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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
Pharaoh’s Dreams
1Two years later Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing by the Nile River. 2In the dream, seven cows came out of the river and stood there eating grass. They were healthy, good-looking cows. 3Then seven more cows came out of the river and stood on the bank of the river by the healthy cows. But these cows were thin and looked sick. 4The seven sick cows ate the seven healthy cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.
5Pharaoh went back to sleep and began dreaming again. This time he dreamed that he saw seven heads of grain growing on one plant. They were healthy and full of grain. 6Then he saw seven more heads of grain sprouting, but they were thin and scorched by the hot wind. 7The thin heads of grain ate the seven good heads of grain. Then Pharaoh woke up again and realized it was only a dream. 8The next morning Pharaoh was worried about these dreams, so he sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. Pharaoh told these men the dreams, but none of them could explain the dreams.
The Servant Tells Pharaoh About Joseph
9Then the wine servant remembered Joseph and said to Pharaoh, “I remember something that happened to me. 10You were angry with the baker and me, and you put us in prison. 11Then one night he and I had a dream. Each dream had a different meaning. 12There was a young Hebrew man in prison with us. He was a servant of the commander of the guards. We told him our dreams, and he explained them to us. He told us the meaning of each dream, 13and what he said came true. He said I would be free and have my old job back, and it happened. He also said the baker would die, and it happened!”
Joseph Is Called to Explain the Dreams
14So Pharaoh called Joseph from the prison. The guards quickly got Joseph out of prison. Joseph shaved, put on some clean clothes, and went to see Pharaoh. 15Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, and no one can explain it for me. I heard that you can explain dreams when someone tells you about them.”
16Joseph answered, “I cannot! But God can explain the dream for you, Pharaoh.”
17Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing by the Nile River. 18Seven cows came up out of the river and stood there eating the grass. They were healthy, good-looking cows. 19Then I saw seven more cows come up out of the river after them, but these cows were thin and looked sick. They were the worst cows I had ever seen anywhere in Egypt! 20The thin, sick cows ate the first healthy cows, 21but they still looked thin and sick. You couldn’t even tell they had eaten the healthy cows. They looked as thin and sick as they did in the beginning. Then I woke up.
22“In my next dream I saw seven heads of grain growing on one plant. They were healthy and full of grain. 23And then seven more heads of grain grew after them, but they were thin and scorched by the hot wind. 24Then the thin heads of grain ate the seven good heads of grain.
“I told these dreams to my magicians. But no one could explain the dreams to me. What do they mean?”
Joseph Explains the Dream
25Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Both of these dreams have the same meaning. God is telling you what will happen soon. 26The seven good cows and the seven good heads of grain are seven good years. 27And the seven thin, sick-looking cows and the seven thin heads of grain mean that there will be seven years of hunger in this area. These seven bad years will come after the seven good years. 28God has shown you what will happen soon. He will make these things happen just as I told you. 29For seven years there will be plenty of food in Egypt. 30But then there will be seven years of hunger. The people will forget how much food there had been in Egypt before. This famine will ruin the country. 31It will be so bad that people will forget what it was like to have plenty of food.
32“Pharaoh, you had two dreams about the same thing. That means God wanted to show you that he really will make this happen, and he will make it happen soon! 33So, Pharaoh, you should choose a wise, intelligent man and put him in charge of Egypt. 34Then you should choose other men to collect food from the people. During the seven good years, the people must give them one-fifth of all the food they grow. 35In this way these men will collect all the food during the seven good years and store it in the cities until it is needed. Pharaoh, this food will be under your control. 36Then during the seven years of hunger, there will be food for the country of Egypt. And Egypt will not be destroyed by the famine.”
37This seemed like a very good idea to Pharaoh, and all his officials agreed. 38Then Pharaoh told them, “I don’t think we can find anyone better than Joseph to take this job! God’s Spirit is in him, making him very wise!”
39So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “God showed these things to you, so you must be the wisest man. 40I will put you in charge of my country, and the people will obey all your commands. I will be the only one more powerful than you.”
41Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I now make you governor over all of Egypt.” 42Then Pharaoh gave his special ring to Joseph. The royal seal was on this ring. Pharaoh also gave Joseph a fine linen robe and put a gold chain around his neck. 43Then he told Joseph to ride in his second chariot. Pharaoh’s officials said, “Let him be the governor over the whole land of Egypt!”#41:43 Or “Then Pharaoh had Joseph ride in the chariot of his second-in-command, and they said, ‘Bow before Joseph.’ In this way Joseph became the governor over all of Egypt.”
44Then Pharaoh said to him, “I am Pharaoh, the king over everyone in Egypt, but no one else in Egypt can lift a hand or move a foot unless you say he can.” 45Then Pharaoh gave Joseph another name, Zaphenath Paneah.#41:45 Zaphenath Paneah This Egyptian name probably means “sustainer of life,” but it is like Hebrew words meaning “a person who explains secret things.” He also gave Joseph a wife named Asenath. She was the daughter of Potiphera, a priest in the city of On. So Joseph became the governor over the whole country of Egypt.
46Joseph was 30 years old when he began serving the king of Egypt. He traveled throughout the country of Egypt. 47During the seven good years, the crops in Egypt grew very well. 48Joseph saved the food in Egypt during those seven years and stored the food in the cities. In every city he stored grain that grew in the fields around the city. 49Joseph stored so much grain that it was like the sands of the sea. He stored so much grain that it could not be measured.
50Joseph’s wife, Asenath, was the daughter of Potiphera, the priest in the city of On. Before the first year of hunger came, Joseph and Asenath had two sons. 51Joseph named the first son Manasseh.#41:51 Manasseh This is like the Hebrew word meaning “to forget.” He was given this name because Joseph said, “God made me forget all my hard work and everything back home in my father’s house.” 52Joseph named the second son Ephraim.#41:52 Ephraim This name is like the Hebrew word meaning “twice fruitful.” Joseph gave him this name because he said, “I had great troubles, but God has made me successful in everything.”
The Famine Begins
53For seven years people had all the food they needed, but those years ended. 54Then the seven years of hunger began, just as Joseph had said. No food grew anywhere in any of the countries in that area. But in Egypt people had plenty to eat because Joseph had stored the grain. 55The famine began, and the people cried to Pharaoh for food. Pharaoh said to the Egyptian people, “Go ask Joseph what to do.”
56There was famine everywhere, so Joseph gave the people grain from the warehouses. He sold the stored grain to the people of Egypt. The famine was bad in Egypt, 57but the famine was bad everywhere. So people from the countries around Egypt had to come to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain.