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Genesis 41

41
Pharaoh’s Dreams
1When two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream: He was standing by the Nile, 2when out of the river there came up seven cows, sleek and fat, and they grazed among the reeds. 3After them, seven other cows, ugly and gaunt, came up out of the Nile and stood beside those on the riverbank. 4And the cows that were ugly and gaunt ate up the seven sleek, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.
5He fell asleep again and had a second dream: Seven heads of grain, healthy and good, were growing on a single stalk. 6After them, seven other heads of grain sprouted—thin and scorched by the east wind. 7The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven healthy, full heads. Then Pharaoh woke up; it had been a dream.
8In the morning his mind was troubled, so he sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but no one could interpret them for him.
9Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “Today I am reminded of my shortcomings. 10Pharaoh was once angry with his servants, and he imprisoned me and the chief baker in the house of the captain of the guard. 11Each of us had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own. 12Now a young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams, and he interpreted them for us, giving each man the interpretation of his dream. 13And things turned out exactly as he interpreted them to us: I was restored to my position, and the other man was impaled.”
14So Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was quickly brought from the dungeon. When he had shaved and changed his clothes, he came before Pharaoh.
15Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.”
16“I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.”
17Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing on the bank of the Nile, 18when out of the river there came up seven cows, fat and sleek, and they grazed among the reeds. 19After them, seven other cows came up—scrawny and very ugly and lean. I had never seen such ugly cows in all the land of Egypt. 20The lean, ugly cows ate up the seven fat cows that came up first. 21But even after they ate them, no one could tell that they had done so; they looked just as ugly as before. Then I woke up.
22“In my dream I saw seven heads of grain, full and good, growing on a single stalk. 23After them, seven other heads sprouted—withered and thin and scorched by the east wind. 24The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven good heads. I told this to the magicians, but none of them could explain it to me.”
25Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one and the same. God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 26The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good heads of grain are seven years; it is one and the same dream. 27The seven lean, ugly cows that came up afterward are seven years, and so are the seven worthless heads of grain scorched by the east wind: They are seven years of famine.
28“It is just as I said to Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. 29Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt, 30but seven years of famine will follow them. Then all the abundance in Egypt will be forgotten, and the famine will ravage the land. 31The abundance in the land will not be remembered, because the famine that follows it will be so severe. 32The reason the dream was given to Pharaoh in two forms is that the matter has been firmly decided by God, and God will do it soon.
33“And now let Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man and put him in charge of the land of Egypt. 34Let Pharaoh appoint commissioners over the land to take a fifth of the harvest of Egypt during the seven years of abundance. 35They should collect all the food of these good years that are coming and store up the grain under the authority of Pharaoh, to be kept in the cities for food. 36This food should be held in reserve for the country, to be used during the seven years of famine that will come upon Egypt, so that the country may not be ruined by the famine.”
37The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his officials. 38So Pharaoh asked them, “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God#41:38 Or of the gods?”
39Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. 40You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.”
Joseph in Charge of Egypt
41So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” 42Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. 43He had him ride in a chariot as his second-in-command,#41:43 Or in the chariot of his second-in-command; or in his second chariot and people shouted before him, “Make way#41:43 Or Bow down!” Thus he put him in charge of the whole land of Egypt.
44Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your word no one will lift hand or foot in all Egypt.” 45Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah and gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On,#41:45 That is, Heliopolis; also in verse 50 to be his wife. And Joseph went throughout the land of Egypt.
46Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from Pharaoh’s presence and traveled throughout Egypt. 47During the seven years of abundance the land produced plentifully. 48Joseph collected all the food produced in those seven years of abundance in Egypt and stored it in the cities. In each city he put the food grown in the fields surrounding it. 49Joseph stored up huge quantities of grain, like the sand of the sea; it was so much that he stopped keeping records because it was beyond measure.
50Before the years of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On. 51Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh#41:51 Manasseh sounds like and may be derived from the Hebrew for forget. and said, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” 52The second son he named Ephraim#41:52 Ephraim sounds like the Hebrew for twice fruitful. and said, “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”
53The seven years of abundance in Egypt came to an end, 54and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in all the other lands, but in the whole land of Egypt there was food. 55When all Egypt began to feel the famine, the people cried to Pharaoh for food. Then Pharaoh told all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph and do what he tells you.”
56When the famine had spread over the whole country, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout Egypt. 57And all the world came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe everywhere.
41
1 After two years, Pharaoh saw a dream. He thought himself to be standing above a river,
2 from which ascended seven cows, exceedingly beautiful and stout. And they pastured in marshy places.
3 Likewise, another seven emerged from the river, filthy and thoroughly emaciated. And they pastured on the same bank of the river, in green places.
4 And they devoured those whose appearance and condition of body was so wonderful. Pharaoh, having been awakened,
5 slept again, and he saw another dream. Seven ears of grain sprung up on one stalk, full and well-formed.
6 Likewise, other ears of grain, of the same number, rose up, thin and struck with blight,
7 devouring all the beauty of the first. Pharaoh, when he awakened after his rest,
8 and when morning arrived, being terrified with fear, sent to all the interpreters of Egypt and to all of the wise men. And when they were summoned, he explained to them his dream; but there was no one who could interpret it.
9 Then at last the chief cupbearer, remembering, said, "I confess my sin.
10 The king, being angry with his servants, ordered me and the chief miller of grain to be forced into the prison of the leader of the military.
11 There, in one night, both of us saw a dream presaging the future.
12 In that place, there was a Hebrew, a servant of the same commander of the military, to whom we explained our dreams.
13 Whatever we heard was proven afterwards by the event of the matter. For I was restored to my office, and he was suspended on a cross."
14 Immediately, by the king's authority, Joseph was led out of prison, and they shaved him. And changing his apparel, they presented him to him.
15 And he said to him, "I have seen dreams, and there is no one who can unfold them. I have heard that you are very wise at interpreting these."
16 Joseph responded, "Apart from me, God will respond favorably to Pharaoh."
17 Therefore, Pharaoh explained what he had seen: "I thought myself to be standing on the bank of a river,
18 and seven cows climbed up from the river, exceedingly beautiful and full of flesh. And they grazed in a pasture of a marshy greenery.
19 And behold, there followed after these, another seven cows, with such deformity and emaciation as I had never seen in the land of Egypt.
20 These devoured and consumed the first,
21 giving no indication of being full. But they remained in the same state of emaciation and squalor. Awakening, but being weighed down into sleep again,
22 I saw a dream. Seven ears of grain sprang up on one stalk, full and very beautiful.
23 Likewise, another seven, thin and struck with blight, rose up from the stalk.
24 And they devoured the beauty of the first. I explained this dream to the interpreters, and there is no one who can unfold it."
25 Joseph responded: "The dream of the king is one. What God will do, he has revealed to Pharaoh.
26 The seven beautiful cows, and the seven full ears of grain, are seven years of abundance. And so the force of the dreams is understood to be the same.
27 Likewise, the seven thin and emaciated cows, which ascended after them, and the seven thin ears of grain, which were struck with the burning wind, are seven approaching years of famine.
28 These will be fulfilled in this order.
29 Behold, there will arrive seven years of great fertility throughout the entire land of Egypt.
30 After this, there will follow another seven years, of such great barrenness that all the former abundance will be delivered into oblivion. For the famine will consume all the land,
31 and the greatness of this destitution will cause the greatness of the abundance to be lost.
32 Now, as to what you saw the second time, it is a dream pertaining to the same thing. It is an indication of its firmness, because the word of God shall be done, and it shall be completed swiftly.
33 Now therefore, let the king provide a wise and industrious man, and place him over the land of Egypt,
34 so that he may appoint overseers throughout all the regions. And let a fifth part of the fruits, throughout the seven fertile years
35 that now have already begun to occur, be gathered into storehouses. And let all the grain be stored away, under the power of Pharaoh, and let it be kept in the cities.
36 And let it be prepared for the future famine of seven years, which will oppress Egypt, and then the land will not be consumed by destitution."
37 The counsel pleased Pharaoh and all his ministers.
38 And he said to them, "Would we be able to find another such man, who is full of the Spirit of God?"
39 Therefore, he said to Joseph: "Because God has revealed to you all that you have said, would I be able to find anyone wiser and as much like you?
40 You will be over my house, and to the authority of your mouth, all the people will show obedience. Only in one way, in the throne of the kingdom, will I go before you."
41 And again, Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Behold, I have appointed you over the entire land of Egypt."
42 And he took the ring from his own hand, and he gave it into his hand. And he clothed him with a robe of fine linen, and he placed a necklace of gold around his neck.
43 And he caused him to ascend upon his second swift chariot, with the herald proclaiming that everyone should bend their knee before him, and that they should know that he was governor over the entire land of Egypt.
44 Likewise, the king said to Joseph: "I am Pharaoh: apart from your authority, no one will move hand or foot in all the land of Egypt."
45 And he changed his name and called him, in the Egyptian tongue: 'Savior of the world.' And he gave him as a wife, Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of Heliopolis. And so Joseph went out into the land of Egypt.
46 (Now he was thirty years old when he stood in the sight of king Pharaoh.) And he traveled throughout the regions of Egypt.
47 And the fertility of the seven years arrived. And when the grain fields were reduced to sheaves, these were gathered into the storehouses of Egypt.
48 And now all the abundance of grain was stored away in every city.
49 And there was such a great abundance of wheat that it was comparable to the sands of the sea, and its bounty exceeded all measure.
50 Then, before the famine arrived, Joseph had two sons born, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of Heliopolis, bore for him.
51 And he called the name of the firstborn Manasseh, saying, "God has caused me to forget all my labors and the house of my father."
52 Likewise, he named the second Ephraim, saying, "God has caused me to increase in the land of my poverty."
53 And so, when the seven years of fertility that occurred in Egypt had passed,
54 the seven years of destitution, which Joseph had predicted, began to arrive. And the famine prevailed throughout the whole world, but there was bread in all the land of Egypt.
55 And being hungry, the people cried out to Pharaoh, asking for provisions. And he said to them: "Go to Joseph. And do whatever he will tell you."
56 Then the famine increased daily in all the land. And Joseph opened all of the storehouses and sold to the Egyptians. For the famine had oppressed them also.
57 And all the provinces came to Egypt, to buy food and to temper the misfortune of their destitution.