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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.

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, fine-looking and fat-fleshed, and they fed in the reed-grass. 3And behold, seven other kine came up after them out of the river, bad-looking and lean-fleshed, and stood by the kine on the bank of the river. 4And the kine that were bad-looking and lean-fleshed ate up the seven kine that were fine-looking and fat. And Pharaoh awoke. 5And he slept and dreamed the second time; and behold, seven ears of corn grew up on one stalk, fat and good. 6And behold, seven ears, thin and parched with the east wind, sprung up after them. 7And the thin ears devoured the seven fat 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 scribes of Egypt, and all the sages who were therein, and Pharaoh told them his dream; but there was none to interpret them to Pharaoh.
9Then spoke the chief of the cup-bearers to Pharaoh, saying, I remember mine offences this day. 10Pharaoh was wroth with his bondmen, and put me in custody into the captain of the life-guard's house, me and the chief of the bakers. 11And we dreamed a dream in one night, I and he; we dreamed each according to the interpretation of his dream. 12And there was there with us a Hebrew youth, a bondman of the captain of the life-guard, to whom we told them, and he interpreted to us our dreams; to each he interpreted according to his dream. 13And it came to pass, just as he interpreted to us, so it came about: me has he restored to my 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 clothes, and came in to Pharaoh. 15And Pharaoh said to Joseph, I have dreamt a dream, and there is none to interpret it. And I have heard say of thee, thou understandest a dream to interpret it. 16And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God#GodHebrew: Elohim will give Pharaoh an answer of peace.
17And Pharaoh said to Joseph, In my dream, behold, I stood on the bank of the river. 18And behold, there came up out of the river seven kine, fat-fleshed and of fine form, and they fed in the reed-grass. 19And behold, seven other kine came up after them, poor, and very ill-formed, and lean-fleshed — such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for badness. 20And the lean and bad kine ate up the seven first fat kine; 21and they came into their belly, and it could not be known that they had come into their belly; and their look was bad, as at the beginning. And I awoke. 22And I saw in my dream, and behold, seven ears came up on one stalk, full and good. 23And behold, seven ears, withered, thin, parched with the east wind, sprung up after them; 24and the thin ears devoured the seven good ears. And I told it to the scribes; but there was none to make it known to me. 25And Joseph said to Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one. What God#GodHebrew: Elohim will do he has made known to Pharaoh. 26The seven fine kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one. 27And the seven lean and bad kine that came up after them are seven years; and the seven empty ears, parched with the east wind, will be seven years of famine. 28This is the word which I have spoken to Pharaoh: what God#GodHebrew: Elohim is about to do he has let Pharaoh see. 29Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout the land of Egypt. 30And there will arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt, and the famine will waste away the land. 31And the plenty will not be known afterwards in the land by reason of that famine; for it will be very grievous. 32And as regards the double repetition of the dream to Pharaoh, it is that the thing is established by God#GodHebrew: Elohim and God#GodHebrew: Elohim will hasten to do it.
33And now let Pharaoh look himself out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. 34Let Pharaoh do this: let him appoint overseers over the land, and take the fifth part of the land of Egypt during the seven years of plenty, 35and let them gather all the food of these coming good years, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, for food in the cities, and keep it. 36And let the food be as store for the land for the seven years of famine, which will be in the land of Egypt, that the land perish not through the famine. 37And the word was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his bondmen. 38And Pharaoh said to his bondmen, Shall we find one as this, a man in whom the Spirit of God#GodHebrew: Elohim is? 39And Pharaoh said to Joseph, Since God#GodHebrew: Elohim has made all this known to thee, there is none so discreet and wise as thou. 40Thou shalt be over my house, and according to thy commandment shall all my people regulate themselves; only concerning the throne will I be greater than thou. 41And Pharaoh said to Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. 42And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it on Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in clothes of byssus, and put a gold chain on his neck. 43And he caused him to ride in the second chariot that he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee! and he set him over all the land of Egypt. 44And Pharaoh said to 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 Zaphnath-paaneah, and gave him as wife Asnath the daughter of Potipherah the priest in 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 Pharaoh, and passed through the whole land of Egypt. 47And in the seven years of plenty the land brought forth by handfuls. 48And he gathered up all the food of the seven years that was in the land of Egypt, and put the food in the cities; the food of the fields of the city, which were round about it, he laid up in it. 49And Joseph laid up corn as sand of the sea exceeding much, until they left off numbering; for it was without number. 50And to Joseph were born two sons before the year of famine came, whom Asnath the daughter of Potipherah the priest in On bore to him. 51And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh — For God#GodHebrew: Elohim has made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house. 52And the name of the second he called Ephraim — For God#GodHebrew: Elohim has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction. 53And the seven years of plenty that were in the land of Egypt were ended; 54and the seven years of the dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said. And there was dearth in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. 55And all the land of Egypt suffered from the dearth. And the people cried to Pharaoh for bread; and Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, Go to Joseph: what he says to you, that do. 56And the famine was on all the earth. And Joseph opened every place in which there was provision, and sold grain to the Egyptians; and the famine was grievous in the land of Egypt. 57And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph, to buy grain, because the famine was grievous on the whole earth.