Genesis 41:1-57 – Joseph’s Elevation to Power


Genesis 41:1-57


Joseph rises to a position of strength and administrative success in Egypt, and the Spirit of God is present with him in all of his undertakings.


Hearing of Joseph’s reputation for dream interpretation, Pharaoh calls Joseph out of prison to hear how his dreams might be interpreted. Joseph emphasizes throughout that God has revealed the meaning of his dreams to him. Pharaoh recognizes the interpretation as the work of the Spirit of God, acclaims Joseph as a discerning and wise person, and elevates him to a position second in command to his own. As the prime minister, Joseph carries out the economic reforms needed to prevent the disasters that Pharaoh’s dreams portend.

This story emphasizes the ways in which God works outside the religious sphere, especially in economic and governmental matters. On the one hand, God works in and through Pharaoh, including his dreams, to bring the wise and discerning Joseph into a position of power; God is not only at work to good effect in the lives of the chosen people. And then God works in and through Joseph in the management of the Egyptian economy, demonstrating the divine concern for the well-being of all peoples in every facet of their lives