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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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Joseph Interprets the King's Dreams
1Two years later the king#41.1 the king: See the note at 12.15. of Egypt dreamed he was standing beside the Nile River. 2Suddenly, seven fat, healthy cows came up from the river and started eating grass along the bank. 3Then seven ugly, skinny cows came up out of the river and 4ate the fat, healthy cows. When this happened, the king woke up.
5The king went back to sleep and had another dream. This time seven full heads of grain were growing on a single stalk. 6Later, seven other heads of grain appeared, but they were thin and scorched by a wind from the desert. 7The thin heads of grain swallowed the seven full heads. Again the king woke up, and it had only been a dream.
8 # Dn 2.2. The next morning the king was upset. So he called in his magicians and wise men and told them what he had dreamed. None of them could tell him what the dreams meant.
9The king's personal servant said:
Now I remember what I was supposed to do. 10When you were angry with me and your chief cook, you threw us both in jail in the house of the captain of the guard. 11One night we both had dreams, and each dream had a different meaning. 12A young Hebrew, who was a servant of the captain of the guard, was there with us at the time. When we told him our dreams, he explained what each of them meant, 13and everything happened just as he said it would. I got my job back, and the cook was put to death.
14The king sent for Joseph, who was quickly brought out of jail. He shaved, changed his clothes, and went to the king.
15The king said to him, “I had a dream, yet no one can explain what it means. I am told that you can interpret dreams.”
16“Your Majesty,” Joseph answered, “I can't do it myself, but God can give a good meaning to your dreams.”
17The king told Joseph:
I dreamed I was standing on the bank of the Nile River. 18I saw seven fat, healthy cows come up out of the river, and they began feeding on the grass. 19Next, seven skinny, bony cows came up out of the river. I have never seen such terrible looking cows anywhere in Egypt. 20The skinny cows ate the fat ones. 21But you couldn't tell it, because these skinny cows were just as skinny as they were before. At once, I woke up.
22I also dreamed that I saw seven heads of grain growing on one stalk. The heads were full and ripe. 23Then seven other heads of grain came up. They were thin and scorched by a wind from the desert. 24These heads of grain swallowed the full ones. I told my dreams to the magicians, but none of them could tell me the meaning of the dreams.
25Joseph replied:
Your Majesty, both of your dreams mean the same thing, and in them God has shown what he is going to do. 26The seven good cows stand for seven years, and so do the seven good heads of grain. 27The seven skinny, ugly cows that came up later also stand for seven years, as do the seven bad heads of grain that were scorched by the desert wind. The dreams mean there will be seven years when there won't be enough grain.
28It is just as I said—God has shown what he intends to do. 29For seven years Egypt will have more than enough grain, 30but that will be followed by seven years when there won't be enough. The good years of plenty will be forgotten, and everywhere in Egypt people will be starving. 31The famine will be so bad that no one will remember that once there had been plenty. 32God has given you two dreams to let you know that he has definitely decided to do this and that he will do it soon.
33Your Majesty, you should find someone who is wise and will know what to do, so that you can put him in charge of all Egypt. 34Then appoint some other officials to collect one fifth of every crop harvested in Egypt during the seven years when there is plenty. 35Give them the power to collect the grain during those good years and to store it in your cities. 36It can be stored until it is needed during the seven years when there won't be enough grain in Egypt. This will keep the country from being destroyed because of the lack of food.
Joseph Is Made Governor over Egypt
37The king#41.37 The king: See the note at 12.15. and his officials liked this plan. 38So the king said to them, “Who could possibly handle this better than Joseph? After all, the Spirit of God is with him.”
39The king told Joseph, “God is the one who has shown you these things. No one else is as wise as you are or knows as much as you do. 40#Ac 7.10. I'm putting you in charge of my palace, and everybody will have to obey you. No one will be over you except me. 41You are now governor of all Egypt!”
42 # Dn 5.29. Then the king took off his royal ring and put it on Joseph's finger. He gave him fine clothes to wear and placed a gold chain around his neck. 43He also let him ride in the chariot next to his own, and people shouted, “Make way for Joseph!” So Joseph was governor of Egypt.
44The king told Joseph, “Although I'm king, no one in Egypt is to do anything without your permission.” 45He gave Joseph the Egyptian name Zaphenath Paneah. And he let him marry Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, a priest in the city of Heliopolis.#41.45 Heliopolis: The Hebrew text has “On,” which is better known by its Greek name “Heliopolis.” Joseph traveled all over#41.45 traveled all over: Or “extended his authority over all.” Egypt.
46Joseph was 30 when the king made him governor, and he went everywhere for the king. 47For seven years there were big harvests of grain. 48Joseph collected and stored up the extra grain in the cities of Egypt near the fields where it was harvested. 49In fact, there was so much grain that they stopped keeping record, because it was like counting the grains of sand along the beach.
50Joseph and his wife had two sons before the famine began. 51Their first son was named Manasseh, which means, “God has let me forget all my troubles and my family back home.” 52His second son was named Ephraim, which means “God has made me a success#41.52 God has made me a success: Or “God has given me children.” in the land where I suffered.”#41.52 Ephraim … suffered: In Hebrew “Ephraim” actually means either “fertile land” or “pastureland.”
53Egypt's seven years of plenty came to an end, 54#Ac 7.11. and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. There was not enough food in other countries, but all over Egypt there was plenty. 55#Jn 2.5. When the famine finally struck Egypt, the people asked the king for food, but he said, “Go to Joseph and do what he tells you to do.”
56The famine became bad everywhere in Egypt, so Joseph opened the storehouses and sold the grain to the Egyptians. 57People from all over the world came to Egypt to buy grain, because the famine was so severe in their countries.