Pharaoh’s dream

Joseph’s analysis of Pharaoh’s dreams as an example of symbolic dream. To fully appreciate Joseph’s interpretation, we must ask a few questions about the details of Pharaoh’s dreams. Why did Pharaoh specifically visualize cows rather than other animals in the first dream, and why were they emerging from the River Nile? Is there any relevance to the vision of the healthy corn and the scorched corn in the second dream beyond Joseph’s recognition that the dreams were the same? Answering these questions will explain why Pharaoh responded so quickly to Joseph’s analysis.

One has to understand the beliefs of ancient Egyptians fully comprehend the mysterious elements in Pharaoh’s dream. The Egyptians worshipped over a hundred deities, but one goddess has particular significance where Pharaoh’s dream is concerned. That goddess was Hathor, the sun god. Egyptians worshipped her for over 3,000 years. Hathor was believed to have several important functions. She was visualized as a gigantic cow stretched over the heavens, taking care of the Milky Way, which the Egyptian called the Nile in the Sky. Her most vital function for the Egyptians was causing the Nile to overflow its banks each year. This provided fertile soil on which crops (e.g., corn) could grow. Without such annual flooding Egypt would have been a famine-ridden wasteland. Being familiar with the goddess and her attributes, Pharaoh recognizes the wise intent of Joseph’s advice. The seven fat cows represent the fertility of the land, embodied in the Egyptian symbol of seven Hathors. This concept is reinforced by the seven full ears of corn in the second dream. In addition, the cows emerging from the river also indicate that they stand for the goddess Hathor, caretaker of the Nile. Joseph’s interpretation thus drew upon Egyptian symbols well known to Pharaoh and used them effectively to explain the whole dream. That is why it rang true in the ears of Pharaoh.

Cows and corns are Symbols with cultural meaning but the interpretation is God’s business. Recession, downgrading, retrenchments, economic downturn, state capture, Guptarised and etc. These are all the terms used in this culture to describe scarcity. But God will show us how to preserve the legacy of fat cows.  There will be a season where thin cows will swallow up fat cows and remain thin. All this will happen somewhere in our journey of life, that is why we need the wisdom of Joseph to handle the changing seasons.

May God grant you wisdom and knowledge to handle resources that are entrusted to you.


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