pharaoh's dreams in bible

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 25, Day 2: Genesis 41:1-32

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
  • Dreams

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.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 25, Day 2: Genesis 34:1-12

Summary of passage:  Dinah was visiting her friends in town when Shechem, the son of Hamor, saw her and raped her.  He loved her and spoke tenderly to her and asked his father to get her for his wife.

So Shechem’s father came to discuss the situation with Jacob and Jacob and his sons were distressed over what happened.  Hamor asked for Dinah to marry his son along with suggesting they all intermarry and settle amongst them.  Hamor said he’d pay whatever bride price was asked.


3)  No.  First, it seems against God’s plan of having him settle in Bethel (Genesis 31:13). He is committing the same sin as Lot–settling near a pagan city with his young kids who are open to influence.

4a)  Yes.  She should have been forbidden to visit the women of the land alone and unprotected.  We must remember this is ancient times where women had no rights and were often treated as animals.   A woman alone could be taken by any man with no consequences.

b)  Lists God’s will of having His people separate from the world and to touch no unclean thing or be yoked to ungodly spouses.  Jacob should have made an effort to stay separate from the pagan Canaanites but he didn’t.

c)  No.  No apology.  Nothing.  But in that culture, Shechem committed no crime.

d)  They seem to treat their women with more respect and they have influence in their lives.  Jacob calls Rachel and Leah to him and asks them BEFORE he flees from Laban and takes away their father’s livestock (Genesis 31).  Abraham drives out Hagar and Ishmael because of Sarah’s wishes, not his own (Genesis 21:10; 16:6).  Rebekah schemed to have Jacob receive the blessing (Genesis 27), which was God’s desires.  God revealed to Rebekah (Genesis 25:23) His will, and not Jacob.

5)  Verses 9-10 is the devil at work.  Hamor is tempting them to intermarry with the Canaanites and adopt their ways and culture and their gods.  Although a ruse for their violent plans, Jacob’s sons suggested they become “one people” (verse 16), something which must have saddened God’s heart greatly.

Conclusions:  This passage, as sad as it is, speaks volumes of ancient culture.  It shows how women were merely objects to be possessed with no rights and how men could slaughter an entire village and get away with it with no repercussions whatsoever. Lawlessness, sinfulness, deceit–all in need of God and an order to life.

Even the whole idea of a bride price where women were bought and sold based on whims (and more likely a desire for power and alliances or what-have-you) which lasted up until modern history (and still happens in some cultures today) is very disheartening and sad.

I know that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob showed a higher respect for women but it was no where near today’s levels or what it should have been.  Just look at Leah and Rachel–a fight that destroyed the family all based on the pressure to bear sons (which was the primary goal of women).  Very sad.

It’s very hard for us to understand what it must have been like 4000 years ago for Dinah or Rachel or Leah or any woman.

It reminds me to be grateful I do live in today’s society where I am able to type these words for all to read.  Where my daughters can do whatever they dream of (as well as me). Where I have the freedom to marry whom I choose and not have kids if I choose. Where I can walk around without fear of what may happen to me.  Where if I am violated, the perpetrator will be punished lawfully.

Where I am a person, made in God’s image, and just as precious as any man.  And not just in God’s eyes.  But in society’s eyes as well.