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Genesis 41

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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.
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CHAPTER 41
1After two years Pharaoh saw a dream; he guessed that he stood on a river,
2from which seven fair kine and full fat went up, and [they] were fed in the places of marshes;
3and another seven, foul and lean, came out of the river, and were fed in that brink of the water, in green places;
4and those foul and lean kine devoured those kine of which the fairness and comeliness of their bodies were wonderful. Pharaoh waked,
5and slept again, and he saw another dream; seven ears of corn, full and fair, came forth in one stalk,
6and others, as many ears of corn, thin and smitten with corruption of burning wind, came forth,
7devouring all the fairness of the first. Pharaoh waked after this rest,
8and when the morrowtide was made, he was afeared by inward dread, and he sent to all the expounders of Egypt, and to all the wise men; and when they were called, he told the dream, and none was that expounded it.
9Then at the last, the master butler bethought to him, and said to Pharaoh, I acknowledge my sin;
10the king was wroth to his servants, and commanded me and the master baker to be cast down into the prison of the prince of knights,
11where we both saw a dream in one night, before-showing of things to come.
12An Hebrew child, servant of the same duke of knights, was there, to whom we told the dreams, and heard whatever thing the befalling of [the] thing proved afterward;
13for I am restored to mine office, and he was hanged in a cross.
14Anon at the behest of the king, they polled Joseph, led him out of the prison, and when his clothing was changed, they brought him to the king.
15To whom the king said, I saw dreams, and none [there] is that expoundeth those things that I saw; I have heard that thou expoundest such things most prudently.
16Joseph answered, Without me, God shall answer prosperities to Pharaoh.
17Therefore Pharaoh told that that he saw; I guessed that I stood on the brink of the flood,
18and seven kine, full fair, with flesh able to eating, went up from the water, which kine gathered green sedges in the pasture of the marshes;
19and lo! seven other kine, so foul and lean, followed these, that I saw never such in the land of Egypt;
20and when the former kine were devoured and wasted of the lean kine,
21the lean kine gave no step, or token, of fullness, but were slow, or feeble, by like leanness and paleness. I waked,
22and again I was oppressed by sleep, and I saw a dream; seven ears of corn, full and most fair, came forth on one stalk,
23and another seven, thin and smitten with [a] burning wind, came forth of the stubble,
24which devoured the fairness of the former; I told this dream to [the] expounders, and no man there is that expoundeth it.
25Joseph answered, The dream of the king is one; God hath showed to Pharaoh what things he shall do.
26Seven fair kine, and seven full ears of corn, be seven years of plenty, and the same things comprehend the strength of the dream;
27and [the] seven kine, thin and lean, that went up after the fair kine, and the seven thin ears of corn, and smitten with [a] burning wind, be seven years of hunger to coming [or to come],
28which shall be fulfilled by this order.
29Lo! seven years of great plenty in all the land of Egypt shall come,
30and seven other years of so great barrenness shall pursue [or follow] those, that all the abundance before shall be given to forgetting; for hunger shall waste all the land,
31and the greatness of neediness shall waste the greatness of plenty.
32Forsooth this that thou sawest the second time in a dream pertaining to the same thing, is a showing of firm-ness, that is, a confirming of the first, for the word of God shall be done, and it shall be [ful] filled full swiftly.
33Now therefore purvey the king a wise man and a ready, and make the king him sovereign to the land of Egypt,
34which man ordain governors by all countries, and gather he into barns the fifth part of fruits by [the] seven years of plenty, that shall come now;
35and all the wheat be kept under the power of Pharaoh, and be it kept in [the] cities,
36and be it made ready to the hunger to coming [or to come] of the seven years that shall oppress Egypt, and the land be not wasted by poverty.
37The counsel of Joseph pleased Pharaoh, and all his servants,
38and he spake to them, Whether we be able to find such a man which is full of God’s spirit?
39Therefore Pharaoh said to Joseph, For God hath showed to thee all things which thou hast spoken, whether I may find a wiser man than thou, and like to thee?
40Therefore thou shalt be over mine house, and all the people shall obey to the behest of thy mouth; I shall pass thee only by one throne of the realm.
41And again Pharaoh said to Joseph, Lo! I have ordained thee on all the land of Egypt.
42And Pharaoh took off the ring from his hand, and gave it in the hand of Joseph, and he clothed Joseph with a stole of bis, or of white silk, and he put a golden wreath about his neck;
43and Pharaoh made Joseph to go upon his second chariot, while a beadle cried, that all men should kneel before him, and should know that he was sovereign of all the land of Egypt.
44And the king said to Joseph, I am Pharaoh, without thy behest no man shall stir hand either foot in all the land of Egypt.
45And Pharaoh turned the name of Joseph, and called him by the Egyptian language, The Saviour of the World#41:45 In Hebrew, it is ‘showing privates’, as Jerome and Lira here say, (or it is ‘The one showing secrets’, or revealing mysteries, as Jerome and Nicholas of Lira say here)., or Zaphnathpaaneah; and he gave to Joseph a wife, Asenath, the daughter of Potipherah, a priest of Heliopolis, that is, The City of the Sun. And so Joseph went out to the land of Egypt.
46Forsooth Joseph was of thirty years, when he stood in the sight of king Pharaoh, and compassed all the countries [or regions] of Egypt.
47And the plenty of [the] seven years came, and [the] ripe corns were bound into handfuls or sheaves,
48and they were gathered into the barns of Egypt, also all the abundance of ripe corns was kept in all cities,
49and so great abundance was of wheat, that it was made even to the gravel, or the sand, of the sea, and the plenty passed measure.
50Soothly two sons were born to Joseph before that the hunger came, which Asenath, the daughter of Potipherah, a priest of Heliopolis, childed to him.
51And Joseph called the name of the first begotten son, Manasseh, and said, God hath made me to forget all my travails, and the house of my father;
52and he called the name of the second son Ephraim, and said, God hath made me to increase in the land of my poverty.
53Therefore when seven years of plenty that were in Egypt were passed,
54 [the] seven years of poverty began to come, which Joseph before-said, and hunger had the mastery in all the world; also hunger was in all the land of Egypt;
55and when that land hungered, the people cried to Pharaoh, and asked for meats; to whom he answered, Go ye to Joseph, and do ye whatever thing he saith to you.
56Forsooth hunger increased each day in all the land, and Joseph opened all the barns, and sold corn to the Egyptians, for also hunger oppressed them;
57and all [the] provinces came into Egypt to buy corns, and to abate the evil of neediness.