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Genesis 41

41
Chapter 41
Pharaoh's dreams
1Two years later, Pharaoh had a dream. In his dream, he was standing by the River Nile. 2Seven cows walked up out of the river. They were fat and good to look at. They ate the grass at the side of the river. 3After those seven fat cows, Pharaoh saw seven other cows that also came up out of the river. Those cows were thin and not good to look at. They stood next to the other cows at the side of the river. 4The thin cows ate the seven fat cows! Then Pharaoh woke up.
5Pharaoh went to sleep again and he had another dream. He saw seven groups of grain that were growing on one branch. The grains were fat and good to look at. 6Then he saw seven other groups of grain that grew after the first seven groups. These grains were thin, because the hot east wind had burned them. 7Then the groups of thin grains ate the seven groups of grains that were good and fat. Then Pharaoh woke up. He realized that it was a dream.
8In the morning, Pharaoh had trouble in his mind. So, he told all the magicians and the wise men in Egypt to come to him. Pharaoh told them about his dreams. But no one could tell Pharaoh what his dreams meant.
9Then the king's cupbearer said to Pharaoh, ‘Now I remember that I have done a wrong thing! #41:9 The cupbearer had authority in the king's house. He would make sure that the king's wine was safe for the king to drink. 10Two years ago, you were angry with me and with your special baker. You put us in prison, in the house of the guards' captain. 11One night we both had a dream. Each of our dreams had its own meaning. 12A young Hebrew man was there with us. He was a servant of the guards' captain. We told the Hebrew man about our dreams. Then he told each of us the meaning of our dream. 13And everything happened as he had told us! You gave me my job as cupbearer again. But you hanged the baker to kill him.’
14So Pharaoh called Joseph to come to him. They quickly brought Joseph from the prison. Joseph washed himself and he cut his beard from his face. He put on clean clothes. Then he went and he stood in front of Pharaoh. 15Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘I had a dream, and no one can tell me what it means. But people have told me about you. They say that you can tell the meaning of dreams.’ 16Joseph replied to Pharaoh, ‘I cannot do this. But God will give you an answer that will make you happy.’
17Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘In my dream, I stood at the side of the River Nile. 18I saw seven cows that came up out of the river. They were fat, and good to look at. They were eating the grass at the side of the river. 19After them, seven more cows came up out of the river. They were thin and they were not good to look at. I have never seen cows as bad as these in Egypt before. 20The thin cows ate the seven fat cows that came out of the river first. 21When they had eaten them, you would not have known it! They still seemed to be as thin as they were before they ate the fat cows. Then I woke up. 22In another dream, I also saw seven groups of grain that grew on one branch. The grains were fat and good. 23After those, seven other groups of grain grew. Those grains were thin because the hot east wind had burned them. 24The thin grains ate the seven groups of fat grains. I told those dreams to my wise men and magicians. But none of them could tell me the meaning of my dreams.’
25Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, ‘Your dreams both have the same meaning. God has shown you what he is going to do. 26The seven fat cows tell us about seven years. And the seven groups of fat grains also mean seven years. Both dreams have the same meaning. 27The seven thin cows that came out of the river mean seven years. And the seven groups of thin grains mean seven years. Both of these tell us about seven years of famine.
28This is what your dreams mean. As I said, God has shown Pharaoh what he is going to do. 29There will be plenty of food for seven years all over the land of Egypt. 30But then seven years of famine will follow. People will forget about the seven years when they had plenty of food. The famine will destroy the land of Egypt. 31No one will remember the seven good years, because the famine will be so bad. 32God gave you two dreams with the same meaning because these things will certainly happen. God will cause them to happen very soon. 33Now Pharaoh should look for a clever man. He should look for a man who knows what is right and wrong. Tell him to rule over the land of Egypt.
34-35This is what you should do: Choose some officers. Give them authority to store food during the good years when there is plenty. They must take a fifth part of all the food that grows everywhere in Egypt. They must store the extra food during the good years that will come soon. Give these officers authority to store and to take care of the food in the cities. 36Then you will be ready for the seven years of famine that will happen everywhere in Egypt. The people in Egypt will have enough food, and the famine will not destroy the land.’
37Pharaoh and his officers thought that Joseph's idea was good. 38Pharaoh said to his officers, ‘This man has the Spirit of God in him. We will never find anyone else like him.’ 39So Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘God himself has helped you to know all these things. So, there is no one who is as wise and clever as you are. 40I will give you authority in my palace. All my people will do whatever you tell them to do. Only I will be greater than you, because I am the king.’
41Pharaoh also said to Joseph, ‘I give you authority in the whole land of Egypt.’ 42Then Pharaoh took his king's ring from his finger and he put it on Joseph's finger. He dressed Joseph in beautiful clothes made of linen. He put a gold chain round Joseph's neck. 43Pharaoh gave Joseph a chariot to ride in. It showed that Joseph was Pharaoh's most important officer. Only Pharaoh had more authority. As Joseph travelled, his servants shouted to the people, ‘Bend your knees to respect Joseph!’
In this way Pharaoh gave Joseph authority over everything in the land of Egypt. 44Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘I rule Egypt as Pharaoh. But nobody who lives anywhere in Egypt will do anything, unless you tell them to.’ 45Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah. He also gave Asenath to Joseph to be his wife. She was the daughter of Potiphera, who was a priest in Heliopolis. #41:45 Heliopolis was a city where people worshipped the sun-god. The city was also called On. Everyone knew that Joseph had authority in all the land of Egypt.
46Joseph was 30 years old when he began to serve Pharaoh, king of Egypt. Joseph then left Pharaoh's palace and he travelled all over Egypt. 47During the seven good years, lots of food grew in the land. 48Joseph got all the extra food that grew in the seven good years. He stored it in Egypt's cities, near the fields where it had grown. 49In this way, Joseph stored a lot of food. The food grains were as many as the sand by the sea! Joseph stopped counting how much food he had stored because there was too much food to measure.
50Before the years of famine arrived, Joseph became the father of two sons. Asenath, daughter of Potiphera, a priest in Heliopolis, was their mother. 51Joseph called his firstborn son Manasseh. Joseph said, ‘God has made me forget all the trouble that my family has given to me.’ 52Joseph called his second son Ephraim. Joseph said, ‘God has given children to me in the land where I have received pain.’
53The seven good years with plenty of food in Egypt, came to an end. 54The seven years of famine began, in the same way that Joseph had said would happen. There was a famine in all the other countries too. But in Egypt, the people still had food to eat. 55When the Egyptian people became hungry, they cried out to Pharaoh for food. When they did that, Pharaoh told all the Egyptians, ‘Go to Joseph. Do whatever he tells you to do.’
56The famine became very bad everywhere. Joseph opened all the places where he had stored the food. He sold grain to the Egyptians because there was a bad famine in all of Egypt. 57People from all the other countries came to Egypt to buy food from Joseph. They came because the famine was very bad all over the world.
41
1At the end of two full years, Pharaoh dreamt, and behold, he stood by the river. 2Behold, seven cattle came up out of the river. They were sleek and fat, and they fed in the marsh grass. 3Behold, seven other cattle came up after them out of the river, ugly and thin, and stood by the other cattle on the brink of the river. 4The ugly and thin cattle ate up the seven sleek and fat cattle. So Pharaoh awoke. 5He slept and dreamt a second time; and behold, seven heads of grain came up on one stalk, healthy and good. 6Behold, seven heads of grain, thin and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them. 7The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven healthy and full ears. Pharaoh awoke, and behold, it was a dream. 8In the morning, his spirit was troubled, and he sent and called for all of Egypt’s magicians and wise men. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was no one who could interpret them to Pharaoh.
9Then the chief cup bearer spoke to Pharaoh, saying, “I remember my faults today. 10Pharaoh was angry with his servants, and put me in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, with the chief baker. 11We dreamt a dream in one night, he and I. Each man dreamt according to the interpretation of his dream. 12There 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. He interpreted to each man according to his dream. 13As he interpreted to us, so it was. He restored me to my office, and he hanged him.”
14Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon. He shaved himself, changed his clothing, and came in to Pharaoh. 15Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have dreamt a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. I have heard it said of you, that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.”
16Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, “It isn’t in me. God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace.”
17Pharaoh spoke to Joseph, “In my dream, behold, I stood on the brink of the river; 18and behold, seven fat and sleek cattle came up out of the river. They fed in the marsh grass; 19and behold, seven other cattle came up after them, poor and very ugly and thin, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for ugliness. 20The thin and ugly cattle ate up the first seven fat cattle; 21and when they had eaten them up, it couldn’t be known that they had eaten them, but they were still ugly, as at the beginning. So I awoke. 22I saw in my dream, and behold, seven heads of grain came up on one stalk, full and good; 23and behold, seven heads of grain, withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them. 24The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven good heads of grain. I told it to the magicians, but there was no one who could explain it to me.”
25Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dream of Pharaoh is one. What God is about to do he has declared to Pharaoh. 26The seven good cattle are seven years; and the seven good heads of grain are seven years. The dream is one. 27The seven thin and ugly cattle that came up after them are seven years, and also the seven empty heads of grain blasted with the east wind; they will be seven years of famine. 28That is the thing which I have spoken to Pharaoh. God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. 29Behold, seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt are coming. 30Seven years of famine will arise after them, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt. The famine will consume the land, 31and the plenty will not be known in the land by reason of that famine which follows; for it will be very grievous. 32The dream was doubled to Pharaoh, because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.
33“Now therefore let Pharaoh look for a discreet and wise man, 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’s produce in the seven plenteous years. 35Let them gather all the food of these good years that come, and store grain under the hand of Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them keep it. 36The food will be to supply the land against the seven years of famine, which will be in the land of Egypt; so that the land will not perish through the famine.”
37The thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants. 38Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?” 39Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Because God has shown you all of this, there is no one so discreet and wise as you. 40You shall be over my house. All my people will be ruled according to your word. Only in the throne I will be greater than you.” 41Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Behold, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” 42Pharaoh took off his signet ring from his hand, and put it on Joseph’s hand, and arrayed him in robes of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck. 43He made him ride in the second chariot which he had. They cried before him, “Bow the knee!” He set him over all the land of Egypt. 44Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh. Without you, no man shall lift up his hand or his foot in all the land of Egypt.” 45Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphenath-Paneah. He gave him Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On as a wife. Joseph went out over the land of Egypt.
46Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt. 47In the seven plenteous years the earth produced abundantly. 48He gathered up all the food of the seven years which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities. He stored food in each city from the fields around that city. 49Joseph laid up grain as the sand of the sea, very much, until he stopped counting, for it was without number. 50To Joseph were born two sons before the year of famine came, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, bore to him. 51Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh,#41:51 “Manasseh” sounds like the Hebrew for “forget”. “For”, he said, “God has made me forget all my toil, and all my father’s house.” 52The name of the second, he called Ephraim:#41:52 “Ephraim” sounds like the Hebrew for “twice fruitful”. “For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.”
53The seven years of plenty, that were in the land of Egypt, came to an end. 54The seven years of famine began to come, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. 55When all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread, and Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph. What he says to you, do.” 56The famine was over all the surface of the earth. Joseph opened all the store houses, and sold to the Egyptians. The famine was severe in the land of Egypt. 57All countries came into Egypt, to Joseph, to buy grain, because the famine was severe in all the earth.