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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
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.