Lots of revelation in this chapter! First, notice that God is practical. He gives a dream to warn someone in authority to advise what must be prepared. Our Father is a good provider, but it often requires we listen and obey. Sometimes the dreams of prophets and kings were actual practical as well as spiritually interpreted….God can work that same way today.
Next is spiritual significance, notice the numbers…first let’s look at number 2…it was 2 years after Joseph interprets the wine bearer’s dreams. 2 is the number to confirm a testimony. It also represents agreement and verification, or could represent the opposite being division. The Pharaoh dreams 2 dreams. Joseph tells the Pharaoh in verse 32 that being both have the same interpretation and there were 2 dreams that this is double confirmation of truth, a double witness, and it will happen. Deuteronomy 19:15 shows that God’s law requires at least 2 witnesses to establish a matter. Jesus sends His disciples out in twos. In Revelation, we find 2 witnesses, 2 lampstands, 2 fig trees. This good testimony of the inspiration and revelation by the wine bearer comes for Joseph in 2 years. Jesus is like Joseph and is verified to be true and sure by His witnesses….and in agreement with heaven. He is also both the Son of God and the son of man…two in one flesh.
7 is the number of righteousness completed work. Here we have 7 years of plenty which enables obedience…to prepare for the 7 years of famine and testing. In Revelation, we also find 7 churches for grace and preparation…into the 7 scrolls, 7 trumpets, and 7 bowls of wrath for tribulation. It is commonly believed that the tribulation is 7 years.
In verse 35, we see that their preparation and obedience requires giving 1/5 of the harvest of the 7 plenty years to be stored up for food during the following 7 years of famine. The usual tithe of the harvest set aside for God is 1/10. This is a double portion. But, 5 is the number of grace and the empowerment of God. We read in verses48-49 that when Joseph collected the harvest, it was so abundant it could not be counted! That is God’s grace! He returned a multiplied portion back to the people.
Next message in part 2, we will see how Joseph’s life continues to be prophetic of Jesus…