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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.
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CHAPTER 41
1After two years Pharaoh saw a dream; he guessed that he stood on a river,
2from which seven fair kine and full fat went up, and [they] were fed in the places of marshes;
3and another seven, foul and lean, came out of the river, and were fed in that brink of the water, in green places;
4and those foul and lean kine devoured those kine of which the fairness and comeliness of their bodies were wonderful. Pharaoh waked,
5and slept again, and he saw another dream; seven ears of corn, full and fair, came forth in one stalk,
6and others, as many ears of corn, thin and smitten with corruption of burning wind, came forth,
7devouring all the fairness of the first. Pharaoh waked after this rest,
8and when the morrowtide was made, he was afeared by inward dread, and he sent to all the expounders of Egypt, and to all the wise men; and when they were called, he told the dream, and none was that expounded it.
9Then at the last, the master butler bethought to him, and said to Pharaoh, I acknowledge my sin;
10the king was wroth to his servants, and commanded me and the master baker to be cast down into the prison of the prince of knights,
11where we both saw a dream in one night, before-showing of things to come.
12An Hebrew child, servant of the same duke of knights, was there, to whom we told the dreams, and heard whatever thing the befalling of [the] thing proved afterward;
13for I am restored to mine office, and he was hanged in a cross.
14Anon at the behest of the king, they polled Joseph, led him out of the prison, and when his clothing was changed, they brought him to the king.
15To whom the king said, I saw dreams, and none [there] is that expoundeth those things that I saw; I have heard that thou expoundest such things most prudently.
16Joseph answered, Without me, God shall answer prosperities to Pharaoh.
17Therefore Pharaoh told that that he saw; I guessed that I stood on the brink of the flood,
18and seven kine, full fair, with flesh able to eating, went up from the water, which kine gathered green sedges in the pasture of the marshes;
19and lo! seven other kine, so foul and lean, followed these, that I saw never such in the land of Egypt;
20and when the former kine were devoured and wasted of the lean kine,
21the lean kine gave no step, or token, of fullness, but were slow, or feeble, by like leanness and paleness. I waked,
22and again I was oppressed by sleep, and I saw a dream; seven ears of corn, full and most fair, came forth on one stalk,
23and another seven, thin and smitten with [a] burning wind, came forth of the stubble,
24which devoured the fairness of the former; I told this dream to [the] expounders, and no man there is that expoundeth it.
25Joseph answered, The dream of the king is one; God hath showed to Pharaoh what things he shall do.
26Seven fair kine, and seven full ears of corn, be seven years of plenty, and the same things comprehend the strength of the dream;
27and [the] seven kine, thin and lean, that went up after the fair kine, and the seven thin ears of corn, and smitten with [a] burning wind, be seven years of hunger to coming [or to come],
28which shall be fulfilled by this order.
29Lo! seven years of great plenty in all the land of Egypt shall come,
30and seven other years of so great barrenness shall pursue [or follow] those, that all the abundance before shall be given to forgetting; for hunger shall waste all the land,
31and the greatness of neediness shall waste the greatness of plenty.
32Forsooth this that thou sawest the second time in a dream pertaining to the same thing, is a showing of firm-ness, that is, a confirming of the first, for the word of God shall be done, and it shall be [ful] filled full swiftly.
33Now therefore purvey the king a wise man and a ready, and make the king him sovereign to the land of Egypt,
34which man ordain governors by all countries, and gather he into barns the fifth part of fruits by [the] seven years of plenty, that shall come now;
35and all the wheat be kept under the power of Pharaoh, and be it kept in [the] cities,
36and be it made ready to the hunger to coming [or to come] of the seven years that shall oppress Egypt, and the land be not wasted by poverty.
37The counsel of Joseph pleased Pharaoh, and all his servants,
38and he spake to them, Whether we be able to find such a man which is full of God’s spirit?
39Therefore Pharaoh said to Joseph, For God hath showed to thee all things which thou hast spoken, whether I may find a wiser man than thou, and like to thee?
40Therefore thou shalt be over mine house, and all the people shall obey to the behest of thy mouth; I shall pass thee only by one throne of the realm.
41And again Pharaoh said to Joseph, Lo! I have ordained thee on all the land of Egypt.
42And Pharaoh took off the ring from his hand, and gave it in the hand of Joseph, and he clothed Joseph with a stole of bis, or of white silk, and he put a golden wreath about his neck;
43and Pharaoh made Joseph to go upon his second chariot, while a beadle cried, that all men should kneel before him, and should know that he was sovereign of all the land of Egypt.
44And the king said to Joseph, I am Pharaoh, without thy behest no man shall stir hand either foot in all the land of Egypt.
45And Pharaoh turned the name of Joseph, and called him by the Egyptian language, The Saviour of the World#41:45 In Hebrew, it is ‘showing privates’, as Jerome and Lira here say, (or it is ‘The one showing secrets’, or revealing mysteries, as Jerome and Nicholas of Lira say here)., or Zaphnathpaaneah; and he gave to Joseph a wife, Asenath, the daughter of Potipherah, a priest of Heliopolis, that is, The City of the Sun. And so Joseph went out to the land of Egypt.
46Forsooth Joseph was of thirty years, when he stood in the sight of king Pharaoh, and compassed all the countries [or regions] of Egypt.
47And the plenty of [the] seven years came, and [the] ripe corns were bound into handfuls or sheaves,
48and they were gathered into the barns of Egypt, also all the abundance of ripe corns was kept in all cities,
49and so great abundance was of wheat, that it was made even to the gravel, or the sand, of the sea, and the plenty passed measure.
50Soothly two sons were born to Joseph before that the hunger came, which Asenath, the daughter of Potipherah, a priest of Heliopolis, childed to him.
51And Joseph called the name of the first begotten son, Manasseh, and said, God hath made me to forget all my travails, and the house of my father;
52and he called the name of the second son Ephraim, and said, God hath made me to increase in the land of my poverty.
53Therefore when seven years of plenty that were in Egypt were passed,
54 [the] seven years of poverty began to come, which Joseph before-said, and hunger had the mastery in all the world; also hunger was in all the land of Egypt;
55and when that land hungered, the people cried to Pharaoh, and asked for meats; to whom he answered, Go ye to Joseph, and do ye whatever thing he saith to you.
56Forsooth hunger increased each day in all the land, and Joseph opened all the barns, and sold corn to the Egyptians, for also hunger oppressed them;
57and all [the] provinces came into Egypt to buy corns, and to abate the evil of neediness.