Todays reading again deals with dream interpretation, and this time it is two years after Joseph famously foretold the dreams of Pharaoh's cup bearer and baker in the prison. This is the famous (and totally historically inaccurate) story of Joseph interpreting Pharaohs dream and the subsequent glory of Joseph. As such let us start off and take a look at what Pharoah dreamt.
"Pharʹaoh dreamed that he was standing by the Nile River. And there, coming up from the river, were seven fine-looking, fat cows, and they were feeding on the Nile grass. There were seven other cows that looked ugly and thin coming up after them from the Nile, and they stood alongside the fat cows by the bank of the Nile. Then the ugly, thin cows began to eat up the seven fine-looking, fat cows."
"There were seven ears of grain coming up on one stalk, full and choice. And growing up after them were seven ears of grain that were thin and scorched by the east wind. And the thin ears of grain began to swallow up the seven full and choice ears of grain."
So as we can see these two dreams were different dreams with the same meaning. Needless to say Pharaoh was not happy with these nightmares and the Bible even tells us his "spirit was agitated" and as such he sought out dream interpreters to decipher the dream but none of them could help Pharaoh. Luckily for Pharaoh, his cup bearer remembered Joseph and his dream interpretation in prison and so he told Pharaoh his story. Now while this preceding sentences may not seem remarkable, they certainly are as cup bearers in Egypt are only mentioned in the Bible (on my searches I am asserting this, and I may be wrong) and the existence of a cup bearer serving Pharaoh while not impossible does raise a flag of uncertainty, especially as this cup bearer is giving Pharaoh advice. Secondly the Bible asserts that Pharaohs spirit was agitated, now while to most Christians this will not be remarkable, I am reading from the New World Translation and according to the Watchtower organization the spirit is not discernible so what Pharaoh was feeling is a mystery unto itself.
Needless to say, Pharaoh calls Joseph from the jail to interpret his dreams. Importantly, Joseph says dreams are interpreted by Jehovah and not him as he is just a vessel.
"Then Pharʹaoh said to Joseph: “I had a dream, but there is no one to interpret it. Now I have heard it said about you that you can hear a dream and interpret it.” At this Joseph answered Pharʹaoh: “I need not be considered! God will speak concerning Pharʹaoh’s welfare.”"
This is important, as it shows Joseph glorifying Jehovah, but it also shows that dream interpretation is rubbish as all that is happening is that J4ehovah is giving messages to people. But if this is true then Jehovah can interact with his servants and so Jehovah works on Earth and thus exists inside our time and space. If Jehovah exists in our time and space then his existence is testable......unless magic. needless to say we are not allowed to test Jehovah according to most Christians, and so in essence Jehovah God is magic. Seems legit right?
At this time Pharaoh tells Joseph his dreams and upon hearing them Joseph tells Pharaoh what they mean.
"“The dreams of Pharʹaoh are one and the same. The true God has told to Pharʹaoh what He will do."
So the reason Pharaoh received two dreams was god making sure that Pharaoh got the message. This is important as God is telling Pharaoh that the dreams are going to happen and there is no way out of this future predicament.
"There are to be seven years of great abundance in all the land of Egypt. But seven years of famine will certainly arise after them, and all the abundance in the land of Egypt will certainly be forgotten, and the famine will exhaust the land."
So god will send seven years of plenty to be followed by seven years of drought. Although, this idea of plenty and famine is apparently is a myth propagated by all cultures and as such is not a historical fact at all. So the Bible is embracing a myth as fact after all Genesis is meant to be a historically accurate book. Surely this should tell us this story is bull. But, let us continue.
"The dream was given twice to Pharʹaoh because the matter has been firmly established by the true God, and the true God will soon carry it out."
But why would God give famine? Is there any reason for this? No, there is no reason except to propagate the mythical story that is to follow in Genesis 42 when Joseph meets his family again. So this story is in fact explaining to us in not so many words that Jehovah is a sadist!
Luckily for Pharaoh, Joseph also has some advice to help Egypt falling into anarchy during the famine.
"“So now let Pharʹaoh look for a man who is discreet and wise and place him over the land of Egypt. Let Pharʹaoh take action and appoint overseers in the land, and he should collect one fifth of the produce of Egypt during the seven years of abundance. And let them collect all the food during these coming good years, and let them stockpile grain under Pharʹaoh’s authority as food to be stored in the cities and safeguarded there."
Needles to say, Pharaoh is wildly impressed with Josephs interpretation, for no other reason than the cup bearers testimony? It is for this reason that Pharaoh appoints Joseph to take care of all the preparations for the famine, after all only Gods servant could do such a good job.
"So Pharʹaoh said to his servants: “Can another man be found like this one in whom there is the spirit of God?” Pharʹaoh then said to Joseph: “Since God has caused you to know all of this, there is no one as discreet and wise as you. You will personally be over my house, and all my people will obey you implicitly. Only in my role as king will I be greater than you.”"
So Joseph gets enriched and becomes a king in his own right with a wife given to him, and at the same time he also becomes a father of two. Needless to say there is zero evidence for this central figure Joseph that saved Ancient Egypt from this famine. Naturally the reason there is no evidence, is because there was no famine.
So after seven years of plenty, the famine starts and Egypt is saved due to Josephs impeccable planning. It should also be noted that this famine was not localized to Egypt, apparently it was worldwide!
"The famine continued over all the surface of the earth. Then Joseph began to open up all the granaries that were among them and to sell to the Egyptians, as the famine had a strong grip on the land of Egypt. Moreover, people of all the earth came to Egypt to buy from Joseph, because the famine had a strong grip on all the earth."
Just for clarity, there is zero evidence for a world wide famine.
So there you have it, a myth weaving threads into other myths all packed as historical fact. But please remember this is the true word of God. I need a Tylenol, see you next week.
All verses come from the New World Translation Of The Holy Scriptures.
Online version available at the Jehovah's Witnesses official website