Bible Study Notes on Genesis 41 – 20161220

Bible Study Notes

Genesis 41:1  “…at the end of two full years…”
Joseph has had to languish in the prison for two years.  Would be easy to say that things weren’t ready for him until then.  But that seems to give more power to chance and circumstance than to God who could do anything, anytime.  However, the one area God tends to take His time is that of teaching and growing us to be more like Christ.  He uses human means and lots of time.  Joseph was faithful, but I get the impression he still needed a deeper dependence on God.  God was blessing him where he was, but waiting would grow his trust in God’s perfect timing.  His actions bear this out later.

1  “..Pharaoh had a dream…”
Initiating factor.  God’s plan has been triggered.

8  “…he sent and called for all the magicians…no one…could interpret them…”
Reminds me of Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar.  God sent the dreams, and man was unable to interpret them.

9  “…I remember my faults this day”
Interesting.  He could have just said he knew of someone who could interpret the dreams, but he admits he forgot about Joseph.  Commentary suggests he only said it to ingratiate himself with his master.  Appears to me that would work better if he didn’t admit to further mistakes.  Perhaps the faults to which he was referring were those which placed him in the prison, not that he forgot Joseph, and he was bringing them up to find favor.  I can see both lines of thought.

13  “…He restored me to my office, and he hanged him”
In telling the story, the butler makes it sound like it was a previous Pharaoh who was ruling at the time by speaking in the third person.  No other indication of this.  Could be a method of speaking with royalty.

14  “…Pharaoh sent and called Joseph…brought him quickly…he shaved, changed his clothing…”
Pharaoh has called, and they got Joseph out of the prison quickly, but he took the time to prepare for his visit with Pharaoh.  I’m sure protocol would have required it, but it shows God’s timing is not only perfect, nothing can alter or upset it.  I think we give too much credit to the idea of fate rather than to God who actually controls time and actions.  If we trust Him, we can be assured all will work out as it should.  Our missteps won’t affect His plans.

21  “…no one would have known that they had eaten them, for they were just as ugly as at the beginning…”
This part of the tale wasn’t mentioned before.  Not sure if that has any significance.

30  “…all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt…”
The meaning of the lack of change in the gaunt cows and grain heads even after they consumed the good ones.

33  “…let Pharaoh select a discerning and wise man…”
Joseph gave the suggestion with an open end.  He didn’t put himself forward, he just stated what needed to be done in response to the message of the dreams.  Wonder if he saw the opportunity and decided to take it or if God gave him insight along with the interpretations.  According to Proverbs, if we are truly following and trusting God, we can take the steps and know that He will guide our paths.

38  “…in whom is the Spirit of God”
Not sure if Pharaoh is acknowledging the true God or if he is just admitting that Joseph’s God is more powerful.  At least he sees that God is behind the wisdom Joseph displays.

41  “…I have set you over all the land of Egypt”
From the prison to the palace, from a slave to the second-in-command over all Egypt in a single day.  God may have been silent for two years, but when He spoke, everything changed.

48  “…he laid up in every city…”
God gave him wisdom to be a very good manager.

57  “…all countries came to Joseph in Egypt…”
God not only made him a leader of Egypt, but other countries now looked to him for assistance.  Joseph’s influence is now worldwide.  Nothing is impossible for Him.  He moves the hearts of kings and the paths of countries as He desires.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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