Summary of Genesis 41:1-32:
Two years after Joseph helped the chief cupbearer whom he told to remember him Pharaoh had two dreams. In these dreams, he saw seven cows that were fat and then seven cows that were think come out of the Nile. The seven thin cows proceeded to eat the seven fat cows. He dreamed there were seven heads of grain that were healthy. After them, seven heads of grain that were thin and scorched. The thin grain swallowed up the healhty grain. None of Pharaoh’s magicians or wise men could interpret these dreams for him.
Suddenly, the chief cupbearer remembers how Joseph interpreted his dream and the dream of the captain of the guard perfectly. So Joseph sent for Joseph, whom after he was made presentable, appeared before Pharaoh.
Pharaoh tells Joseph he has heard he can interpre dreams. Joseph corrects him, saying God can do it, not him. Pharaoh told Joseph his dreams. God reveals to Pharaoh that the dreams foretell the same events. The seven fat cows and good heads of grain represent seven years of good harvests. The seven lean cows and thin heads of grain represent seven years of famine. The seven years of famine will be so severe that no one will remember the seven years of abundance.
The two dreams mean that God has decided this matter, and it will happen soon.
BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 25, Day 2: Genesis 41:1-32
3) Hearing how no one could interpret Pharaoh’s dreams and he remembered that his dream was interpreted correctly by Joseph
4a) He is humble. He knows that God is one who reveals, not him. He gives God credit for what He does instead of taking the credit for himself.
b) I truly have no specifics, but I do know people have given others Bible verses in the past to tell me, or I’ll read something in the Bible that I need to hear, or others will come into my life at just the right moment. This question is difficult to answer since it’s hard to know/see God moving in your life when it’s happening.
5) The seven fat cows and good heads of grain represent seven years of good harvests. The seven lean cows and thin heads of grain represent seven years of famine. The seven years of famine will be so severe that no one will remember the seven years of abundance.
6) God’s timing is not our own. Everything happens for a reason and on God’s time. We often don’t understand why events happen to us until later on in life. Being humble is simply giving God the credit since truthfully we do nothing on or under our own power.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 25, Day 2: Genesis 41:1-32
Love this story! I love Joseph’s story, and I love the cows and the grains. It seems obvious to us what it means once God reveals it to Joseph, but truly it could have meant anything.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 25, Day 2: Genesis 41:1-32
We tend to blame the cupbearer for not remembering Joseph early. Yet, what would have happened if Joseph had gotten out sooner? He would have returned home, not interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams, which could have possibly wiped out all of Jacob’s line. Again, God’s timing is not our own. The key is waiting patiently for God.
We see God communicating in many different ways throughout Genesis:
- Appearing in person/as Jesus
- A wrestling match
God still speaks to us today through others, dreams, and His word.
In God’s timing, Joseph is released. As Romans 8:28: tells us, all things work together for our good to conform us like Jesus. Sometimes things move slowly; sometimes they happen quickly.
Pharaoh reveals a bit more in his second telling of the dreams to Joseph. We learn that the cows were incredibly ugly and that the cows did not get fat after eating.
Note the repetition. Anytime there is repetition in the Bible, it’s important. God gave Pharaoh two dreams to grab his attention since the well-being of his country (and God’s people) were at stake.
Today, Jesus is our guide. God doesn’t tell us what to do directly. Instead, He speaks to us in other ways. To hear Him speak, we have to be continually growing closer to Him and continually growing more like Jesus every day.