Study Guide

Book of Genesis Chapters 39 – 41

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Chapters 39 – 41

Joseph Becomes CFO of Egypt

  • Joseph's story continues. He becomes a successful steward in the house of a high Egyptian official.
  • Just one problem: the official's wife tries to seduce Joseph. Joseph resists her efforts at seduction, but then she accuses him of trying to rape her. She's got proof: Joseph is nude, and she's got his clothes. (Really, Joseph was only trying to escape her lustful clutches.)
  • It's off to prison for Joseph, and while he's there, Joseph accurately interprets the dreams of Pharaoh's cupbearer and baker.
  • Two years later, Pharaoh himself has a couple dreams and he calls for magicians and wise men to help him interpret.
  • Just to be clear: yes, magicians are mentioned in the Bible, but they're less like Criss Angel and more like on-hand religious-esque officials. Anyway, not even these authorities know what the dreams mean.
  • But wait! The chief cupbearer remembers Joseph from prison and tells the Pharaoh about his skill in dream interpretation. 
  • So Pharaoh sends for Joseph, who gets to shave and change his clothes. 
  • Basically, Joseph interprets that the dreams are predicting seven years of abundance followed by seven years of famine. He suggests that Pharaoh find a real smart CFO to guide Egypt through the years to come. He'll need to save up big time during the seven years of abundance in preparation for the not-so-good years ahead.
  • Guess who gets the gig? That's right: Joseph. 
  • During the seven years of abundance, Joseph stores up tons of food. And sure enough, when the famine arrives, Joseph opens the storehouse. Jackpot.
  • The famine is so bad that even people from other countries come to Egypt for relief.

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