Text: Genesis 41:1 – 44:17
In Parashat (Torah Portion) Miketz, Pharaoh has two dreams: one in which he’s standing by a river and seven healthy cows come out of the water. Then seven gaunt cows come out of the water behind them, and they eat the healthy cows. In his second dream, he sees seven good ears on a single stalk of grain; below them, he sees seven dry ears and they consume the seven good ears. Pharaoh is troubled by the dreams, but none of his soothsayers can interpret them for him. Pharaoh’s cupbearer, however, remembers Joseph’s interpretation of his own dream that predicted he would be restored to his current position, and he tells Pharaoh of Joseph down in the jail. Pharaoh sends for Joseph – he’s cleaned up and shaven and brought before the King of Egypt, where he says that only God can interpret dreams. Pharaoh recounts his dreams, and Joseph says that the two dreams are one, and God sent it twice because it has been set as truth: the seven healthy cows and the seven good ears of grain represent seven years of plenty. The seven gaunt cows and the seven dry ears represent seven years of famine. Joseph advises Pharaoh to set someone as an administrator to gather grain during the seven years of plenty so that Egypt can survive the seven years of famine. Pharaoh agrees – and asks Joseph to be that administrator.