Daily Chumash, Monday, 28th Kisleiv: Yosef’s interpretation of Pharaohs dream



  1. Yosef’s interpretation:
    • Pharaoh tells his dreams to Yosef: Pharaoh told Yosef of his dream and how no one could interpret it properly, and he is thus asking him to interpret it, as he heard that Yosef knows to interpret dreams. Yosef replied that it is not he who can interpret dreams, but G-d. Pharaoh then retold the dream to Yosef in all its detail. He added that after seeing the thin unhealthy cows eat the healthy fat cows, their appearance remained the same, thin and unhealthy.
    • The interpretation: Yosef told Pharaoh that both dreams are in truth a single [message] from G-d, who is forewarning Pharaoh of the future occurrences. The seven good looking cows and ears of corn represent seven years, and it is all one dream. The seven bad looking cows and ears of corn are seven bad years of starvation and famine. Hashem is foretelling Pharaoh that the coming seven years will be years of enormous wealth of produce in all of Egypt. After those years there will be seven years of severe hunger, which will cause the seven years of plenty to be erased from memory. The famine will destroy the land. The reason the dreams were repeated, is because G-d is telling Pharaoh that these years will come speedily.
    • Yosef’s advice to Pharaoh: After interpreting the dream, Yosef then advised Pharaoh what should be done to deal with the years of famine. “Pharaoh should see to appoint a wise man over the land of Egypt, who will appoint officials over the land and prepare it during these seven years of plenty. All the food of the years of plenty are to be stored and guarded under the hand of Pharaoh, within the various cities. The food will serve as a reserve for the seven years of famine, in order so the earth not be destroyed in hunger.”
    • Pharaoh’s satisfaction with the interpretation and advice: The matter pleased Pharaoh and his servants, and he exclaimed to them “Is there any man as wise as him, who carries the spirit of G-d”

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