by the River Nile and he saw seven fat cows coming out of the river and grazing. But soon seven thin cows came up and ate the other cows! In his other dream, he saw seven fat ears of grains coming up from a stalk, only to be swallowed up by seven shrivelled up ears of grain that came up afterwards. Pharaoh was so disturbed he could not sleep any more. None of the magicians or wise men of Egypt could interpret these dreams.

Then the cup bearer remembered Joseph! He told Pharaoh that he knew a man in jail who could interpret dreams. Joseph was taken out of the jail in a hurry, and then he dressed up to meet Pharaoh. When Pharaoh told him the dreams and wondered if he could find any meaning for them, Joesph's reply was that he didn't have any special powers but God would give him an answer. Joseph told Pharaoh that both dreams meant the same thing, and that God was warning Pharoah to get ready to face a crisis which was going to come. There would be first seven years of plenty in the land, followed by seven years of severe famine. Joseph's advice was that grain should be stored up during the seven plentiful years and distributed during the famine.

Pharaoh was so delighted with Joseph's conduct and wisdom that he appointed him to be in charge of Egypt, next only to Pharaoh, and to carry out this plan. From the time Joseph was sold off, this was now almost thirteen years!


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