Dave Burnette's Commentary

Genesis Chapter 41

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Moses
Date Penned: (1450-1410 BC)
Overview: The Record of God's Chosen People (c 23-50)
Theme: The Story of Joseph (c 37-50)
Message: Joseph is Placed in charge of Egypt  (v 1-57)

Genesis 41 Commentary

(41:1-8) The Magicians Fail -  Magicians and wise men were common in the palaces of ancient rulers. Their job description included studying sacred arts and sciences, reading the stars, interpreting dreams, predicting the future, and performing magic. These men had power (see Exodus 7:11-12), but their power was satanic. They were unable to interpret Pharaoh's dream, but God revealed its interpretation to Joseph.

(41:14) Joseph Faces Pharoah -  Our most important opportunities may come when we least expect them. Joseph was brought hastily from the dungeon and pushed before Pharaoh. Did he have time to prepare? Yes and no. He had no warning that he would be suddenly pulled from prison and questioned by the king. Yet Joseph was ready for almost anything because of his right relationship with God. It was not Joseph's knowledge of dreams that helped him interpret their meaning. It was his knowledge of God. Be ready for opportunities by staying close to God. Then, when he calls you to a task, you'll be ready.

(41:16) Joseph Gives Glory to God - Joseph made sure that he gave the credit to God. We should be careful to do the same. To take the honor for ourselves is a form of stealing God's honor. Don't be silent when you know you should be giving glory and credit to God.

(41:28-36) Joseph Devises a Plan -  After interpreting Pharaoh's dream, Joseph gave the king a survival plan for the next 14 years. The only way to prevent starvation was through careful planning; without a famine plan, Egypt would have turned from prosperity to ruin. Many find detailed planning boring and unnecessary. But planning is an important responsibility; it's not optional. Joseph was able to save a nation by translating what God had revealed about Egypt's future into a practical plan, and then implementing it.

(41-38) Joseph is Honored - Pharaoh recognized that Joseph was a man filled with God's Spirit. You probably won't get to interpret dreams for a king, but those who know you should be able to see God in you through your kind words, merciful acts, and wise advice. Do your relatives, neighbors, and coworkers see you as a person in whom the Spirit of God lives?

(41:39-40) From the Prison to the Palace - Joseph rose quickly to the top, from prison walls to Pharaoh's palace. His training for this important position involved being first a slave and then a prisoner. In each situation he learned the importance of serving God and others. Whatever your situation, no matter how undesirable, consider it part of your training program for serving God.

(41:45) Joseph takes a Wife -  Pharaoh may have been trying to make Joseph more acceptable to the Egyptians by giving him an Egyptian name and wife. He probably wanted to (1) play down the fact that Joseph was a nomadic shepherd, an occupation disliked by the Egyptians; (2) make Joseph's name easier for Egyptians to pronounce and remember; and (3) show how highly he was honored by giving him the daughter of a prominent Egyptian official to be his wife.

(41:46) Joseph is Promoted - Joseph was 30 years old when he became second-in-command in Egypt. At age 17, he had been sold into slavery by his brothers. Thus, he had spent 13 years as an Egyptian slave and as a onsoner A Famine was a catastrophe because ancient peoples relied almost exclusively on their own crops for food. Almost perfect conditions were needed to produce good crops because irrigation was difficult in most places and pest control was impossible. Any variances in rainfall or insect activity could cause crop failure and great hunger. Lack of storage, refrigeration, or transportation turned a moderate famine into a desperate situation. The famine Joseph prepared for was especially severe because seven hears of famine came one right after the other. Without God's intervention, the Egyptian nation would have crumbled.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

God Has a Wonderful Plan for Your Life

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter, making application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. There are many applications we can make from each day's text. Today we Continue in the book of Genesis with Chapter 41, and in today's text, we see the Bible continue to look at Joseph's life, and he finally sees God's plan for his life revealed. His obedience and unconditional love pay off as the interpretation of dreams acknowledge his service to the Lord. Joseph's talent saves an entire nation and, in the upcoming chapters, his family. In seeing Joseph's life, we see that God has a plan for our life. In making applications, we must remember that God has a plan, and sometimes we cannot see the finish line. I counsel people daily that say, "why me?" or "why am I not blessed like others?" You might be in a valley, but the Lord is working in your life to get you to the next mountaintop. God has an excellent plan for your life, just like Joseph's. How about you? Do you have a pity party every time adversity comes your way? Let us learn from our text today and remember not to give up and remember that God has a wonderful plan for your life.


Genesis 41

Genesis 41

 1And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river.

 2And, behold, there came up out of the river seven well favoured kine and fatfleshed; and they fed in a meadow.

 3And, behold, seven other kine came up after them out of the river, ill favoured and leanfleshed; and stood by the other kine upon the brink of the river.

 4And the ill favoured and leanfleshed kine did eat up the seven well favoured and fat kine. So Pharaoh awoke.

 5And he slept and dreamed the second time: and, behold, seven ears of corn came up upon one stalk, rank and good.

 6And, behold, seven thin ears and blasted with the east wind sprung up after them.

 7And the seven thin ears devoured the seven rank and full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and, behold, it was a dream.

 8And it came to pass in the morning that his spirit was troubled; and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all the wise men thereof: and Pharaoh told them his dream; but there was none that could interpret them unto Pharaoh.

 9Then spake the chief butler unto Pharaoh, saying, I do remember my faults this day:

 10Pharaoh was wroth with his servants, and put me in ward in the captain of the guard's house, both me and the chief baker:

 11And we dreamed a dream in one night, I and he; we dreamed each man according to the interpretation of his dream.

 12And there was there with us a young man, an Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard; and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams; to each man according to his dream he did interpret.

 13And it came to pass, as he interpreted to us, so it was; me he restored unto mine office, and him he hanged.

 14Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh.

 15And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it.

 16And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.

 17And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, In my dream, behold, I stood upon the bank of the river:

 18And, behold, there came up out of the river seven kine, fatfleshed and well favoured; and they fed in a meadow:

 19And, behold, seven other kine came up after them, poor and very ill favoured and leanfleshed, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for badness:

 20And the lean and the ill favoured kine did eat up the first seven fat kine:

 21And when they had eaten them up, it could not be known that they had eaten them; but they were still ill favoured, as at the beginning. So I awoke.

 22And I saw in my dream, and, behold, seven ears came up in one stalk, full and good:

 23And, behold, seven ears, withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them:

 24And the thin ears devoured the seven good ears: and I told this unto the magicians; but there was none that could declare it to me.

 25And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: God hath shewed Pharaoh what he is about to do.

 26The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one.

 27And the seven thin and ill favoured kine that came up after them are seven years; and the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind shall be seven years of famine.

 28This is the thing which I have spoken unto Pharaoh: What God is about to do he sheweth unto Pharaoh.

 29Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt:

 30And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land;

 31And the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following; for it shall be very grievous.

 32And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.

 33Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt.

 34Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years.

 35And let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities.

 36And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine.

 37And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants.

 38And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?

 39And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art:

 40Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.

 41And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.

 42And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck;

 43And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt.

 44And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.

 45And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnathpaaneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.

 46And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt.

 47And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls.

 48And he gathered up all the food of the seven years, which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which was round about every city, laid he up in the same.

 49And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering; for it was without number.

 50And unto Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, which Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On bare unto him.

 51And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house.

 52And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.

 53And the seven years of plenteousness, that was in the land of Egypt, were ended.

 54And the seven years of dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said: and the dearth was in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.

 55And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do.

 56And the famine was over all the face of the earth: and Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt.

 57And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands.