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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
Pharaoh’s Dream
1Now it happened at the end of two full years that Pharaoh had a dream, and behold, he was standing by the Nile. 2And behold, from the Nile seven cows came up, fine-looking and #Lit fat of fleshfat; and they grazed in the marsh grass. 3Then behold, seven other cows came up after them from the Nile, ugly and #Lit thin of fleshthin, and they stood by the other cows on the bank of the Nile. 4Then the ugly and #Lit thin of fleshthin cows ate the seven fine-looking and fat cows. Then Pharaoh awoke. 5But he fell asleep and dreamed a second time; and behold, seven ears of grain came up on a single stalk, plump and good. 6Then behold, seven ears, thin and scorched by the east wind, sprouted up after them. 7And the thin ears swallowed the seven plump and full ears. Then Pharaoh awoke, and behold, it was a dream. 8Now in the morning his spirit was troubled, so he sent messengers and called for all the soothsayer priests of Egypt, and all its wise men. And Pharaoh told them his #Lit dreamdreams, but there was no one who could interpret them for Pharaoh.
9Then the chief cupbearer spoke to Pharaoh, saying, “I would make mention today of my own #Or sinsoffenses. 10Pharaoh was furious with his servants, and he put me in confinement in the house of the captain of the bodyguard, both me and the chief baker. 11Then we had a dream one night, #Lit I and hehe and I; each of us dreamed according to the interpretation of his own dream. 12Now a Hebrew youth was there with us, a servant of the captain of the bodyguard, and we told him the dreams, and he interpreted our dreams for us. For each man he interpreted according to his own dream. 13And just as he interpreted for us, so it happened; Pharaoh restored me in my office, but he hanged #Lit himthe chief baker.”
Joseph Interprets
14Then Pharaoh sent word and called for Joseph, and they hurriedly brought him out of the dungeon; and when he had shaved himself and changed his clothes, he came to Pharaoh. 15Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, but no one can interpret it; and I have heard #Lit about you, sayingit said about you, that #Lit you hear a dream to interpret itwhen you hear a dream you can interpret it.” 16Joseph then answered Pharaoh, saying, “#Lit Apart from meIt has nothing to do with me; God will #Lit answer the peace of Pharaohgive Pharaoh an answer for his own good.” 17So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream, there I was, standing on the bank of the Nile; 18and behold, seven cows, #Lit fat of fleshfat and fine-looking came up out of the Nile, and they grazed in the marsh grass. 19Then behold, seven other cows came up after them, poor and very #Lit badugly and #Lit thin of fleshthin, such as I had never seen for #Lit badnessugliness in all the land of Egypt; 20and the thin and ugly cows ate the first seven fat cows. 21Yet when they had #Lit entered their inward partsdevoured them, it could not be #Or knowndetected that they had #Lit entered their inward partsdevoured them, #Lit andfor they were just as ugly as #Lit in the beginningbefore. Then I awoke. 22I saw also in my dream, and behold, seven ears of grain, full and good, came up on a single stalk; 23and behold, seven ears, withered, thin, and scorched by the east wind sprouted up after them; 24and the thin ears swallowed the seven good ears. Then I told it to the soothsayer priests, but there was no one who could explain it to me.”
25And Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Pharaoh’s #Lit dream isdreams are one and the same; God has told to Pharaoh what He is about to do. 26The seven good cows are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years; the #Lit dream isdreams are one and the same. 27The seven thin and ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, and the seven thin ears scorched by the east wind will be seven years of famine. 28#Lit That is the thing which I spokeIt is as I have spoken to Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do. 29Behold, seven years of great abundance are coming in all the land of Egypt; 30and after them seven years of famine will #Lit arisecome, and all the abundance will be forgotten in the land of Egypt, and the famine will #Lit destroyravage the land. 31So the abundance will be unknown in the land because of that subsequent famine; for it will be very severe. 32Now as for the repeating of the dream to Pharaoh twice, it means that the matter is confirmed by God, and God will quickly bring it about. 33So now let Pharaoh look for a man discerning and wise, and appoint him over the land of Egypt. 34Let Pharaoh take action to appoint overseers #Lit overin charge of the land, and let him take a fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt as a tax in the seven years of abundance. 35Then have them collect all the food of these good years that are coming, and store up the grain for food in the cities under Pharaoh’s authority, and have them guard it. 36Let the food be used as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which will occur in the land of Egypt, so that the land will not perish during the famine.”
37Now the #Lit wordproposal seemed good #Lit in the sight ofto Pharaoh and #Lit in the sight ofto all his servants.
Joseph Is Made a Ruler of Egypt
38Then Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, in whom there is a divine spirit?” 39So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has informed you of all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you are. 40You shall be #Lit overin charge of my house, and all my people shall #Lit kiss your mouth; LXX obey at your commandbe obedient to you; only regarding the throne will I be greater than you.” 41Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “See, I have placed you over all the land of Egypt.” 42Then Pharaoh took off his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, and clothed him in garments of fine linen, and put the gold necklace around his neck. 43And he had him ride in #Lit the second...which was hishis second chariot; and they proclaimed ahead of him, “#Or Make wayBow the knee!” And he placed him over all the land of Egypt. 44Moreover, Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Though I am Pharaoh, yet without #Lit you no oneyour permission no one shall raise his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.” 45Then Pharaoh named Joseph #Prob. Egyptian for “God speaks; he lives”Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of #Or HeliopolisOn, to be his wife. And Joseph went out over the land of Egypt.
46Now Joseph was thirty years old when he #Or entered the service ofstood in the presence 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 years of plenty the land produced #Lit by handfulsabundantly. 48So he collected 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 its own surrounding fields. 49Joseph stored up grain #Lit very muchin great abundance like the sand of the sea, until he stopped #Lit numberingmeasuring it, for it was #Or without numberbeyond measure.
The Sons of Joseph
50Now before the year of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of #Or HeliopolisOn, bore to him. 51Joseph named the firstborn #I.e., making to forgetManasseh; “For,” he said, “God has made me forget all my trouble and all of my father’s household.” 52And he named the second #I.e., fruitfulnessEphraim; “For,” he said, “God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.”
53When the seven years of plenty which had taken place in the land of Egypt came to an end, 54and the seven years of famine began to come, just as Joseph had said, then there was famine in all the lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. 55So when all the land of Egypt suffered famine, the people cried out to Pharaoh for bread; and Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph; whatever he says to you, you shall do.” 56When the famine was spread over the entire face of the earth, then Joseph opened all #Lit that which was in themthe storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians; and the famine was severe in the land of Egypt. 57Then the people of all the earth came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe in all the earth.