Joseph and the Seven Years

A dream, what is in a dream?  Solomon defines it as much business (Ecles. 5:3); a result of much worry.  But a dream is more than that. Sometimes a dream constitutes a warning from the Lord, or a prophetic event as in Joseph’s dreams: his brothers sheaves bowing down to his sheaves and yet another dream: eleven stars, the sun and the moon bowed down and did reverence to him (Gen.37:6-10). Two times the dream was given to Joseph confirming their prophetic meaning. Thirteen years passed before his dreams were fulfilled. There was much for young Joseph to learn in the meantime. The lessons came through hardships in slavery and unfairness in judgment of his character. Joseph had to be humbled before his ascension to greatness. The secret of his success was the fact that God was with him in everything he did, for Joseph’s heart was right with his God; nothing could change his righteous ways, even if jail would be the result.

Pharaoh’s Dreams

And behold, there came up out of the river [Nile] seven well-favored cows, sleek and handsome and fat; and they grazed in the reed grass. And behold, seven other cows came up after them out of the river, ill-favored and gaunt and ugly, and stood by the fat cows on the bank on the bank on the river. And the ill-favored, gaunt, and ugly cows ate up the seven well-favored and fat cows; behold seven ears of grain came out on one stalk, plump and good, and behold, after them seven ears [of grain] sprouted, thin and blighted by the east wind. And the seven thin ears [of grain] devoured the seven plump and full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and behold, it was a dream (Gen. 41:2-7).  Pharaoh’s dream seems confusing as a dream would be. Here we have two dreams of the same meaning to confirm its prophetic events. Observe the number in this dream: seven healthy cows; seven gaunt cows; seven plump ears of grain and seven thin ears of grain.The interpretation of these dreams: seven years of plenty and seven years of famine.

It is important to mention the importance of the number seven to show the future events embed in this number. The seven years of plenty came before the seven years of famine. We are in the years of plenty- as it were in the days of Noah, so it will be the coming of the Son of Man, for just as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah went into the ark (Matt. 24: 37-38). In the days of Noah prosperity is noted by their life style: eating, drinking, and marrying. They did not take to account the coming disaster, for life was good. They had food, wine and partied with their wealth with no end in sight. The years of plenty were coming to their end and they did not know until caught by surprise when Noah entered the ark- the place of refuge from the coming destructive storm. They still did not perceive until the storm- the flood took their lives away. This is a practice that continued throughout men’s history. As it were in the days of Noah, YAHSHUA said, so it will be the coming of the Son of Man. What will the results be with the coming of the Son of Man? Destruction is decreed for the entire earth.

The number seven means completeness. It is the number used throughout the book of Revelation. Seven churches, seven angels, seven seals, seven trumpets, seven bowls, etc. The number seven is used 700 times in the Bible and 54 times in the book of Revelation. The dream of Pharaoh stood up showing  the completeness of God’s future plan for the nation of Israel; it has a lot to do with prophecies related to the nation of Israel also in the future: In the book of Daniel 9: 24-27 seventy weeks of years have been decreed for this nation. 490 years from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem until [the coming of] the Anointed One, a Prince, shall be seven weeks [of years] and sixty-two weeks [of years]; it shall be built again with square and moat, but in troubleous times; and after the sixty-two weeks [of years] shall the Anointed One be cut off or killed and shall have nothing belonging to Him. .. 483 weeks of years have passed since the rebuild of Jerusalem and the coming and death of Messiah YAHSHUA.  Seven more weeks of years are left for God to complete His purpose for the nation of Israel. The seven years of tribulation will be the time for God to refine the nation and bring them to the acknowledgement of their Messiah (Zach. 12, 13).

The seven weeks of famine of Pharaoh’s dreams constitutes the seven years of tribulation for the nation of Israel primarily, and for the world. A place provided for Joseph’s family in the land of Egypt during the seven years of famine speaks of the protection God will provide for His servants, the 144 thousand, which is 12 thousand from each of the tribes of Israel, with the exception of the tribe of Dan. During Jacob’s trouble or the tribulation they will be the only ones protected (Rev. 7: 3-8; 14:1-5). That will be the time when one world order, under the power of Satan, the Antichrist will govern the world, he and the false prophet. There will be one dictatorial political system, one religion system and one financial system.

In Revelation 13th the beast (antichrist) will rise and take control over the world; the false prophet will follow commanding the worship of the image of the beast and the taking of his mark on the hands or foreheads. Buying and selling will be possible only to those who will receive the mark of the beast. People will be controlled solely by the mark of the beast. They will no longer have the right to vote; they will no longer exercise the right of religion; they will only be able to do business with the mark of the antichrist. Without knowing, people for the sake of survival, will sell their freedoms to the devil and no longer will they have control of their own mind.

In the seven years of famine, Joseph took away people’s freedom and made slaves of them from one end of the borders of Egypt to the other, by taking away people’s land and their livestock for Pharaoh in exchange for food (Gen. 47:15 -26).  They were left with nothing besides a few seeds to plant. Joseph then established a law that one fifth of all crops belonged to Pharaoh.

Paralleling one event with the other, we see some situations happening at the time of Pharaoh’s dream that are parallels to God’s final judgment: land and livestock taken away and the receiving of the mark of the beast for survival. There will be a time of absolute confusion, without the presence of the Holy Spirit and forced decisions put upon the people without a chance. However, we still have today when we can make decisions of all kinds: political, religious, and financial. The most important one that will change the direction of our eternal destiny is the acceptance of YAHSHUA as your Savior and Lord. That, by itself will provide a solution to your eternal future, free from eternal condemnation.

YAHSHUA said, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, the person whose ears are open to My words and believes and trusts in and clings to and relies on Him Who sent Me has eternal life. And he does not come into judgement, but he has already passed over out of death unto life (John 5:24).

Author: Jacinta da Cruz Rodgers

I have been committed to teaching the truth of the Word of God beginning with Trans World Radio on Bonaire, N.A and Swaziland, Africa (1969-1980), then through churches in the United States in both English and Portuguese and then through ministry in Israel (2005-2006). This ministry continues through local Bible studies and outreach to the world via the internet. I have written a book about my life from that of an orphan in Brazil to missionary in 5 countries. You can find out more on the "Book" page of our blog site.

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