Joseph – week 2, day 3


TODAY’S SCRIPTURE: Genesis 40:16-23 (NIV*)

When two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream: He was standing by the Nile, when out of the river there came up seven cows, sleek and fat, and they grazed among the reeds. After them, seven other cows, ugly and gaunt, came up out of the Nile and stood beside those on the riverbank. And the cows that were ugly and gaunt ate up the seven sleek, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.

He fell asleep again and had a second dream: Seven heads of grain, healthy and good, were growing on a single stalk. After them, seven other heads of grain sprouted—thin and scorched by the east wind. The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven healthy, full heads. Then Pharaoh woke up; it had been a dream.

In the morning his mind was troubled, so he sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but no one could interpret them for him.


Quote BeginI spent most of the night tossing and turning. I have never had such vivid dreams in my life. And disturbing! Throughout the dream, I had this feeling of dread and fear as I watched the healthy cows being eaten by the starved cows, and then the good grain devoured by the thin grain. I woke up sweating, all of my muscles clenched. I’m surprised my servants didn’t hear my blood pounding through my veins. I knew that these were not just ordinary dreams. These were important messages from the gods. Even though I dreaded what they would tell me, I immediately assembled my court magicians and wise men for their interpretations. But there was no solace to be found in an interpretation from these fools. Not one of them could tell me what the dreams meant! The wisest men in my land, and completely useless to me in my time of need! I have no doubt that the meaning of these dreams is incredibly important to my future, and to the future of my land. But there is no one to help. I, the most powerful man in the world, am powerless in the face of my dreams. I must find a way!Quote End
— Pharaoh


  • Why might this dream have been sent by God to Pharaoh?
  • What are the similarities between the two dreams?
  • Why do you think none of the “wise men” of Pharaoh’s court were able to interpret the dreams?
  • How might you have interpreted the dreams?
  • If you were in Pharaoh’s shoes, how might you have felt when his counselors were unable to help him?
  • Have you ever experienced a troubling dream that stayed with you after you awoke?

* Holy Bible, New International Version, NIV, ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011, Biblica, Inc.

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