Daily Word

High stakes | Genesis 41:15-24

15 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” 16 Joseph answered Pharaoh, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.”

17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Behold, in my dream I was standing on the banks of the Nile. 18 Seven cows, plump and attractive, came up out of the Nile and fed in the reed grass. 19 Seven other cows came up after them, poor and very ugly and thin, such as I had never seen in all the land of Egypt. 20 And the thin, ugly cows ate up the first seven plump cows, 21 but when they had eaten them no one would have known that they had eaten them, for they were still as ugly as at the beginning. Then I awoke.

22 I also saw in my dream seven ears growing on one stalk, full and good. 23 Seven ears, withered, thin, and blighted by the east wind, sprouted after them, 24 and the thin ears swallowed up the seven good ears. And I told it to the magicians, but there was no one who could explain it to me.”

Genesis 41:15-24 (ESV)

High stakes

Joseph is finally remembered by the cupbearer. Pharaoh has been informed that Joseph can interpret dreams so he is brought into Pharaoh’s presence to see if he can interpret his dream. No one else has been able to. The stakes are high! 

Be clear

The first thing Joseph tells Pharaoh is that in him is no innate ability or power to interpret the dream. That only comes from God. And not just any god, but the Almighty God. Joseph had no fear of men. Respect, definitely, but no fear; he fears the Lord only. “He did not use this as an opportunity to glorify himself before Pharaoh, but only to glorify God.” (enduringword.com)

Dream shared

Pharaoh proceeds to tell the dream yet again, maybe for the fifth time or more. But he seems to know it’s critical to understand the dream so shares it – yet again – in hopes Joseph can interpret it. More details of the dream come out – the skinny cows did not become fatter after eating the plump ones. Tomorrow we’ll see if Joseph is able to interpret the dream and if so, what that interpretation is.


  • We’re spending a few solid days on the dreams of Joseph. This is not to emphasize dreams. Rather, it’s to see how they were used by the Lord to put Joseph into a position of prominence and demonstrate God is the source of these dreams and interpretations. Please don’t take this as an encouragement to seek dreams and interpretations. 
  • For more on dreams, check out this article.
High stakes gambling. Gambling is sin. Image from gotquestions.org *

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