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which Joseph gave the following interpretation. * The three baskets are three days : yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thy head from off thee; and shall hang thee on a tree, and the birds shall eat thy flesh from off thee." It may be supposed, that as the chief butler was delighted by the favourable interpretation of his dream, so the chief baker was dejected and terrified by the awful prospect of death, which the interpretation of his dream placed before him. But it should be remembered, that it was the grace and Spirit of God imparted to Joseph, which enabled him to interpret the dreams of these two men, as no man can truly declare what will come to pass hereafter without divine assistance. As Joseph interpreted the dreams, so they came to pass; for within three days, Pharaoh the king made a splendid feast, when the chief butler was restored to his former honours, and gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand ; but the chief baker was hanged. Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph, but forgat him; such is the ingratitude and selfishness of men! and Joseph remained in prison after this, two years; and his sufferings would have been, no doubt, protracted to a much longer time, if God, in his providence, had not interfered, and delivered him from his afflictions. In this way God sometimes teaches his people humility, and submission to his will, and then gives them prosperity. Thus he did with Joseph; for it happened, when two years had elapsed, after the butler's liberation, that Pharaoh had a most extraordinary dream. When he awoke in the morning, he was much troubled, and called for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt, and told them his dream; but no one could interpret it unto him. At length the butler remembered Joseph, and mentioned him to the king, and reported to him how truly he had interpreted his own and the baker's dreams, when they were in prison. This intelligence was extremely pleasing to the king, and he ordered that Joseph should be forthwith brought into his presence.
How ungrateful is the heart of man! The butler remembered Joseph, not because he felt grateful to him, but because he thought he should advance his own interest with the king, by informing him of one who could interpret his dream.
Joseph having shaved his beard, changed his raiment, and made every necessary preparation, was ushered into the king's presence. The splendour of this heathen court was doubtless beyond our description, and Joseph must have had many feelings of modesty to combat before he could speak: suffice it to say, the king having told Joseph the occasion of his being called into the presence of his majesty, added, "I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it." On which Joseph modestly and meekly replied, saying, " It is not in me; God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace."
How laudable it was in this friendless youth, to assume no honour or distinction to himself, while bringing to the notice of the Egyptian court the truth, that God alone gives wisdom to interpret dreams. Pharaoh then related the representation in his sleep, thus: "In my dream, behold, I stood upon the bank of the river, and there came up out of the river seven kine fat-fleshed and well-favoured, and they fed in a meadow; and behold, seven other kine came up after them, poor, and very ill-favoured and lean-fleshed, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for badness ; and the lean and the ill-favoured kine did eat up the seven first fat kine: and when they had eaten them up, it could not be known that they had eaten them; but they were still ill-favoured, as at the beginning. So 1 awoke. And I saw in my dream, and behold seven ears came up on one stalk, full and good. And behold, seven ears withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them. And the thin ears devoured the seven good ears. And I told this unto the magicians, but there were none who could declare it to
When the king had concluded his relation, Joseph replied: " The dream may be comprised in one. God has showed Pharaoh what he is about to do. Thus, the seven good kine are seven years, and the seven good ears are seven years; and the seven thin and ill-favoured kine that came up after them, are seven years; and in the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind, shall be seven years of famine." This will certainly occur. What God is about to do, he hath mercifully intimated; for " behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt, and there shall arise after them seven years of famine, and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt, and the famine shall consume the land; and the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following, for it shall be very grievous. And on account of the dream being doubled, it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass; therefore let thy servant advise thee to look out for a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt, and appoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years, and let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn under thine hand, and let them keep food in the cities, and that food shall be
for store to the land against the seven years of famine which shall be in the land of Egypt, that the land perish not through the famine."
Joseph having concluded the interpretation, and given his advice, the king said, "Can we find such an one as this is? a man in whom the Spirit of God is? Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art: thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled; only in the throne will I be greater than thou. See I have set thee over all the land of Egypt."
Fharoah having thus exalted the slave and the prisoner to the rank of prime minister, proclaimed it in the presence of his people, and taking off his ring from his hand, put it upon Joseph's; he likewise instantly arrayed him in fine linen, and put a gold chain round his neck; and so high was he in the esteem of Pharoah, that he caused him to ride in the second chariot which he had, and the people were ordered to shout before him, and bow the knee in his presence. Indeed, so great was the king's attachment to him, that he said, "lam Pharoah; without thee no man shall lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt."
Thus was the poor, forsaken boy, who was thrown into the pit in the wilderness, sold as a slave, and