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Genesis 41

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.

Genesis 41

41
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.