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Genesis 41 Metaphysical Bible Interpretation

Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Genesis Chapter 41

Metaphysically Interpreting Genesis 41:1-36

41:1And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river.41:2And, behold, there came up out of the river seven kine, well-favored and fat-fleshed; and they fed in the reed-grass. 41:3And, behold, seven other kine came up after them out of the river, ill-favored and lean-fleshed, and stood by the other kine upon the brink of the river. 41:4And the ill-favored and lean-fleshed kine did eat up the seven well-favored and fat kine. So Pharaoh awoke. 41:5And he slept and dreamed a second time: and, behold, seven ears of grain came up upon one stalk, rank and good. 41:6And, behold, seven ears, thin and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them. 41:7And the thin ears swallowed up the seven rank and full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and, behold, it was a dream. 41:8And it came to pass in the morning that his spirit was troubled; and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all the wise men thereof: and Pharaoh told them his dream; but there was none that could interpret them unto Pharaoh.

41:9Then spake the chief butler unto Pharaoh, saying, I do remember my faults this day: 41:10Pharaoh was wroth with his servants, and put me in ward in the house of the captain of the guard, me and the chief baker: 41:11and we dreamed a dream in one night, I and he; we dreamed each man according to the interpretation of his dream. 41:12And there was with us there a young man, a Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard; and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams; to each man according to his dream he did interpret. 41:13And it came to pass, as he interpreted to us, so it was; me he restored unto mine office, and him he hanged.

41:14Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh. 41:15And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that when thou hearest a dream thou canst interpret it.41:16And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace. 41:17And Pharaoh spake unto Joseph, In my dream, behold, I stood upon the brink of the river: 41:18and, behold, there came up out of the river seven kine, fat-fleshed and well-favored: and they fed in the reed-grass: 41:19and, behold, seven other kine came up after them, poor and very ill-favored and lean-fleshed, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for badness: 41:20and the lean and ill-favored kine did eat up the first seven fat kine: 41:21and when they had eaten them up, it could not be known that they had eaten them; but they were still ill-favored, as at the beginning. So I awoke. 41:22And I saw in my dream, and, behold, seven ears came up upon one stalk, full and good: 41:23and, behold, seven ears, withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them: 41:24and the thin ears swallowed up the seven good ears: and I told it unto the magicians; but there was none that could declare it to me.

41:25And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: what God is about to do he hath declared unto Pharaoh. 41:26The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one. 41:27And the seven lean and ill-favored kine that came up after them are seven years, and also the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind; they shall be seven years of famine. 41:28That is the thing which I spake unto Pharaoh: what God is about to do he hath showed unto Pharaoh. 41:29Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt: 41:30and there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land; 41:31and the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine which followeth; for it shall be very grievous. 41:32And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh, it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass. 41:33Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. 41:34Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint overseers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years. 41:35And let them gather all the food of these good years that come, and lay up grain under the hand of Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them keep it. 41:36And the food shall be for a 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.

June 6, 1937: Genesis 41:33-44

“Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt.” What present meaning does this advice have? Pharaoh represents the whole body consciousness, which controls the subconscious mind (rules over Egypt). Since the body consciousness is not of itself enlightened, it requires the help of the imagination raised to the plane of intuitive insight (Joseph) to conserve and direct the obscure impulses that form the substance of subconscious action.

“And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath showed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou.” How is imagination invested with discretion and wisdom? The imaging power is that living stillness of the mind, which receives and registers impressions from the realm of absolute truth. The body consciousness, while receptive to these impressions, perceives them only in symbols. Vision (the imaging power) translates symbols into clear ideas, permitting them to be grasped by the conscious mind in understandable form.

“Only in the throne will I be greater than thou.” What meaning is conveyed here? The throne is a symbol of supreme power and dominion. Impressions received by the body consciousness sink into the subconsciousness and influence its reactions, but the imagination or inner vision first supplies the images or concepts that impress the body. The connection between the imaging power and the body consciousness is very close.

“And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had?” Why is Joseph always described as second to the one he served in Egypt? The meaning of Joseph is “whom Jehovah will add to.” When he was born, Rachel said, “Jehovah add to me another son.” The word second means “occurring again,” “another,” “other.” Joseph's faithfulness in service was so great that he became in turn another Potiphar, another keeper of the prison and another Pharaoh.

“And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or his foot in all the land of Egypt.” What do we understand by this? The involuntary movements of the body are controlled by the subconscious mind, but they have their origin in habit or instinctive behavior rooted in the race mind. Back of habit is imagination, for we first see ourselves doing an act before we do it, and its repetition makes a groove in the subconsciousnes. Imagination is therefore the motive power back of all instinctive or subconscious conduct.

September 2, 1945: Genesis 41:14-16

To what realm do dreams belong? To the realm of ideas, the realm of universal mind. The subconscious mind forms its ideas into images instead of reasoned concepts. These images may portray events either past, present, or future, since ideas belong to the universal mind and have no time limitations.

What gave Joseph the vision to interpret Pharaoh's dream? Joseph's complete faith and trust in God put him in touch with universal Truth, and the quality of his imaging power made the images of Pharaoh's dream intelligible to him.

How did Joseph consider his interpretive powers? As the gift of God. “It is not in me: God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace.” By identifying himself with divine wisdom he drew understanding direct from the fountainhead of Truth.

Metaphysically Interpreting Genesis 41:37-57

41:37And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants. 41:38And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom the spirit of God is? 41:39And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath showed thee all of this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou: 41:40thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou. 41:41And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. 41:42And Pharaoh took off his signet 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; 41:43and he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he set him over all the land of Egypt. 41:44And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or his foot in all the land of Egypt. 41:45And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath, the daughter of Poti-phera priest of On. And Joseph went out over the land of Egypt.

41:46And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt. 41:47And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls. 41:48And he gathered up all the food of the seven years which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which was round about every city, laid he up in the same. 41:49And Joseph laid up grain as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left off numbering; for it was without number. 41:50And unto Joseph were born two sons before the year of famine came, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, bare unto him. 41:51And Joseph called the name of the first-born Manasseh: For, said he, God hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house. 41:52And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.

41:53And the seven years of plenty, that was in the land of Egypt, came to an end. 41:54And the seven years of famine began to come, according as Joseph had said: and there was famine in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. 41:55And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do. 41:56And the famine was over all the face of the earth: and Joseph opened all the store-houses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine was sore in the land of Egypt. 41:57And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph to buy grain, because the famine was sore in all the earth.

October 20, 1901: Genesis 41:38-49


Man is an idea in Mind, which manifests in states of consciousness. These appear outwardly as personalities, and take form as bodies. In describing these states of consciousness, or mental movements, the Scripture uses the personality in a representative sense, with the inner meaning of the name as a key to the mental state intended. The Hebrew meaning of the name Joseph is “one who increases.” It represents that state of consciousness in which we increase along all lines in character; we not only grow into a broader understanding, but there is also an increase of vitality and substance. Joseph is especially representative of the realm of forms. He was clothed with a coat of many colors; he was a dreamer and interpreter of dreams; the phenomenal was his field of action. Among the primal faculties of the mind Joseph represents the imagination.

Mystics tell us that man passes through twelve states of consciousness, that Joseph is the eleventh and Jesus Christ the twelfth. These states may be all active in us at the same time, but the dominant one indicates where we are. For instance, if you are a dreamer, and can interpret your dreams, you may know that you are at least developing the eleventh movement of the mind. But it is one thing to dream, and another to interpret correctly. All people dream, but not one in a million can interpret. Dreams and visions come under the same head. Many people see visions, but they nearly always misinterpret them.

When one in the Joseph state of consciousness sees a vision or dreams a dream, he does not take it in its literal sense at all. Joseph has divine understanding; he is taught of God. He knows that all forms represent ideas, and his first step in interpreting is to analyze the symbols, and resolve them into their primal ideas.

The Hebrew meaning of Pharaoh is THE WHOLE HOUSE. He is ruler of Egypt, which means obscurity. Thus we understand that this one to whom the Joseph state comes is not yet open to it, but receptive. When the Lord shows him coming events in his dreams, he seeks to know the true interpretation, and when he is convinced of it, he makes that new state of consciousness ruler next to him over his whole kingdom.

Egypt has a specific significance in the body-consciousness, and refers in this case to the subjective mind. There sets into bodily functions an energy that especially stimulates the generative centre, when the Spirit is quickened by the Truth. This lasts about seven years, or has seven degrees of activity. There is a great increase of vitality. This is the seven kine and seven full ears. Those who are wise conserve this energy and store it up in the consciousness, because there is always a reaction proportionate to the action. This is a law that holds good in all forms of energy. Yet, when the generated force of action is properly conserved, the reaction is not felt. When we let this higher or Joseph state of consciousness rule in our members the Lord shows us in dreams just how to handle the situation, and we make a storage battery of the “cities,” or ganglion centres, throughout the consciousness. Pharaoh called Joseph's name “Zaphenathpaneah,” which means governor of the district of the place of life, which indicates clearly that the generative centre is to be ruled by that state of consciousness in which God is the directive power.

– UNITY magazine.

June 5, 1932: Genesis 41:46-57

What is represented by the year of plenty, in which Joseph laid up a superabundance of grain? The unregenerate man lives in consciousness of duality: good and evil, heat and cold, feast and famine, plenty and poverty. Joseph’s spiritual discernment sees the coming consciousness of lack, and stores up substance with which to meet it.

What is represented in today’s lesson by “the land of Egypt”? The substance phase of the soul or subconscious mind, is represented by this symbol.

What does Asenath, the wife of Joseph, represent? Asenath was the daughter of a heathen priest. She represents the ruling feminine or mother quality of the subconsciousness, with which the quickened imagination, Joseph, unifies itself for the production of new states of mind. As written in Genesis: “The sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair: and they took them wives of all that they chose.”

What does Manasseh, the first-born son of Joseph, represent? Manasseh means “who makes to forget.” This son of Joseph represents the ability of man to erase by denial and to forget any and all negative thoughts.

What does Ephraim, the second son, represent? The meaning of Ephraim is “very fruitful.” He represents the ability of man to add to his consciousness whatever thoughts he may choose to affirm. Ephraim wills a thing, and it is done.

When the spiritually quickened imagination (Joseph) conserves or stores up the substance of the body, what results when the external or earthy consciousness becomes depleted (represented as a famine over all the face of the earth)? The spiritually quickened mind has access to the substance and life in the subconsciousness, and has power to open these reserve centers and supply the needy thoughts of the body. One who understands this process can fast for long periods without discomfort. Jesus fasted forty days.

The 46th verse of our text states that Joseph was thirty years of age, when he appeared before Pharaoh, king of Egypt. What does this symbolize? At the age of thirty, man completes the natural evolution of his soul and is ready for an adventure into the spiritual. Jesus was thirty of age, when He began His ministry.

September 2, 1945: Genesis 41:41-43

What does the land of Egypt symbolize? The body consciousness. The imagination seems at first to be a slave to this consciousness, but when we come to ourselves and see ourselves as we are in Divine Mind, we gain dominion over the body and direct it.

September 9, 1945: Genesis 41:46-57

Lesson Interpretation

Is creative imagination an element of genius? Genius is creative power that more often than not works through the imagination.

What qualities help to give a person poise and balance under public adulation? Faithfulness and loyalty to his ideal of service and the vision of possibilities to be attained by his putting forth his best efforts.

The name Egypt represents the body’s consciousness. What is signified by the statement that Joseph “went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt”? Pharaoh signifies the whole body consciousness and that which rules over it, namely the will. The imagination (Joseph), working directly under the will and subordinated only to this faculty, organizes the forces of the body consciousness and stores up substance to sustain and perpetuate that consciousness, until such time as it can be lifted up and fused in spiritual consciousness.

What is the proper provision for sustaining the body consciousness? The storing up of thought substance in the various centers of the subconsciousness (cities). Cities represent aggregations of thoughts or thought centres. “The food of the field, which was round about every city, laid he up in the same.”

How is the infinite nature of thought substance indicated? In the words “Joseph laid up grain as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left off numbering; for it was without number.”

With respect to the imagination, what do the names Manasseh and Ephraim represent? The former means “who makes to forget” and it represents denial of the negative aspect of understanding. Joseph's joy over the birth of his first son was so great that all recollection of his trials as a slave and a stranger in a foreign land were wiped out. The name Ephraim means “doubly fruitful,” and it represents the affirmative aspect of the mind or will, which is a more powerful influence than denial. Imagination gives rise to both these faculties.

“And Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians.” What does this mean? Imagination, constructively used, unlocks the substance of originality in the subconsciousness, and out of these storehouses pours sustenance for the mind and soul of man. The entire body consciousness is sustained and nourished by spiritual substance, even though we may not be aware of the innateness of it and may “buy” from Joseph.

Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 01-06-2014