Genesis 41:6
And, behold, seven thin ears and blasted with the east wind sprung up after them.
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(6) East wind.—In Palestine the prevalent winds are those which blow from the west or east, and the latter, coming across arid deserts, is injurious to vegetation. In Egypt the winds generally are from the north or south, but the south-east wind, called Chamsin, blowing from the deserts of Arabia, has even more disastrous effects upon plants than the east wind in Palestine, and from the small dust with which it is laden is baleful also to human life. As there are no words in Hebrew for any except the four principal winds, this south-eastern wind may be meant; or as kēdim, east wind, became the usual name of every wind that burned up vegetation, the term may be employed in a general sense.

Genesis 41:6. Blasted by the east wind — Coming through the parched deserts of Arabia, and very pernicious in Egypt. Thevenot, in his Travels, part 1, Genesis 50:2, c. 34, says, that in the year 1658 two thousand men were destroyed in one night by one of these blasting winds.

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.The dreams are recited. "By the river." In the dream Pharaoh supposes himself on the banks of the Nile. "On rite green." The original word denotes the reed, or marsh grass, on the banks of the Nile. The cow is a very significant emblem of fruitful nature among the Egyptians, the hieroglyphic symbol of the earth and of agriculture; and the form in which Isis the goddess of the earth was adored. "Dreamed a second time." The repetition is designed to confirm the warning given, as Joseph afterward explains Genesis 41:32. Corn (grain) is the natural emblem of fertility and nurture. "Blasted with the east wind The east wind". The east wind is any wind coming from the east of the meridian, and may be a southeast or a northeast, as well as a direct east. The Hebrews were accustomed to speak only of the four winds, and, therefore, must have used the name of each with great latitude. The blasting wind in Egypt is said to be usually from the southeast. "And, behold, it was a dream." The impression was so distinct as to be taken for the reality, until he awoke and perceived that it was only a dream. "His spirit was troubled." Like the officers in the prison Genesis 40:6, he could not get rid of the feeling that the twofold dream portended some momentous event. "The scribes" - the hieroglyphs, who belonged to the priestly caste, and whose primary business was to make hieroglyphic and other inscriptions; while they were accustomed to consult the stars, interpret dreams, practise soothsaying, and pursue the other occult arts. The sages; whose chief business was the cultivation of the various arts above mentioned, while the engraving or inscribing department strictly belonged to the hieroglyphs or scribes. "His dream;" the twofold dream. "Interpreted them" - the two dreams.CHAPTER 41

Ge 41:1-24. Pharaoh's Dream.

1. at the end of two full years—It is not certain whether these years are reckoned from the beginning of Joseph's imprisonment, or from the events described in the preceding chapter—most likely the latter. What a long time for Joseph to experience the sickness of hope deferred! But the time of his enlargement came when he had sufficiently learned the lessons of God designed for him; and the plans of Providence were matured.

Pharaoh dreamed—"Pharaoh," from an Egyptian word Phre, signifying the "sun," was the official title of the kings of that country. The prince, who occupied the throne of Egypt, was Aphophis, one of the Memphite kings, whose capital was On or Heliopolis, and who is universally acknowledged to have been a patriot king. Between the arrival of Abraham and the appearance of Joseph in that country, somewhat more than two centuries had elapsed. Kings sleep and dream, as well as their subjects. And this Pharaoh had two dreams in one night so singular and so similar, so distinct and so apparently significant, so coherent and vividly impressed on his memory, that his spirit was troubled.

A boisterous wind, and in those parts of the world very pernicious to the fruits of the earth, Ezekiel 17:10 19:12 Hosea 13:15.

And, behold, seven thin ears, and blasted with the east wind,.... Which is very fatal to corn, to dry, burn, smite, or blast it; and especially to the corn in Egypt, whither it blew from the desert of Arabia: these

sprung up after them; after the seven full ears, in the same place the other did, or near unto them.

And, behold, seven thin ears and blasted with the east wind sprung up after them.
6. blasted with the east wind] The east wind in the O.T. is always a synonym for dryness, parching heat, and violence. Cf. Ezekiel 17:10; Ezekiel 19:12; Hosea 13:15; Jonah 4:8. In Egypt the S.E. wind is the dreaded khamsin, which brings the sandstorms in the spring, Ar. sirocco.

Verse 6. - And, behold, seven thin ears and blasted with the east wind sprung up after them - literally, burnt up of the east, קָדִים being put poetically for the fuller רוּחַ קָדִים. It has been urged that this displays a gross ignorance of the nature, of the climate in Egypt (Bohlen), since a wind directly east is rare in Egypt, and when it does occur is not injurious to vegetation; but, on the other hand, it is open to reply

(1) that direct east winds may be rare in Egypt, but so are dearth and famine such as that described in the narrative equally exceptional (Kalisch);

(2) that the Hebrews having only names to describe the four principal winds, the kadirn might comprise any wind blowing from an easterly direction (Hengstenberg); and

(3) that the south-east wind, "blowing in the months of March and April, is one of the most injurious winds, and of longest continuance" (Havernick). Hengstenberg quotes Ukert as saying, "As long as the south-east wind continues, doors and windows are closed; but the fine dust penetrates everywhere; everything dries up; wooden vessels warp and crack. The thermometer rises suddenly from 16° 20°, up to 30° 36°, and even 38°, Reaumur. This wind works destruction upon everything. The grass withers so that it entirely perishes if this wind blows long" ('Egypt and the Books of Moses,' p. 10). Genesis 41:6Pharaoh's Dreams and Their Interpretation. - Two full years afterwards (ימים accus. "in days," as in Genesis 29:14) Pharaoh had a dream. He was standing by the Nile, and saw seven fine fat cows ascend from the Nile and feed in the Nile-grass (אחוּ an Egyptian word); and behind them seven others, ugly (according to Genesis 41:19, unparalleled in their ugliness), lean (בּשׂר דּקּות "thin in flesh," for which we find in Genesis 41:19 דּלּות "fallen away," and בּשׂר רקּות withered in flesh, fleshless), which placed themselves beside those fat ones on the brink of the Nile and devoured them, without there being any effect to show that they had eaten them. He then awoke, but fell asleep again and had a second, similar dream: seven fat (Genesis 41:22, full) and fine ears grew upon one blade, and were swallowed up by seven thin (Genesis 41:23, "and hardened") ones, which were blasted by the east wind (קדים i.e., the S.E. wind, Chamsin, from the desert of Arabia).
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