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Genesis 41

41
Pharaoh’s Dreams
1Then it came to pass, at the end of two full years, that #Gen. 40:5; Judg. 7:13Pharaoh had a dream; and behold, he stood by the river. 2Suddenly there came up out of the river seven cows, fine looking and fat; and they fed in the meadow. 3Then behold, seven other cows came up after them out of the river, ugly and gaunt, and stood by the other cows on the bank of the river. 4And the ugly and gaunt cows ate up the seven fine looking and fat cows. So Pharaoh awoke. 5He slept and dreamed a second time; and suddenly seven heads of grain came up on one stalk, plump and good. 6Then behold, seven thin heads, blighted by the #Ex. 10:13; Ezek. 17:10east wind, sprang up after them. 7And the seven thin heads devoured the seven plump and full heads. So Pharaoh awoke, and indeed, it was a dream. 8Now it came to pass in the morning #Dan. 2:1, 3; 4:5, 19that his spirit was troubled, and he sent and called for all #Ex. 7:11, 22; Is. 29:14; Dan. 1:20; 2:2; 4:7the magicians of Egypt and all its #Matt. 2:1wise men. And Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was no one who could interpret them for Pharaoh.
9Then the #Gen. 40:1, 14, 23chief butler spoke to Pharaoh, saying: “I remember my faults this day. 10When Pharaoh was #Gen. 40:2, 3angry with his servants, #Gen. 39:20and put me in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, both me and the chief baker, 11#Gen. 40:5; Judg. 7:15we each had a dream in one night, he and I. Each of us dreamed according to the interpretation of his own dream. 12Now there was a young #Gen. 39:14; 43:32Hebrew man with us there, a #Gen. 37:36servant of the captain of the guard. And we told him, and he #Gen. 40:12interpreted our dreams for us; to each man he interpreted according to his own dream. 13And it came to pass, just #Gen. 40:21, 22as he interpreted for us, so it happened. He restored me to my office, and he hanged him.”
14#Ps. 105:20Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they #Dan. 2:25brought him quickly #(1 Sam. 2:8)out of the dungeon; and he shaved, #2 Kin. 25:27–29changed his clothing, and came to Pharaoh. 15And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. #Gen. 41:8, 12; Dan. 5:16But I have heard it said of you that you can understand a dream, to interpret it.”
16So Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, #Dan. 2:30; Acts 3:12; (2 Cor. 3:5)It is not in me; #Gen. 40:8; 41:25, 28, 32; Deut. 29:29; Dan. 2:22, 28, 47God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace.”
17Then Pharaoh said to Joseph: “Behold, #Gen. 41:1in my dream I stood on the bank of the river. 18Suddenly seven cows came up out of the river, fine looking and fat; and they fed in the meadow. 19Then behold, seven other cows came up after them, poor and very ugly and gaunt, such ugliness as I have never seen in all the land of Egypt. 20And the gaunt and ugly cows ate up the first seven, the fat cows. 21When they had eaten them up, no one would have known that they had eaten them, for they were just as ugly as at the beginning. So I awoke. 22Also I saw in my dream, and suddenly seven heads came up on one stalk, full and good. 23Then behold, seven heads, withered, thin, and blighted by the east wind, sprang up after them. 24And the thin heads devoured the seven good heads. So #Gen. 41:8; Ex. 7:11; Is. 8:19; Dan. 4:7I told this to the magicians, but there was no one who could explain it to me.”
25Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one; #Gen. 41:28, 32; Dan. 2:28, 29, 45; Rev. 4:1God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do: 26The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good heads are seven years; the dreams are one. 27And the seven thin and ugly cows which came up after them are seven years, and the seven empty heads blighted by the east wind are #2 Kin. 8:1seven years of famine. 28#(Gen. 41:25, 32; Dan. 2:28)This is the thing which I have spoken to Pharaoh. God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do. 29Indeed #Gen. 41:47seven years of great plenty will come throughout all the land of Egypt; 30but after them seven years of famine will #Gen. 41:54, 56arise, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine #Gen. 47:13; Ps. 105:16will deplete the land. 31So the plenty will not be known in the land because of the famine following, for it will be very severe. 32And the dream was repeated to Pharaoh twice because the #Gen. 41:25, 28; Num. 23:19; Is. 46:10, 11thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.
33“Now therefore, let Pharaoh select a discerning and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt. 34Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, #(Prov. 6:6–8)to collect one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven plentiful years. 35And #Gen. 41:48let them gather all the food of those good years that are coming, and store up grain under the authority of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. 36Then that food shall be as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which shall be in the land of Egypt, that the land #Gen. 47:15, 19may not perish during the famine.”
Joseph’s Rise to Power
37So #Ps. 105:19; Acts 7:10the advice was good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of all his servants. 38And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find such a one as this, a man #Num. 27:18; (Job 32:8; Prov. 2:6); Dan. 4:8, 9, 18; 5:11, 14; 6:3in whom is the Spirit of God?”
39Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. 40#Ps. 105:21; Acts 7:10You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you.” 41And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have #Gen. 42:6; Ps. 105:21; Dan. 6:3; Acts 7:10set you over all the land of Egypt.”
42Then Pharaoh #Esth. 3:10took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand; and he #Esth. 8:2, 15clothed him in garments of fine linen #Dan. 5:7, 16, 29and put a gold chain around his neck. 43And he had him ride in the second #Gen. 46:29chariot which he had; #Esth. 6:9and they cried out before him, “Bow the knee!” So he set him #Gen. 42:6over all the land of Egypt. 44Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no man may lift his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.” 45And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphnath-Paaneah. And he gave him as a wife #Gen. 46:20Asenath, the daughter of Poti-Pherah priest of On. So Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.
46Joseph was thirty years old when he #1 Sam. 16:21; 1 Kin. 12:6, 8; Dan. 1:19stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt. 47Now in the seven plentiful years the ground brought forth abundantly. 48So 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; he laid up in every city the food of the fields which surrounded them. 49Joseph gathered very much grain, #Gen. 22:17; Judg. 7:12; 1 Sam. 13:5as the sand of the sea, until he stopped counting, for it was immeasurable.
50#Gen. 46:20; 48:5And to Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, whom Asenath, the daughter of Poti-Pherah priest of On, bore to him. 51Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: “For God has made me forget all my toil and all my #Ps. 45:10father’s house.” 52And the name of the second he called Ephraim: “For God has caused me to be #Gen. 17:6; 28:3; 49:22fruitful in the land of my affliction.”
53Then the seven years of plenty which were in the land of Egypt ended, 54#Ps. 105:16; Acts 7:11and the seven years of famine began to come, #Gen. 41:30as Joseph had said. The famine was in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. 55So when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread. Then Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph; #John 2:5whatever he says to you, do.” 56The famine was over all the face of the earth, and Joseph opened all the storehouses and #Gen. 42:6sold to the Egyptians. And the famine became severe in the land of Egypt. 57#Ezek. 29:12So all countries came to Joseph in Egypt to #Gen. 27:28, 37; 42:3buy grain, because the famine was severe in all lands.
41
1A full two years later, Pharaoh had a dream that he was standing beside the River Nile. 2He saw seven cows coming up from the river. They looked well-fed and healthy as they grazed among the reeds. 3Then he saw another seven cows that came up behind them. They looked ugly and skinny as they stood beside the other cows on the bank of the Nile. 4Then the ugly, skinny cows ate the well-fed, healthy cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.
5Pharaoh fell asleep again and had a second dream. Seven heads of grain were growing on one stalk, ripe and healthy. 6Then seven heads of grain grew up after them, thin and dried by the east wind. 7The seven thin and dried heads of grain swallowed up the ripe and healthy ones. Then Pharaoh woke up and realized he'd been dreaming.
8The next morning Pharaoh was worried by his dreams,#41:8. “By his dreams”: supplied for clarity. so he sent for all the magicians and wise men in Egypt. Pharaoh told them about his dreams, but no one could interpret their meaning for him.
9But then the chief cupbearer spoke up. “Today I've just remembered a bad mistake I've made,” he explained. 10“Your Majesty was angry with some of your officials and you imprisoned me in the house of the commander of the guard, along with the chief baker. 11We each had a dream. They were different dreams, each with its own meaning. 12A young Hebrew was there with us, a slave of the commander of the guard. When we told him our dreams, he interpreted for us the meaning of our different dreams. 13Everything happened just as he said it would—I was given back my job and the baker was hanged.”
14Pharaoh summoned Joseph, and they quickly brought him from the prison. After he'd shaved and changed his clothes, he was presented to Pharaoh.
15Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, but no one can interpret its meaning. But I've heard that when someone tells you a dream you know how to interpret it.”
16“It's not me who can do this,” Joseph replied. “But God will explain its meaning to set Your Majesty's mind at rest.”
17Pharaoh explained to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing on the bank of the Nile. 18I saw seven cows coming up from the river. They looked well-fed and healthy as they grazed among the reeds. 19Then I saw another seven cows that came up behind them. They looked sickly and ugly and skinny—I've never seen such ugly cows in the whole of Egypt! 20These skinny, ugly cows ate the first seven healthy-looking cows. 21But afterwards you couldn't tell they'd eaten them because they looked just as skinny and ugly as before. Then I woke up.
22Then I fell asleep again. In my second dream I saw seven heads of grain growing on one stalk, ripe and healthy. 23Then seven heads of grain grew up after them, withered and thin and dried by the east wind. 24The seven thin heads of grain swallowed up the healthy ones. I told all this to the magicians, but none of them could explain its meaning to me.”
25“Pharaoh's dreams mean the same thing,” Joseph responded. “God is telling Pharaoh what he is going to do. 26The seven good cows and the seven good heads of grain represent seven good years of harvest.#41:26. “Of harvest”: supplied for clarity. The dreams mean the same thing. 27The seven skinny and ugly cows that came after them and the seven thin heads of grain dried by the east wind represent seven years of famine. 28It's just as I told Your Majesty—God has shown Pharaoh what he is going to do. 29There are going to be seven years with plenty of food produced throughout the whole country of Egypt. 30But after them will come seven years of famine. People will forget the time when there was plenty of food throughout Egypt. Famine will ruin the country. 31The time of plenty will be completely forgotten because the famine that follows it will be so terrible. 32The fact that the dream was repeated twice means that it has definitely been decided by God, and that God is going to do this soon.
33So Your Majesty should choose a man with insight and wisdom, and put him in charge of the whole country of Egypt. 34Your Majesty should also appoint officials to be in charge of the land, and have them collect one-fifth of the produce of the country during the seven years of plenty. 35They should collect all the food during the good years that are soon coming, and store the grain under Pharaoh's authority, keeping it under guard to provide food for the towns. 36This will be a food reserve for the country during the seven years of famine so that the people won't die of starvation.”
37Pharaoh and all his officials thought Joseph's proposal was a good idea. 38So Pharaoh asked them, “Where can we find a man like this who has the spirit of God in him?” 39Then Pharaoh spoke to Joseph, telling him, “Since God has revealed to you all this, and there's no one like you with such insight and wisdom, 40you will be in charge of all my affairs, and all my people will obey your orders. Only I with my status as king#41:40. “My status as king”: literally “the throne.” will be greater than you.”
41Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Look, I'm putting you in charge of the whole country of Egypt.” 42Pharaoh took off his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph's finger. He dressed him in fine linen clothes and placed a golden chain around his neck. 43He had Joseph ride in the chariot designated for his second-in-command while his attendants went ahead, shouting, “Bow down!”#41:43. “Bow down!” This Egyptian loan word is variously translated: “Attention!” “Make way!” “Praise!” “Do homage!” All relate to honoring a dignitary. This is how Pharaoh gave Joseph authority over all of Egypt.
44Then Pharaoh told Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your permission nobody will lift a hand or a foot anywhere in the whole country.” 45Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-paneah,#41:45. Meaning “The God speaks and he (the subject) lives.” and arranged for him to marry Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of On. This is how Joseph rose to power over the whole of Egypt.
46Joseph was thirty when he started working for Pharaoh, king of Egypt. After he had left Pharaoh, Joseph traveled on an inspection tour#41:46. “On an inspection tour”: supplied for clarity. throughout Egypt. 47During the seven years of good harvests, the land produced plenty of food. 48He collected all the food during the seven good years, and he stored the grain produced in the local fields in each town. 49Joseph piled up so much grain that it was like the sand of the seashore. Eventually he stopped keeping records because there was just so much!
50It was during this time, before the years of famine came, that Joseph had two sons by Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of On. 51Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh,#41:51. “Manasseh” means “cause to forget.” because he said, “The Lord has made me forget all my troubles and all my father's family.” 52His second son he named Ephraim,#41:52. “Ephraim” means “fruitful.” because he said, “God has made me fruitful in the country of my misery.”
53The seven years of plenty 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 countries but the whole of Egypt had food. 55When all of Egypt was hungry, the people cried out to Pharaoh for food, and he told everyone, “Go and see Joseph and do whatever he tells you.” 56The famine had spread all over the country so Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold grain to the people of Egypt. The famine was very bad in Egypt, 57in fact the famine was very bad everywhere, so people from other countries all around came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph.