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From The Prison
To The Palace

by Linda Sue Pochodzay Edwards

Not one of the wise men of Pharaoh knew what his dreams meant

Text Version | Afrikaans | Italian

Julie was growing more impatient by the minute. She had done all the things she was supposed to do, and now she was just waiting . . . and waiting . . . and waiting for her older sister to take her out for an ice cream cone. “Why doesn't she get here?” she wondered. “She promised she'd come,” Julie whined.

After what seemed like hours of waiting, Julie heard a familiar rap-a-tap-tap at the front door. She jumped up and eagerly ran to open it. “What happened?” she cried. “Why didn't you get here when you were supposed to?” she asked with a little whine.

“Well, I got really busy and I almost forgot, but I'm here now, so let's go!” she said with a grin.

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Joseph was <em>still</em> in
prison Two long years had gone by since Joseph interpreted the dreams of the butler and the baker, and everything was going along as usual in Egypt. Pharaoh was still the king. The butler was still serving Pharaoh, and Joseph? Well, Joseph was still in prison. Although God was blessing him and he had been put in charge of all the other prisoners, it was still dark and cold, and stinky, and not at all very pleasant.

“Did the butler remember to mention me to the king?” he thought, as he tried to get comfortable on the hard wooden plank he used for a bed and covered his feet with his small holey blanket. “I sure do hope they come to release me soon!” he said to no one in particular.

Back in the palace King Pharaoh quickly drifted off to sleep Meanwhile, back in the palace, King Pharaoh put on his snuggly, warm pajamas and hopped into his fluffy, comfortable bed. After blowing out the candle and pulling the covers up around his chin, he quickly drifted off to sleep.

And he dreamed . . . .

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In his dream, he was standing by the river. Seven good-looking, big fat cows came up from taking their baths in the river and went to graze in a nearby meadow. After that, seven ugly, skinny cows came out of the river and followed the fat cows. But instead of grazing in the meadow, the ugly, skinny cows ate up the fat cows. Then Pharaoh awoke.

“Hmmm . . . . That was one, strange dream,” he thought to himself. Then he plumped up his soft pillow, turned over, pulled the warm covers back up around his chin, and went back to sleep.

And he dreamed again . . . .

fat cows, skinny cowsThen seven ugly scrawny skinny ears of corn grew on the stalk and ate up the big plump ears of corn

This time he dreamed of a tall corn stalk. The stalk had seven ears of plump, ripe, yummy yellow corn. Then seven ugly, scrawny, skinny ears of corn grew on the stalk and ate up the big plump ears of corn. Afterwards, Pharaoh awoke.

This time Pharaoh didn't plump up his pillow, pull the warm covers up around his chin and go back to sleep. He tossed and turned the rest of the night, wondering about the two strange dreams.

Pharaoh called for all the magicians and the wise men of Egypt to come
    to the palace Finally morning came and Pharaoh was glad that he didn't have to toss and turn anymore. He called for all the magicians and the wise men of Egypt to come to the palace. When they all arrived, he gathered them in his huge dining room and gave them a meal. Then he told them his dreams. He was hoping that at least one of them would be able to tell him what the dreams meant . . . but no one could.

The butler was in the room serving when Pharaoh was relating his dreams. “Oh, King!” he exclaimed. “I made a dreadful mistake! When you were upset with me and the baker and you had us put into prison, we both had dreams the same night. We didn't know what the dreams meant, but the young man that was in charge of us was able to tell us what they meant, and he was right! It happened just as he said! Up until now, I completely forgot about it!”

“Who is this young man?” the King asked.

“His name is Joseph,” the butler replied.

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I have dreamed a dream and no one can tell me
what it means Pharaoh immediately sent for Joseph, and as you might imagine, Joseph was more than happy to finally get out of prison. He cleaned himself up, shaved, and made himself ready to stand before the king.

Pharaoh came right to the point. “I have dreamed a dream and no one can tell me what it means. I have heard that you can understand and interpret dreams.”

Joseph humbly replied, “I don't have the answer, but God does.” Pharaoh then repeated his dreams to Joseph.

God showed you what He is about to do in Egypt Joseph explained to Pharaoh, “The two dreams are really only one dream. God showed you what He is about to do in Egypt. The seven fat cows are seven years and the seven ears of good corn is the same seven years. The seven skinny cows are another seven years and the seven scrawny ears of corn are the same seven years.

“God is warning you ahead of time about what He is going to do. There will be seven years of abundance in the land of Egypt. Then there will be seven years of famine. The famine will be so bad that no one will even remember the years of abundance. God gave you two dreams because it is important and it will happen soon.”

After explaining what the dream meant, Joseph continued talking and gave King Pharaoh some advice. “You need to appoint officers to collect one fifth of all the crops that grow during the seven years of abundance and store it away so there will be food to eat during the seven years of famine.”

The king turned to all his servants and magicians, and wise men, and said, “Can we find anyone as wise as this who has the Spirit of God?”

You will be ruler over my house and all the people of Egypt will
be ruled by you

Then he turned to Joseph and said, “YOU will be ruler over my house, and all the people of Egypt will be ruled by you. I am the only one that will be greater than you.” Pharaoh took his very own ring off his hand and put it on Joseph. Then he gave him fancy clothes to wear and put gold chains around his neck. He gave him a special chariot to use and made him ruler over all Egypt, second in command after himself, King Pharaoh.

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1. Do all dreams have special meaning?
2. What does “interpret” mean?
3. Who finally remembered Joseph?
4. What did the seven fat cows and the seven good ears of corn represent?
5. What did the seven skinny cows and the seven bad ears of corn represent?
6. What is a “famine”?
7. Was Joseph's interpretation of the dreams right or wrong?
8. How did Joseph know what the dreams meant?


Live righteously. Other people may forget you, but God will never
forget you and the good that you do.


“To him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward”
(Proverbs 11:18b).


Do you have a talent, something that you are good at and like to do? Are you good with math? How about playing ball? Are you good with people, kids or animals? Do you like motorcars or anything with wheels and machines? Maybe you prefer drawing pictures or making music, or writing stories or performing in plays? Or maybe you have a way with words or like to sell things?

Can you think of other talents people can have? What do you think was Joseph's talent?

[After discussion:] Yes, Joseph was good at running things, but his bullying brothers did not appreciate his talent. When he was a slave, he ran Potiphar's estate like clockwork. When he was a prisoner, he ran the whole prison as if we he were the warden himself. Joseph did not let his limiting circumstances keep him from using his talents, and neither should we. God rewarded his faithfulness by appointing him as second in command of all Egypt. It was God's plan all along, teaching us that if we are faithful in little things, God will reward us with bigger things and bring us closer toward giving us the desires of our hearts, as we dedicate our lives wholly to Him.

Do not worry if you do not know what your talents are yet. Let us take a moment and ask the Lord to help us learn what our talents are and how to faithfully use them to bring glory to his Name.


Dog and boy praying

Dear God, thank You for the stories about people
like Joseph, who lived godly lives.
Help us to remember that You always see us
and You keep an account of our actions.
Help us to live righteously so that one day we
will receive our reward.
In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Genesis 41:1-43

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Adventure Bible: Joseph The Dreamer (I Can Read)
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Genesis 41 (online)
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Last updated April 22, 2024
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