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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
1After two years Pharao had a dream. He thought he stood by the river,
2Out of which came up seven kine, very beautiful and fat: and they fed in marshy places.
3Other seven also came up out of the river, ill favoured, and lean-fleshed: and they fed on the very bank of the river, in green places.
4And they devoured them, whose bodies were very beautiful and well conditioned. So Pharao awoke.
5He slept again, and dreamed another dream: Seven ears of corn came up upon one stalk full and fair.
6Then seven other ears sprung up thin and blasted,
7And devoured all the beauty of the former. Pharao awaked after his rest.
8And when morning was come, being struck with fear, he sent to all the interpreters of Egypt, and to all the wise men. And they being called for, he told them his dream; and there was not any one that could interpret it.
9Then at length the chief butler remembering said: I confess my sin.
10The king, being angry with his servants, commanded me and the chief baker to be cast into the prison of the captain of the soldiers;
11Where in one night both of us dreamed a dream foreboding things to come.
12There was there a young man, a Hebrew, servant to the same captain of the soldiers: to whom we told our dreams.
13And we heard what afterwards the event of the thing proved to be so. For I was restored to my office: and he was hanged upon a gibbet.
14Forthwith at the king's command, Joseph was brought out of the prison: and they shaved him, and changing his apparel brought him in to him.
15And he said to him: I have dreamed dreams, and there is no one that can expound them. Now I have heard that thou art very wise at interpreting them.
16Joseph answered: Without me, God shall give Pharao a prosperous answer.
17So Pharao told what he had dreamed: Methought I stood upon the bank of the river;
18And seven kine came up out of the river exceeding beautiful and full of flesh. And they grazed on green places in a marshy pasture.
19And, behold, there followed these, other seven kine, so very ill favoured and lean, that I never saw the like in the land of Egypt.
20And the devoured and consumed the former,
21And yet gave no mark of their being full: but were as lean and ill favoured as before. I awoke, and then fell asleep again,
22And dreamed a dream: Seven ears of corn grew upon one stalk, full and very fair.
23Other seven also, thin and blasted, sprung of the stock.
24And they devoured the beauty of the former. I told this dream to the conjecturers, and there is no man that can expound it.
25Joseph answered: The king's dream is one: God hath shewn to Pharao what he is about to do.
26The seven beautiful kine, and the seven full ears, are seven years of plenty: and both contain the same meaning of the dream.
27And the seven lean and thin kine that came up after them, and the seven thin ears that were blasted with the burning wind, are seven years of famine to come.
28Which shall be fulfilled in this order:
29Behold, there shall come seven years of great plenty in the whole land of Egypt:
30After which shall follow other seven years of so great scacity, that all the abundance before shall be forgotten. For the famine shall consume all the land,
31And the greatness of the scarcity shall destroy the greatness of the plenty.
32And for that thou didst see the second time a dream pertaining to the same thing: it is a token of the certainty, and that the word of God cometh to pass, and is fulfilled speedily.
33Now therefore let the king provide a wise and industrious man, and make him ruler over the land of Egypt,
34That he may appoint overseers over all the countries; and gather into barns the fifth part of the fruits, during the seven fruitful years,
35That shall now presently ensue. And let all the corn be laid up under Pharao's hands, and be reserved in the cities.
36And let it be in readiness, against the famine of seven years to come, which shall oppress Egypt, and the land shall not consumed with scarcity.
37The counsel pleased Pharao and all his servants.
38And he said to them: Can we find such another man, that is full of the spirit of God?
39He said therefore to Joseph: Seeing God hath shewn thee all that thou hast said, can I find one wiser and one like unto thee?
40Thou shalt be over my house, and at the commandment of thy mouth all the people shall obey: only in the kingly throne will I be above thee.
41And again Pharao said to Joseph: Behold, I have appointed thee over the whole land of Egypt.
42And he took his ring from his own hand, and gave it into his hand: and he put upon him a robe of silk, and put a chain of gold about his neck.
43And he made him go up into his second chariot, the crier proclaiming that all should bow their knee before him, and that they should know he was made governor over the whole land of Egypt.
44And the king said to Joseph: I am Pharao; without thy commandment no man shall move hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.
45And he turned his name, and called him in the Egyptian tongue, The saviour of the world. And he gave him to wife Asenth, the daughter of Putiphare priest of Heliopolis. Then Joseph went out to the land of Egypt:
46(Now he was thirty years old when he stood before king Pharao): and he went round all the countries of Egypt.
47And the fruitfulness of the seven years came: and the corm being bound up into sheaves was gathered together into the barns of Egypt.
48And all the abundance of grain was laid up in every city.
49And there was so great abundance of wheat, that it was equal to the sand of the sea: and the plenty exceeded measure.
50And before the famine came, Joseph had two sons born: whom Aseneth, the daughter of Putiphare, priest of Heliopolis, bore unto him.
51And he called the name of the first born Manasses, saying: God hath made me to forget all my labours, and my father's house.
52And he named the second Ephraim, saying: God hath made me to grow in the land of my poverty.
53Now when the seven years of the plenty that had been in Egypt were past,
54The seven years of scarcity, which Joseph had foretold, began to come: and the famine prevailed in the whole world. But there was bread in all the land of Egypt.
55And when there also they began to be famished, the people cried to Pharao for food. And he said to them: Go to Joseph; and do all that he shall say to you.
56And the famine increased daily in all the land. And Joseph opened all the barns, and sold to the Egyptians: for the famine had oppressed them also.
57And all provinces came into Egypt, to buy food, and to seek some relief of their want.