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Genesis 41

41
1And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river. 2And, behold, there came up out of the river seven kine, well-favored and fat-fleshed; and they fed in the reed-grass. 3And, behold, seven other kine came up after them out of the river, ill-favored and lean-fleshed, and stood by the other kine upon the brink of the river. 4And the ill-favored and lean-fleshed kine did eat up the seven well-favored and fat kine. So Pharaoh awoke. 5And he slept and dreamed a second time: and, behold, seven ears of grain came up upon one stalk, rank and good. 6And, behold, seven ears, thin and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them. 7And the thin ears swallowed up the seven rank and full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and, behold, it was a dream. 8And it came to pass in the morning that his spirit was troubled; and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all the wise men thereof: and Pharaoh told them his dream; but there was none that could interpret them unto Pharaoh.
9Then spake the chief butler unto Pharaoh, saying, I do remember my faults this day: 10Pharaoh was wroth with his servants, and put me in ward in the house of the captain of the guard, me and the chief baker: 11and we dreamed a dream in one night, I and he; we dreamed each man according to the interpretation of his dream. 12And there was with us there a young man, a Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard; and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams; to each man according to his dream he did interpret. 13And it came to pass, as he interpreted to us, so it was; me he restored unto mine office, and him he hanged.
14Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh. 15And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that when thou hearest a dream thou canst interpret it. 16And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace. 17And Pharaoh spake unto Joseph, In my dream, behold, I stood upon the brink of the river: 18and, behold, there came up out of the river seven kine, fat-fleshed and well-favored: and they fed in the reed-grass: 19and, behold, seven other kine came up after them, poor and very ill-favored and lean-fleshed, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for badness: 20and the lean and ill-favored kine did eat up the first seven fat kine: 21and when they had eaten them up, it could not be known that they had eaten them; but they were still ill-favored, as at the beginning. So I awoke. 22And I saw in my dream, and, behold, seven ears came up upon one stalk, full and good: 23and, behold, seven ears, withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them: 24and the thin ears swallowed up the seven good ears: and I told it unto the magicians; but there was none that could declare it to me.
25And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: what God is about to do he hath declared unto Pharaoh. 26The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one. 27And the seven lean and ill-favored kine that came up after them are seven years, and also the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind; they shall be seven years of famine. 28That is the thing which I spake unto Pharaoh: what God is about to do he hath showed unto Pharaoh. 29Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt: 30and there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land; 31and the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine which followeth; for it shall be very grievous. 32And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh, it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass. 33Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. 34Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint overseers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years. 35And let them gather all the food of these good years that come, and lay up grain under the hand of Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them keep it. 36And the food shall be for a store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine.
37And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants. 38And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom the spirit of God is? 39And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath showed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou: 40thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou. 41And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. 42And Pharaoh took off his signet ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph’s hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck; 43and he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he set him over all the land of Egypt. 44And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or his foot in all the land of Egypt. 45And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath, the daughter of Poti-phera priest of On. And Joseph went out over the land of Egypt.
46And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt. 47And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls. 48And 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: the food of the field, which was round about every city, laid he up in the same. 49And Joseph laid up grain as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left off numbering; for it was without number. 50And unto Joseph were born two sons before the year of famine came, whom Asenath, the daughter of Poti-phera priest of On, bare unto him. 51And Joseph called the name of the first-born Manasseh: For, said he, God hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father’s house. 52And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath made me fruitful in the land of my affliction. 53And the seven years of plenty, that was in the land of Egypt, came to an end. 54And the seven years of famine began to come, according as Joseph had said: and there was famine in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. 55And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do. 56And the famine was over all the face of the earth: and Joseph opened all the store-houses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine was sore in the land of Egypt. 57And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph to buy grain, because the famine was sore in all the earth.
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.