41 37 Joseph’s words seemed good to Pharaoh’s eyes and in the eyes of all his servants. 38 Pharaoh said to his servants, “Could we find another like him, in whom there is a spirit of a god?” 39 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since a god has made all this known to you, no one is as discerning and wise as you are. 40 You will be over my house, and your word will be obeyed by all my people. Only by the throne will I be greater than you.” 41 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I give you authority over all the land of Egypt.” 42 Pharaoh took off his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, had him dressed in linen clothes, and he put a golden collar around his neck. 43 He had Joseph ride in the chariot of his second-in-command, and they called out before him, “Abrekh! / Attention!” In this way, Pharaoh installed Joseph over the entire land of Egypt.
44 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh. Without you, no man shall raise a hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.” 45 Pharaoh renamed Joseph, Zaphenath-Paneah/God-Speaks-and-Lives, and gave him Asenath, daughter of Potiphera, the priest of On/Heliopolis.
Then Joseph’s influence went out over the land of Egypt.
Joseph’s take on Pharaoh’s dream landed well. They saw a change in climate before it arrived. Not every people will give credit to dreams when the pressure of constant profit blinds them to its first source—nature.
The very set-up of an autocracy (revealed in many different political structures, including democracy) is always looking for that one person who can run things to “my” benefit. This can lead to remarkable leaders who come to such a time as theirs. It can also lead to mountebanks and scoundrels who steal from each and every sucker.
Pharaoh cuts to the chase and says the one who solved his dream shall be the one to solve the revealed problem.
Again, Joseph-the-Administrator rides to save-the-day. Joseph leaves from playing warden to playing prime minister. We are not told about Potiphar and whatever demotion this might mean for him (and his wife).
In place of his embroidered cloak, Joseph now has a fancy ring, fine linen clothes, and a golden collar that lifts up and sets off his handsome face. He rides in the limousine of his day with escorts sirening his presence. His word becomes law in the land.
Abram became Abraham, Jacob became Israel, and now Joseph becomes Zaphenath-Paneah (G*D Lives and Speaks Here). [Note: This interpretive meaning of Z-P identifies Joseph as G*D—a dangerous equivalency.
A wife is given him who is not from Mesopotamia, but On (later names Heliopolis—a place where the Sun is worshiped). Joseph is set at the center of Egyptian life. Will he be unassimilated and returned to his family of origin to become its center?