A-Z: Famous stories from the Bible: Joseph and Pharaoh's dreams


The Israelite slave Joseph impressed his master Potiphar and was promoted. Potiphar’s wife was attracted to Joseph, but he rejected her advances. In revenge, she said that he had tried to rape her. Joseph was thrown into prison. There, he correctly interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker, predicting that the former would regain his position but that the latter would be executed. The cupbearer Joseph interpreting Pharaoh's dreamforgot his promise to tell Pharaoh about Joseph’s innocence until two years later, when Pharaoh had two disturbing dreams.

Joseph was summoned and interpreted the dreams, predicting seven years of good harvests in Egypt followed by seven years of famine. He also told Pharaoh to appoint a man who could organise the storage of the first year’s excess food, to keep the Egyptians alive during the ensuing famine. Pharaoh was so impressed that he appointed Joseph to this position. Jacob’s son was now very powerful.

The story illustrates:

  • God speaking through dreams
  • God’s gift of foreknowledge and wise advice for the nation
  • God’s care for his obedient servant Joseph.

Bible References

Genesis 39:1-23, Genesis 40:1-23, Genesis 41:1-57
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