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Genesis 41

41
Pharaoh’s Dream
1Now it happened at the end of two full years that Pharaoh had a dream, and behold, he was standing by the Nile. 2And behold, from the Nile seven cows came up, fine-looking and #Lit fat of fleshfat; and they grazed in the marsh grass. 3Then behold, seven other cows came up after them from the Nile, ugly and #Lit thin of fleshthin, and they stood by the other cows on the bank of the Nile. 4Then the ugly and #Lit thin of fleshthin cows ate the seven fine-looking and fat cows. Then Pharaoh awoke. 5But he fell asleep and dreamed a second time; and behold, seven ears of grain came up on a single stalk, plump and good. 6Then behold, seven ears, thin and scorched by the east wind, sprouted up after them. 7And the thin ears swallowed the seven plump and full ears. Then Pharaoh awoke, and behold, it was a dream. 8Now in the morning his spirit was troubled, so he sent messengers and called for all the soothsayer priests of Egypt, and all its wise men. And Pharaoh told them his #Lit dreamdreams, but there was no one who could interpret them for Pharaoh.
9Then the chief cupbearer spoke to Pharaoh, saying, “I would make mention today of my own #Or sinsoffenses. 10Pharaoh was furious with his servants, and he put me in confinement in the house of the captain of the bodyguard, both me and the chief baker. 11Then we had a dream one night, #Lit I and hehe and I; each of us dreamed according to the interpretation of his own dream. 12Now a Hebrew youth was there with us, a servant of the captain of the bodyguard, and we told him the dreams, and he interpreted our dreams for us. For each man he interpreted according to his own dream. 13And just as he interpreted for us, so it happened; Pharaoh restored me in my office, but he hanged #Lit himthe chief baker.”
Joseph Interprets
14Then Pharaoh sent word and called for Joseph, and they hurriedly brought him out of the dungeon; and when he had shaved himself and changed his clothes, he came to Pharaoh. 15Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, but no one can interpret it; and I have heard #Lit about you, sayingit said about you, that #Lit you hear a dream to interpret itwhen you hear a dream you can interpret it.” 16Joseph then answered Pharaoh, saying, “#Lit Apart from meIt has nothing to do with me; God will #Lit answer the peace of Pharaohgive Pharaoh an answer for his own good.” 17So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream, there I was, standing on the bank of the Nile; 18and behold, seven cows, #Lit fat of fleshfat and fine-looking came up out of the Nile, and they grazed in the marsh grass. 19Then behold, seven other cows came up after them, poor and very #Lit badugly and #Lit thin of fleshthin, such as I had never seen for #Lit badnessugliness in all the land of Egypt; 20and the thin and ugly cows ate the first seven fat cows. 21Yet when they had #Lit entered their inward partsdevoured them, it could not be #Or knowndetected that they had #Lit entered their inward partsdevoured them, #Lit andfor they were just as ugly as #Lit in the beginningbefore. Then I awoke. 22I saw also in my dream, and behold, seven ears of grain, full and good, came up on a single stalk; 23and behold, seven ears, withered, thin, and scorched by the east wind sprouted up after them; 24and the thin ears swallowed the seven good ears. Then I told it to the soothsayer priests, but there was no one who could explain it to me.”
25And Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Pharaoh’s #Lit dream isdreams are one and the same; God has told to Pharaoh what He is about to do. 26The seven good cows are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years; the #Lit dream isdreams are one and the same. 27The seven thin and ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, and the seven thin ears scorched by the east wind will be seven years of famine. 28#Lit That is the thing which I spokeIt is as I have spoken to Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do. 29Behold, seven years of great abundance are coming in all the land of Egypt; 30and after them seven years of famine will #Lit arisecome, and all the abundance will be forgotten in the land of Egypt, and the famine will #Lit destroyravage the land. 31So the abundance will be unknown in the land because of that subsequent famine; for it will be very severe. 32Now as for the repeating of the dream to Pharaoh twice, it means that the matter is confirmed by God, and God will quickly bring it about. 33So now let Pharaoh look for a man discerning and wise, and appoint him over the land of Egypt. 34Let Pharaoh take action to appoint overseers #Lit overin charge of the land, and let him take a fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt as a tax in the seven years of abundance. 35Then have them collect all the food of these good years that are coming, and store up the grain for food in the cities under Pharaoh’s authority, and have them guard it. 36Let the food be used as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which will occur in the land of Egypt, so that the land will not perish during the famine.”
37Now the #Lit wordproposal seemed good #Lit in the sight ofto Pharaoh and #Lit in the sight ofto all his servants.
Joseph Is Made a Ruler of Egypt
38Then Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, in whom there is a divine spirit?” 39So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has informed you of all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you are. 40You shall be #Lit overin charge of my house, and all my people shall #Lit kiss your mouth; LXX obey at your commandbe obedient to you; only regarding the throne will I be greater than you.” 41Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “See, I have placed you over all the land of Egypt.” 42Then Pharaoh took off his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, and clothed him in garments of fine linen, and put the gold necklace around his neck. 43And he had him ride in #Lit the second...which was hishis second chariot; and they proclaimed ahead of him, “#Or Make wayBow the knee!” And he placed him over all the land of Egypt. 44Moreover, Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Though I am Pharaoh, yet without #Lit you no oneyour permission no one shall raise his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.” 45Then Pharaoh named Joseph #Prob. Egyptian for “God speaks; he lives”Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of #Or HeliopolisOn, to be his wife. And Joseph went out over the land of Egypt.
46Now Joseph was thirty years old when he #Or entered the service ofstood in the presence of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh and went through all the land of Egypt. 47During the seven years of plenty the land produced #Lit by handfulsabundantly. 48So he collected all the food of these seven years which occurred in the land of Egypt and put the food in the cities; he put in every city the food from its own surrounding fields. 49Joseph stored up grain #Lit very muchin great abundance like the sand of the sea, until he stopped #Lit numberingmeasuring it, for it was #Or without numberbeyond measure.
The Sons of Joseph
50Now before the year of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of #Or HeliopolisOn, bore to him. 51Joseph named the firstborn #I.e., making to forgetManasseh; “For,” he said, “God has made me forget all my trouble and all of my father’s household.” 52And he named the second #I.e., fruitfulnessEphraim; “For,” he said, “God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.”
53When the seven years of plenty which had taken place in the land of Egypt came to an end, 54and the seven years of famine began to come, just as Joseph had said, then there was famine in all the lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. 55So when all the land of Egypt suffered famine, the people cried out to Pharaoh for bread; and Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph; whatever he says to you, you shall do.” 56When the famine was spread over the entire face of the earth, then Joseph opened all #Lit that which was in themthe storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians; and the famine was severe in the land of Egypt. 57Then the people of all the earth came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe in all the earth.
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.