Years between Pharaoh’s Dream Interpreted And Years of Plenty

Notes, concepts, and Editing by
Angela Reeves



This document considers whether a lengthy period of time elapsed between the time of Joseph interpreting the dream of Pharaoh and the time of the beginning of the years of plenty seven years before the years of famine. I will not be presenting proof of the amount of time between, though I will propose the amount of that time. Instead, I will be investigating evidence regarding such a period of time existing.

While I am writing this document, please keep in mind that Angela Reeves did most of the research for this document, following the evidence trails. In case a reader is wondering whether this document will even be of any interest, I will be giving literal translations of texts, and I will be discussing those texts and the events they describe; so, this document will cover a little more than the abovementioned topic.


Part 1: Jacob and Esau

Jacob and Esau are Twins

Genesis 25:21 And Isaac entreated to Yehovah to-straight-in-front-of his woman. For he is barren {fem.}. And Yehovah was entreated for him. And Rivkah his woman conceived. 22And the children oppressed-themselves inside her. And she said, “If established, why am I this {masc.}?” And she walked to research Yehovah. 23And Yehovah said to her, “Two races are in thy belly. And two folks will be separated from thine internals. And a folk will be-bolder than a folk. And a many will serve a younger.” 24And her days were filled to birth. And behold, twins are in her belly! 25And the first exited reddish—all of him as a fur-coat of hair. And they called his name Hairy [Esau]. 26And after establishment, his brother exited. And his hand is grasping into a heel of Esau. And he called his name He-will-Heel [Yaakov]. And Isaac is the son of 60 year in birthing them.

In verse 21, the ‘he’ who is barren refers to Rivkah (Rebekah), viewing her as a generic offspring of Adam, and thus placed in the masculine gender.

Rivkah was troubled by what was occurring in her womb. Instead of going to her husband as she previously had, and then seeing her husband go to Yehovah to ask for pregnancy, she went straight to Yehovah to ask. Yehovah answered her inquiry, giving her vital information, including that two races and folks are inside of her! Thus, she birthed twins. This detail is vital, since Jacob and Esau will be the same age. Store this information.


Esau Takes Grievous Wives (Esau/Jacob, age 40)

Genesis 26:34 And Esau is the son of 40 year. And he took a woman, Yehovah’s-Ruling [Yudit], daughter of My-Well [Beeri] the Hittite, and Spices [Basmat], daughter of Elon the Hittite. 35And they were bitternesses of spirit to Isaac and to Rivkah.

Esau is now 40 years old, and he takes wives. Those women were bitternesses of spirit to both Isaac and Rivkah. Jacob hasn’t taken a wife yet. Though he is 40, Isaac and Rivkah will send him away (after another incident) to obtain a wife.

Some translators translated the next chapter’s first verse (27:1) as if there were quite a break. The King James Version has the following:

Genesis 27:1 (KJV) ¶ And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, My son: and he said unto him, Behold, here am I.

A literal translation gives quite a different impression:

Genesis 27:1 And he was, because Isaac was old. And his eyes were weak from seeing. And he called Esau his big son. And he said unto him, “My son!” And he said unto him, “Behold I!”

He in, “And he was,” refers to the event about to be described. Isaac already was old, though he will live many more years! Still, he has very weak eyesight, which sets the stage for what occurs next. He called Esau. Continuing,

Genesis 27:2 And he said, “Behold, na, I was old. I didn’t know a day of my death. 3And now, carry, na, thy utensils, thy quiver and thy bow, and exit the field. And hunt for me a hunting. 4And make for me tasties just as I loved. And bring to me. And I ate, so that my being will bless thee before I will die.”

(The Hebrew word na is a particle, which means that it doesn’t have any other forms. It acts as a softener, removing harshness from a speech that might otherwise seem harsh or demanding.)

This event took place when Esau was just above 40 years of age. This is where I have done some guessing and figuring: I am thinking that Esau is 41 or 42, which means that Jacob would also be 41 or 42.

Esau does as Isaac tells him to do. While Esau is gone, Rivkah instructs Jacob to get goats so that she can cook them the way that Isaac likes so well. She also dresses Jacob in Esau’s clothing and binds goatskin on him so that nearly blind Isaac won’t be able to tell that Jacob isn’t Esau! That way, Jacob can obtain the blessing. The plan works very well. Esau returns, fixes the meal, brings it to Isaac, and finds that Jacob has already obtained the blessing. Esau has no idea what is in the blessing of which he has been (rightly) deprived, and he thinks that Jacob has obtained the inheritance (which Jacob never touched). Esau determines to murder Jacob after Isaac dies, and an unidentified mind reader tells Rivkah of this murder plot. She determines to send Jacob away to keep him alive. Thus, we have the following text:

Genesis 27:46 And Rivkah said unto Isaac, “I abhorred in my lives from the faces of the daughters of Het! If Jacob is taking a woman from the daughters of Het as these—from the daughters of the land, why are lives to me?” 28:1And Isaac called Jacob. And he blessed him. And he commanded him. And he said to him, “Thou shalt not take a woman from the daughters of Canaan!”

I proposed above that this occurred when Esau and Jacob were about 41 or 42 years old. This information will be vital later in this document.


Part 2: Jacob and Laban

After Jacob arrives at Laban’s place in Padan Aram, Jacob works with Laban’s sheep and goats. Jacob sees a woman he desires to wife: a daughter of Laban. He proposes to Laban for a work contract for Raquel:

Genesis 29:18 And Jacob loved Ewe [Raquel]. And he said, “I will serve thee seven years via Raquel, thy little daughter.”

When the seven years are up, Jacob tells Laban that it is time for him to acquire Raquel. Laban tricks Jacob:

Genesis 29:21 And Jacob said unto Laban, “Render my woman. For my days were filled. And I came unto her.” 22And Laban gathered all the men of the place. And he made a drinking-party. 23And he was in the evening. And he took Weary [Leah] his daughter. And he brought her unto him. And he came unto her. 24And Laban gave to her Her-Trickling [Zilpah] his slave-woman—to Leah his daughter, a slave-woman. 25And he was in the morning. And behold, he is Leah! And he said unto Laban, “What is this thou did to me? Did not I serve with thee via Raquel? And why did thou beguile me?” 26And Laban said, “It is not so done in our place—to give the young {fem.} to the faces of the firstborn {fem.}. 27Fill this seven, and we have given her to thee—also this—via the slavery that thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years!” 28And Jacob did so. And he filled this seven. And he gave Raquel his daughter to him for a woman.

Thus, Jacob has both women (and two slavewomen besides), and he slaves for Laban 14 years.


Jacob Begins to Leave Laban

Genesis 30:25 And he was just-as Raquel had born Joseph. And Jacob said unto Laban, “Send me. And I have walked unto my own place and to my land.”

Jacob slaved for Laban for 14 years, exactly as he agreed to do. Joseph is now a newborn. Jacob desires to leave Laban at this time. Instead, Laban talks Jacob out of leaving:

Genesis 30:27 And Laban said unto him, “If, na, I have found favour in thine eyes, I have augured, and Yehovah blessed me for thy sake!” 28And he said, “Specify thy wages concerning me, and I have given.” 29And he [Jacob] said unto him, “Thou, thou knew what I served thee, and what thy cattle was with me. 30For little is what was to thee to my faces; and he spread to multiply! And Yehovah blessed thee to my feet! And now, when shall I do—also I—to my house?” 31And he [Laban] said, “What shall I give to thee?” And Jacob said, “Thou shalt not give to me from a cubit. If thou wilt do this saying to me, I will return. I will pasture thy flock. I will guard. 32I will cross-over in all thy flock today to remove from there every speckled and spotted lamb, and every brown lamb in the sheep, and spotted and speckled in the goats. And he shall be my wage. 33And my righteousness shall answer via me in the day tomorrow, for thou wilt come upon my wages to thy faces. Each that is not speckled and spotted among the goats and brown among the sheep, he is stolen with me.” 34And White [Laban] said, “Behold, were-that he will be according to thy saying!”

Laban has become wealthy from Jacob’s labours for these 14 years! Laban knows this, and greatly desires to retain Jacob. Jacob species what his wages must be in order for Jacob to stay. They both agree to this new arrangement; Jacob will stay for another 6 years.

Now, 20 years have transpired, and Jacob can tell that Laban’s attitude toward Jacob has changed. Jacob and Laban both now have become wealthy (in only six years!). Jacob knows that it is time to leave. Only, Jacob also knows that Laban has strong-armed men whom Laban can order to detain Jacob; so Jacob and his family determine to secretly escape from Laban.

Laban hears of Jacob’s escape, and Laban chases Jacob, just as Jacob feared! Laban catches up with Jacob, after Yehovah warns Laban to not speak from good to bad unto Jacob. Laban arrives, and then he rifles through Jacob’s property, claiming that Jacob stole Laban’s gods! (Raquel had done that!) The next event happens after Laban cannot find his missing gods.


Jacob Finally Responds to Laban

Genesis 31:36 And he heated to Jacob [i.e., Jacob became hot with anger]. And he fought into Laban. And Jacob answered. And he said to Laban, “What is my transgression? What did I sin? For thou burned after me! 37For thou groped all my utensils! What did thou find from all the utensils of thy house? Put so straight-in-front-of my brothers and thy brothers, and they have corrected between us two! 38This twenty year [that] I am with thee, thy lambs and thy she-goats didn’t miscarry! And I didn’t eat the rams of thy flock! 39I didn’t bring a torn-[one] unto thee; I—I will sin her from my hand! Thou wilt seek her! I stole day and I stole night! 40I was—in the day, dryness ate me; and frost in the night! And my sleep wandered from my eyes! 41This is to me twenty year in thy house! I served thee fourteen year via two of thy daughters, and six years via thy flock! And thou changed my wage ten amounts!! 42Were-it-not-for Gods of my father—Gods of Avraham and Fear of Isaac was to me—for now thou sent me empty! Elohim saw my humiliation and toil of my palms. And He corrected last-night!”

This paragraph shows Jacob’s very heated, and yet always measured reply. Jacob gave Laban a small history of what it was like to slave for him.

If Jacob arrived at Laban’s place at age 41 or 42 as mentioned above, and now, it is 20 years later, Jacob would be 61 or 62. Back then, a 41- or 42-year-old man could have done the kind of work that Jacob did; that age was considered young. I can easily see Jacob now being 61 or 62 years old. In any case, Joseph is now 6 years old. This document necessarily involves the relative ages of Jacob and Joseph, as you will see.


Judah’s and Joseph’s Closeness of Age

Some birthing background must now be considered.

Leah is the first to conceive to Jacob. She has four children, and it seems that she has them one after another: Reuben, Shimon, Levi, and Judah. She began birthing after Jacob had been 7 years with Laban, since she was given to Jacob after 7 years of Jacob’s slavery to Laban had been fulfilled.

Now, recall a text above:

Genesis 30:25 And he was just-as Raquel had born Joseph. And Jacob said unto Laban, “Send me. And I have walked unto my own place and to my land.”

That was after the 14th year of Jacob’s slavery to Laban since Jacob had agreed to serve another 7 full years.

Compare the ages of just two: Judah and Joseph. If Leah had the four children at the rate of one per year, starting at the 8th year of Jacob’s slavery, that would place the birth of Judah in the 11th year. Joseph was born in the 15th year. Therefore, with this idea, the children were 4 years or less apart in age! Keep this also in mind!


Part 3: Joseph Alone in Egypt

Joseph Kidnapped (Joseph age 17)

Genesis 37:2 These are the childings of Jacob. Joseph, a son of 17 year, was a shepherd with his brothers in a flock. And he is a youth with the sons of Bilhah and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s women. And Joseph brought their bad defiance unto their father.

Joseph candidly answered Jacob’s inquiries into the doings of Joseph’s brothers. Those brothers demonstrated “bad defiance” of Jacob’s desires, all while attending Jacob’s flocks. The older brothers of Joseph determined to be rid of Joseph. They hatched a plot to kill him, and then they modified it: they will sell him. They never were able to do this, because Joseph was taken from the pit into which the brothers had placed him after stripping him of his clothes. The men who took Joseph sold them to another group, and that group sold him to Potiphar in Egypt. Joseph’s brothers then hatched a cover-up plan, claiming that Joseph had been killed; that way, no search party would be sent to find Joseph. Thus, Joseph became a 17-year-old slave in Egypt.

Joseph worked hard as a slave. The text doesn’t explain that Joseph had to first learn the language of Egypt; that is why Joseph could not communicate to tell Potiphar that he had been kidnapped. By the time Joseph can speak Egyptian at all, Potiphar’s house has been so blessed, that Potiphar is not about to permit Joseph to leave!

Since Potiphar is a eunuch, and yet has a wife, and since he cannot have sex with his wife, she has sexual desires, and Joseph is a very good-looking young man. She tries to seduce Joseph, but Joseph refuses. She finally finds him alone in the house, and she grabs his clothing; he runs outside without his clothing. He stays there, and she stays with his clothing until Potiphar arrives; they she accuses Joseph of rape. Potiphar does nothing at first, but when she continues to accuse, Potiphar knows he must respond. So, he takes Joseph by chariot to the royal prison over which Potiphar is responsible, since Potiphar is the chief executioner to the Pharaoh. He puts Joseph into the prison. In a short time, Joseph rises to the position of being in charge of that prison! Now, 13 years have elapsed, along with some major events in which Joseph is proven to be able to accurately interpret dreams.

Pharaoh has two dreams that terrify him. No one can interpret those dreams. Then one of Pharaoh’s slaves who was in that prison for a time recalls to Pharaoh his own and another’s experiences with dreams, and with Joseph’s interpreting them with perfect accuracy. Pharaoh calls for Joseph, and Joseph goes from being a prisoner to being second in command to all Egypt.


Joseph Stands before Pharaoh (Joseph age 30)

Genesis 41:46 And Joseph is 30 years old during his standing before Pharaoh king of Egypt.

Keep in mind that if Joseph is 30 years old, Judah is about 34 years old.


Joseph Building Silos (Joseph age 30)

Upon hearing the dreams of Pharaoh, Joseph explains them! He then gives Pharaoh instructions to avert disaster, since the dreams tell of plenteous times for seven years, followed by a seven-year famine that will be so bad:

Genesis 41:33 “And now Pharaoh shall look for a man understanding and wise. And he shall set him over the land of Egypt. 34Pharaoh shall do. And he shall appoint appointees over the land. And he shall one-fifth the land of Egypt in the seven years of repletion. 35And they shall gather all the food of these coming good years. And he shall store grain under the hand of Pharaoh, food in the cities. And they shall guard! 36And the food shall be for appointment to the land for the seven years of famine which shall be in the land of Egypt. And the land shall not be cut off via the famine.”

(I have wondered if those silos were the pyramids that were later used by the Pharaohs for tombs.)


Joseph Learning Land of Egypt (Joseph age 30)

Pharaoh is so pleased with the interpretation of the dreams and the instructions, that he and his advisors assign Joseph himself to do what needs to be done. Pharaoh knows that Joseph must get to know the land of Egypt; so he assigns Joseph to do just that.

Genesis 41:46b And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt.

It is here in the timeline that the question of this document occurs. Did Egypt experience the 7 years of plenty immediately at this time, followed by the 7 years of famine? Or, was there a period of years, during which the silos were built, Joseph got to know all the cultures of Egypt, and all the cultures of Egypt got to know Joseph, and personnel were trained to handle the high demand and flow of stored grain so that all had enough, and no gouging occurred?

The next text section is when Jacob arrives with his family in Egypt. This is vital, since Jacob arrives during the famine years.


Part 4: Whole Family in Egypt

Jacob Arrives in Egypt (Jacob age 130)

Joseph spoke the following to his brothers:

Genesis 45:6 “For this two-year(s), the famine is in the midst of the land. And further are five years that there is not plowing and harvest.”

Genesis 45:11 “And I will all-all-thee there—for further five years are famine—lest thou will be impoverished, and thy house and all that is to thee.”

Joseph finally convinced his brothers to bring Jacob to Egypt to save his family’s lives.

When Jacob comes, he meets Pharaoh.

Genesis 47:9 And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, “The days of the years of my sojournings are a hundred and thirty years.”

Thus, Jacob is now 130 years old.


Logic Point 1

If Joseph is 30 (when he stood before Pharaoh) + 7 (the years of plenty) + 2 (the first two years of the Great Famine), or 39, when Jacob is 130, that means that Jacob was 130 – 39, or 91 years old when Joseph was born! Now, his having a son at age 91 isn’t a problem; Avraham was 100 when Isaac was born. The problem is his age when he was shepherding sheep and goats for Laban, slaving for the man! Did Jacob continue to slave for Laban another 6 years (making Jacob 97 when he finally left Laban)? That makes no sense at all! Yet, that is what is necessary if no years passed from the time of Joseph interpreting Pharaoh’s dreams to the time of the 7 years of plenty.


The Story of Judah’s Lineage

In Genesis 38, Judah fathered three sons: Er, Onan, and Shelah. Judah obtained a woman named Tamar for Er, the firstborn.

Genesis 38:7 And Er, Judah’s firstborn, was bad in the eyes of Yehovah. And Yehovah killed him.

Judah told his second son, Onan, to raise up seed to his deceased brother. If Tamar had become pregnant with a son, the son would have inherited in the place of Er. Instead, the following took place:

Genesis 38:9 And Onan knew that the seed will not be his. And he will be, if he came unto the woman of his brother, and he will destroy groundward so as to not give seed to his brother! 10And what he did was bad in the eyes of Yehovah. And He also killed him!

Thus, Judah has only one son left, and he is a little young to be a husband for Tamar. Thus, the following occurs:

Genesis 38:11 Then Judah said to Palm [Tamar] his daughter in law, “Sit a widow the house of thy father until Shelah my son will biggen.” For he said, “Lest also he will die as his brothers.” And Tamar walked. And she sat the house of her father. 12And the days multiplied. And the daughter of Shua, woman of Judah, died. And Judah was consoled. And he ascended upon sheepshearers of his flock—he and Hirah his neighbour the Adullamite toward Timnah. 13And he told to Tamar to say, “Behold, thy father-in-law ascended Timnah to shear his flock.” 14And she removed garments of her widowhood from upon her. And she blanket-covered via a sari. And she overlayed herself. And she sat in an opening of the eyes that is upon the way Timnah-ward. For she saw that Shelah biggened, and he was not given {fem.} to him for a woman. 15And Judah saw her. And he thought her for a harlot, because she blanket-covered her faces. 16And he inclined unto her unto the way. And he said, “Come-on, na! I will come unto thee!” (For he didn’t know that this is his daughter-in-law.) And she said, “What wilt thou give to me that thou wilt come unto me?” 17And he said, “I— I will send a kid of goats from the flock.” And she said, “If thou wilt give a pledge until thy sending…” 18And he said, “What is the pledge that I will give to thee?” And she said, “Thy signet and thy bracelet and thy staff that is in thine hand.” And he gave to her. And he came unto her. And she conceived to him.

The timing of these events is what must be considered; yet, what occurred is also good to know.

Judah feared giving Shelah to Tamar, and for good reason: Shelah wasn’t better than his brothers. Though Judah had promised, he didn’t keep his promise. So, Tamar, hearing of Judah traveling, feigned to be a whore in the road, knowing that Judah’s wife had died. She knew Judah’s character well, for he sought her ‘services.’ She bargained as if she were a whore; he would pay a goat for sex; but he didn’t have a goat. So, she asked for three items that he had until he would pay: his signet, his bracelet, and his staff (they are worth more than a goat!). He agreed, and had sex with her, not recognizing her. She became pregnant by him. Yehovah gave her twins (read on your own if you don’t know the events), and thus the seed of Judah again started with three sons. I am personally certain that the tribe of Judah is what it is because of this heroic woman who reared two sons of Judah on her own without his interference.

Regarding timing: These two sons of Judah (Peretz, which is spelled ‘Pharez’ in most translations, and Zerakh, spelled ‘Zarah’ in most translations) were as grandsons; they were born that late to Judah!


Judah’s Grandsons Go to Egypt

At the time that Jacob and Joseph’s brethren descended to Egypt to dwell, Judah’s grandsons of his son Peretz also were among those listed and included in the number descending (Hezron and Hamul)!

Genesis 46:8 And these are the names of the children of Israel coming Egyptward—Jacob and his children …

Genesis 46:12 And the sons of Judah; Er and Onan and Shelah, and Peretz and Zerakh. (And Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan.) And the sons of Pharez are Hezron and Hamul.


Logic Point 2

Include the time that Tamar had been sent back to her father’s house to wait for Judah’s other son Shelah to be old enough to marry her, and then her pregnancy by Judah himself. The twins, Peretz and Zerakh, must have time to reach adulthood! And then Peretz must have time to find a wife and have two sons before the time of the family’s going down to Egypt to dwell! Judah would be, at the very least, in his sixties by that time! Recall that only a small age difference exists between Judah and Joseph (perhaps about 4 years). Joseph, then, cannot be 39 years old when his family arrives in Egypt!


Benjamin’s 10 Sons Go to Egypt

Also, at the time of Jacob’s family descending to Egypt, Benjamin had 10 sons who went down to Egypt:

Genesis 46:21 And the sons of Benjamin: Belah, and Becher, and Ashbel, Gera, and Naaman, Ehi, and Rosh, Muppim, and Huppim, and Ard. 22These are the sons of Raquel whom he childed to Jacob. All the beings are fourteen. 23And the sons of Dan: Hushim. 24And the sons of Naphtali: Jahzeel, and Guni, and Jezer, and Shillem. 25These are the sons of Bilhah whom Laban gave unto Raquel his daughter. And she childed these unto Jacob. All the beings are seven. 26Each being who came to Jacob Egypt-ward, exiters of his side (besides Jacob’s sons’ women)—each being is 66. 27And the sons of Joseph that he childed to him in Egypt are two being(s). All the being to the House of Jacob that came Egyptward is 70.


Logic Point 3

If Joseph had only been 39 at the time of the family’s coming to him, Benjamin could have only been about 32 or 33. It’s not impossible, but it seems highly unlikely, that he would have that many sons at that age!


Logic Point 4

Esau (who is Jacob’s twin brother) had taken wives at age 40. Rivkah’s reason she gave Isaac concerning their sending Jacob to Padan-Aram to get a wife was because Esau’s wives wearied her of her life. Would Isaac and Rivkah have waited 37 years to send him to get a wife?


Logic Point 5

Further, would Isaac and Rivkah be sending a 77-year-old man to get a wife?



If, instead, the 37 years are the years that Joseph traveled Egypt to learn all the various cultures in Egypt, to gain the trust of the Egyptians and the priests of the deities of Egypt (since he acted in Pharaoh’s stead, including in issues of justice), to oversee the building of the great grain silos, to establish Egyptians in positions of leadership to oversee grain intake during the 7 plenteous years and grain distribution during the famine, the events and birthings line up very well.

The Accompanying table proposes ages of Jacob, Joseph, and Esau, along with major events and one proposed timing, though the age of Esau when he died isn’t listed.


The following is a visual aid for the years proposed above, with each row being one year.