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I. Hear the ADVICE which JOSEPH gave to PHARAOH.
“Now, thereforé, let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteons years. And let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in those cities. And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine."
This advice was good, It was just such counsel as Pharaoh's wise men ought to have given him. They were not wise enough to explain the dream; how then could they be expected to have prudence enough to improve it. No doubt they approved, and every one was wondering who the king would appoint as corn factor general, each one wishing that he might be chosen for the new office. He advised Pharaoh to appoint officers who were
all the spare
to make it their business to buy up corn, and there was to be a chief Officer or Governor over the whole. If Joseph had not advised this, it is very likely that it would not have been done. The fifth part of the land was to be cultivated during the years of plenty, and all the corn that was not consumed or eaten was to be laid in the king's granaries or store houThere is no reason to think that Joseph said this to recommend himself. He had the good of the country at heart. He was a public spirited man, and a true patriot.
II. PHARAOH'S APPEAL and DETERMINATION. He was struck with the wisdom and humility of Joseph, and immediately formed the resolution of being guided by his counsels, he saw that the advice was good. As Joseph had recommended a wise man, Pharoab appealed to those who were present, whether there was any other person so fit for this office as himself. He determined that the very man, who (being divinely inspired) gave this advice, should carry it into execution.
"And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants,
Can we find such a one as
this is, a man
in whom the spirit of God is? said unto Joseph, forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art. Thou shalt be over my house, and according to thy word shall all my people be ruled, only in the throne will I be greater than thou."
Joseph had not mentioned the name of the true God in vain. Pharaoh was convinced that all the gods of Egypt were not able to bestow such wisdom as that which Joseph displayed. A few hours before Joseph was a prisoner, now he is raised to the dig nity of being the second in office and au thority in all the land of Egypt: only in the throne (says Pharaoh) will I be greater than thou. Pharaoh's wise men knew that they had not the spirit of God. They thought they could manage the business very well without having the spirit of God.
III. JOSEPH made GOVERNOR of EGYPT. "And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, see I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand and put
it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck; and he made him ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnath-paaneah;
and he gave him to wife Asenath, the daughter of Poti-pherah, priest of On. And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt."
Such were the honours and dignities to which Joseph was advanced by Pharaoh at the age of thirty years. He not only employed him to buy up corn, but made him prine minister or state comptroller of the household, chief justice of the kingdom, according to bis word the nation was to be ruled or judged. Some think he was also commander in chief. If so, he must have learned something of a military life, while he was with the captain of
*This means a Revealer of Secrets.
the guard. This commission was very extensive, all the affairs of the kingdom of Egypt must pass through his hands. The Egyptians at that time were the first nation on earth for learning, power, and glory.
Pharaoh gave Joseph his own ring, and took it off his own finger, and put it on Joseph's finger. This was a mark of great favor. It was like giving him the great Seal of Egypt, He gave him the fine linen of Egypt, instead of his steward's dress or his prison garments. He put on him a gold chain. Joseph when he was first put in prison, wore chains of iron, now he wears a chain of gold. Joseph's wisdom and piety were much greater and more valuable ornaments than the chain of gold or Pharaoh's own ring.
He made him ride in the second chariot; that is, Joseph's carriage always went next to that of the king. First, the royal carriage, and then Joseph's chariot, and they cried before him, Bow the knee, or as it may be read, the father of the king, master in wisdom, tender in years, as if it had been said, though a youth in age he is a father in character. Joseph