Mikketz  Gen 41:1 – 44:17

This Torah portion, Mikketz (Hebrew for “at the end”) is the second of the four that comprise the Joseph narrative.  Here’s the title in context: And it came to pass at the end of two years, and Pharoah dreamed…(Gen 41:1).

Synopsis:  Two years after Joseph correctly interpreted the dreams of the Pharaoh’s wine steward and baker, the Pharaoh has two dreams which appear to portend disaster.  None of the magicians in Egypt can interpret it, but the wine steward remembered Joseph and his skill.  Joseph is brought out of the dungeon. Newly shaved and dressed, he interprets the two dreams as having the same meaning: seven years of feast will be followed by seven years of famine.  Pharaoh promotes Joseph to the second most important position in Egypt. He renames Joseph Zaphnat-Paneach and provides an Egyptian bride for him.   Joseph and his wife have two children, Manasseh and Ephraim.   Joseph’s interpretation of the Pharaoh’s dream comes true.  During the famine years, Jacob sends all of his sons except Benjamin, the youngest, to Egypt for grain.  When they arrive in Egypt, Joseph recognizes them, but they don’t recognize him.   He calls them spies.  They disclose that they have another brother; Joseph says that they must bring the younger brother to Egypt and leave Simeon as a hostage.  The brothers buy the grain and on their way home, they note that their money has been placed in the sack with the grain.  They return to Canaan, tell Jacob what has happened and their need to bring Benjamin to Egypt.  Jacob will not let them take Benjamin.  As the famine continues, Jacob begrudgingly relents and the brothers take Benjamin to Egypt.   They buy grain and once again, they find their money in their sack.  They are arrested for stealing a silver goblet, which Joseph had one of his servants place in Benjamin’s sack.  Joseph tells the brothers that the one who had the goblet in his sack will be his slave; the others are to return to their father.