At the beginning of Parshas Mikeitz, Paroh asks his advisors to help interperet his dreams, but nobody could, until the Sar HaMashkim says he should call on Yosef for help.

The Gemara in Brachos 55b says, though, all dreams follow the mouth, and one dream could be interpreted 24 different ways which are all correct. So why couldn't the advisors come up with an answer (which, by the way, they did - see Rashi to Bereishis 41:8) which would automatically be correct? Why did Paroh need someone else to interpret them?

  • + 1 and why sar Haofim and sar hamashkim need Yosef?
    – kouty
    Jan 3, 2017 at 5:25
  • are you assuming that the Pharaoh knew the Gemara?
    – mevaqesh
    Jan 3, 2017 at 6:18
  • @msh210 That question discusses what was wrong with the interpretations themselves. My question is even if he didn't like the interpretations that shouldn't invalidate them. So what that he dreamt the correct interpretation? Any interpretation is a good one.
    – DonielF
    Jan 3, 2017 at 14:40
  • I'm really not seeing any difference. Maybe someone else can weigh in here?
    – msh210
    Jan 3, 2017 at 15:14
  • @mevaqesh see my previous comment please
    – msh210
    Jan 3, 2017 at 15:14

2 Answers 2


Medrash Hagodol - Mikeitz - page 625 says that Yosef asked Paroh how did he know that the advisors did not interpet the dream properly? Paroh told him that he saw the interpretation in the dream and therefore he knew what they said is untrue.

“אמר לו יוסף: מי הודיעך שלא פתרוהו כראוי? אמר לו: כשם שראיתי את החלום, כך ראיתי את פתרונו, לכן אינם יכולים לשחק בי”.

To understand this explanation I would say that Paroh did not remember the interpretation, yet was sure that once he heard it he would remember it.

  • I don't see how this answers the question. The question presupposes that there is no "correct interpretation" and that any explanation is legitimate, and that Pharoh knew this. A very strange set of assumptions, I would agree, but given them, I don't see how this is an answer.
    – mevaqesh
    Jan 3, 2017 at 16:22
  • Perhaps consider contributing here: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/78155/….
    – mevaqesh
    Jan 3, 2017 at 16:23
  • @mevaqesh: This very much answers the question. The advisors could not come up with the correct answer as the only correct answer was the one Yosef gave. Jan 3, 2017 at 18:41
  • @C.BenYosef That may be true, but it does not answer the question, as far as I can tell, given the stated assumptions of the OP.
    – mevaqesh
    Jan 3, 2017 at 19:02
  • @mevaqesh Given that the Torah states that Hashem had sent the dream in order to show what would happen, this was not like most dreams and did indeed have a correct interpretation. Thus, part of the answer is that in this case, the stated assumption of the OP is incorrect. Jan 3, 2017 at 21:21

The Malbim 41:15 explains that Pharoah saw his dreams as one dream(the passuk writes it lashon yachid) . He knew that all the astrologers were interpreting the dreams as two sepreate dreams ,but Pharoah saw it as one dream. He was intrigued by Yosef in the sense that he did not inteprt dreams like astrolergers who used external factors ,or combining dreams. Rather Yosef' s reputation was that he focused on each dream individually and on the dream itself.

  • But all interpretations given are correct. The fact that Paroh didn’t like them doesn’t falsify them.
    – DonielF
    Dec 12, 2018 at 21:11
  • Very possible it did,since it was two diff dreams
    – sam
    Dec 13, 2018 at 0:33
  • So what’s the benefit of Yosef?
    – DonielF
    Dec 13, 2018 at 8:31

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