The Story of Joseph and The Dreams of a King     /p3

You would have supposed that the butler would remember Joseph, who had given him the promise of freedom, and had shown such wisdom. But in his gladness, he forgot all about Joseph. And two full years passed by, while Joseph was still in prison, until he was a man thirty years old.

But one night, king Pharaoh himself dreamed a dream—in fact, two dreams in one. And in the morning he sent for all the wise men of Egypt, and told to them his dreams; but there was not a man who could give the meaning of them. And the king was troubled, for he felt that the dreams had some meaning which it was important for him to know.

Then suddenly the chief butler who was by the king's table remembered his own dream in the prison two years before, and remembered, too, the young man who had told its meaning so exactly. And he said:

"I do remember my faults this day. Two years ago king Pharaoh was angry with his servants, with me and the chief baker; and he sent us to the prison. While we were in the prison, one night each of us dreamed a dream; and the next day a young man in the prison, a Hebrew from the land of Canaan, told us what our dreams meant; and in three days they came true, just as the young Hebrew had said. I think that if this young man is in the prison still, he could tell the king the meaning of his dreams."

You notice that the butler spoke of Joseph as "a Hebrew." The people of Israel, to whom Joseph belonged, were called Hebrews as well as Israelites. The word Hebrew means, "One who crossed over," and it was given to the Israelites because Abraham, their father, had come from a land on the other side of the great river Euphrates, and had crossed over the river on his way to Canaan.

Then king Pharaoh sent in haste to the prison for Joseph; and Joseph was taken out, and he was dressed in new garments, and was led in to Pharaoh in the palace. And Pharaoh said:

"I have dreamed a dream; and there is no one who can tell what it means. And I have been told that you have power to understand dreams and what they mean."

And Joseph answered Pharaoh:

"The power is not in me; but God will give Pharaoh a good answer. What is the dream that the king has dreamed?"

"In my first dream," said Pharaoh, "I was standing by the river: and I saw seven fat and handsome cows come up from the river to feed in the grass. And while they were feeding, seven other cows followed them up from the river, very thin, and poor, and lean—such miserable creatures as I had never seen before. And the seven lean cows ate up the seven fat cows; and after they had eaten them up, they were as lean and miserable as before. Then I awoke.