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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
Joseph Interprets Pharaoh’s Dreams
1And it happened that after two full years#Literally “two years of days” Pharaoh dreamed, and behold, he was standing by the Nile. 2And behold, seven cows, well built and fat,#Literally “beautiful of appearance and healthy of flesh” were coming up from the Nile, and they grazed among the reeds. 3And behold, seven other cows came up after them from the Nile, ugly and gaunt,#Literally “Poor of appearance and thin of flesh” and they stood beside those#Or “the” cows on the bank of the Nile. 4And the ugly and gaunt#Literally “Poor of appearance and thin of flesh” cows ate the seven well built and fat#Literally “beautiful of appearance and healthy of flesh” cows. Then Pharaoh awoke. 5And he fell asleep and dreamed a second time, and behold, seven ears of grain, plump and good, were coming out of one stalk. 6And behold, seven thin ears of grain, scorched by the east wind, sprouted up after them. 7And the thin ears of grain swallowed up the seven plump and full ears of grain. Then Pharaoh awoke, and behold, it was a dream. 8And it happened that in the morning his spirit was troubled, and he sent and called all of the magicians#Or “soothsayer priests” of Egypt, and all its wise men, and Pharaoh told his dream to them. But they had no interpretation#Literally “there was no interpretation with them” for Pharaoh. 9Then the chief of the cupbearers spoke with Pharaoh, saying, “I remember my sins today. 10Pharaoh was angry with his servants, and he put me and the chief baker in the custody of the house of the chief of the guard. 11And we dreamed a dream one night, I and he, each with a dream that had a meaning.#Literally “each according to his dream we dreamed” 12And there with us was a young man, a Hebrew servant of the chief of the guard, and we told him the dream, and he interpreted our dreams for us, each according to his dream he interpreted. 13And it happened just as he interpreted to us, so it was. He#That is, Pharaoh restored me to my office, and him#That is, the chief baker he#That is, Pharaoh hanged.” 14Then Pharaoh sent and called for Joseph, and they brought him quickly from the prison. And he shaved and changed his clothing, and came to Pharaoh. 15Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I dreamed a dream, but there is none to interpret it. Now, I have heard concerning you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” 16Then Joseph answered Pharaoh saying, “It is not in my power;#Literally “besides me” God will answer concerning the well-being of Pharaoh.” 17And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Now in my dream, behold, I was standing on the bank of the Nile, 18and behold, seven cows, well built and fat,#Literally “beautiful of appearance and healthy of flesh” were coming up from the Nile, and they grazed among the reeds. 19And behold, seven other cows came up after them from the Nile, very ugly and gaunt#Literally “Poor of appearance and thin of flesh”—never have I seen any as them in all the land of Egypt for ugliness. 20And the thin and ugly cows ate the former seven healthy cows. 21But when they went into their bellies#Or “inner parts” it could not be known that they went into their bellies,#Or “inner parts” for their appearance was as ugly as at the beginning. Then I awoke. 22Then I saw in my dream and behold, seven ears of grain were coming out of one stalk, full and good. 23And behold, seven withered ears of grain, thin and scorched by the east wind, sprouted up after them. 24And the thin ears of grain swallowed up the seven good ears of grain. And I told the magicians,#Or “soothsayer priests” but there was none to explain it to me.” 25Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one. God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 26The seven good cows, they are seven years, and the seven good ears of grain, they are seven years. The dreams are one. 27And the seven thin and ugly cows coming up after them, they are seven years, and the seven empty ears of grain, scorched by the east wind, they are also seven years of famine. 28This is the word that I have spoken to Pharaoh; God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. 29Behold, seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the whole land of Egypt. 30Then seven years of famine will arise after them, and all the abundance in the land of Egypt will be forgotten. The famine will consume the land. 31Abundance in the land will not be known because of the famine that follows,#Literally “that thus afterwards” for it will be very heavy. 32Now concerning the repetition of the dream twice to Pharaoh, it is because the matter is established by God, and God will do it quickly. 33Now then, let Pharaoh select a man who is discerning and wise, and let him set him over the land of Egypt. 34Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint supervisors over the land, and let him take one-fifth from the land of Egypt in the seven years of abundance. 35Then let them gather all the food of these coming good years and let them pile up grain under the hand of Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them keep it. 36Then the food shall be as a deposit for the land for the seven years of the famine that will be in the land of Egypt, that the land will not perish on account of the famine.”
Joseph Rises to Power
37And the plan#Or “word” was good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of all his servants. 38Then Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this in whom is the spirit of God?” 39Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all of this known to you there is no one as discerning and wise as you. 40You shall be over my house, and to your word#Or “mouth” all my people shall submit. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.” 41Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” 42Then Pharaoh removed his signet ring from his finger and put it on the finger of Joseph. And he clothed him with garments of fine linen, and he put a chain of gold around his neck. 43And he had him ride in his second chariot. And they cried out before him, “Kneel!” And Pharaoh set him over all the land of Egypt. 44Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your consent no one will lift his hand or his foot in all the land of Egypt.” 45And Pharaoh called the name of Joseph Zaphenath-paneah and gave him Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, as a wife. And Joseph went out over the land of Egypt. 46Now Joseph was thirty years old#Literally “a son of thirty years” when he stood before Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh and traveled through the whole land of Egypt. 47And the land produced a plenty in the seven years of abundance. 48And he gathered all the food of the seven years which occurred in the land of Egypt. And he stored the food in the cities. The food of the field that surrounded each city he stored in its midst. 49And Joseph piled up grain like the sand of the sea in great abundance until he stopped counting it, for it could not be counted.#Literally “there was no number” 50Before the years of famine came, Asenath, daughter of Potiphera priest of On, bore two sons to him. 51And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh, for he said, “God has caused me to forget all my hardship and all my father’s house.” 52And the name of the second he called Ephraim, for he said, “God has made me fruitful in the land of my misfortune.” 53And the seven years of abundance which were in the land of Egypt came to an end. 54And the seven years of famine began to come as Joseph had said. And there was famine in all of the countries, but in the land of Egypt there was food. 55And when all the land of Egypt was hungry the people cried out to Pharaoh for food. And Pharaoh said to all the land of Egypt, “Go to Joseph; what he says to you, you must do.” 56And the famine was over the whole land, and Joseph opened all the storehouses#Hebrew “that which was in them” and sold food to the Egyptians. And the famine was severe in the land of Egypt. 57And every land came to Egypt to Joseph to buy grain, for the famine was severe in every land.