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Genesis 41

Pharaoh’s Dreams
1Two years later Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing by the Nile River. 2In the dream, seven cows came out of the river and stood there eating grass. They were healthy, good-looking cows. 3Then seven more cows came out of the river and stood on the bank of the river by the healthy cows. But these cows were thin and looked sick. 4The seven sick cows ate the seven healthy cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.
5Pharaoh went back to sleep and began dreaming again. This time he dreamed that he saw seven heads of grain growing on one plant. They were healthy and full of grain. 6Then he saw seven more heads of grain sprouting, but they were thin and scorched by the hot wind. 7The thin heads of grain ate the seven good heads of grain. Then Pharaoh woke up again and realized it was only a dream. 8The next morning Pharaoh was worried about these dreams, so he sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. Pharaoh told these men the dreams, but none of them could explain the dreams.
The Servant Tells Pharaoh About Joseph
9Then the wine servant remembered Joseph and said to Pharaoh, “I remember something that happened to me. 10You were angry with the baker and me, and you put us in prison. 11Then one night he and I had a dream. Each dream had a different meaning. 12There was a young Hebrew man in prison with us. He was a servant of the commander of the guards. We told him our dreams, and he explained them to us. He told us the meaning of each dream, 13and what he said came true. He said I would be free and have my old job back, and it happened. He also said the baker would die, and it happened!”
Joseph Is Called to Explain the Dreams
14So Pharaoh called Joseph from the prison. The guards quickly got Joseph out of prison. Joseph shaved, put on some clean clothes, and went to see Pharaoh. 15Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, and no one can explain it for me. I heard that you can explain dreams when someone tells you about them.”
16Joseph answered, “I cannot! But God can explain the dream for you, Pharaoh.”
17Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing by the Nile River. 18Seven cows came up out of the river and stood there eating the grass. They were healthy, good-looking cows. 19Then I saw seven more cows come up out of the river after them, but these cows were thin and looked sick. They were the worst cows I had ever seen anywhere in Egypt! 20The thin, sick cows ate the first healthy cows, 21but they still looked thin and sick. You couldn’t even tell they had eaten the healthy cows. They looked as thin and sick as they did in the beginning. Then I woke up.
22“In my next dream I saw seven heads of grain growing on one plant. They were healthy and full of grain. 23And then seven more heads of grain grew after them, but they were thin and scorched by the hot wind. 24Then the thin heads of grain ate the seven good heads of grain.
“I told these dreams to my magicians. But no one could explain the dreams to me. What do they mean?”
Joseph Explains the Dream
25Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Both of these dreams have the same meaning. God is telling you what will happen soon. 26The seven good cows and the seven good heads of grain are seven good years. 27And the seven thin, sick-looking cows and the seven thin heads of grain mean that there will be seven years of hunger in this area. These seven bad years will come after the seven good years. 28God has shown you what will happen soon. He will make these things happen just as I told you. 29For seven years there will be plenty of food in Egypt. 30But then there will be seven years of hunger. The people will forget how much food there had been in Egypt before. This famine will ruin the country. 31It will be so bad that people will forget what it was like to have plenty of food.
32“Pharaoh, you had two dreams about the same thing. That means God wanted to show you that he really will make this happen, and he will make it happen soon! 33So, Pharaoh, you should choose a wise, intelligent man and put him in charge of Egypt. 34Then you should choose other men to collect food from the people. During the seven good years, the people must give them one-fifth of all the food they grow. 35In this way these men will collect all the food during the seven good years and store it in the cities until it is needed. Pharaoh, this food will be under your control. 36Then during the seven years of hunger, there will be food for the country of Egypt. And Egypt will not be destroyed by the famine.”
37This seemed like a very good idea to Pharaoh, and all his officials agreed. 38Then Pharaoh told them, “I don’t think we can find anyone better than Joseph to take this job! God’s Spirit is in him, making him very wise!”
39So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “God showed these things to you, so you must be the wisest man. 40I will put you in charge of my country, and the people will obey all your commands. I will be the only one more powerful than you.”
41Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I now make you governor over all of Egypt.” 42Then Pharaoh gave his special ring to Joseph. The royal seal was on this ring. Pharaoh also gave Joseph a fine linen robe and put a gold chain around his neck. 43Then he told Joseph to ride in his second chariot. Pharaoh’s officials said, “Let him be the governor over the whole land of Egypt!”#41:43 Or “Then Pharaoh had Joseph ride in the chariot of his second-in-command, and they said, ‘Bow before Joseph.’ In this way Joseph became the governor over all of Egypt.”
44Then Pharaoh said to him, “I am Pharaoh, the king over everyone in Egypt, but no one else in Egypt can lift a hand or move a foot unless you say he can.” 45Then Pharaoh gave Joseph another name, Zaphenath Paneah.#41:45 Zaphenath Paneah This Egyptian name probably means “sustainer of life,” but it is like Hebrew words meaning “a person who explains secret things.” He also gave Joseph a wife named Asenath. She was the daughter of Potiphera, a priest in the city of On. So Joseph became the governor over the whole country of Egypt.
46Joseph was 30 years old when he began serving the king of Egypt. He traveled throughout the country of Egypt. 47During the seven good years, the crops in Egypt grew very well. 48Joseph saved the food in Egypt during those seven years and stored the food in the cities. In every city he stored grain that grew in the fields around the city. 49Joseph stored so much grain that it was like the sands of the sea. He stored so much grain that it could not be measured.
50Joseph’s wife, Asenath, was the daughter of Potiphera, the priest in the city of On. Before the first year of hunger came, Joseph and Asenath had two sons. 51Joseph named the first son Manasseh.#41:51 Manasseh This is like the Hebrew word meaning “to forget.” He was given this name because Joseph said, “God made me forget all my hard work and everything back home in my father’s house.” 52Joseph named the second son Ephraim.#41:52 Ephraim This name is like the Hebrew word meaning “twice fruitful.” Joseph gave him this name because he said, “I had great troubles, but God has made me successful in everything.”
The Famine Begins
53For seven years people had all the food they needed, but those years ended. 54Then the seven years of hunger began, just as Joseph had said. No food grew anywhere in any of the countries in that area. But in Egypt people had plenty to eat because Joseph had stored the grain. 55The famine began, and the people cried to Pharaoh for food. Pharaoh said to the Egyptian people, “Go ask Joseph what to do.”
56There was famine everywhere, so Joseph gave the people grain from the warehouses. He sold the stored grain to the people of Egypt. The famine was bad in Egypt, 57but the famine was bad everywhere. So people from the countries around Egypt had to come to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain.
1After two years Pharao had a dream. He thought he stood by the river,
2Out of which came up seven kine, very beautiful and fat: and they fed in marshy places.
3Other seven also came up out of the river, ill favoured, and lean-fleshed: and they fed on the very bank of the river, in green places.
4And they devoured them, whose bodies were very beautiful and well conditioned. So Pharao awoke.
5He slept again, and dreamed another dream: Seven ears of corn came up upon one stalk full and fair.
6Then seven other ears sprung up thin and blasted,
7And devoured all the beauty of the former. Pharao awaked after his rest.
8And when morning was come, being struck with fear, he sent to all the interpreters of Egypt, and to all the wise men. And they being called for, he told them his dream; and there was not any one that could interpret it.
9Then at length the chief butler remembering said: I confess my sin.
10The king, being angry with his servants, commanded me and the chief baker to be cast into the prison of the captain of the soldiers;
11Where in one night both of us dreamed a dream foreboding things to come.
12There was there a young man, a Hebrew, servant to the same captain of the soldiers: to whom we told our dreams.
13And we heard what afterwards the event of the thing proved to be so. For I was restored to my office: and he was hanged upon a gibbet.
14Forthwith at the king's command, Joseph was brought out of the prison: and they shaved him, and changing his apparel brought him in to him.
15And he said to him: I have dreamed dreams, and there is no one that can expound them. Now I have heard that thou art very wise at interpreting them.
16Joseph answered: Without me, God shall give Pharao a prosperous answer.
17So Pharao told what he had dreamed: Methought I stood upon the bank of the river;
18And seven kine came up out of the river exceeding beautiful and full of flesh. And they grazed on green places in a marshy pasture.
19And, behold, there followed these, other seven kine, so very ill favoured and lean, that I never saw the like in the land of Egypt.
20And the devoured and consumed the former,
21And yet gave no mark of their being full: but were as lean and ill favoured as before. I awoke, and then fell asleep again,
22And dreamed a dream: Seven ears of corn grew upon one stalk, full and very fair.
23Other seven also, thin and blasted, sprung of the stock.
24And they devoured the beauty of the former. I told this dream to the conjecturers, and there is no man that can expound it.
25Joseph answered: The king's dream is one: God hath shewn to Pharao what he is about to do.
26The seven beautiful kine, and the seven full ears, are seven years of plenty: and both contain the same meaning of the dream.
27And the seven lean and thin kine that came up after them, and the seven thin ears that were blasted with the burning wind, are seven years of famine to come.
28Which shall be fulfilled in this order:
29Behold, there shall come seven years of great plenty in the whole land of Egypt:
30After which shall follow other seven years of so great scacity, that all the abundance before shall be forgotten. For the famine shall consume all the land,
31And the greatness of the scarcity shall destroy the greatness of the plenty.
32And for that thou didst see the second time a dream pertaining to the same thing: it is a token of the certainty, and that the word of God cometh to pass, and is fulfilled speedily.
33Now therefore let the king provide a wise and industrious man, and make him ruler over the land of Egypt,
34That he may appoint overseers over all the countries; and gather into barns the fifth part of the fruits, during the seven fruitful years,
35That shall now presently ensue. And let all the corn be laid up under Pharao's hands, and be reserved in the cities.
36And let it be in readiness, against the famine of seven years to come, which shall oppress Egypt, and the land shall not consumed with scarcity.
37The counsel pleased Pharao and all his servants.
38And he said to them: Can we find such another man, that is full of the spirit of God?
39He said therefore to Joseph: Seeing God hath shewn thee all that thou hast said, can I find one wiser and one like unto thee?
40Thou shalt be over my house, and at the commandment of thy mouth all the people shall obey: only in the kingly throne will I be above thee.
41And again Pharao said to Joseph: Behold, I have appointed thee over the whole land of Egypt.
42And he took his ring from his own hand, and gave it into his hand: and he put upon him a robe of silk, and put a chain of gold about his neck.
43And he made him go up into his second chariot, the crier proclaiming that all should bow their knee before him, and that they should know he was made governor over the whole land of Egypt.
44And the king said to Joseph: I am Pharao; without thy commandment no man shall move hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.
45And he turned his name, and called him in the Egyptian tongue, The saviour of the world. And he gave him to wife Asenth, the daughter of Putiphare priest of Heliopolis. Then Joseph went out to the land of Egypt:
46(Now he was thirty years old when he stood before king Pharao): and he went round all the countries of Egypt.
47And the fruitfulness of the seven years came: and the corm being bound up into sheaves was gathered together into the barns of Egypt.
48And all the abundance of grain was laid up in every city.
49And there was so great abundance of wheat, that it was equal to the sand of the sea: and the plenty exceeded measure.
50And before the famine came, Joseph had two sons born: whom Aseneth, the daughter of Putiphare, priest of Heliopolis, bore unto him.
51And he called the name of the first born Manasses, saying: God hath made me to forget all my labours, and my father's house.
52And he named the second Ephraim, saying: God hath made me to grow in the land of my poverty.
53Now when the seven years of the plenty that had been in Egypt were past,
54The seven years of scarcity, which Joseph had foretold, began to come: and the famine prevailed in the whole world. But there was bread in all the land of Egypt.
55And when there also they began to be famished, the people cried to Pharao for food. And he said to them: Go to Joseph; and do all that he shall say to you.
56And the famine increased daily in all the land. And Joseph opened all the barns, and sold to the Egyptians: for the famine had oppressed them also.
57And all provinces came into Egypt, to buy food, and to seek some relief of their want.