Pharoah’s Dreams

Christian Author and Pastor Ron Craig

Let us look at several Bible examples of dreams and visions, and determine whether each vision had multiple interpretations, or just one interpretation. Genesis chapter 40 tells us that two of Pharaoh’s close servants, his cupbearer, and his baker, had offended their master, and had been thrown into the prison where Joseph had been put in charge of the entire operation. While there, they both had a unique dream, and that in the same night. Not a coincidence! Then, the cupbearer told his dream to Joseph, and Joseph interpreted it. The essence of the dream was that the cupbearer would be restored to his former position in Pharaoh’s service. The cupbearer’s dream-interpretation being positivethe baker wanted Joseph to explain his dream as well: Of course, expecting the interpretation of his dream to be POSITIVE too. Not so, however. The baker was not restored, but executed. Joseph asked the cupbearer to remember him when he was restored to service, but he forgot about Joseph; until a couple of years later when Pharaoh himself had a couple of dreams which disturbed him greatly. After the king’s chief advisers proved unable to grasp the meaning of his night visions

Joseph was brought before Pharaoh to hear and interpret those God-sent dreams. One dream involved cows and the other grain. But, the two dreams relayed one and the same message. There were soon to be seven years of plenty in Egyptand then seven years of famine. Joseph being able to see those coming events, Pharaoh figured that he was the one most qualified to deal with them, and so promoted Joseph to second-in-command in Egypt.
     Even though the outcomes of the two prisoners were vastly differentmaking the interpretation of each of their dreams vastly differenteach dream had only one interpretation. Two different men had two different dreams, each dream having its own interpretation. The interpretation of the cupbearer’s dream did not apply to the baker, nor did the interpretation of the baker’s dream apply to the cupbearer. Not only that, but each dream had only one interpretation. History proved that each dream had only one interpretation, which literally manifested in the life (or death) of each man. 
     The one-interpretation-principle was true regarding Pharaoh’s two dreams. While Pharaoh was one man who had two dreams, both dreams communicated one and the same message. Therefore, even though there were two dreams, THERE WAS ONLY ONE INTERPRETATION. And once again, history proved there was one interpretation only, because those seven years of plenty were immediately followed by seven years of famine, just like Joseph had prophesied by the interpretation of those dreams.
As we go to the book of Daniel next lesson, we will find that same biblical principle in effect there. It gets a little more involved, but you will see that God’s Word has only one interpretation. Scripture is not open to theological speculation, as many think.


(Ron Craig is pastor, teacher and author of Christian books; and these articles. You may view all the books by logging onto While logged on the website you can even listen to audio Bible-lesson podcasts. You may also send your questions or comments to

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