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Genesis 41

41
The Dreams of Pharaoh
1After two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream: He was standing beside the Nile, 2when seven cows, sleek and well-fed, came up from the river and began to graze among the reeds. 3After them, seven other cows, sickly and thin, came up from the Nile and stood beside the well-fed cows on the bank of the river. 4And the cows that were sickly and thin devoured the seven sleek, well-fed cows.
Then Pharaoh woke up, 5but he fell back asleep and dreamed a second time: Seven heads of grain, plump and ripe, came up on one stalk. 6After them, seven other heads of grain sprouted, thin and scorched by the east wind. 7And the thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven plump, ripe ones. Then Pharaoh awoke and realized it was a dream.
8In the morning his spirit was troubled, so he summoned all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but no one could interpret them for him.
9Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “Today I recall my failures. 10Pharaoh was once angry with his servants, and he put me and the chief baker in the custody of the captain of the guard. 11One night both the chief baker and I had dreams, and each dream had its own meaning. 12Now a young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams and he interpreted them for us individually. 13And it happened to us just as he had interpreted: I was restored to my position, and the other man was hanged.”
Joseph Interprets Pharaoh’s Dreams
14So Pharaoh sent for Joseph, who was quickly brought out of the dungeon. After he had shaved and changed his clothes, he went in before Pharaoh.
15Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.”
16“I myself cannot do it,” Joseph replied, “but God will give Pharaoh a sound answer.”
17Then Pharaoh said to Joseph: “In my dream I was standing on the bank of the Nile, 18when seven cows, well-fed and sleek, came up from the river and began to graze among the reeds. 19After them, seven other cows—sickly, ugly, and thin—came up. I have never seen such ugly cows in all the land of Egypt! 20Then the thin, ugly cows devoured the seven well-fed cows that were there first. 21When they had devoured them, however, no one could tell that they had done so; their appearance was as ugly as it had been before. Then I awoke.
22In my dream I also saw seven heads of grain, plump and ripe, growing on a single stalk. 23After them, seven other heads of grain sprouted—withered, thin, and scorched by the east wind. 24And the thin heads of grain swallowed the seven plump ones.
I told this dream to the magicians, but no one could explain it to me.”
25At this, Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one and the same. God has revealed to Pharaoh what He is about to do. 26The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven ripe heads of grain are seven years. The dreams have the same meaning. 27Moreover, the seven thin, ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, and so are the seven worthless heads of grain scorched by the east wind—they are seven years of famine.
28It is just as I said to Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do. 29Behold, seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt, 30but seven years of famine will follow them. Then all the abundance in the land of Egypt will be forgotten, and the famine will devastate the land. 31The abundance in the land will not be remembered, since the famine that follows it will be so severe.
32Moreover, because the dream was given to Pharaoh in two versions, the matter has been decreed by God, and He will carry it out shortly.
33Now, therefore, Pharaoh should look for a discerning and wise man and set him over the land of Egypt. 34Let Pharaoh take action and appoint commissioners over the land to take a fifth of the harvest #41:34 See LXX; MT a fifth from the land of Egypt during the seven years of abundance. 35Under the authority of Pharaoh, let them collect all the excess food from these good years, that they may come and lay up the grain to be preserved as food in the cities. 36This food will be a reserve for the land during the seven years of famine to come upon the land of Egypt. Then the country will not perish in the famine.”
Joseph Given Charge of Egypt
37This proposal pleased Pharaoh and all his officials. 38So Pharaoh asked them, “Can we find anyone like this man, in whom the Spirit of God #41:38 Or the spirit of the gods abides?”
39Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. 40You shall be in charge of my house, and all my people are to obey your commands. Only with regard to the throne will I be greater than you.”
41Pharaoh also told Joseph, “I hereby place you over all the land of Egypt.” 42Then Pharaoh removed the signet ring from his finger, put it on Joseph’s finger, clothed him in garments of fine linen, and placed a gold chain around his neck. 43He had Joseph ride in his second chariot, with men calling out before him, “Bow the knee!”#41:43 That is, “Abrek,” probably an Egyptian word that sounds similar to the Hebrew for kneel So he placed him over all the land of Egypt.
44And Pharaoh declared to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your permission, no one in all the land of Egypt shall lift his hand or foot.”
45Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-paneah,#41:45 Zaphenath-paneah probably means Revealer of Mysteries or God speaks and lives. and he gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On,#41:45 That is, Heliopolis, as in LXX; also in verse 50 to be his wife. And Joseph took charge of all the land of Egypt.
The Seven Years of Plenty
46Now Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph left Pharaoh’s presence and traveled throughout the land of Egypt.
47During the seven years of abundance, the land brought forth bountifully. 48During those seven years, Joseph collected all the excess food in the land of Egypt and stored it in the cities. In every city he laid up the food from the fields around it. 49So Joseph stored up grain in such abundance, like the sand of the sea, that he stopped keeping track of it; for it was beyond measure.
50Before the years of famine arrived, two sons were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On. 51Joseph named the firstborn Manasseh,#41:51 Manasseh sounds like the Hebrew for making to forget. saying, “God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father’s household.” 52And the second son he named Ephraim,#41:52 Ephraim sounds like the Hebrew for making fruitful or twice fruitful. saying, “God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.”
The Famine Begins
53When the seven years of abundance in the land of Egypt came to an end, 54the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. And although there was famine in every country, there was food throughout the land of Egypt. 55When extreme hunger came to all the land of Egypt and the people cried out to Pharaoh for food, he told all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph and do whatever he tells you.”
56When the famine had spread over all the land, Joseph opened up all the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians; for the famine was severe in the land of Egypt. 57And every nation came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain, because the famine was severe over all the earth.

Genesis 41

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.