Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Genesis 41:33-36 Joseph's Plan for Egypt

After interpreting the Egyptian Pharaoh's dream, Joseph gives advice regarding the course of action which he believes the Pharaoh should take.  I do not know how Pharaoh's court operated, but Joseph's boldness seems unusual.  I do not think that people generally told the Pharaoh what they thought he should do unless he asked them for suggestions!

I think that Joseph's humility and focus upon God paved the way for his plan to be well-received by Pharaoh.  It was obvious that Joseph was trying to help, not to take over the Pharaoh's authority in any way.

Pharaoh's concern about the meaning of his dreams also helped to focus his attention upon Joseph's solution:

"And now let Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man and put him in charge of the land of Egypt.  Let Pharaoh appoint commissioners over the land to take a fifth of the harvest of Egypt during the seven years of abundance.  They should collect all the food of these good years that are coming and store up the grain under the authority of Pharaoh, to be kept in the cities for food.  This food should be held in reserve for the country, to be used during the seven years of famine that will come upon Egypt, so that the country will not be ruined by the famine."  (Genesis 41:33-36 NIV)

Joseph's plan to store up one fifth of the harvest during the seven abundant years was a reasonable one.  He wisely suggests that the food be kept in the cities from which it had been harvested. (v.35)  That way the people would not resent having to give one fifth of their crops, for they would be able to see that it was preserved for their own future use.

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