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Genesis 41

41
Pharaoh’s Dreams
1#Ge 20:3After two whole years, Pharaoh had a dream that he was standing by the Nile. 2Seven fine-looking and fattened cows suddenly came up out of the river, and they grazed in the meadow. 3Then seven other cows came up after them out of the river, ugly and gaunt, and stood by the other cows on the riverbank. 4The ugly and gaunt cows ate up the seven fine-looking and fattened cows. Then Pharaoh awoke.
5He slept and dreamed a second time. Seven ears of grain suddenly came up on one stalk, plump and good. 6#Eze 17:10; 19:12Then seven thin ears, scorched by the east wind, sprang up after them. 7The seven thin ears devoured the seven plump and full ears. Then Pharaoh awoke and realized it was a dream.
8#Ex 7:11; 7:22In the morning his spirit was troubled, and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt and all its wise men. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was no one who could interpret them to Pharaoh.
9#Ge 40:14; 40:23Then the chief cupbearer spoke to Pharaoh, saying, “Today I remember my offenses. 10#Ge 39:20; 40:2–3Pharaoh was angry with his servants and put me in confinement in the captain of the guard’s house, both me and the chief baker. 11And we had a dream in the same night, he and I. We, each of us, dreamed according to the interpretation of his own dream. 12#Ge 37:36; 40:12–19A young Hebrew man was with us there, a servant to the captain of the guard. We told him and he interpreted our dreams for us. To each man he interpreted according to his own dream. 13It happened just as he interpreted. He restored me to my position, and the baker was hanged.”
14#Ps 113:7–8; Da 2:25So Pharaoh sent and called for Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon. He shaved himself, changed his clothes, and came to Pharaoh.
15#Da 5:16Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have dreamed a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. I have heard it said of you that you can understand a dream to interpret it.”
16#Ge 40:8; Da 2:47Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, “It is not in me. God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.”
17Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream, I stood on the bank of the Nile. 18And suddenly there came up out of the river seven cows, fattened and fine-looking, and they grazed in the reeds. 19Then seven other cows came up after them, poor and very ugly and gaunt. I have never seen such ugliness in all the land of Egypt. 20And the gaunt and ugly cows ate up the first seven fat cows. 21And when they had eaten them up, no one would have known that they had eaten them, for they were still as ugly as before. Then I awoke.
22“I also saw in my dreams seven ears of grain, full and good, suddenly come up on one stalk. 23Then seven ears, thin and scorched by the east wind, sprang up after them. 24#Ge 41:8; Da 4:7And the thin ears swallowed the seven good ears. So I told this to the magicians, but there was no one who could explain it to me.”
25#Da 2:45; 2:28–29Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one and the same. God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do. 26#Ge 41:2The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good ears are seven years. The dreams are one. 27#2Ki 8:1The seven gaunt and ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, and the seven empty ears scorched by the east wind will be seven years of famine.
28#Ge 41:25“It is as I have spoken to Pharaoh. God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do. 29Seven years of great abundance will come throughout all the land of Egypt. 30#Ge 41:54; 47:13However, there will arise after them seven years of famine. All the abundance will be forgotten in the land of Egypt, and the famine will consume the land. 31The abundance will be unknown in the land because of the famine following, for it will be very severe. 32#Nu 23:19; Isa 46:10–11The reason the dream was repeated to Pharaoh twice is because the matter is established by God, and God will soon bring it to pass.
33“Now, therefore, let Pharaoh seek out a man who is discerning and wise and set him over the land of Egypt. 34Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officials over the land and collect the fifth part of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven abundant years. 35Let them gather all the food from those good years that come and lay up grain under the authority of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. 36This food will be for a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which will be in the land of Egypt, so that the land does not perish during the famine.”
Joseph Rises to Power
37The counsel seemed good to Pharaoh and to all of his servants. 38#Da 4:18; 5:11Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find anyone like this man, in whom is the Spirit of God?”
39#Ge 41:33And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. 40#Ps 105:21–22; Ac 7:10You will be over my house, and according to your word all my people will be ruled. Only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you.”
41#Da 6:3; Ge 42:6Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” 42#Da 5:7; 5:29; Est 3:10Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand and arrayed him in clothes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. 43#Ge 45:8; 42:6Then he had him ride in the second chariot which was his, and they cried out before him, “Bow the knee!” So he set him over all the land of Egypt.
44#Ps 105:22Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no man will lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.” 45#Ge 46:20; Eze 30:17Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphenath-­Paneah, and he gave him a wife, Asenath the daughter of Potiphera priest of On.#On is also called Heliopolis. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.
46#Ge 37:2; 1Sa 16:21Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh and went throughout all the land of Egypt. 47In the seven abundant years the earth brought forth plentifully. 48So he gathered up all the food of the seven years which was in the land of Egypt and laid up the food in the cities. He put in every city the food of the fields which surrounded the city. 49#Ge 22:17; Jdg 7:12Joseph gathered great quantities of grain as the sand of the sea until he stopped measuring it, for it was beyond measure.
50#Ge 46:20; 48:5Before the years of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, bore to him. 51Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh, “For God,” he said, “has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s house.” 52#Ge 49:22; 50:23The name of the second he called Ephraim, saying, “For God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.”
53The seven years of abundance that were in the land of Egypt ended. 54#Ac 7:11; Ge 45:11The seven years of famine began to come, just as Joseph had said. The famine was in all lands, but there was food in all the land of Egypt. 55When all the land of Egypt was hungry, the people cried to Pharaoh for food, and Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph. Do whatever he says to you.”
56#Ge 42:6The famine was over all the face of the earth, so Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold to the Egyptians, and the famine was severe throughout the land of Egypt. 57#Ge 41:54; 41:56Moreover, all countries came to Egypt to Joseph to buy grain, because the famine was so severe in all the lands.

Genesis 41

41
1A full two years later, Pharaoh had a dream that he was standing beside the River Nile. 2He saw seven cows coming up from the river. They looked well-fed and healthy as they grazed among the reeds. 3Then he saw another seven cows that came up behind them. They looked ugly and skinny as they stood beside the other cows on the bank of the Nile. 4Then the ugly, skinny cows ate the well-fed, healthy cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.
5Pharaoh fell asleep again and had a second dream. Seven heads of grain were growing on one stalk, ripe and healthy. 6Then seven heads of grain grew up after them, thin and dried by the east wind. 7The seven thin and dried heads of grain swallowed up the ripe and healthy ones. Then Pharaoh woke up and realized he'd been dreaming.
8The next morning Pharaoh was worried by his dreams,#41:8. “By his dreams”: supplied for clarity. so he sent for all the magicians and wise men in Egypt. Pharaoh told them about his dreams, but no one could interpret their meaning for him.
9But then the chief cupbearer spoke up. “Today I've just remembered a bad mistake I've made,” he explained. 10“Your Majesty was angry with some of your officials and you imprisoned me in the house of the commander of the guard, along with the chief baker. 11We each had a dream. They were different dreams, each with its own meaning. 12A young Hebrew was there with us, a slave of the commander of the guard. When we told him our dreams, he interpreted for us the meaning of our different dreams. 13Everything happened just as he said it would—I was given back my job and the baker was hanged.”
14Pharaoh summoned Joseph, and they quickly brought him from the prison. After he'd shaved and changed his clothes, he was presented to Pharaoh.
15Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, but no one can interpret its meaning. But I've heard that when someone tells you a dream you know how to interpret it.”
16“It's not me who can do this,” Joseph replied. “But God will explain its meaning to set Your Majesty's mind at rest.”
17Pharaoh explained to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing on the bank of the Nile. 18I saw seven cows coming up from the river. They looked well-fed and healthy as they grazed among the reeds. 19Then I saw another seven cows that came up behind them. They looked sickly and ugly and skinny—I've never seen such ugly cows in the whole of Egypt! 20These skinny, ugly cows ate the first seven healthy-looking cows. 21But afterwards you couldn't tell they'd eaten them because they looked just as skinny and ugly as before. Then I woke up.
22Then I fell asleep again. In my second dream I saw seven heads of grain growing on one stalk, ripe and healthy. 23Then seven heads of grain grew up after them, withered and thin and dried by the east wind. 24The seven thin heads of grain swallowed up the healthy ones. I told all this to the magicians, but none of them could explain its meaning to me.”
25“Pharaoh's dreams mean the same thing,” Joseph responded. “God is telling Pharaoh what he is going to do. 26The seven good cows and the seven good heads of grain represent seven good years of harvest.#41:26. “Of harvest”: supplied for clarity. The dreams mean the same thing. 27The seven skinny and ugly cows that came after them and the seven thin heads of grain dried by the east wind represent seven years of famine. 28It's just as I told Your Majesty—God has shown Pharaoh what he is going to do. 29There are going to be seven years with plenty of food produced throughout the whole country of Egypt. 30But after them will come seven years of famine. People will forget the time when there was plenty of food throughout Egypt. Famine will ruin the country. 31The time of plenty will be completely forgotten because the famine that follows it will be so terrible. 32The fact that the dream was repeated twice means that it has definitely been decided by God, and that God is going to do this soon.
33So Your Majesty should choose a man with insight and wisdom, and put him in charge of the whole country of Egypt. 34Your Majesty should also appoint officials to be in charge of the land, and have them collect one-fifth of the produce of the country during the seven years of plenty. 35They should collect all the food during the good years that are soon coming, and store the grain under Pharaoh's authority, keeping it under guard to provide food for the towns. 36This will be a food reserve for the country during the seven years of famine so that the people won't die of starvation.”
37Pharaoh and all his officials thought Joseph's proposal was a good idea. 38So Pharaoh asked them, “Where can we find a man like this who has the spirit of God in him?” 39Then Pharaoh spoke to Joseph, telling him, “Since God has revealed to you all this, and there's no one like you with such insight and wisdom, 40you will be in charge of all my affairs, and all my people will obey your orders. Only I with my status as king#41:40. “My status as king”: literally “the throne.” will be greater than you.”
41Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Look, I'm putting you in charge of the whole country of Egypt.” 42Pharaoh took off his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph's finger. He dressed him in fine linen clothes and placed a golden chain around his neck. 43He had Joseph ride in the chariot designated for his second-in-command while his attendants went ahead, shouting, “Bow down!”#41:43. “Bow down!” This Egyptian loan word is variously translated: “Attention!” “Make way!” “Praise!” “Do homage!” All relate to honoring a dignitary. This is how Pharaoh gave Joseph authority over all of Egypt.
44Then Pharaoh told Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your permission nobody will lift a hand or a foot anywhere in the whole country.” 45Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-paneah,#41:45. Meaning “The God speaks and he (the subject) lives.” and arranged for him to marry Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of On. This is how Joseph rose to power over the whole of Egypt.
46Joseph was thirty when he started working for Pharaoh, king of Egypt. After he had left Pharaoh, Joseph traveled on an inspection tour#41:46. “On an inspection tour”: supplied for clarity. throughout Egypt. 47During the seven years of good harvests, the land produced plenty of food. 48He collected all the food during the seven good years, and he stored the grain produced in the local fields in each town. 49Joseph piled up so much grain that it was like the sand of the seashore. Eventually he stopped keeping records because there was just so much!
50It was during this time, before the years of famine came, that Joseph had two sons by Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of On. 51Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh,#41:51. “Manasseh” means “cause to forget.” because he said, “The Lord has made me forget all my troubles and all my father's family.” 52His second son he named Ephraim,#41:52. “Ephraim” means “fruitful.” because he said, “God has made me fruitful in the country of my misery.”
53The seven years of plenty in Egypt came to an end, 54and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in all the other countries but the whole of Egypt had food. 55When all of Egypt was hungry, the people cried out to Pharaoh for food, and he told everyone, “Go and see Joseph and do whatever he tells you.” 56The famine had spread all over the country so Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold grain to the people of Egypt. The famine was very bad in Egypt, 57in fact the famine was very bad everywhere, so people from other countries all around came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph.