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Genesis 41

41
Joseph interprets the king's dreams
1Two years later the king#41.1 the king: See the note at 12.15. of Egypt dreamed he was standing beside the River Nile. 2Suddenly, seven fat, healthy cows came up from the river and started eating grass along the bank. 3Then seven ugly, skinny cows came up out of the river and 4ate the fat, healthy cows. When this happened, the king woke up.
5The king went back to sleep and had another dream. This time seven full heads of grain were growing on a single stalk. 6Later, seven other heads of grain appeared, but they were thin and scorched by the east wind. 7The thin heads of grain swallowed the seven full heads. Again the king woke up, and it had only been a dream.
8The next morning the king was upset. So he called in his magicians and wise men and told them what he had dreamed. None of them could tell him what the dreams meant.#Dn 2.2.
9The king's personal servant said:
Now I remember what I was supposed to do. 10When you were angry with me and your chief cook, you threw us both in jail in the house of the captain of the guard. 11One night we both had dreams, and each dream had a different meaning. 12A young Hebrew, who was a servant of the captain of the guard, was there with us at the time. When we told him our dreams, he explained what each of them meant, 13and everything happened just as he said it would. I got my job back, and the cook was put to death.
14The king sent for Joseph, who was quickly brought out of jail. He shaved, changed his clothes, and went to the king.
15The king said to him, “I had a dream, yet no one can explain what it means. I am told that you can interpret dreams.”
16“Your Majesty,” Joseph answered, “I can't do it myself, but God can give a good meaning to your dreams.”
17The king told Joseph:
I dreamed I was standing on the bank of the River Nile. 18I saw seven fat, healthy cows come up out of the river, and they began feeding on the grass. 19Next, seven skinny, bony cows came up out of the river. I have never seen such terrible looking cows anywhere in Egypt. 20The skinny cows ate the fat ones. 21But you couldn't tell it, because these skinny cows were just as skinny as they were before. Straight away, I woke up.
22I also dreamed that I saw seven heads of grain growing on one stalk. The heads were full and ripe. 23Then seven other heads of grain came up. They were thin and scorched by a wind from the desert. 24These heads of grain swallowed the full ones. I told my dreams to the magicians, but none of them could tell me the meaning of the dreams.
25Joseph replied:
Your Majesty, both of your dreams mean the same thing, and in them God has shown what he is going to do. 26The seven good cows stand for seven years, and so do the seven good heads of grain. 27The seven skinny, ugly cows that came up later also stand for seven years, as do the seven bad heads of grain that were scorched by the east wind. The dreams mean there will be seven years when there won't be enough grain.
28It is just as I said—God has shown what he intends to do. 29For seven years Egypt will have more than enough grain, 30but that will be followed by seven years when there won't be enough. The good years of plenty will be forgotten, and everywhere in Egypt people will be starving. 31The famine will be so bad that no one will remember that once there had been plenty. 32God has given you two dreams to let you know that he has definitely decided to do this and that he will do it soon.
33Your Majesty, you should find someone who is wise and will know what to do, so that you can put him in charge of all Egypt. 34Then appoint some other officials to collect one-fifth of every crop harvested in Egypt during the seven years when there is plenty. 35Give them the power to collect the grain during those good years and to store it in your cities. 36It can be stored until it is needed during the seven years when there won't be enough grain in Egypt. This will keep the country from being destroyed because of the lack of food.
Joseph is made governor over Egypt
37The king#41.37 The king: See the note at 12.15. and his officials liked this plan. 38So the king said to them, “No one could possibly handle this better than Joseph, since the Spirit of God is with him.”
39The king told Joseph, “God is the one who has shown you these things. No one else is as wise as you are or knows as much as you do. 40I'm putting you in charge of my palace, and everybody will have to obey you. No one will be over you except me.#Ac 7.10. 41You are now governor of all Egypt!”
42Then the king took off his royal ring and put it on Joseph's finger. He gave him fine clothes to wear and placed a gold chain around his neck.#Dn 5.29. 43He also let him ride in the chariot next to his own, and people shouted, “Make way for Joseph!” So Joseph was governor of Egypt.
44The king told Joseph, “Although I'm king, no one in Egypt is to do anything without your permission.” 45He gave Joseph the Egyptian name Zaphenath Paneah. And he let him marry Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, a priest in the city of Heliopolis.#41.45 Heliopolis: The Hebrew text has “On”, which is better known by its Greek name “Heliopolis”. Joseph travelled all over Egypt.
46Joseph was thirty when the king made him governor, and he went everywhere for the king. 47For seven years there were big harvests of grain. 48Joseph collected and stored up the extra grain in the cities of Egypt near the fields where it was harvested. 49In fact, there was so much grain that they stopped keeping record, because it was like counting the grains of sand along the beach.
50Joseph and his wife had two sons before the famine began. 51Their first son was named Manasseh, which means, “God has let me forget all my troubles and my family back home.” 52His second son was named Ephraim, which means “God has made me a success#41.52 God has made me a success: Or “God has given me children.” in the land where I suffered.”#41.52 Ephraim…suffered: In Hebrew “Ephraim” actually means either “fertile land” or “pasture land”.
53Egypt's seven years of plenty came to an end, 54and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. There was not enough food in other countries, but all over Egypt there was plenty.#Ac 7.11. 55When the famine finally struck Egypt, the people asked the king for food, but he said, “Go to Joseph and do what he tells you to do.”#Jn 2.5.
56The famine became bad everywhere in Egypt, so Joseph opened the storehouses and sold the grain to the Egyptians. 57People from all over the world came to Egypt, because the famine was severe in their countries.
41
Pharaoh’s Dreams
1#Ge 20:3After two whole years, Pharaoh had a dream that he was standing by the Nile. 2Seven fine-looking and fattened cows suddenly came up out of the river, and they grazed in the meadow. 3Then seven other cows came up after them out of the river, ugly and gaunt, and stood by the other cows on the riverbank. 4The ugly and gaunt cows ate up the seven fine-looking and fattened cows. Then Pharaoh awoke.
5He slept and dreamed a second time. Seven ears of grain suddenly came up on one stalk, plump and good. 6#Eze 17:10; 19:12Then seven thin ears, scorched by the east wind, sprang up after them. 7The seven thin ears devoured the seven plump and full ears. Then Pharaoh awoke and realized it was a dream.
8#Ex 7:11; 7:22In the morning his spirit was troubled, and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt and all its wise men. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was no one who could interpret them to Pharaoh.
9#Ge 40:14; 40:23Then the chief cupbearer spoke to Pharaoh, saying, “Today I remember my offenses. 10#Ge 39:20; 40:2–3Pharaoh was angry with his servants and put me in confinement in the captain of the guard’s house, both me and the chief baker. 11And we had a dream in the same night, he and I. We, each of us, dreamed according to the interpretation of his own dream. 12#Ge 37:36; 40:12–19A young Hebrew man was with us there, a servant to the captain of the guard. We told him and he interpreted our dreams for us. To each man he interpreted according to his own dream. 13It happened just as he interpreted. He restored me to my position, and the baker was hanged.”
14#Ps 113:7–8; Da 2:25So Pharaoh sent and called for Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon. He shaved himself, changed his clothes, and came to Pharaoh.
15#Da 5:16Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have dreamed a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. I have heard it said of you that you can understand a dream to interpret it.”
16#Ge 40:8; Da 2:47Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, “It is not in me. God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.”
17Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream, I stood on the bank of the Nile. 18And suddenly there came up out of the river seven cows, fattened and fine-looking, and they grazed in the reeds. 19Then seven other cows came up after them, poor and very ugly and gaunt. I have never seen such ugliness in all the land of Egypt. 20And the gaunt and ugly cows ate up the first seven fat cows. 21And when they had eaten them up, no one would have known that they had eaten them, for they were still as ugly as before. Then I awoke.
22“I also saw in my dreams seven ears of grain, full and good, suddenly come up on one stalk. 23Then seven ears, thin and scorched by the east wind, sprang up after them. 24#Ge 41:8; Da 4:7And the thin ears swallowed the seven good ears. So I told this to the magicians, but there was no one who could explain it to me.”
25#Da 2:45; 2:28–29Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one and the same. God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do. 26#Ge 41:2The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good ears are seven years. The dreams are one. 27#2Ki 8:1The seven gaunt and ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, and the seven empty ears scorched by the east wind will be seven years of famine.
28#Ge 41:25“It is as I have spoken to Pharaoh. God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do. 29Seven years of great abundance will come throughout all the land of Egypt. 30#Ge 41:54; 47:13However, there will arise after them seven years of famine. All the abundance will be forgotten in the land of Egypt, and the famine will consume the land. 31The abundance will be unknown in the land because of the famine following, for it will be very severe. 32#Nu 23:19; Isa 46:10–11The reason the dream was repeated to Pharaoh twice is because the matter is established by God, and God will soon bring it to pass.
33“Now, therefore, let Pharaoh seek out a man who is discerning and wise and set him over the land of Egypt. 34Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officials over the land and collect the fifth part of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven abundant years. 35Let them gather all the food from those good years that come and lay up grain under the authority of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. 36This food will be for a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which will be in the land of Egypt, so that the land does not perish during the famine.”
Joseph Rises to Power
37The counsel seemed good to Pharaoh and to all of his servants. 38#Da 4:18; 5:11Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find anyone like this man, in whom is the Spirit of God?”
39#Ge 41:33And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. 40#Ps 105:21–22; Ac 7:10You will be over my house, and according to your word all my people will be ruled. Only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you.”
41#Da 6:3; Ge 42:6Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” 42#Da 5:7; 5:29; Est 3:10Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand and arrayed him in clothes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. 43#Ge 45:8; 42:6Then he had him ride in the second chariot which was his, and they cried out before him, “Bow the knee!” So he set him over all the land of Egypt.
44#Ps 105:22Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no man will lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.” 45#Ge 46:20; Eze 30:17Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphenath-­Paneah, and he gave him a wife, Asenath the daughter of Potiphera priest of On.#On is also called Heliopolis. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.
46#Ge 37:2; 1Sa 16:21Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh and went throughout all the land of Egypt. 47In the seven abundant years the earth brought forth plentifully. 48So he gathered up all the food of the seven years which was in the land of Egypt and laid up the food in the cities. He put in every city the food of the fields which surrounded the city. 49#Ge 22:17; Jdg 7:12Joseph gathered great quantities of grain as the sand of the sea until he stopped measuring it, for it was beyond measure.
50#Ge 46:20; 48:5Before the years of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, bore to him. 51Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh, “For God,” he said, “has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s house.” 52#Ge 49:22; 50:23The name of the second he called Ephraim, saying, “For God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.”
53The seven years of abundance that were in the land of Egypt ended. 54#Ac 7:11; Ge 45:11The seven years of famine began to come, just as Joseph had said. The famine was in all lands, but there was food in all the land of Egypt. 55When all the land of Egypt was hungry, the people cried to Pharaoh for food, and Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph. Do whatever he says to you.”
56#Ge 42:6The famine was over all the face of the earth, so Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold to the Egyptians, and the famine was severe throughout the land of Egypt. 57#Ge 41:54; 41:56Moreover, all countries came to Egypt to Joseph to buy grain, because the famine was so severe in all the lands.