It sounds like a compliment when the king says to Joseph, “When you hear a dream you know how to interpret it” (Gen. 41:15). Actually the implications of the statement are more sad than satisfactory.
Until now Joseph himself had been a dreamer. His dreams were thoughts of his own destiny. A bright future seemed to beckon him. He would be a leader, and others would be attracted by his visions. The world would become a different place. That was Joseph the dreamer.
Tradition in fact dubbed Joseph ba’al hachalomot, “the master of dreams”.
However, Joseph the interpreter was no free spirit soaring, but a public servant. His royal lord told him, “Interpret!” and he had no choice. Otherwise it would be a Lewis Carroll situation of “Off with his head!”
If his masters expected a certain type of interpretation, he had to know where his bread was buttered. He had to take note and comply. His life had to be “Yes, Minister!”
Other people in other places know that problem well. They have to say what they are expected to say. It confines their free spirits. It’s not that this is what they choose, but what they have to do.
That’s why when an official spokesman speaks, he or she needs our understanding. Everyone has to earn a living. Who says we always have to believe the official story?