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Genesis 41

41
Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s dreams
1Two years later, Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing near the Nile. 2In front of him, seven healthy-looking, fattened cows climbed up out of the Nile and grazed on the reeds. 3Just then, seven other cows, terrible-looking and scrawny, climbed up out of the Nile after them and stood beside them on the bank of the Nile. 4The terrible-looking, scrawny cows devoured the seven healthy-looking, fattened cows. Then Pharaoh woke up. 5He went back to sleep and had a second dream, in which seven ears of grain, full and healthy, grew on a single stalk. 6Just then, seven ears of grain, scrawny and scorched by the east wind, sprouted after them, 7and the scrawny ears swallowed up the full and well-formed ears. Then Pharaoh woke up and realized it was a dream. 8In the morning, he was disturbed and summoned all of Egypt’s religious experts#41.8 Or magicians and all of its advisors. Pharaoh described his dreams#41.8 Sam; MT dream to them, but they couldn’t interpret them for Pharaoh.
9Then the chief wine steward spoke to Pharaoh: “Today I’ve just remembered my mistake. 10Pharaoh was angry with his servants and put me and the chief baker under arrest with the commander of the royal guard. 11We both dreamed one night, he and I, and each of our dreams had its own interpretation. 12A young Hebrew man, a servant of the commander of the royal guard, was with us. We described our dreams to him, and he interpreted our dreams for us, giving us an interpretation for each dream. 13His interpretations came true exactly: Pharaoh restored me to my position but hanged him.”
14So Pharaoh summoned Joseph, and they quickly brought him from the dungeon. He shaved, changed clothes, and appeared before Pharaoh. 15Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, but no one could interpret it. Then I heard that when you hear a dream, you can interpret it.”
16Joseph answered Pharaoh, “It’s not me. God will give Pharaoh a favorable response.”
17So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing on the bank of the Nile. 18In front of me, seven fattened, stout cows climbed up out of the Nile and grazed on the reeds. 19Just then, seven other cows, weak and frail and thin, climbed up after them. I’ve never seen such awful cows in all the land of Egypt. 20Then the thin, frail cows devoured the first seven, fattened cows. 21But after they swallowed them whole, no one would have known it. They looked just as bad as they had before. Then I woke up. 22I went to sleep again#41.22 LXX, Syr, Vulg; MT lacks I went to sleep again. and saw in my dream seven full and healthy ears of grain growing on one stalk. 23Just then, seven hard and thin ears of grain, scorched by the east wind, sprouted after them, 24and the thin ears swallowed up the healthy ears. I told the religious experts,#41.24 Or magicians but they couldn’t explain it to me.”
25Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Pharaoh has actually had one dream. God has announced to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 26The seven healthy cows are seven years, and the seven healthy ears of grain are seven years. It’s actually one dream. 27The seven thin and frail cows, climbing up after them, are seven years. The seven thin ears of grain, scorched by the east wind, are seven years of famine. 28It’s just as I told Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. 29Seven years of great abundance are now coming throughout the entire land of Egypt. 30After them, seven years of famine will appear, and all of the abundance in the land of Egypt will be forgotten. The famine will devastate the land. 31No one will remember the abundance in the land because the famine that follows will be so very severe. 32The dream occurred to Pharaoh twice because God has determined to do it, and God will make it happen soon.
Joseph’s rise to power
33“Now Pharaoh should find an intelligent, wise man and give him authority over the land of Egypt. 34Then Pharaoh should appoint administrators over the land and take one-fifth of all the produce of the land of Egypt during the seven years of abundance. 35During the good years that are coming, they should collect all such food and store the grain under Pharaoh’s control, protecting the food in the cities. 36This food will be reserved for the seven years of famine to follow in the land of Egypt so that the land won’t be ravaged by the famine.”
37This advice seemed wise to Pharaoh and all his servants, 38and Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man with more God-given gifts#41.38 Or like this one, in whom is the spirit of God than this one?” 39Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, no one is as intelligent and wise as you are. 40You will be in charge of my kingdom,#41.40 Or house and all my people will obey#41.40 LXX; Heb uncertain, perhaps submit themselves to your command your command. Only as the enthroned king will I be greater than you.” 41Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Know this: I’ve given you authority over the entire land of Egypt.” 42Pharaoh took his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, he dressed him in linen clothes, and he put a gold necklace around his neck. 43He put Joseph on the chariot of his second-in-command, and everyone in front of him cried out, “Attention!”#41.43 An Egyptian loanword similar to the Heb word kneel So Pharaoh installed him over the entire land of Egypt. 44Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh; no one will do anything or go anywhere in all the land of Egypt without your permission.” 45Pharaoh renamed Joseph, Zaphenath-paneah, and married him to Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera the priest of Heliopolis.#41.45 Heb On
Then Joseph assumed control of the land of Egypt. 46Joseph was 30 years old when he began to serve Pharaoh, Egypt’s king, when he left Pharaoh’s court and traveled through the entire land of Egypt. 47During the seven years of abundance, the land produced plentifully. 48He collected all of the food during the seven years of abundance#41.48 LXX; MT lacks of abundance. in the land of Egypt, and stored the food in cities. In each city, he stored the food from the fields surrounding it. 49Joseph amassed grain like the sand of the sea. There was so much that he stopped trying to measure it because it was beyond measuring. 50Before the years of famine arrived, Asenath the daughter of Potiphera, priest of Heliopolis,#41.50 Heb On gave birth to two sons for Joseph. 51Joseph named the oldest son Manasseh,#41.51 Or making forget “because,” he said, “God has helped me forget all of my troubles and everyone in my father’s household.” 52He named the second Ephraim,#41.52 Sounds like has given me children “because,” he said, “God has given me children in the land where I’ve been treated harshly.”
53The seven years of abundance in the land of Egypt came to an end, 54and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. The famine struck every country, but the entire land of Egypt had bread. 55When the famine ravaged the entire land of Egypt and the people pleaded to Pharaoh for bread, Pharaoh said to all of the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph. Do whatever he tells you.” 56The famine covered every part of the land, and Joseph opened all of the granaries#41.56 LXX, Syr; MT what was in them and sold grain to the Egyptians. In the land of Egypt, the famine became more and more severe. 57Every country came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because in every country the famine had also become more severe.
41
Joseph Interprets Pharaoh’s Dreams
1After two whole years, Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing by the Nile, 2and behold, there came up out of the Nile seven cows, attractive and plump, and they fed in the reed grass. 3And behold, seven other cows, ugly and thin, came up out of the Nile after them, and stood by the other cows on the bank of the Nile. 4And the ugly, thin cows ate up the seven attractive, plump cows. And Pharaoh awoke. 5And he fell asleep and dreamed a second time. And behold, seven ears of grain, plump and good, were growing on one stalk. 6And behold, after them sprouted seven ears, thin and #[Ezek. 17:10; 19:12]; Hos. 13:15blighted by the east wind. 7And the thin ears swallowed up the seven plump, full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and behold, it was a dream. 8So in the morning #Ps. 77:4; Dan. 2:1, 3 his spirit was troubled, and he sent and called for all the #ver. 24; Ex. 7:11, 22; [Dan. 1:20; 2:2; 4:7; Matt. 2:1]magicians of Egypt and all its wise men. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was none who could interpret them to Pharaoh.
9Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “I remember my offenses today. 10When Pharaoh was #ch. 40:2, 3 angry with his servants #[ch. 39:20]and put me and the chief baker in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, 11#ch. 40:5we dreamed on the same night, he and I, each having a dream with its own interpretation. 12A young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. When we told him, #See ch. 40:12-19he interpreted our dreams to us, giving an interpretation to each man according to his dream. 13And #ch. 40:21, 22as he interpreted to us, so it came about. I was restored to my office, and the baker was hanged.”
14 # Ps. 105:20 Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they #[Dan. 2:25] quickly brought him #[1 Sam. 2:8; Ps. 113:7, 8]out of the pit. And when he had shaved himself and changed his clothes, he came in before Pharaoh. 15And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. #ver. 12; Dan. 5:16I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” 16Joseph answered Pharaoh, #Dan. 2:30 “It is not in me; #ch. 40:8; Dan. 2:22, 28, 47God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.”#41:16 Or (compare Samaritan, Septuagint) Without God it is not possible to give Pharaoh an answer about his welfare 17Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Behold, #See ver. 1-7in my dream I was standing on the banks of the Nile. 18Seven cows, plump and attractive, came up out of the Nile and fed in the reed grass. 19Seven other cows came up after them, poor and very ugly and thin, such as I had never seen in all the land of Egypt. 20And the thin, ugly cows ate up the first seven plump cows, 21but when they had eaten them no one would have known that they had eaten them, for they were still as ugly as at the beginning. Then I awoke. 22I also saw in my dream seven ears growing on one stalk, full and good. 23Seven ears, withered, thin, and blighted by the east wind, sprouted after them, 24and the thin ears swallowed up the seven good ears. And #ver. 8; [Dan. 4:7]I told it to the magicians, but there was no one who could explain it to me.”
25Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one; #[Dan. 2:28, 29, 45; Rev. 4:1]God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 26The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good ears are seven years; the dreams are one. 27The seven lean and ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, and the seven empty ears blighted by the east wind are also #[2 Kgs. 8:1]seven years of famine. 28It is as I told Pharaoh; #ver. 25God has shown to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 29There will come #ver. 47seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt, 30but after them there will arise #ver. 54; ch. 45:6 seven years of famine, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt. #ch. 47:13The famine will consume the land, 31and the plenty will be unknown in the land by reason of the famine that will follow, for it will be very severe. 32And the doubling of Pharaoh’s dream means that the #Num. 23:19; Isa. 14:24; 46:10, 11thing is fixed by God, and God will shortly bring it about. 33Now therefore let Pharaoh select a discerning and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt. 34Let Pharaoh proceed to appoint overseers over the land and take one-fifth of the produce of the land#41:34 Or over the land and organize the land of Egypt during the seven plentiful years. 35And #ver. 48let them gather all the food of these good years that are coming and store up grain under the authority of Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them keep it. 36That food shall be a reserve for the land against the seven years of famine that are to occur in the land of Egypt, so that the land may not perish through the famine.”
Joseph Rises to Power
37This proposal pleased Pharaoh and all his servants. 38And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, #Num. 27:18; Dan. 4:8, 18; 5:11, 14in whom is the Spirit of God?”#41:38 Or of the gods 39Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discerning and wise as you are. 40#Ps. 105:21; Acts 7:10You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command.#41:40 Hebrew and according to your command all my people shall kiss the ground Only as regards the throne will I be greater than you.” 41And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, #ch. 42:6I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” 42Then Pharaoh #Esth. 3:10; 8:2, 8, 10 took his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, and #[Esth. 8:15] clothed him in garments of fine linen #Ezek. 16:11; [Dan. 5:7, 29]and put a gold chain about his neck. 43And he made him ride in his second chariot. #[Esth. 6:9] And they called out before him, “Bow the knee!”#41:43 Abrek, probably an Egyptian word, similar in sound to the Hebrew word meaning to kneel Thus he set him #ver. 40; ch. 42:6; 45:8, 9, 26over all the land of Egypt. 44Moreover, Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and #[Ps. 105:21, 22]without your consent no one shall lift up hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.” 45And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphenath-paneah. And he gave him in marriage Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On. So Joseph went out over the land of Egypt.
46Joseph was thirty years old when he #1 Sam. 16:21; 1 Kgs. 12:6, 8; Dan. 1:19entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh and went through all the land of Egypt. 47During the seven plentiful years the earth produced abundantly, 48and he gathered up all the food of these seven years, which occurred in the land of Egypt, and put the food in the cities. He put in every city the food from the fields around it. 49And Joseph stored up grain in great abundance, #ch. 22:17; Judg. 7:12; 1 Sam. 13:5; Ps. 78:27like the sand of the sea, until he ceased to measure it, for it could not be measured.
50Before the year of famine came, #ch. 46:20; 48:5two sons were born to Joseph. Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, bore them to him. 51Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh. “For,” he said, “God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father’s house.”#41:51 Manasseh sounds like the Hebrew for making to forget 52The name of the second he called Ephraim, “For God has #[ch. 49:22; Hos. 13:15]made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.”#41:52 Ephraim sounds like the Hebrew for making fruitful
53The seven years of plenty that occurred in the land of Egypt came to an end, 54and #Ps. 105:16; Acts 7:11 the seven years of famine began to come, #ver. 30as Joseph had said. There was famine in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. 55When all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread. Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph. What he says to you, do.”
56So when the famine had spread over all the land, Joseph opened all the storehouses#41:56 Hebrew all that was in them and #ch. 42:6; [ch. 47:14, 20, 24]sold to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe in the land of Egypt. 57Moreover, all the earth came to Egypt to Joseph to buy grain, because the famine was severe #ver. 54, 56over all the earth.