If you’re reading this live, it’s been a while, so you might want to refresh yourself on past posts because we’re hanging out with Joseph again.
Genesis 39: Joseph is Thrown in Jail
When we left Joseph last, he had just been sold into slavery in Egypt by his brothers.
“The Lord was with Joseph and he prospered…”
So even though Joseph was a slave, his master, Potiphar, favored him because of the Lord what the Lord bestowed on Joseph. Eventually, Potiphar put Joseph in charge of everything and “didn’t concern himself with anything except the food he ate.”
What a life. I’m a little jealous.
Apparently, Potiphar had stopped caring about everything, including his wife, because she asked Joseph to go to bed with her. She asked day after day, but Joseph continually declined.
The wife (who remains nameless) attempts one more time to bed Joseph. He denies, she grabs his coat, he runs, she holds onto his coat.
She cried rape to her servants and to Potiphar, telling them all that Joseph tried to sleep with her but she fought him off.
Potiphar puts Joseph in prison. The warden notices that the Lord is with Joseph, so he puts Joseph in charge of everything at the prison.
Honestly, it sounds like having the Lord with you just means a ton of extra work on your plate. It’s like when you’re really good at your job so you have to work harder and harder to keep up.
Genesis 40: The Cupbearer and the Baker
In some unknown, or at least undiscussed way, the cupbearer and the baker angered their master, the King of Egypt aka Pharaoh.
A cupbearer, which I had to look up, is a wine server. So I’ll be getting one of those for myself once I’m super rich.
The two men who angered Pharaoh were put in jail…the same one Joseph was running.
One night, they both had dreams but couldn’t understand what they meant. Joseph asked them to explain their dreams so he could interpret them on behalf of God.
Both men’s dreams centered around the number three. To the cupbearer, Joseph said the three meant three days until Pharaoh restored him to his position as cupbearer. (And that the cupbearer should put in a good word for Joseph once he’s back.)
The baker was excited about that interpretation, so he told Joseph about his dream. However, Joseph told the baker that the three loaves of bread in his dream meant three days until Pharaoh hangs the baker.
The third day happened to be Pharaoh’s birthday. Pharaoh threw a big feast and brought in the cupbearer and the baker. And Joseph’s interpretations came true: the cupbearer was restored to his position and the baker was hanged.
The cupbearer forgot to mention Joseph to Pharaoh. Oops.
Genesis 41: Joseph is Placed in Charge of Egypt
We jump ahead in time two years and Pharaoh has dreams that he can’t interpret. In multiple dreams, 7 healthy items (cows or grain) appears. Then seven unhealthy items (again, cows or grain) appear and destroy the healthy ones.
None of the magicians could interpret the dreams. Finally, the cupbearer remembers Jacob and tells Pharaoh about him. Pharaoh sends for Jacob.
Jacob said he couldn’t interpret the dream, but God could. Then Jacob interprets the dreams (I assume by channeling God or something, but it doesn’t really say).
The dreams mean that Egypt will have seven years of abundance and then seven years of famine. God said Pharaoh should use this information to save his people by saving 1/5 of the abundance during the good years to carry over into the famine. God also tells Pharaoh to put a good man in charge of this project.
Pharaoh was like, hmm, I wonder where I can find a good man like this.
Lightbulb moment: he chooses Joseph. Pharaoh puts Joseph in charge of Egypt, as was blatantly spoiled in the chapter title.
For the next seven years, there was abundance and Jacob stored 1/5 of everything.
During that time the Pharaoh gave Joseph a wife, Asenath, and a new name even though he’s still referred to as Joseph throughout.
Joseph and Asenath had two kids. Well, two sons.
Then the seven years of abundance ended and famine started, just as predicted.
As the famine set in, Egypt had enough sustenance for its people, but other lands fell victim to the famine.
I’m curious about the dream interpretation concept. Is that something I should research? Let me know in the comments below or in a private message.
Last year, I read 52 books—one per week. Today I want to tell you about one (well three) of the best reads during that adventure: The Straw Men series by Michael Marshall. That link will take you to all of Michael Marshall’s books (under that pen name, at least), but you’re going to want to read them in this order (the trilogy and then three standalone books):
- The Straw Men
- The Upright Man (or The Lonely Dead in the UK)
- Blood of Angels
- Bad Things
- Killer Move
- We Are Here
The trilogy (1-3 listed) was top of the list from last year’s readings…and that’s a long list. I couldn’t put them down. I haven’t read the last two yet, but they’re sitting on the bookshelf next to me (along with hundreds of other books). I haven’t had much free reading time lately because, you know, I’ve been reading the Bible.
Michael Marshall does have other pen names, but each has a pretty distinct writing style. I have only read this pen name (though of course I own books from his other pen names), and I highly recommend it. It’s in the murder mystery / detective thriller genre, so if you enjoy authors along the lines of Dean Koontz, David Baldacci, Harlan Coben, and the like, this will be right up your alley.