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Genesis 41

41
Exalted by Pharaoh
1Now at the end of two whole years, Pharaoh was dreaming. Behold, there he was standing by the Nile.
2Then behold, there were seven cows, good-looking and beefy, and they grazed in the reeds.
3Then behold, there were seven other cows coming up after them from the Nile, ugly and emaciated, and they stood beside the cows at the edge of the Nile.
4Then the ugly emaciated cows ate the seven good-looking beefy cows—and Pharaoh woke up.
5Then he slept and dreamed a second time: behold, there were seven ears of corn coming up on one stalk, plump and good.
6Then behold, there were seven ears of corn, thin and scorched by the east wind, sprouting up after them.
7Then the seven thin ears of corn swallowed up the seven plump and full ears of corn. Then Pharaoh woke up—it was a dream.
8But in the morning he was disturbed in his spirit. So he sent and called for the fortune-telling priests of Egypt and all its wise men and Pharaoh told them his dream. But no one could interpret them for Pharaoh.
9Then the chief of the cupbearers spoke with Pharaoh saying, “I am reminded of my sins today.
10Pharaoh had been angry with his servants and put me in the custody of the house of the commander of the bodyguards—me and the chief of the bakers.
11Then we each dreamed a dream on the same night, he and I, we both dreamed, yet each dream had its own interpretation.
12Now there with us was a Hebrew youth—a slave belonging to the commander of the bodyguards. When we told him, he interpreted our dreams for us, each man’s dream he interpreted.
13Then it came about, just as he interpreted for us, so it happened. Me he restored to my position, but him he hung.
14Then Pharaoh sent and called for Joseph. So they quickly fetched him from the pit. He shaved, changed his clothes, and came to Pharaoh.
15Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I dreamed a dream and there’s no one to interpret it. I heard about you— it’s said that you can listen to a dream to interpret it.”
16Then Joseph answered Pharaoh saying, “It’s not within me. God will answer with shalom for Pharaoh.”
17So Pharaoh said to Joseph: “In my dream, there I was, standing by the bank of the Nile.
18And to my surprise, out of the Nile seven cows were coming up, beefy and good-looking, and they grazed in the reeds.
19Then all of a sudden, there were seven other cows coming up after them, feeble, very ugly and emaciated. I’ve never seen the likes of these in the whole land of Egypt for ugliness.
20Then the emaciated and ugly cows ate the first seven beefy cows.
21When they were devoured, one couldn’t tell that they had been devoured. Their appearance was as ugly as it was at first. Then I woke up.
22Then I saw in my dream, there were seven ears of corn coming up on one stalk, plump and good.
23Then suddenly, there were seven ears of corn, dried up, thin, and scorched by the east wind, sprouting up after them.
24Then the thin ears of corn swallowed up the seven good ears of corn. So I told the fortune-telling priests, but no one could provide me with an explanation.”
25Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Pharaoh’s dream is one. God has told Pharaoh what He is about to do.
26The seven good cows: they are seven years. Also the seven ears of corn: they’re seven years. It is one dream.
27The seven emaciated and ugly cows coming up after them: they’re seven years. Also the seven empty ears of corn scorched by the east wind: there will be seven years of famine.
28It is the word that I have already said to Pharaoh: what God is about to do, he has shown to Pharaoh.
29Seven years of abundance are about to come in the whole land of Egypt.
30Then seven years of famine will come up after them and all the abundance in the land of Egypt will be forgotten and the famine will consume the land.
31So the abundance in the land will be unknown because of the famine that follows, for it will be a very oppressive famine.
32“Now as for repeating Pharaoh’s dream twice: it’s because the matter has been settled by God and God will quickly make it happen.
33So now, let Pharaoh select a man discerning and wise and set him in authority over the land of Egypt.
34Let Pharaoh act by appointing administrators over the land and take a fifth portion from the land of Egypt during the seven years of abundance.
35Then let them gather all the food from these good years that are coming, and let them store up grain under Pharaoh’s hand as food for the cities, so they may preserve it.
36Let the food be held in reserve for the land for the seven years of famine that is coming upon the land of Egypt. Then the land will not be annihilated by the famine.”
37Now the plan seemed good in the eyes of Pharaoh as well as all his servants.
38Then Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can a man like this be found, one in whom is God’s Spirit?”
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! You will be over my house, and all my people will pay homage to you . Only in relation to the throne will I be greater than you.”
41Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I appoint you over the whole land of Egypt.”
42Then Pharaoh removed his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, clothed him with fine linen garments, and put a chain of gold around his neck.
43Then he had him ride in the chariot as second-in-command, the one that belonged to him, and they called out before him, “Kneel down!” So he appointed him over the whole land of Egypt.
44Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, yet without your permission no one will lift up his hand or his foot in the whole land of Egypt.”
45Then Pharaoh named Joseph Zaphenath-paneah and gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, as his wife. Then Joseph went out, in charge of the land of Egypt.
46Now Joseph was 30 years old when he began serving as representative of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. Joseph went out from Pharaoh’s presence and passed throughout the whole land of Egypt.
47During the seven years of abundance, the land produced in heaps.
48So he gathered all the food in the land of Egypt during the seven years, and put food in the cities; the food from the city fields surrounding the cities he put in each city.
49So Joseph stored up grain like the sand of the sea, vast amounts, until he stopped keeping record because it was beyond counting.
50Two sons also had been born to Joseph before the year of famine came, born to him by Asenath, daughter of Potiphera, priest of On.
51Joseph named his first-born Manasseh, “because God has caused me to forget all my trouble and all my father’s house.”
52And the second he named Ephraim, “because God has made me fruitful in the land of my oppression.”
53Then the seven years of abundance in the land of Egypt came to an end,
54and the seven years of famine started to come—just as Joseph had said. So there was famine in all the lands, but in the whole land of Egypt there was bread.
55When the whole land of Egypt suffered famine, the people cried out to Pharaoh for food, and Pharaoh said to all of Egypt, “Go to Joseph. Do whatever he tells you.”
56The famine was over all the entire land, so Joseph opened up all that was among them and sold grain to Egypt. Then the famine became severe in the land of Egypt.
57Yet the whole world came to Egypt to buy grain—to Joseph—because the famine was severe in the whole world.
41
The King’s Dreams
1Two years later the king had a dream. He dreamed he was standing on the bank of the Nile River. 2He saw seven fat and beautiful cows come up out of the river. They stood there, eating the grass. 3Then seven more cows came up out of the river. But they were thin and ugly. They stood beside the seven beautiful cows on the bank of the Nile. 4The seven thin and ugly cows ate the seven beautiful fat cows. Then the king woke up. 5The king slept again and dreamed a second time. In his dream he saw seven full and good heads of grain growing on one stalk. 6After that, seven more heads of grain sprang up. But they were thin and burned by the hot east wind. 7The thin heads of grain ate the seven full and good heads. Then the king woke up again. And he realized it was only a dream. 8The next morning the king was troubled about these dreams. So he sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. The king told them his dreams. But no one could explain their meaning to him.
9Then the chief officer who served wine to the king said to him, “I remember something I promised to do. But I had forgotten about it. 10There was a time when you were angry with me and the baker. You put us in prison in the house of the captain of the guard. 11In prison we each had a dream on the same night. Each dream had a different meaning. 12A young Hebrew man was in the prison with us. He was a servant of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams, and he explained their meanings to us. He told each man the meaning of his dream. 13Things happened exactly as he said they would: I was given back my old position, and the baker was hanged.”
14So the king called for Joseph. The guards quickly brought him out of the prison. He shaved, put on clean clothes and went before the king.
15The king said to Joseph, “I have had a dream. But no one can explain its meaning to me. I have heard that you can explain a dream when someone tells it to you.”
16Joseph answered the king, “I am not able to explain the meaning of dreams. God will do this for the king.”
17Then the king said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing on the bank of the Nile River. 18I saw seven fat and beautiful cows. They came up out of the river and ate the grass. 19Then I saw seven more cows come out of the river. They were thin and lean and ugly. They were the worst looking cows I have seen in all the land of Egypt. 20And these thin and ugly cows ate the first seven fat cows. 21But after they had eaten the seven cows, no one could tell they had eaten them. They just looked as thin and ugly as they did in the beginning. Then I woke up.
22“I had another dream. I saw seven full and good heads of grain growing on one stalk. 23Then seven more heads of grain sprang up after them. But these heads were thin and ugly. They were burned by the hot east wind. 24Then the thin heads ate the seven good heads. I told this dream to the magicians. But no one could explain its meaning to me.”
Joseph Tells the Dreams’ Meaning
25Then Joseph said to the king, “Both of these dreams mean the same thing. God is telling you what he is about to do. 26The seven good cows stand for seven years. And the seven good heads of grain stand for seven years. Both dreams mean the same thing. 27The seven thin and ugly cows stand for seven years. And the seven thin heads of grain burned by the hot east wind stand for seven years of hunger. 28This will happen as I told you. God is showing the king what he is about to do. 29You will have seven years of good crops and plenty to eat in all the land of Egypt. 30But after those seven years, there will come seven years of hunger. All the food that grew in the land of Egypt will be forgotten. The time of hunger will eat up the land. 31People will forget what it was like to have plenty of food. This is because the hunger that follows will be so great. 32You had two dreams which mean the same thing. This shows that God has firmly decided that this will happen. And he will make it happen soon.
33“So let the king choose a man who is very wise and understanding. Let the king set him over the land of Egypt. 34And let the king also appoint officers over the land. They should take one-fifth of all the food that is grown during the seven good years. 35They should gather all the food that is produced during the good years that are coming. Under the king’s authority they should store the grain in the cities and guard it. 36That food should be saved for later. It will be used during the seven years of hunger that will come on the land of Egypt. Then the people in Egypt will not die during the seven years of hunger.”
Joseph Is Made Ruler over Egypt
37This seemed like a very good idea to the king. All his officers agreed. 38And the king asked them, “Can we find a better man than Joseph to take this job? God’s spirit is truly in him!”
39So the king said to Joseph, “God has shown you all this. There is no one as wise and understanding as you are. 40I will put you in charge of my palace. All the people will obey your orders. Only I will be greater than you.”
41Then the king said to Joseph, “Look! I have put you in charge of all the land of Egypt.” 42Then the king took off from his own finger his ring with the royal seal on it. And he put it on Joseph’s finger. He gave Joseph fine linen clothes to wear. And he put a gold chain around Joseph’s neck. 43The king had Joseph ride in the second royal chariot. Men walked ahead of his chariot calling, “Bow down!” By doing these things, the king put Joseph in charge of all of Egypt.
44The king said to him, “I am the king. And I say that no one in all the land of Egypt may lift a hand or a foot unless you say he may.” 45The king gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah. He also gave Joseph a wife named Asenath. She was the daughter of Potiphera, priest of On. So Joseph traveled through all the land of Egypt.
46Joseph was 30 years old when he began serving the king of Egypt. And he left the king’s court and traveled through all the land of Egypt. 47During the seven good years, the crops in the land grew well. 48And Joseph gathered all the food produced in Egypt during those seven years of good crops. He stored the food in the cities. In every city he stored grain that had been grown in the fields around that city. 49Joseph stored much grain, as much as the sand of the seashore. He stored so much grain that he could not measure it.
50Joseph’s wife was Asenath daughter of Potiphera, the priest of On. Before the years of hunger came, Joseph and Asenath had two sons. 51Joseph named the first son Manasseh.# This name sounds like the Hebrew word for “made me forget.” Joseph said, “God has made me forget all the troubles I have had and all my father’s family.” 52Joseph named the second son Ephraim.# This name sounds like the Hebrew word for “given me children.” Joseph said, “God has given me children in the land of my troubles.”
53The seven years of good crops came to an end in the land of Egypt. 54Then the seven years of hunger began, just as Joseph had said. In all the lands people had nothing to eat. But in Egypt there was food. 55The time of hunger became terrible in all of Egypt. The people cried to the king for food. He said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph. Do whatever he tells you to do.”
56The hunger was everywhere in that part of the world. And Joseph opened the storehouses and sold grain to the people of Egypt. This was because the time of hunger became terrible in Egypt. 57And all the people in that part of the world came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain. This was because the hunger was terrible everywhere in that part of the world.