Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Genesis 41:15-16 Pharaoh Speaks With Joseph

"Pharaoh said to Joseph, 'I had a dream, and no one can interpret it.  But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.'

'I cannot do it,' Joseph replied to Pharaoh, 'but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.' " 

(Genesis 41:15-16 NIV)


I think it is remarkable that the Pharaoh would consult this Hebrew servant of the captain of his guard.  Egyptian Pharaohs considered themselves descended from the 'gods', and therefore looked down upon other peoples as somewhat inferior.

"One of the main functions of the king was
to maintain the order of the world
and to prevent it from slipping back into chaos.....
Customs in foreign countries differed from those in Egypt,
and people wore different clothes, worshipped unfamiliar deities
and spoke incomprehensible languages.
They did not behave in accordance with the norms
established at the time of creation.
Therefore foreign lands and their inhabitants were regarded
as representatives of the forces of chaos..." (1)

The fact that Pharaoh would consult this foreigner shows the level of his concern over this matter.

It is also remarkable that Joseph humbly says that the power to interpret dreams comes not from himself, but from God.  After all, this may be his only chance to get out of prison.  He is not likely to get an audience with the Pharaoh ever again.  Yet Joseph's integrity is such that he will not pretend to have this wisdom within himself so that the Pharaoh would think that he needed to keep Joseph around.

Joseph has great confidence that God will give Pharaoh an answer.  There is no doubt in his mind that if he prays to God for an interpretation, he will receive one.

Some resources about the Egyptian worldview:

(Note:  I am not an expert in Egyptology, but these articles provided some interesting ideas for thought)
     1."The Egyptian Worldview" by Gay Robins   http://www.fathom.com/feature/190173/index.html
         2.  "Religion in the Lives of the Ancient Egyptians" by Douglas J Brewer, Emily Teeter  

    No comments:

    Post a Comment