Day after day passed, causing Joseph to sometimes lose track of time, which stretched on from day into night, day, night, day, and no end in sight of his confinement. There were moments when his soul got cast down within him, when everything looked so bleak and hopeless, so gloomy and distressing. He prayed early every morning, and when he had extra free time, but G-d was silent.
Again and again he had to remind himself of the visions and what G-d had said to him in this lovely spaceless place. He had to remind himself of all the good G-d had done to him, and how he constantly watched over him and surrounded him with favor, even in this lowly place and seemingly hopeless situation.
He came to the point where he just continually reminded the Lord of the promise in the visions, of what He had said, and thanked Him for accomplishing it and bringing it all to pass. He confessed to Him again and again that he believed G-d will set him free from this prison and bring him into that place of honor prepared by Him for Joseph.
Then, one morning – nearly a year had passed – when he entered the room of the cup bearer and the baker, he noticed they looked rather dejected. Come to find out both had had a dream that same night, but of different content, and neither of them knew what to make of it, nor was there anyone to interpret it.
“Do not interpretations belong to G-d?”, Joseph said. “Tell it to me, please.”56
G-d gave Joseph the interpretation of each dream, and it came to pass just as Joseph said: the chief baker got hanged, but the chief cup bearer was restored to his office.
Joseph had appealed to the cup bearer to remember him when all went well with him, and to be so kind as to mention him to pharaoh to get him out of this house. Yet the chief cup bearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him57.
Joseph’s situation looked utterly hopeless at that time. Here he was, a Hebrew slave forgotten in an Egyptian dungeon, far away from his beloved father who believed Joseph was dead. There was no one to make an appeal for him, no one to set him free. Would he ever get out of there?
At times he fell into deep depression, even despair. He knew he could not, must not listen to that voice that would mock him over and again, saying, “Bunny-trail! Bunny-trail! Dreamer, fool, loser!”
The only remedy he found against this was – praising G-d! He would sing to Him, dance before Him, worship Him on his knees with face to the ground, repeating constantly, “I believe! I believe! I do not doubt! I am waiting for you! Yes, O Lord, in hope I believe against all hope! See how totally hopeless it looks for me? Yet I believe! I hope! I trust! I have not given up. I trust and hope in your faithfulness, in your steadfast love, in bringing to pass what you said.”
Hearing his confessions spoken out loud renewed his faith, swept away the depression and despair, and he felt renewed in hope and strength. Even though two full years had passed already since both baker and cupbearer had left the jail58, Joseph refused to succumb to the voice of doubt and the bunny-trail.
And G-d was working on his behalf: G-d gave pharaoh a dream no one could interpret, neither priests nor wise men nor magicians. Then the chief cupbearer remembered Joseph and told pharaoh of him, who immediately sent for him.
Thirteen years had passed59 in which Joseph, the former spoiled brat and darling son of his father had been refined like silver in the furnace of the earth, like gold molten and poured - purged of all impurities - into a new vessel, destined for honor, for great things.
That particular day he got up like every morning, going about the business of taking care of the jail and the prisoners. He did not know in the morning of that day that in the evening of that self-same day he would have become the most powerful man in Egypt next to pharaoh.
When pharaoh’s servants came to fetch him, he wore his stained prison clothes, his hair and beard grown long in those two years of being a forgotten Hebrew slave. It was a physical expression of “What does it matter? Who sees it? Who cares?”
Now he hurriedly shaved and put on the decent clothes pharaoh’s servants had brought60, for who would dare appear before the king looking like and smelling like a vagrant? Pharaoh told his dreams, G-d gave Joseph the interpretations, plus the wise counsel what to do and how to prepare for the coming seven year-famine61.
In one single day G-d raised Joseph up from the "ash heap” into a place of great honor, power and authority62. Did this now still look like Joseph had been on a “bunny-trail?”
Having the knowledge of what was ahead, and realizing the position into which G-d placed him by pharaoh, Joseph came to understand with a jolt why G-d had brought him into Egypt and made him lord over all of the land, next to pharaoh: he was to save his family – the one with whom G-d had made an everlasting covenant - from perishing63. And alongside saving them, he also would save all of the Egyptians and everyone else that would come to him for grain64.
And in an instant, like in a flash, he knew that his brothers would come down to Egypt for grain and bow before him, the Egyptian lord, who held in his hands the power over life and death.
From that moment on Joseph planned and prepared carefully for their coming. He decided not to reveal himself to them immediately, but see first if and how they had changed for the better. He determined to appear only in his splendid, official Egyptian garments, and speak with them via an interpreter65.
Let them believe he was an Egyptian, because doubtlessly they would never, even in their wildest dreams, believe this mighty man to be their brother Joseph, the provider of the “bread of life.” Never would a Hebrew in Egypt rise to such an exalted position, much less a Hebrew slave66. They probably assumed him dead, anyway67.
And they did come, all ten of them except for Benjamin, his beloved younger brother, the youngest of the twelve. And they bowed down before him with their faces to the ground68.
And when they came down a second time to Egypt for grain, and brought with them Benjamin in compliance with Joseph’s strict injunction, all eleven now bowed before him to the ground – in his own house, not only once but twice69.
And finally, they fell down to the ground before Joseph, in utter distress70, still unaware that he was their brother who was testing them to see if they had changed for the better and were repenting of their deed against Joseph.
Indeed, the day came when they repented of the evil they had done to Joseph and asked him to forgive it, and fell down before him – the brother whom they had mocked following on a “bunny-trail” of dreams – one more time71, in complete fulfillment of the two visions, for all of his family was under his authority and in his care, everyone of them having made obeisance to him who was the lord of the land and their Savior72.
They had hated and despised him, mocked and ridiculed him, had been jealous of him and could not bear his presence, taking offense at him assuming, that he thought himself better than they were.
“Believing is seeing” – and Joseph’s faith endured despite all the trials and testings, and he persevered in hope and trust while the Word of the Lord tested him, until the time that his word came to pass73.
G-d vindicated Joseph the “dreamer,” and highly exalted the “fool” and “spoiled brat” in the sight of his brothers and father, for he became Israel’s savior and alongside them of the whole world.
What a “bunny-trail!” Hallelujah!
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