Joseph - the interpreter of dreams

Written by Felgr Pavel on .

The Jacob's dearest son Joseph is a symbol of justice in Judaism. The dreams, that he had since his childhood, promised him an extraordinary destiny. Dreams were considered as messages from Gods at that time. "Master of dreams" was hated by his brothers at first, but then the Pharaoh took notice of his remarkable ability to interpret encoded pictures. Joseph became the first saviour of the Egyptian land and he died there later.

Jacob had twelve sons and he liked best the last but one - Joseph. His brothers were jealous of his good-looking, wisdom and ability to interpret the dreams. Joseph was seventeen, when he first recounted his dream to his brothers. Jacob sent his sons to pasture sheep in Shechem later. Joseph was sent there later to find out the news and ask about the livestock. When brothers saw Joseph coming from far away, they decided to kill him. Jacob's first-born son Reuben was against it, so they sold Joseph to a camel caravan of Ishmaelites in the end.

Joseph the Egyptian

Joseph was took in Egypt and sold as a slave to Potiphar - the captain of Pharaoh's guard. When Potiphar found out the abilities of Joseph, he entrusted administration of his house to him. Potiphar's wife was mesmerized by young and good-looking Joseph and tried to seduce him. He resisted her seducing, so she was very disappointed. She wanted to take revenge and accused Joseph of seducing her, so Joseph was thrown into prison.

The prison commander got Joseph to like and charged him to take care of the other prisoners. There also were the Pharaoh's waiter and baker in prison. When they learnt about Joseph's ability to interpret dream, they asked him for interpreting their dreams. Joseph interpreted the waiter's dream as a good sign and told him that he would be released soon. On the contrary he foretold a near execution to the baker. Both predictions were fulfilled in a short time.

The Pharaoh was worried by two dreams, which the wise men weren't able to interpret, so he called Joseph to him, who was already thirty years old at the time.

Interpretation of Pharaoh's dreams

Pharaoh saw seven fattened and beautiful pasturing cows in his first dream and seven skinny and unsightly cows coming to them. The skinny cows devoured the fattened ones. In the seconds dream the Pharaoh saw seven wonderful ears of grain that grew up out of a single stalk and seven infertile ears that absorbed the healthy ones.

Joseph told the Pharaoh that both dreams meant the same and he would try to interpret them in the name of God. There will be seven years of abundance in Egypt followed by seven years of famine. So there was a need to store surplus grain during the years of abundance. Pharaoh was impressed by the interpretation and appointed Joseph as Vizier of all the land of Egypt. Joseph started to speak with 70 languages of Egyptian high officials. Before this miracle the Pharaoh added Josepf Asenath - daughter of a priest of On as a wife.

Joseph started to gather grain in big granaries, which he opened at the time of famine. The Egyptians and inhabitants of neighbouring lands were coming for grain and brothers of Joseph were among them. They didn't recognized Joseph and bowed in front of him as he had predicted before. Joseph decided to test, if their hearts softened, let them recognize him and asked them for bringing the father. When Joseph saw Jacob he flung his arms round Jacob's neck and bursted out crying. The Pharaoh allowed the whole family to settle down in Egypt then.

Other Hebrews came to Egypt, settled there and started to prosper. Finally there were so many of them in Egypt that another Pharaoh began to feel threatened by them many years later, enslaved them and ordered to murder all first-born boys. Also Moses was among them, but he eluded the slaughter and liberated Jewish people later from Egyptian yoke.


Message from the Nile

  • History of Czech institution of egyptology

    The Czech egyptology founder is Frantisek Lexa, the author of up to now evaluated work about ancient Egypt magic and Demotic grammar. Seminar for egyptology started thanks to him in Faculty of Philosophy and Arts of Charles University in Prague in 1925. Two years later Lexa became the first regular professor of egyptology in then Czechoslovakia.

  • Abusir - outstation of Czech egyptology expedition

    Abusir is an archaeological locality in Egypt named after nearby recent village Abusir. It is situated on western Nile bank on the edge of Libyan tableland approximately 20 kilometers to the south-west of Cairo. The name of this locality is derived from ancient Egypt god Osiris, from Per Usir (Busiris), "(cult) place of Osiris" (Busiris in Greek).

  • Researches in Western desert

    Czech egyptology is successful in researching not only on pyramidal fields in Abusir recently, but also in supporting and organizing smaller expeditions into egyptian Western desert. Czech expedition has been working even in slowly evanescent oasis El-Hajez since 2003, which is situated about 400 km to the south-west from Cairo.

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