psychology 101

as taught by yours truly.

In my last post, I asked what was the difference between

1. in my dreams I saw him

2. I saw him in my dreams

and I will start by admitting the answers I got were really creative.

This two statements mark the difference between the civilized and the savage mind. In the first case, the speaker recognizes that it is just a dream. That the happenings is in his brain.

And in the second scenario, the dream becomes a separate existence, just as real as his waking realities. He believes in doubles that move out of the body during sleep. To such a person, should a person be found dead in the morning they would say his soul left and didn’t return.

End of class.

I apologise for not responding sooner to most of you. I had traveled.

Genesis 41

Pharaoh’s Dream

We are still in the theme of dreams and the scribes have gone a notch higher in the content and dreamer. The dreamer is Pharaoh and there is no one to interpret his dreams for him. The scribes have also improved their game, even though the dreamer is one, he has two dreams similar in structure but different only in detail.

The scribes here however seem to have missed the point in the last chapter that Joseph is the head honcho at the prison and enjoys the favours of the wardens so must have been well taken care of.  This being the case, the matter of Joseph having to shave and shower shouldn’t really arise.

Things turn out good for Joseph for the services he renders the Pharaoh. He is made second in command and rides with the Pharaoh. He is also given a wife and with whom he has two sons. All men in Egypt are to bow before him a parallel that we can make of Jesus being second to god and all bowing to him.

The problem that I have with this story however is that at the beginning of the Egyptian civilization they lived along the flood plains of the Nile River and so it is impossible to imagine a drought of 7 years. What happened to the river? Did it dry up and is there any evidence that would support the drying of Nile for 7 years in the last 2000 or so years? Any geologists please help.

Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s dream. Painting by Tissot

Genesis 40

Joseph Interprets a Dream

In this chapter, we are transported straight to dreamland and their interpretations. We have two guys; one the Pharaoh’s baker and the other cup-bearer joining Joseph in gulag where he[Joseph] is still head honcho. These two new prisoners, who are in prison for reasons that are unclear to me, both dream. Their dreams are similar in structure and differ only in detail and as such I find a difficulty in understanding why the interpretations are different. Joseph tells them that interpretations belong to god but goes ahead to do it. Is he god?

I don’t know about you, but there is no way I can have a long face for dreaming about vines, wines, grapes and so on. Or for that matter dreaming about bread baskets. If having such a dream gives you the freaks, you need help. And it is these two dreams that the two gentlemen had, wore long faces and Joseph set to interpret. Since the two men have no names, we can as well say they are cardboard characters, mentioned only for effect.

What I want us to pay attention to however, is from 12 Then Joseph said to him, “This is the interpretation of it: the three branches are three days; 13 within three more days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your office; and you will put Pharaoh’s cup into his hand according to your former custom when you were his cup-bearer. 14 Only keep me in mind when it goes well with you, and please do me a kindness by mentioning me to Pharaoh and get me out of this house. The reason this is important if you haven’t noticed is similar to what happens in the new testament in the story of Jesus. The three days represent the 3 days he is said to have died while the second part is the words of one of the guys nailed with him who asked to be remembered when he goes to the house of the father.

The next dream also has a similar import. I will just show the interpretation by Joseph and I hope you will be able to draw parallels with the new testament stories. 18 Then Joseph answered and said, “This is its interpretation: the three baskets are three days; 19 within three more days Pharaoh will lift up your head from you and will hang you on a tree, and the birds will eat your flesh off you.”

I also need to mention another important parallel in this story that the writers of the gospel stories could have made use of since by now me and you are aware that they could have access to the OT material, the Torah and other Hebrew text. And this is it, apart from the 3 days that are very symbolic is the people arrested one is cup-bearer and another baker. In the NT, Jesus asks his disciples to take wine and drink as a symbol of his blood for the forgiveness of sins and bread as his flesh. In fact, we can say confidently that the scribes creating the mythical Jesus could have given these and other stories as we shall see flesh to make him credible.

The only difference however as I can see is that the cup-bearer doesn’t remember Joseph.

Joseph interprets dreams painting adapted from lavistachurchofchrist.org