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Berĕshith (Genesis) 41

41
1And it came to be, at the end of two years’ time, that Pharaoh had a dream, and saw him standing by the river,
2and saw seven cows coming up out of the river, beautiful looking and fat, and they fed amongst the reeds,
3then saw seven other cows coming up after them out of the river, ugly and lean of flesh, and stood by the other cows on the bank of the river.
4And the ugly and lean of flesh cows ate up the seven beautiful looking and fat cows. Then Pharaoh awoke.
5And he slept and dreamed a second time and saw seven heads of grain coming up on one stalk, plump and good,
6and saw seven lean heads, scorched by the east wind, coming up after them.
7And the seven lean heads swallowed the seven plump and complete heads. Then Pharaoh awoke and saw it was a dream.
8And it came to be in the morning that his spirit was moved, and he sent and called for all the magicians of Mitsrayim and all its wise men. And Pharaoh related to them his dreams, but there was no one who could interpret them for Pharaoh.
9Then the chief cupbearer spoke to Pharaoh, saying, “I remember my crimes this day.
10“When Pharaoh was wroth with his servants, and put me in confinement in the house of the captain of the guard, both me and the chief baker,
11each one of us dreamed a dream in one night, he and I. Each of us dreamed according to the interpretation of his own dream.
12“And there was with us a Hebrew youth, a servant of the captain of the guard. And we related to him, and he interpreted our dreams for us. To each man he interpreted according to his own dream.
13And it came to be, as he interpreted for us, so it came to be. He restored me to my office, and he hanged him.
14Then Pharaoh sent and called Yosĕph, and they hurriedly brought him out of the dungeon. And he shaved and changed his garments, and came to Pharaoh.
15And Pharaoh said to Yosĕph, “I have dreamed a dream, and there is no one to interpret it. Now I myself have heard it said of you that you understand a dream, to interpret it.”
16And Yosĕph answered Pharaoh, saying, “It is not in me, let Elohim answer Pharaoh with peace.”
17And Pharaoh said to Yosĕph, “See, in my dream I stood on the bank of the river
18and saw seven cows coming up out of the river, beautiful looking and fat, and they fed amongst the reeds,
19then saw seven other cows coming up after them, poor and very ugly and lean of flesh, such ugliness as I have never seen in all the land of Mitsrayim.
20“And the lean of flesh and ugly cows ate up the first seven, the fat cows.
21“Yet when they had eaten them up, no one would have known that they had eaten them, for they were as ugly as at the beginning. Then I awoke.
22“Also, I looked in my dream and saw seven heads coming up on one stalk, complete and good,
23then saw seven heads, withered, lean, scorched by the east wind, coming up after them.
24“And the lean heads swallowed the seven good heads. And I spoke to the magicians, but there was no one who could explain it to me.”
25And Yosĕph said to Pharaoh, “The dream of Pharaoh is one. Elohim has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do:
26“The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good heads are seven years – it is one dream.
27“And the seven lean and ugly cows which came up after them are seven years, and the seven empty heads scorched by the east wind are seven years of scarcity of food.
28“This is the word which I spoke to Pharaoh: Elohim has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do.
29See, seven years of great plenty are coming in all the land of Mitsrayim,”
30but after them seven years of scarcity of food shall arise and all the plenty be forgotten in the land of Mitsrayim. And the scarcity of food shall destroy the land,
31and the plenty shall not be remembered in the land, because of the scarcity of food following, for it is very severe.
32“And the dream was repeated to Pharaoh twice because the word is established by Elohim, and Elohim is hastening to do it.
33“And now, let Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man, and set him over the land of Mitsrayim.
34“Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint overseers over the land, to take up one-fifth of the land of Mitsrayim in the seven years of plenty.
35“And let them gather all the food of those good years that are coming, and store up grain under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities.
36And the food shall be for a store for the land for the seven years of scarcity of food which shall be in the land of Mitsrayim, and do not let the land be cut off by the scarcity of food.
37And the word was good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of all his servants.
38And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Could we find another like him, a man in whom is the Spirit of Elohim?”
39Then Pharaoh said to Yosĕph, “Since Elohim has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you.
40Be over my house, you yourself, and at your mouth all my people shall kiss – only in the throne I am greater than you.
41And Pharaoh said to Yosĕph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Mitsrayim.”
42And Pharaoh took his seal-ring off his hand and put it on Yosĕph’s hand. And he dressed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck.
43And he had him ride in the second chariot which he had. And they cried out before him, “Bow the knee!” And he set him over all the land of Mitsrayim.
44And Pharaoh said to Yosĕph, “I am Pharaoh, and without a word from you let no man lift his hand or foot in all the land of Mitsrayim.”
45And Pharaoh called Yosĕph’s name Zaphnath-Pa‛nĕaḥ. And he gave him as a wife Asenath, the daughter of Poti-Pherah priest of On. And Yosĕph went out over all the land of Mitsrayim.
46Now Yosĕph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh sovereign of Mitsrayim. And Yosĕph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Mitsrayim.
47And in the seven years of plenty the ground brought forth generously.
48And he gathered all the food of the seven years which were in the land of Mitsrayim, and laid up the food in the cities. He laid up in every city the food of the fields which surrounded them.
49Thus Yosĕph gathered very much grain, as the sand of the sea, until he ceased counting, for it was without number.
50And to Yosĕph were born two sons before the years of scarcity of food came, whom Asenath, the daughter of Poti-Pherah priest of On, bore to him.
51And Yosĕph called the name of the first-born Menashsheh, “For Elohim has made me forget all my toil and all my father’s house.”
52And the name of the second he called Ephrayim, “For Elohim has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.”
53And the seven years of plenty which were in the land of Mitsrayim came to an end,
54and the seven years of scarcity of food began to come, as Yosĕph had said. And the scarcity of food was in all lands, but in all the land of Mitsrayim there was bread.
55But when all the land of Mitsrayim hungered, and the people cried to Pharaoh for bread, Pharaoh said to all the Mitsrites, “Go to Yosĕph, do whatever he says to you.”
56And the scarcity of food was over all the face of the earth, and Yosĕph opened all the storehouses and sold to the Mitsrites. And the scarcity of food was severe in the land of Mitsrayim.
57And all the earth came to Yosĕph in Mitsrayim to buy grain, because the scarcity of food was severe in all the earth.

Genesis 41

41
Pharaoh’s Dream. 1#Joseph correctly interprets Pharaoh’s dream and becomes second in command over all Egypt. After a lapse of two years, Pharaoh had a dream. He was standing by the Nile, 2when up out of the Nile came seven cows, fine-looking and fat; they grazed in the reed grass. 3Behind them seven other cows, poor-looking and gaunt, came up out of the Nile; and standing on the bank of the Nile beside the others, 4the poor-looking, gaunt cows devoured the seven fine-looking, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.
5He fell asleep again and had another dream. He saw seven ears of grain, fat and healthy, growing on a single stalk. 6Behind them sprouted seven ears of grain, thin and scorched by the east wind; 7and the thin ears swallowed up the seven fat, healthy ears. Then Pharaoh woke up—it was a dream!
8Next morning his mind was agitated. So Pharaoh had all the magicians#Magicians: one of the tasks of the “magicians” was interpreting dreams. The interpretation of dreams was a long-standing practice in Egypt. A manual of dream interpretation has been found, written in the early second millennium and re-published later in which typical dreams are given (“If a man sees himself in a dream…”) followed by a judgment of “good” or “bad.” Interpreters were still needed for dreams, however, and Pharaoh complains that none of his dream interpreters can interpret his unprecedented dream. The same term will be used of Pharaoh’s magicians in Exodus. and sages of Egypt summoned and recounted his dream to them; but there was no one to interpret it for him. 9Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh: “Now I remember my negligence! 10Once, when Pharaoh was angry with his servants, he put me and the chief baker in custody in the house of the chief steward. 11Later, we both had dreams on the same night, and each of our dreams had its own meaning. 12There was a Hebrew youth with us, a slave of the chief steward; and when we told him our dreams, he interpreted them for us and explained for each of us the meaning of his dream.#Dn 1:17. 13Things turned out just as he had told us: I was restored to my post, but the other man was impaled.”
14Pharaoh therefore had Joseph summoned, and they hurriedly brought him from the dungeon. After he shaved and changed his clothes, he came to Pharaoh.#Ps 105:20. 15Pharaoh then said to Joseph: “I had a dream but there was no one to interpret it. But I hear it said of you, ‘If he hears a dream he can interpret it.’” 16“It is not I,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God who will respond for the well-being of Pharaoh.”#Gn 40:8.
17Then Pharaoh said to Joseph: “In my dream, I was standing on the bank of the Nile, 18when up from the Nile came seven cows, fat and well-formed; they grazed in the reed grass. 19Behind them came seven other cows, scrawny, most ill-formed and gaunt. Never have I seen such bad specimens as these in all the land of Egypt! 20The gaunt, bad cows devoured the first seven fat cows. 21But when they had consumed them, no one could tell that they had done so, because they looked as bad as before. Then I woke up. 22In another dream I saw seven ears of grain, full and healthy, growing on a single stalk. 23Behind them sprouted seven ears of grain, shriveled and thin and scorched by the east wind; 24and the seven thin ears swallowed up the seven healthy ears. I have spoken to the magicians, but there is no one to explain it to me.”
25Joseph said to Pharaoh: “Pharaoh’s dreams have the same meaning. God has made known to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 26The seven healthy cows are seven years, and the seven healthy ears are seven years—the same in each dream. 27The seven thin, bad cows that came up after them are seven years, as are the seven thin ears scorched by the east wind; they are seven years of famine. 28Things are just as I told Pharaoh: God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 29Seven years of great abundance are now coming throughout the land of Egypt; 30but seven years of famine will rise up after them, when all the abundance will be forgotten in the land of Egypt. When the famine has exhausted the land, 31no trace of the abundance will be found in the land because of the famine that follows it, for it will be very severe. 32That Pharaoh had the same dream twice means that the matter has been confirmed by God and that God will soon bring it about.
33“Therefore, let Pharaoh seek out a discerning and wise man and put him in charge of the land of Egypt. 34Let Pharaoh act and appoint overseers for the land to organize it during the seven years of abundance. 35They should collect all the food of these coming good years, gathering the grain under Pharaoh’s authority, for food in the cities, and they should guard it. 36This food will serve as a reserve for the country against the seven years of famine that will occur in the land of Egypt, so that the land may not perish in the famine.”
37This advice pleased Pharaoh and all his servants.#Acts 7:10. 38“Could we find another like him,” Pharaoh asked his servants, “a man so endowed with the spirit of God?” 39So Pharaoh said to Joseph: “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one as discerning and wise as you are. 40You shall be in charge of my household, and all my people will obey your command. Only in respect to the throne will I outrank you.”#1 Mc 2:53; Ps 105:21; Wis 10:14; Acts 7:10. 41Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Look, I put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” 42With that, Pharaoh took off his signet ring#Signet ring: a finger ring in which was set a stamp seal, different from the cylinder seal such as Judah wore; see note on 38:18. By receiving Pharaoh’s signet ring, Joseph was made vizier of Egypt (v. 43); the vizier was known as “seal-bearer of the king of Lower Egypt.” The gold chain was a symbol of high office in ancient Egypt. and put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. 43He then had him ride in his second chariot, and they shouted “Abrek!”#Abrek: apparently a cry of homage, though the word’s derivation and actual meaning are uncertain. before him.
Thus was Joseph installed over the whole land of Egypt. 44“I am Pharaoh,” he told Joseph, “but without your approval no one shall lift hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.” 45Pharaoh also bestowed the name of Zaphenath-paneah#Zaphenath-paneah: a Hebrew transcription of an Egyptian name meaning “the god speaks and he (the newborn child) lives.” Asenath: means “belonging to (the Egyptian goddess) Neith.” Potiphera: means “he whom Ra (the Egyptian god) gave”; a shorter form of the same name was borne by Joseph’s master (37:36). Heliopolis: in Hebrew, On, a city seven miles northeast of modern Cairo, site of the chief temple of the sun god; it is mentioned also in v. 50; 46:20; Ez 30:17. on Joseph, and he gave him in marriage Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of Heliopolis. And Joseph went out over the land of Egypt. 46Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh, king of Egypt.
After Joseph left Pharaoh, he went throughout the land of Egypt. 47During the seven years of plenty, when the land produced abundant crops, 48he collected all the food of these years of plenty that the land of Egypt was enjoying and stored it in the cities, placing in each city the crops of the fields around it. 49Joseph collected grain like the sands of the sea, so much that at last he stopped measuring it, for it was beyond measure.
50Before the famine years set in, Joseph became the father of two sons, borne to him by Asenath, daughter of Potiphera, priest of Heliopolis.#Gn 46:20; 48:5. 51Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh,#Manasseh: an allusion to this name is in the Hebrew expression, nishshani, “he made me forget.” meaning, “God has made me forget entirely my troubles and my father’s house”; 52and the second he named Ephraim,#Ephraim: related to the Hebrew expression hiphrani, “(God) has made me fruitful.” The name originally meant something like “fertile land.” meaning, “God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.”
53When the seven years of abundance enjoyed by the land of Egypt came to an end, 54the seven years of famine set in, just as Joseph had said. Although there was famine in all the other countries, food was available throughout the land of Egypt.#Ps 105:16; Acts 7:11. 55When all the land of Egypt became hungry and the people cried to Pharaoh for food, Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians: “Go to Joseph and do whatever he tells you.” 56When the famine had spread throughout the land, Joseph opened all the cities that had grain and rationed it to the Egyptians, since the famine had gripped the land of Egypt. 57Indeed, the whole world came to Egypt to Joseph to buy grain, for famine had gripped the whole world.