"Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, 'This does not depend on me. But G‑d may provide an answer concerning Pharaoh's peace. " (Gen. 41:16)

The word 'lemor/saying' here refers to Pharaoh's claim that Joseph claimed he only had to hear a dream and he already had its interpretation ready.

Joseph corrected the impression Pharaoh entertained about him by replying, "This does not depend on me." He explained that G‑d knows the interpretations of dreams and informs certain human beings of this. The same had taken place when Joseph had told the chief butler and the chief baker of the bakers that the interpretations were G‑d's, not his. He had invited those men to tell him their dreams in the hope that an interpretation could be found. He had never claimed an exclusive on that knowledge. This is also why he added: "G‑d may provide the answer." He added the word 'peace' in order to warn Pharaoh not to take offence if perchance the interpretation would not be to his liking and would presage something unpleasant. He should not accuse Joseph on the basis of "the dreams follow the interpretation chosen by the mouth" (of the interpreter). Even if he were to come up with an interpretation that forecast trouble, he was only G‑d's mouthpiece, the source was G‑d.

Joseph may also have had something quite different in mind when he said: "G‑d may provide an answer concerning Pharaoh's peace." He emphasized that in contrast with ordinary interpreters who are able to bend the meaning of the dream according to their choice, he, Joseph, could not do so. He could only relate the objective meaning of what Pharaoh had seen in his dream.

[Berachot 56 lists a variety of dreams and how the interpretation which seemed to contradict the impression left on the dreamer came true, thus proving that much depends on the person who interprets the dream. E.M.]

(Translated and annotated by Eliyahu Munk, Vol. I)