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Genesis 41

41
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.
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.