This story seems almost like a fairy tale. The poor lowly servant performs a great deed and is promoted to the highest post in the land. Judge for yourself:
One night the King of Egypt, known as the Pharoah, has two dreams. He dreams there are seven fat cows, grazing on the grass. And then, seven skinny cows come up after the fat cows. Then the seven skinny, miserable-looking cows eat up the fat ones.
He has another, similar dream in which plump ears of grain are eaten by scorched, lean ears.
When he wakes up in the morning, Pharoah is all jittery. He tells his dream to all his magicians but none of them can explain it.
Then the chief cupbearer (an important guy) tells Pharoah about how, in prison, he met a man who was able to explain – correctly — his own dream and that of a fellow prisoner.
OK, says Pharoah. Bring this guy over here. (Probably after a bath.)
Pharoah says to Joseph: I hear you can explain dreams. Joseph answers “God will answer what is for Pharoah ‘s welfare,” meaning, basically, that God is running the show, not Joseph.
So Pharoah tells Joseph his dreams. “Now I have spoken with the magicians but there is no one who can tell me the answer!”
Joseph explains the dreams: The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven ears of grain are seven years. Same seven years. What’s going to happen is there will be seven years of plenty in Egypt, but there will be seven years of famine “when all the plenty in the land of Egypt will be forgotten.”
Joseph suggests Pharoah appoint a clear headed and wise man and set him over the land of Egypt, then let him appoint overseers. “Let them collect all kind of food from these good years, and let them pile up grain under Pharoah’s hand.”
Pharoah thinks that’s a great idea. He turns to Joseph and says “Since a god has made you know all this, there is none as clear headed and wise as you.”
Pharoah has Joseph clothed in linen and gold and places him in a chariot.
Says Pharoah to Joseph: I am Pharoah, but without you, no man shall raise hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.” In other words, Joseph is now the boss.
Over the course of the seven years, Joseph piles up grain “like the sand of the sea”
Food for Thought
Pharoah must have had lots of dreams. Why do you think he considered these two so special?