The seven years of plenty that occurred in the land of Egypt came to an end, and the seven years of famine began to come, as Joseph had said. There was famine in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. When all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread. Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph. What he says to you, do.”
So when the famine had spread over all the land, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe in the land of Egypt. Moreover, all the earth came to Egypt to Joseph to buy grain, because the famine was severe over all the earth.
by: Dorothy Noel.
Verse 54 seems to indicate that Joseph did not immediately open the grain stores after the 7 years of plenty. There was a pause where the people cried out to Pharaoh, and then Joseph, when the famine was widespread, opened the silos. But while the primary recipients were the Egyptians, the grain was available to all the peoples of the earth. This emphasis is a reminder that Joseph was a descendant of Abraham, through whom all peoples of the earth will be blessed (Genesis 12:3). While that prophecy refers more broadly to the coming of Jesus, we see a glimmer of that hope in Joseph’s preparation of food for all nations.