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Genesis 41

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The King’s Dreams
1Two years later the king dreamed he was standing on the bank of the Nile River. 2He saw seven fat and beautiful cows come up out of the river, and they stood there, eating the grass. 3Then seven more cows came up out of the river, but they were thin and ugly. They stood beside the seven beautiful cows on the bank of the Nile. 4The seven thin and ugly cows ate the seven beautiful fat cows. Then the king woke up. 5The king slept again and dreamed a second time. In his dream he saw seven full and good heads of grain growing on one stalk. 6After that, seven more heads of grain sprang up, but they were thin and burned by the hot east wind. 7The thin heads of grain ate the seven full and good heads. Then the king woke up again, and he realized it was only a dream. 8The next morning the king was troubled about these dreams, so he sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. The king told them his dreams, but no one could explain their meaning to him.
9Then the chief officer who served wine to the king said to him, “Now I remember something I promised to do, but I forgot about it. 10There was a time when you were angry with the baker and me, and you put us in prison in the house of the captain of the guard. 11In prison we each had a dream on the same night, and each dream had a different meaning. 12A young Hebrew man, a servant of the captain of the guard, was in the prison with us. When we told him our dreams, he explained their meanings to us. He told each man the meaning of his dream, and 13things happened exactly as he said they would: I was given back my old position, and the baker was hanged.”
14So the king called for Joseph. The guards quickly brought him out of the prison, and he shaved, put on clean clothes, and went before the king.
15The king said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, but no one can explain its meaning to me. I have heard that you can explain a dream when someone tells it to you.”
16Joseph answered the king, “I am not able to explain the meaning of dreams, but God will do this for the king.”
17Then the king said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing on the bank of the Nile River. 18I saw seven fat and beautiful cows that came up out of the river and ate the grass. 19Then I saw seven more cows come out of the river that were thin and lean and ugly—the worst looking cows I have seen in all the land of Egypt. 20And these thin and ugly cows ate the first seven fat cows, 21but after they had eaten the seven cows, no one could tell they had eaten them. They looked just as thin and ugly as they did in the beginning. Then I woke up.
22“I had another dream. I saw seven full and good heads of grain growing on one stalk. 23Then seven more heads of grain sprang up after them, but these heads were thin and ugly and were burned by the hot east wind. 24Then the thin heads ate the seven good heads. I told this dream to the magicians, but no one could explain its meaning to me.”
Joseph Tells the Dreams’ Meaning
25Then Joseph said to the king, “Both of these dreams mean the same thing. God is telling you what he is about to do. 26The seven good cows stand for seven years, and the seven good heads of grain stand for seven years. Both dreams mean the same thing. 27The seven thin and ugly cows stand for seven years, and the seven thin heads of grain burned by the hot east wind stand for seven years of hunger. 28This will happen as I told you. God is showing the king what he is about to do. 29You will have seven years of good crops and plenty to eat in all the land of Egypt. 30But after those seven years, there will come seven years of hunger, and all the food that grew in the land of Egypt will be forgotten. The time of hunger will eat up the land. 31People will forget what it was like to have plenty of food, because the hunger that follows will be so great. 32You had two dreams which mean the same thing. This shows that God has firmly decided that this will happen, and he will make it happen soon.
33“So let the king choose a man who is very wise and understanding and set him over the land of Egypt. 34And let the king also appoint officers over the land, who should take one-fifth of all the food that is grown during the seven good years. 35They should gather all the food that is produced during the good years that are coming, and under the king’s authority they should store the grain in the cities and guard it. 36That food should be saved to use during the seven years of hunger that will come on the land of Egypt. Then the people in Egypt will not die during the seven years of hunger.”
Joseph Is Made Ruler over Egypt
37This seemed like a very good idea to the king, and all his officers agreed. 38And the king asked them, “Can we find a better man than Joseph to take this job? God’s spirit is truly in him!”
39So the king said to Joseph, “God has shown you all this. There is no one as wise and understanding as you are, so 40I will put you in charge of my palace. All the people will obey your orders, and only I will be greater than you.”
41Then the king said to Joseph, “Look! I have put you in charge of all the land of Egypt.” 42Then the king took off from his own finger his ring with the royal seal on it, and he put it on Joseph’s finger. He gave Joseph fine linen clothes to wear, and he put a gold chain around Joseph’s neck. 43The king had Joseph ride in the second royal chariot, and people walked ahead of his chariot calling, “Bow down!” By doing these things, the king put Joseph in charge of all of Egypt.
44The king said to him, “I am the king, and I say that no one in all the land of Egypt may lift a hand or a foot without your permission.” 45The king gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah. He also gave Joseph a wife named Asenath, who was the daughter of Potiphera, priest of On. So Joseph traveled through all the land of Egypt.
46Joseph was thirty years old when he began serving the king of Egypt. And he left the king’s court and traveled through all the land of Egypt. 47During the seven good years, the crops in the land grew well. 48And Joseph gathered all the food produced in Egypt during those seven years of good crops and stored the food in the cities. In every city he stored grain that had been grown in the fields around that city. 49Joseph stored much grain, as much as the sand of the seashore—so much that he could not measure it.
50Joseph’s wife was Asenath daughter of Potiphera, the priest of On. Before the years of hunger came, Joseph and Asenath had two sons. 51Joseph named the first son Manasseh and said, “God has made me forget all the troubles I have had and all my father’s family.” 52Joseph named the second son Ephraim and said, “God has given me children in the land of my troubles.”
53The seven years of good crops came to an end in the land of Egypt. 54Then the seven years of hunger began, just as Joseph had said. In all the lands people had nothing to eat, but in Egypt there was food. 55The time of hunger became terrible in all of Egypt, and the people cried to the king for food. He said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph and do whatever he tells you.”
56The hunger was everywhere in that part of the world. And Joseph opened the storehouses and sold grain to the people of Egypt, because the time of hunger became terrible in Egypt. 57And all the people in that part of the world came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain because the hunger was terrible everywhere in that part of the world.
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Genesis 41
1¶ And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river.
2And, behold, there came up out of the river seven beautiful cows and very fat, and they fed in a meadow.
3And, behold, seven other cows came up after them out of the river, ugly and lean-fleshed, and stood by the other cows upon the brink of the river.
4And the ugly and lean-fleshed cows ate up the seven beautiful and fat cows. So Pharaoh awoke.
5And he slept and dreamed the second time; and, behold, seven heads of wheat came up upon one stalk, full and beautiful.
6And, behold, seven thin heads, blasted with the east wind sprung up after them.
7And the seven thin heads devoured the seven full and beautiful heads. And Pharaoh awoke, and, behold, it was a dream.
8And it came to pass in the morning that his spirit was troubled, and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt and all the wise men thereof; and Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was no one that could interpret them unto Pharaoh.
9¶ Then the chief butler spoke unto Pharaoh, saying, I remember my sins today;
10Pharaoh was angry with his slaves and put me in the prison of the captain of the guard’s house, both me and the prince of the bakers.
11And we both dreamed a dream in one night; we dreamed each man according to the interpretation of his dream.
12And there was there with us a young man, a Hebrew, slave to the captain of the guard; and we told him, and he interpreted our dreams to us; he interpreted to each man according to his dream.
13And it came to pass, as he interpreted to us, so it was; me he restored unto my office, and him he hanged.
14Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon; and they cut his hair and changed his clothes, and he came in unto Pharaoh.
15And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is no one that can interpret it; but I have heard say of thee that thou canst hear dreams to interpret them.
16And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me; God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.
17¶ And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, In my dream, behold, I stood upon the bank of the river;
18and, behold, there came up out of the river seven cows, fat-fleshed and beautiful in appearance; and they fed in a meadow.
19And, behold, seven other cows came up after them, lean and very ugly in appearance, and thin, such as I have never seen in all the land of Egypt for ugliness.
20And the lean and ugly cows ate up the first seven fat cows;
21and when they had eaten them up, it could not be known that they had eaten them; but they were still ugly, as at the beginning. So I awoke.
22And I also saw in my dream, and, behold, seven heads came up in one stalk, full and beautiful;
23and, behold, seven heads, withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them.
24And the thin heads devoured the seven good heads; and I told this unto the magicians, but there was no one that could declare it to me.
25Then Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: God has showed Pharaoh what he is about to do.
26The seven beautiful cows are seven years; and the seven good heads are seven years; the dream is one and the same.
27Also the seven thin and ugly cows that came up after them are seven years; and the seven empty heads blasted with the east wind shall be seven years of famine.
28This is the thing which I have spoken unto Pharaoh. What God is about to do he has shown unto Pharaoh.
29Behold, seven years of great plenty are coming throughout all the land of Egypt.
30And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land;
31and the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following; for it shall be very grievous.
32And that the dream came unto Pharaoh twice, it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.
33¶ Now therefore let Pharaoh find a discreet and wise man and set him over the land of Egypt.
34Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years.
35And let them gather all the food of those good years that come and lay up wheat under the hand of Pharaoh to feed the cities, and let them store it up.
36And let that food be stored for the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; and the land shall not perish through the famine.
37And the word was good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of all his slaves.
38And Pharaoh said unto his slaves, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?
39And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God has showed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art.
40Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled; only in the throne will I be greater than thou.
41And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.
42Then Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand and put it upon Joseph’s hand and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen and put a gold chain about his neck;
43and he made him to ride in his second chariot; and they cried before him, Abrech Tender Father-honour this one as a precious father; and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt.
44And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee no one shall lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.
45And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphnathpaaneah, and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.
46¶ And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh and went throughout all the land of Egypt.
47And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls.
48And he gathered up all the food of the seven years, which were in the land of Egypt and laid up the food in the cities, placing in each city the food of the field, which was round about.
49And Joseph gathered wheat as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left off numbering; for it was without number.
50And unto Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, which Asenath, the daughter of Potipherah, prince of On, bore unto him.
51And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh; For God, said he, has made me forget all my toil and all my father’s house.
52And the name of the second he called Ephraim, For God, said he, has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.
53And the seven years of the abundance that was in the land of Egypt were ended.
54And the seven years of famine began to come, according as Joseph had said; and the famine was in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.
55And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread. And Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do.
56And the famine was over all the face of the earth. Then Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold unto the Egyptians; for the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt.
57And all the earth came into Egypt to buy from Joseph because the famine was so sore in all lands.