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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
1-4Two years passed and Pharaoh had a dream: He was standing by the Nile River. Seven cows came up out of the Nile, all shimmering with health, and grazed on the marsh grass. Then seven other cows, all skin and bones, came up out of the river after them and stood by them on the bank of the Nile. The skinny cows ate the seven healthy cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.
5-7He went back to sleep and dreamed a second time: Seven ears of grain, full-bodied and lush, grew out of a single stalk. Then seven more ears grew up, but these were thin and dried out by the east wind. The thin ears swallowed up the full, healthy ears. Then Pharaoh woke up—another dream.
8When morning came, he was upset. He sent for all the magicians and sages of Egypt. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but they couldn’t interpret them to him.
9-13The head cupbearer then spoke up and said to Pharaoh, “I just now remembered something—I’m sorry, I should have told you this long ago. Once when Pharaoh got angry with his servants, he locked me and the head baker in the house of the captain of the guard. We both had dreams on the same night, each dream with its own meaning. It so happened that there was a young Hebrew slave there with us; he belonged to the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams and he interpreted them for us, each dream separately. Things turned out just as he interpreted. I was returned to my position and the head baker was impaled.”
14Pharaoh at once sent for Joseph. They brought him on the run from the jail cell. He cut his hair, put on clean clothes, and came to Pharaoh.
15“I dreamed a dream,” Pharaoh told Joseph. “Nobody can interpret it. But I’ve heard that just by hearing a dream you can interpret it.”
16Joseph answered, “Not I, but God. God will set Pharaoh’s mind at ease.”
17-21Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing on the bank of the Nile. Seven cows, shimmering with health, came up out of the river and grazed on the marsh grass. On their heels seven more cows, all skin and bones, came up. I’ve never seen uglier cows anywhere in Egypt. Then the seven skinny, ugly cows ate up the first seven healthy cows. But you couldn’t tell by looking—after eating them up they were just as skinny and ugly as before. Then I woke up.
22-24“In my second dream I saw seven ears of grain, full-bodied and lush, growing out of a single stalk, and right behind them, seven other ears, shriveled, thin, and dried out by the east wind. And the thin ears swallowed up the full ears. I’ve told all this to the magicians but they can’t figure it out.”
25-27Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Pharaoh’s two dreams both mean the same thing. God is telling Pharaoh what he is going to do. The seven healthy cows are seven years and the seven healthy ears of grain are seven years—they’re the same dream. The seven sick and ugly cows that followed them up are seven years and the seven scrawny ears of grain dried out by the east wind are the same—seven years of famine.
28-32“The meaning is what I said earlier: God is letting Pharaoh in on what he is going to do. Seven years of plenty are on their way throughout Egypt. But on their heels will come seven years of famine, leaving no trace of the Egyptian plenty. As the country is emptied by famine, there won’t be even a scrap left of the previous plenty—the famine will be total. The fact that Pharaoh dreamed the same dream twice emphasizes God’s determination to do this and do it soon.
33-36“So, Pharaoh needs to look for a wise and experienced man and put him in charge of the country. Then Pharaoh needs to appoint managers throughout the country of Egypt to organize it during the years of plenty. Their job will be to collect all the food produced in the good years ahead and stockpile the grain under Pharaoh’s authority, storing it in the towns for food. This grain will be held back to be used later during the seven years of famine that are coming on Egypt. This way the country won’t be devastated by the famine.”
37This seemed like a good idea to Pharaoh and his officials.
38Then Pharaoh said to his officials, “Isn’t this the man we need? Are we going to find anyone else who has God’s spirit in him like this?”
39-40So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “You’re the man for us. God has given you the inside story—no one is as qualified as you in experience and wisdom. From now on, you’re in charge of my affairs; all my people will report to you. Only as king will I be over you.”
41-43So Pharaoh commissioned Joseph: “I’m putting you in charge of the entire country of Egypt.” Then Pharaoh removed his signet ring from his finger and slipped it on Joseph’s hand. He outfitted him in robes of the best linen and put a gold chain around his neck. He put the second-in-command chariot at his disposal, and as he rode people shouted “Bravo!”
Joseph was in charge of the entire country of Egypt.
44Pharaoh told Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but no one in Egypt will make a single move without your stamp of approval.”
45Then Pharaoh gave Joseph an Egyptian name, Zaphenath-Paneah (God Speaks and He Lives). He also gave him an Egyptian wife, Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, the priest of On (Heliopolis).
And Joseph took up his duties over the land of Egypt.
46Joseph was thirty years old when he went to work for Pharaoh the king of Egypt. As soon as Joseph left Pharaoh’s presence, he began his work in Egypt.
47-49During the next seven years of plenty the land produced bumper crops. Joseph gathered up the food of the seven good years in Egypt and stored the food in cities. In each city he stockpiled surplus from the surrounding fields. Joseph collected so much grain—it was like the sand of the ocean!—that he finally quit keeping track.
50-52Joseph had two sons born to him before the years of famine came. Asenath, daughter of Potiphera the priest of On, was their mother. Joseph named the firstborn Manasseh (Forget), saying, “God made me forget all my hardships and my parental home.” He named his second son Ephraim (Double Prosperity), saying, “God has prospered me in the land of my sorrow.”
53-54Then Egypt’s seven good years came to an end and the seven years of famine arrived, just as Joseph had said. All countries experienced famine; Egypt was the only country that had bread.
55When the famine spread throughout Egypt, the people called out in distress to Pharaoh, calling for bread. He told the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph. Do what he tells you.”
56-57As the famine got worse all over the country, Joseph opened the storehouses and sold emergency supplies to the Egyptians. The famine was very bad. Soon the whole world was coming to buy supplies from Joseph. The famine was bad all over.