Genesis 41:5 MEANING

Genesis 41:5
(5) Seven ears . . . upon one stalk.--The wheat cultivated in Egypt is called triticum compositum, because it produces several ears upon the same stalk. The statement of Herodotus (ii. 36), that the Egyptians regarded it as disgraceful to feed upon wheat or barley, is disproved by the paintings in the temples, especially in the district of Thebes, which show that it was the main crop there, and its cultivation held in high honour. Maspero, Hist. Ancienne, p. 9, says, "In spite of Herodotus, the usual food of the people was wheat and other cereals, which the soil of Egypt produces in abundance."

Verse 5. - And he slept and dreamed the second time (that same night): and, behold, seven ears of corn came up upon one stalk, rank (i.e. fat) and good. This clearly pointed to the corn of the Nile valley, the triticum compositum, which Bears seven ears upon one stalk. The assertion of Herodotus, that the Egyptians counted it a disgrace to live on wheat and barley (2:36), Wilkinson regards as incorrect, since "both wheat and barley are noticed in Lower Egypt long before Herodotus' time (Exodus 9:31, 32), and the paintings of the Thebaid prove that they were grown extensively in that part of the country; they were among the offerings in the temples; and the king, at his coronation, cutting some ears of wheat, afterwards offered to the gods as the staple production of Egypt, shows how great a value was set on a grain which Herodotus would lead us to suppose was held in abhorrence" (Rawlinson's 'Hexodotus,' vol. 2. p. 49).

41:1-8 The means of Joseph's being freed from prison were Pharaoh's dreams, as here related. Now that God no longer speaks to us in that way, it is no matter how little we either heed dreams, or tell them. The telling of foolish dreams can make no better than foolish talk. But these dreams showed that they were sent of God; when he awoke, Pharaoh's spirit was troubled.And he slept, and dreamed the second time,.... He fell asleep again quickly, and dreamed another dream the same night, and to the same purpose, being much of the like kind with the former:

and, behold, seven ears of corn came up upon one stalk, rank and good; which were very uncommon even in those fruitful countries; though Dr. Shaw (e) observes of Barbary, which vied with Egypt for fruitfulness, that it sometimes happens that one stalk of wheat will bear two ears, while each of these ears will as often shoot out into a number of lesser ones, thereby affording a most plentiful increase.

(e) Travels, p. 137. Ed. 2.

Courtesy of Open Bible