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B'resheet (Gen) 41

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Parashah 10: Mikketz (At the end) 41:1–44:17
1At the end of two years, Pharaoh had a dream: he was standing beside the Nile River; 2and there came up out of the river seven cows, sleek and fat; and they began feeding in swamp grass. 3After them, there came up out of the river seven more cows, miserable-looking and lean; and they stood by the other cows at the edge of the river. 4Then the miserable-looking and lean cows ate up the seven sleek, fat cows. At this point Pharaoh woke up. 5But he went to sleep again and dreamt a second time: seven full, ripe ears of grain grew out of a single stalk. 6After them, seven ears, thin and blasted by the east wind, sprang up. 7And the thin ears swallowed up the seven full, ripe ears. Then Pharaoh woke up and realized it had been a dream.
8In the morning he found himself so upset that he summoned all the magicians of Egypt and all its wise men. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but no one there could interpret them for him. 9Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “Today reminds me of something wherein I am at fault: 10Pharaoh was angry with his officials and put me in the prison of the house of the captain of the guard, me and the chief baker. 11One night both I and he had dreams, and each man’s dream had its own meaning. 12There was with us a young man, a Hebrew, a servant of the captain of the guard; and we told him our dreams, and he interpreted them for us — he interpreted each man’s dream individually. 13And it came about as he interpreted to us — I was restored to my office, and he was hanged.”
14Then Pharaoh summoned Yosef, and they brought him quickly out of the dungeon. He shaved himself, changed his clothes, and came in to Pharaoh.
(A: ii) 15Pharaoh said to Yosef, “I had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it; but I’ve heard it said about you that when you hear a dream, you can interpret it.” 16Yosef answered Pharaoh, “It isn’t in me. God will give Pharaoh an answer that will set his mind at peace.” (S: ii) 17Pharaoh said to Yosef, “In my dream, I stood at the edge of the river; 18and there came up out of the river seven cows, fat and sleek; and they began feeding in the swamp grass. 19After them, there came up out of the river seven more cows, poor, miserable-looking and lean — I’ve never seen such bad-looking cows in all the land of Egypt! 20Then the lean and miserable-looking cows ate up the first seven fat cows. 21But after they had eaten them up, one couldn’t tell that they had eaten them; because they were as miserable-looking as before. At this point I woke up. 22But I dreamed again and saw seven full, ripe ears of grain growing out of a single stalk. 23After them, seven ears, thin and blasted by the east wind, sprang up. 24And the thin ears swallowed up the seven ripe ears. I told this to the magicians, but none of them could explain it to me.”
25Yosef said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are the same: God has told Pharaoh what he is about to do. 26The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good ears of grain are seven years — the dreams are the same. 27Likewise the seven lean and miserable-looking cows that came up after them are seven years, and also the seven empty ears blasted by the east wind — there will be seven years of famine. 28This is what I told Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. 29Here it is: there will be seven years of abundance throughout the whole land of Egypt; 30but afterwards, there will come seven years of famine; and Egypt will forget all the abundance. The famine will consume the land, 31and the abundance will not be known in the land because of the famine that will follow, because it will be truly terrible. 32Why was the dream doubled for Pharaoh? Because the matter has been fixed by God, and God will shortly cause it to happen.
33“Therefore, Pharaoh should look for a man both discreet and wise to put in charge of the land of Egypt. 34Pharaoh should do this, and he should appoint supervisors over the land to receive a twenty percent tax on the produce of the land of Egypt during the seven years of abundance. 35They should gather all the food produced during these good years coming up and set aside grain under the supervision of Pharaoh to be used for food in the cities, and they should store it. 36This will be the land’s food supply for the seven years of famine that will come over the land of Egypt, so that the land will not perish as a result of the famine.”
37The proposal seemed good both to Pharaoh and to all his officials. 38Pharaoh said to his officials, “Can we find anyone else like him? The Spirit of God lives in him!”
(iii) 39So Pharaoh said to Yosef, “Since God has shown you all this — there is no one as discerning and wise as you — 40you will be in charge of my household; all my people will be ruled by what you say. Only when I rule from my throne will I be greater than you.” 41Pharaoh said to Yosef, “Here, I place you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” 42Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Yosef’s hand, had him clothed in fine linen with a gold chain around his neck 43and had him ride in his second best chariot; and they cried before him, “Bow down!” Thus he placed him in charge of the whole land of Egypt. 44Pharaoh said to Yosef, “I, Pharaoh, decree that without your approval no one is to raise his hand or his foot in all the land of Egypt.” 45Pharaoh called Yosef by the name Tzafnat-Pa‘neach and gave him as his wife Osnat the daughter of Poti-Fera priest of On. Then Yosef went out through all the land of Egypt.
46Yosef was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt; then he left Pharaoh’s presence and traveled through all the land of Egypt. 47During the seven years of abundance, the earth brought forth heaps of produce. 48He collected all the food of these seven years in the land of Egypt and stored it in the cities — the food grown in the fields outside each city he stored in that city. 49Yosef stored grain in quantities like the sand on the seashore, so much that they stopped counting, because it was beyond measure.
50Two sons were born to Yosef before the year of famine came; Osnat the daughter of Poti-Fera priest of On bore them to him. 51Yosef called the firstborn M’nasheh [causing to forget], “Because God has caused me to forget all the troubles I suffered at the hands of my family.” 52The second he called Efrayim [fruit], “For God has made me fruitful in the land of my misfortune.”
(iv) 53The seven years of abundance in the land of Egypt ended; 54and the seven years of famine began to come, just as Yosef had said. There was famine in all lands, but throughout the land of Egypt there was food. 55When the whole land of Egypt started feeling the famine, the people cried to Pharaoh for food, and Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Yosef, and do what he tells you to do.” 56The famine was over all the earth, but then Yosef opened all the storehouses and sold food to the Egyptians, since the famine was severe in the land of Egypt. 57Moreover all countries came to Egypt to Yosef to buy grain, because the famine was severe throughout the earth.
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Pharaoh’s Dreams
1When two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream: He was standing by the Nile, 2when out of the river there came up seven cows, sleek and fat, and they grazed among the reeds. 3After them, seven other cows, ugly and gaunt, came up out of the Nile and stood beside those on the riverbank. 4And the cows that were ugly and gaunt ate up the seven sleek, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.
5He fell asleep again and had a second dream: Seven heads of grain, healthy and good, were growing on a single stalk. 6After them, seven other heads of grain sprouted—thin and scorched by the east wind. 7The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven healthy, full heads. Then Pharaoh woke up; it had been a dream.
8In the morning his mind was troubled, so he sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but no one could interpret them for him.
9Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “Today I am reminded of my shortcomings. 10Pharaoh was once angry with his servants, and he imprisoned me and the chief baker in the house of the captain of the guard. 11Each of us had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own. 12Now a young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams, and he interpreted them for us, giving each man the interpretation of his dream. 13And things turned out exactly as he interpreted them to us: I was restored to my position, and the other man was impaled.”
14So Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was quickly brought from the dungeon. When he had shaved and changed his clothes, he came before Pharaoh.
15Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.”
16“I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.”
17Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing on the bank of the Nile, 18when out of the river there came up seven cows, fat and sleek, and they grazed among the reeds. 19After them, seven other cows came up—scrawny and very ugly and lean. I had never seen such ugly cows in all the land of Egypt. 20The lean, ugly cows ate up the seven fat cows that came up first. 21But even after they ate them, no one could tell that they had done so; they looked just as ugly as before. Then I woke up.
22“In my dream I saw seven heads of grain, full and good, growing on a single stalk. 23After them, seven other heads sprouted—withered and thin and scorched by the east wind. 24The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven good heads. I told this to the magicians, but none of them could explain it to me.”
25Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one and the same. God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 26The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good heads of grain are seven years; it is one and the same dream. 27The seven lean, ugly cows that came up afterward are seven years, and so are the seven worthless heads of grain scorched by the east wind: They are seven years of famine.
28“It is just as I said to Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. 29Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt, 30but seven years of famine will follow them. Then all the abundance in Egypt will be forgotten, and the famine will ravage the land. 31The abundance in the land will not be remembered, because the famine that follows it will be so severe. 32The reason the dream was given to Pharaoh in two forms is that the matter has been firmly decided by God, and God will do it soon.
33“And now let Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man and put him in charge of the land of Egypt. 34Let Pharaoh appoint commissioners over the land to take a fifth of the harvest of Egypt during the seven years of abundance. 35They should collect all the food of these good years that are coming and store up the grain under the authority of Pharaoh, to be kept in the cities for food. 36This food should be held in reserve for the country, to be used during the seven years of famine that will come upon Egypt, so that the country may not be ruined by the famine.”
37The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his officials. 38So Pharaoh asked them, “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God#41:38 Or of the gods?”
39Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. 40You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.”
Joseph in Charge of Egypt
41So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” 42Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. 43He had him ride in a chariot as his second-in-command,#41:43 Or in the chariot of his second-in-command; or in his second chariot and people shouted before him, “Make way#41:43 Or Bow down!” Thus he put him in charge of the whole land of Egypt.
44Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your word no one will lift hand or foot in all Egypt.” 45Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah and gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On,#41:45 That is, Heliopolis; also in verse 50 to be his wife. And Joseph went throughout the land of Egypt.
46Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from Pharaoh’s presence and traveled throughout Egypt. 47During the seven years of abundance the land produced plentifully. 48Joseph collected all the food produced in those seven years of abundance in Egypt and stored it in the cities. In each city he put the food grown in the fields surrounding it. 49Joseph stored up huge quantities of grain, like the sand of the sea; it was so much that he stopped keeping records because it was beyond measure.
50Before the years of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On. 51Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh#41:51 Manasseh sounds like and may be derived from the Hebrew for forget. and said, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” 52The second son he named Ephraim#41:52 Ephraim sounds like the Hebrew for twice fruitful. and said, “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”
53The seven years of abundance 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 lands, but in the whole land of Egypt there was food. 55When all Egypt began to feel the famine, the people cried to Pharaoh for food. Then Pharaoh told all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph and do what he tells you.”
56When the famine had spread over the whole country, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout Egypt. 57And all the world came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe everywhere.