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Lesson No.: 
Memory Verse: 

"For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.  But God is the Judge"  (Psalm 75:6, 7).

Cross References: 

I Pharaoh's Reception of Counsel
1. Pharaoh recognises prudence in Joseph's words, [Genesis:41:37]; [Isaiah:55:1]; [John:6:68].
2. God is honoured as the giver of wisdom, [Genesis:41:38-39]; [Job:28:28]; [Proverbs:1:7]; [Matthew:7:24].
3. Joseph is promoted to a position of honour, [Genesis:41:40-45].
4. Joseph journeys afar fulfilling his duties, [Genesis:41:46]; [John:4:3-26], [JHN:46-53]; [Mark:2:1-5]; [Luke:7:11-15].

II Joseph's Faithful Labour
1 Ample provisions are made for saving the people, [Genesis:41:47-49]; [Isaiah:53:3-5]; [John:3:16]; [Colossians:1:14]; [John:19:1-18]; [John:14:2].
2. The time of the fruitful harvests is ended, [Genesis:41:50-53].

III A Period of Dearth in the Land
1. This is according to the prophecy of Joseph, [Genesis:41:54]; [Matthew:5:18].
2. Food is provided for all under Joseph's administration, [Genesis:41:54]; Mark:6:38-44]; [Philippians:4:19]; [Job:23:12].
3. It is necessary to follow instructions, [Genesis:41:55]; [John:2:5].
4. The famine is over all the earth, [Genesis:41:56-57]; [Amos:8:11]; [Isaiah:55:1], [John:6:68].


Pharaoh was an intelligent man who recognised wisdom, and was honest enough to give honour unto the One Who had given Joseph the knowledge to interpret the dreams [Genesis:41:38]). Joseph had looked to God for the solution, and the Lord had granted him the interpretation, in order that there might be a relief from the famine in Egypt.

Joseph's promotion placed him in great authority, with heavy responsibilities resting upon his shoulders ([Psalms:105:17-22]). The Egyptian nation, and all the world depended upon Joseph for relief from the famine ([Genesis:41:57]): and so also today must the world look to Jesus Who alone is able to deliver ([John:14:6]). Joseph was very thorough, and exercised much care in storing up the provisions, which were necessary to the welfare of the people. Everything was carefully attended to at that time. And so it is with Jesus: He made all the necessary preparations. We, like the Egyptians, could not help ourselves, but Christ purchased our salvation. Not through merit or work of our own are we redeemed, but through the precious Blood of Christ ([Titus:3:5]).

We also find in our lesson that in order for those who hungered to secure the food to sustain life, it was necessary for them to follow the instructions of Joseph ([Genesis:41:55]). So it is also under the dispensation of Grace. Hearts that are seeking the heavenly food, without which spiritual life is impossible, must carefully and thoroughly follow the instructions, which our Lord Jesus Christ has so plainly given in the Bible. Those who follow not the holy will of God are cut off from the source and supply of the "heavenly manna," and in a short time are no longer alive unto God.

We also find that the title, which Pharaoh gave Joseph (Zaphnathpaneah) means "preserver of life." This also applies beautifully to Christ, Who not only has the power to preserve spiritual life in the Christian but can impart, or grant, that eternal life to those who walk uprightly, in accordance with His will.


1. Did Pharaoh place any confidence in the words of Joseph?
2. To whom was the honour for this wisdom given?
3. Was Joseph's promotion a result of his own sagacity or due to his fidelity toward God?
4. Did Joseph faithfully administer the affairs of state and also retain his integrity toward God?
5. What was the position or rank of Joseph in the kingdom?
6. What duty occupied Joseph during the years of plenty?
7. Was the prophecy concerning the seven years of plenty fulfilled? The years of dearth?
8. To secure food, whose instructions must be followed?
9. What was the extent of the famine?