I have a question regarding Genesis, CH. 41. In this chapter, Joseph accurately interprets Pharaoh's dreams as foretelling the "7 years of plenty" and "7 years of famine" for Egypt. Genesis 41 says the following (verses taken from the Revised Version):
- "...there was famine in all lands" Gen. 41:54
- "And the famine was over all the face of the Earth..." Gen. 41: 56
- "And all countries came to Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because the famine was sore in all the Earth." Gen. 41:57
Then in Genesis 42, Jacob's sons leave Canaan to go to Egypt to buy corn/grain; obviously Gen. 42:5 says that there is famine in Canaan.
I guess my question is, what does Genesis refer to when it says "all lands/all faces/all countries of the Earth?" I know famine was periodically common in the ancient world (and still is today); we learned about the many famines that plagued Egypt in my Egyptian archaeology class back in my undergrad years during the different dynasties and periods.
Does "all lands" mean a worldwide famine as we would understand it today (I'm guessing no), or more of a regional famine that affected the Mediterranean "world?" I would think an ancient Egyptian or ancient Hebrew/Israelite would view their "world" on a more localized or regional scale, not so much a global one. But I don't know.
Does anyone know if such a regional/"worldwide(?)" famine has been found dating from Joseph's time in the archaeological record (to be honest, I don't know the exact time of when Joseph lived in Egypt; I'm assuming it's earlier than 1,000 BC)?