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Genesis 41

41
Pharaoh’s Dreams
1Two full years later, Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing on the bank of the Nile River. 2In his dream he saw seven fat, healthy cows come up out of the river and begin grazing in the marsh grass. 3Then he saw seven more cows come up behind them from the Nile, but these were scrawny and thin. These cows stood beside the fat cows on the riverbank. 4Then the scrawny, thin cows ate the seven healthy, fat cows! At this point in the dream, Pharaoh woke up.
5But he fell asleep again and had a second dream. This time he saw seven heads of grain, plump and beautiful, growing on a single stalk. 6Then seven more heads of grain appeared, but these were shriveled and withered by the east wind. 7And these thin heads swallowed up the seven plump, well-formed heads! Then Pharaoh woke up again and realized it was a dream.
8The next morning Pharaoh was very disturbed by the dreams. So he called for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. When Pharaoh told them his dreams, not one of them could tell him what they meant.
9Finally, the king’s chief cup-bearer spoke up. “Today I have been reminded of my failure,” he told Pharaoh. 10“Some time ago, you were angry with the chief baker and me, and you imprisoned us in the palace of the captain of the guard. 11One night the chief baker and I each had a dream, and each dream had its own meaning. 12There was a young Hebrew man with us in the prison who was a slave of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams, and he told us what each of our dreams meant. 13And everything happened just as he had predicted. I was restored to my position as cup-bearer, and the chief baker was executed and impaled on a pole.”
14Pharaoh sent for Joseph at once, and he was quickly brought from the prison. After he shaved and changed his clothes, he went in and stood before Pharaoh. 15Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream last night, and no one here can tell me what it means. But I have heard that when you hear about a dream you can interpret it.”
16“It is beyond my power to do this,” Joseph replied. “But God can tell you what it means and set you at ease.”
17So Pharaoh told Joseph his dream. “In my dream,” he said, “I was standing on the bank of the Nile River, 18and I saw seven fat, healthy cows come up out of the river and begin grazing in the marsh grass. 19But then I saw seven sick-looking cows, scrawny and thin, come up after them. I’ve never seen such sorry-looking animals in all the land of Egypt. 20These thin, scrawny cows ate the seven fat cows. 21But afterward you wouldn’t have known it, for they were still as thin and scrawny as before! Then I woke up.
22“In my dream I also saw seven heads of grain, full and beautiful, growing on a single stalk. 23Then seven more heads of grain appeared, but these were blighted, shriveled, and withered by the east wind. 24And the shriveled heads swallowed the seven healthy heads. I told these dreams to the magicians, but no one could tell me what they mean.”
25Joseph responded, “Both of Pharaoh’s dreams mean the same thing. God is telling Pharaoh in advance what he is about to do. 26The seven healthy cows and the seven healthy heads of grain both represent seven years of prosperity. 27The seven thin, scrawny cows that came up later and the seven thin heads of grain, withered by the east wind, represent seven years of famine.
28“This will happen just as I have described it, for God has revealed to Pharaoh in advance what he is about to do. 29The next seven years will be a period of great prosperity throughout the land of Egypt. 30But afterward there will be seven years of famine so great that all the prosperity will be forgotten in Egypt. Famine will destroy the land. 31This famine will be so severe that even the memory of the good years will be erased. 32As for having two similar dreams, it means that these events have been decreed by God, and he will soon make them happen.
33“Therefore, Pharaoh should find an intelligent and wise man and put him in charge of the entire land of Egypt. 34Then Pharaoh should appoint supervisors over the land and let them collect one-fifth of all the crops during the seven good years. 35Have them gather all the food produced in the good years that are just ahead and bring it to Pharaoh’s storehouses. Store it away, and guard it so there will be food in the cities. 36That way there will be enough to eat when the seven years of famine come to the land of Egypt. Otherwise this famine will destroy the land.”
Joseph Made Ruler of Egypt
37Joseph’s suggestions were well received by Pharaoh and his officials. 38So Pharaoh asked his officials, “Can we find anyone else like this man so obviously filled with the spirit of God?” 39Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has revealed the meaning of the dreams to you, clearly no one else is as intelligent or wise as you are. 40You will be in charge of my court, and all my people will take orders from you. Only I, sitting on my throne, will have a rank higher than yours.”
41Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the entire land of Egypt.” 42Then Pharaoh removed his signet ring from his hand and placed it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in fine linen clothing and hung a gold chain around his neck. 43Then he had Joseph ride in the chariot reserved for his second-in-command. And wherever Joseph went, the command was shouted, “Kneel down!” So Pharaoh put Joseph in charge of all Egypt. 44And Pharaoh said to him, “I am Pharaoh, but no one will lift a hand or foot in the entire land of Egypt without your approval.”
45Then Pharaoh gave Joseph a new Egyptian name, Zaphenath-paneah.#41:45a Zaphenath-paneah probably means “God speaks and lives.” He also gave him a wife, whose name was Asenath. She was the daughter of Potiphera, the priest of On.#41:45b Greek version reads of Heliopolis; also in 41:50. So Joseph took charge of the entire land of Egypt. 46He was thirty years old when he began serving in the court of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. And when Joseph left Pharaoh’s presence, he inspected the entire land of Egypt.
47As predicted, for seven years the land produced bumper crops. 48During those years, Joseph gathered all the crops grown in Egypt and stored the grain from the surrounding fields in the cities. 49He piled up huge amounts of grain like sand on the seashore. Finally, he stopped keeping records because there was too much to measure.
50During this time, before the first of the famine years, two sons were born to Joseph and his wife, Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, the priest of On. 51Joseph named his older son Manasseh,#41:51 Manasseh sounds like a Hebrew term that means “causing to forget.” for he said, “God has made me forget all my troubles and everyone in my father’s family.” 52Joseph named his second son Ephraim,#41:52 Ephraim sounds like a Hebrew term that means “fruitful.” for he said, “God has made me fruitful in this land of my grief.”
53At last the seven years of bumper crops throughout the land of Egypt came to an end. 54Then the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had predicted. The famine also struck all the surrounding countries, but throughout Egypt there was plenty of food. 55Eventually, however, the famine spread throughout the land of Egypt as well. And when the people cried out to Pharaoh for food, he told them, “Go to Joseph, and do whatever he tells you.” 56So with severe famine everywhere, Joseph opened up the storehouses and distributed grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout the land of Egypt. 57And people from all around came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph because the famine was severe throughout the world.
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.