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Genesis 41

41
1 After two years, Pharaoh saw a dream. He thought himself to be standing above a river,
2 from which ascended seven cows, exceedingly beautiful and stout. And they pastured in marshy places.
3 Likewise, another seven emerged from the river, filthy and thoroughly emaciated. And they pastured on the same bank of the river, in green places.
4 And they devoured those whose appearance and condition of body was so wonderful. Pharaoh, having been awakened,
5 slept again, and he saw another dream. Seven ears of grain sprung up on one stalk, full and well-formed.
6 Likewise, other ears of grain, of the same number, rose up, thin and struck with blight,
7 devouring all the beauty of the first. Pharaoh, when he awakened after his rest,
8 and when morning arrived, being terrified with fear, sent to all the interpreters of Egypt and to all of the wise men. And when they were summoned, he explained to them his dream; but there was no one who could interpret it.
9 Then at last the chief cupbearer, remembering, said, "I confess my sin.
10 The king, being angry with his servants, ordered me and the chief miller of grain to be forced into the prison of the leader of the military.
11 There, in one night, both of us saw a dream presaging the future.
12 In that place, there was a Hebrew, a servant of the same commander of the military, to whom we explained our dreams.
13 Whatever we heard was proven afterwards by the event of the matter. For I was restored to my office, and he was suspended on a cross."
14 Immediately, by the king's authority, Joseph was led out of prison, and they shaved him. And changing his apparel, they presented him to him.
15 And he said to him, "I have seen dreams, and there is no one who can unfold them. I have heard that you are very wise at interpreting these."
16 Joseph responded, "Apart from me, God will respond favorably to Pharaoh."
17 Therefore, Pharaoh explained what he had seen: "I thought myself to be standing on the bank of a river,
18 and seven cows climbed up from the river, exceedingly beautiful and full of flesh. And they grazed in a pasture of a marshy greenery.
19 And behold, there followed after these, another seven cows, with such deformity and emaciation as I had never seen in the land of Egypt.
20 These devoured and consumed the first,
21 giving no indication of being full. But they remained in the same state of emaciation and squalor. Awakening, but being weighed down into sleep again,
22 I saw a dream. Seven ears of grain sprang up on one stalk, full and very beautiful.
23 Likewise, another seven, thin and struck with blight, rose up from the stalk.
24 And they devoured the beauty of the first. I explained this dream to the interpreters, and there is no one who can unfold it."
25 Joseph responded: "The dream of the king is one. What God will do, he has revealed to Pharaoh.
26 The seven beautiful cows, and the seven full ears of grain, are seven years of abundance. And so the force of the dreams is understood to be the same.
27 Likewise, the seven thin and emaciated cows, which ascended after them, and the seven thin ears of grain, which were struck with the burning wind, are seven approaching years of famine.
28 These will be fulfilled in this order.
29 Behold, there will arrive seven years of great fertility throughout the entire land of Egypt.
30 After this, there will follow another seven years, of such great barrenness that all the former abundance will be delivered into oblivion. For the famine will consume all the land,
31 and the greatness of this destitution will cause the greatness of the abundance to be lost.
32 Now, as to what you saw the second time, it is a dream pertaining to the same thing. It is an indication of its firmness, because the word of God shall be done, and it shall be completed swiftly.
33 Now therefore, let the king provide a wise and industrious man, and place him over the land of Egypt,
34 so that he may appoint overseers throughout all the regions. And let a fifth part of the fruits, throughout the seven fertile years
35 that now have already begun to occur, be gathered into storehouses. And let all the grain be stored away, under the power of Pharaoh, and let it be kept in the cities.
36 And let it be prepared for the future famine of seven years, which will oppress Egypt, and then the land will not be consumed by destitution."
37 The counsel pleased Pharaoh and all his ministers.
38 And he said to them, "Would we be able to find another such man, who is full of the Spirit of God?"
39 Therefore, he said to Joseph: "Because God has revealed to you all that you have said, would I be able to find anyone wiser and as much like you?
40 You will be over my house, and to the authority of your mouth, all the people will show obedience. Only in one way, in the throne of the kingdom, will I go before you."
41 And again, Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Behold, I have appointed you over the entire land of Egypt."
42 And he took the ring from his own hand, and he gave it into his hand. And he clothed him with a robe of fine linen, and he placed a necklace of gold around his neck.
43 And he caused him to ascend upon his second swift chariot, with the herald proclaiming that everyone should bend their knee before him, and that they should know that he was governor over the entire land of Egypt.
44 Likewise, the king said to Joseph: "I am Pharaoh: apart from your authority, no one will move hand or foot in all the land of Egypt."
45 And he changed his name and called him, in the Egyptian tongue: 'Savior of the world.' And he gave him as a wife, Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of Heliopolis. And so Joseph went out into the land of Egypt.
46 (Now he was thirty years old when he stood in the sight of king Pharaoh.) And he traveled throughout the regions of Egypt.
47 And the fertility of the seven years arrived. And when the grain fields were reduced to sheaves, these were gathered into the storehouses of Egypt.
48 And now all the abundance of grain was stored away in every city.
49 And there was such a great abundance of wheat that it was comparable to the sands of the sea, and its bounty exceeded all measure.
50 Then, before the famine arrived, Joseph had two sons born, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of Heliopolis, bore for him.
51 And he called the name of the firstborn Manasseh, saying, "God has caused me to forget all my labors and the house of my father."
52 Likewise, he named the second Ephraim, saying, "God has caused me to increase in the land of my poverty."
53 And so, when the seven years of fertility that occurred in Egypt had passed,
54 the seven years of destitution, which Joseph had predicted, began to arrive. And the famine prevailed throughout the whole world, but there was bread in all the land of Egypt.
55 And being hungry, the people cried out to Pharaoh, asking for provisions. And he said to them: "Go to Joseph. And do whatever he will tell you."
56 Then the famine increased daily in all the land. And Joseph opened all of the storehouses and sold to the Egyptians. For the famine had oppressed them also.
57 And all the provinces came to Egypt, to buy food and to temper the misfortune of their destitution.
41
Joseph Interprets the King's Dreams
1Two years later the king#41.1 the king: See the note at 12.15. of Egypt dreamed he was standing beside the Nile River. 2Suddenly, seven fat, healthy cows came up from the river and started eating grass along the bank. 3Then seven ugly, skinny cows came up out of the river and 4ate the fat, healthy cows. When this happened, the king woke up.
5The king went back to sleep and had another dream. This time seven full heads of grain were growing on a single stalk. 6Later, seven other heads of grain appeared, but they were thin and scorched by a wind from the desert. 7The thin heads of grain swallowed the seven full heads. Again the king woke up, and it had only been a dream.
8 # Dn 2.2. The next morning the king was upset. So he called in his magicians and wise men and told them what he had dreamed. None of them could tell him what the dreams meant.
9The king's personal servant said:
Now I remember what I was supposed to do. 10When you were angry with me and your chief cook, you threw us both in jail in the house of the captain of the guard. 11One night we both had dreams, and each dream had a different meaning. 12A young Hebrew, who was a servant of the captain of the guard, was there with us at the time. When we told him our dreams, he explained what each of them meant, 13and everything happened just as he said it would. I got my job back, and the cook was put to death.
14The king sent for Joseph, who was quickly brought out of jail. He shaved, changed his clothes, and went to the king.
15The king said to him, “I had a dream, yet no one can explain what it means. I am told that you can interpret dreams.”
16“Your Majesty,” Joseph answered, “I can't do it myself, but God can give a good meaning to your dreams.”
17The king told Joseph:
I dreamed I was standing on the bank of the Nile River. 18I saw seven fat, healthy cows come up out of the river, and they began feeding on the grass. 19Next, seven skinny, bony cows came up out of the river. I have never seen such terrible looking cows anywhere in Egypt. 20The skinny cows ate the fat ones. 21But you couldn't tell it, because these skinny cows were just as skinny as they were before. At once, I woke up.
22I also dreamed that I saw seven heads of grain growing on one stalk. The heads were full and ripe. 23Then seven other heads of grain came up. They were thin and scorched by a wind from the desert. 24These heads of grain swallowed the full ones. I told my dreams to the magicians, but none of them could tell me the meaning of the dreams.
25Joseph replied:
Your Majesty, both of your dreams mean the same thing, and in them God has shown what he is going to do. 26The seven good cows stand for seven years, and so do the seven good heads of grain. 27The seven skinny, ugly cows that came up later also stand for seven years, as do the seven bad heads of grain that were scorched by the desert wind. The dreams mean there will be seven years when there won't be enough grain.
28It is just as I said—God has shown what he intends to do. 29For seven years Egypt will have more than enough grain, 30but that will be followed by seven years when there won't be enough. The good years of plenty will be forgotten, and everywhere in Egypt people will be starving. 31The famine will be so bad that no one will remember that once there had been plenty. 32God has given you two dreams to let you know that he has definitely decided to do this and that he will do it soon.
33Your Majesty, you should find someone who is wise and will know what to do, so that you can put him in charge of all Egypt. 34Then appoint some other officials to collect one fifth of every crop harvested in Egypt during the seven years when there is plenty. 35Give them the power to collect the grain during those good years and to store it in your cities. 36It can be stored until it is needed during the seven years when there won't be enough grain in Egypt. This will keep the country from being destroyed because of the lack of food.
Joseph Is Made Governor over Egypt
37The king#41.37 The king: See the note at 12.15. and his officials liked this plan. 38So the king said to them, “Who could possibly handle this better than Joseph? After all, the Spirit of God is with him.”
39The king told Joseph, “God is the one who has shown you these things. No one else is as wise as you are or knows as much as you do. 40#Ac 7.10. I'm putting you in charge of my palace, and everybody will have to obey you. No one will be over you except me. 41You are now governor of all Egypt!”
42 # Dn 5.29. Then the king took off his royal ring and put it on Joseph's finger. He gave him fine clothes to wear and placed a gold chain around his neck. 43He also let him ride in the chariot next to his own, and people shouted, “Make way for Joseph!” So Joseph was governor of Egypt.
44The king told Joseph, “Although I'm king, no one in Egypt is to do anything without your permission.” 45He gave Joseph the Egyptian name Zaphenath Paneah. And he let him marry Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, a priest in the city of Heliopolis.#41.45 Heliopolis: The Hebrew text has “On,” which is better known by its Greek name “Heliopolis.” Joseph traveled all over#41.45 traveled all over: Or “extended his authority over all.” Egypt.
46Joseph was 30 when the king made him governor, and he went everywhere for the king. 47For seven years there were big harvests of grain. 48Joseph collected and stored up the extra grain in the cities of Egypt near the fields where it was harvested. 49In fact, there was so much grain that they stopped keeping record, because it was like counting the grains of sand along the beach.
50Joseph and his wife had two sons before the famine began. 51Their first son was named Manasseh, which means, “God has let me forget all my troubles and my family back home.” 52His second son was named Ephraim, which means “God has made me a success#41.52 God has made me a success: Or “God has given me children.” in the land where I suffered.”#41.52 Ephraim … suffered: In Hebrew “Ephraim” actually means either “fertile land” or “pastureland.”
53Egypt's seven years of plenty came to an end, 54#Ac 7.11. and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. There was not enough food in other countries, but all over Egypt there was plenty. 55#Jn 2.5. When the famine finally struck Egypt, the people asked the king for food, but he said, “Go to Joseph and do what he tells you to do.”
56The famine became bad everywhere in Egypt, so Joseph opened the storehouses and sold the grain to the Egyptians. 57People from all over the world came to Egypt to buy grain, because the famine was so severe in their countries.