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Genesis 41

41
Pharaoh’s Dream. 1#Joseph correctly interprets Pharaoh’s dream and becomes second in command over all Egypt. After a lapse of two years, Pharaoh had a dream. He was standing by the Nile, 2when up out of the Nile came seven cows, fine-looking and fat; they grazed in the reed grass. 3Behind them seven other cows, poor-looking and gaunt, came up out of the Nile; and standing on the bank of the Nile beside the others, 4the poor-looking, gaunt cows devoured the seven fine-looking, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.
5He fell asleep again and had another dream. He saw seven ears of grain, fat and healthy, growing on a single stalk. 6Behind them sprouted seven ears of grain, thin and scorched by the east wind; 7and the thin ears swallowed up the seven fat, healthy ears. Then Pharaoh woke up—it was a dream!
8Next morning his mind was agitated. So Pharaoh had all the magicians#Magicians: one of the tasks of the “magicians” was interpreting dreams. The interpretation of dreams was a long-standing practice in Egypt. A manual of dream interpretation has been found, written in the early second millennium and re-published later in which typical dreams are given (“If a man sees himself in a dream…”) followed by a judgment of “good” or “bad.” Interpreters were still needed for dreams, however, and Pharaoh complains that none of his dream interpreters can interpret his unprecedented dream. The same term will be used of Pharaoh’s magicians in Exodus. and sages of Egypt summoned and recounted his dream to them; but there was no one to interpret it for him. 9Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh: “Now I remember my negligence! 10Once, when Pharaoh was angry with his servants, he put me and the chief baker in custody in the house of the chief steward. 11Later, we both had dreams on the same night, and each of our dreams had its own meaning. 12There was a Hebrew youth with us, a slave of the chief steward; and when we told him our dreams, he interpreted them for us and explained for each of us the meaning of his dream.#Dn 1:17. 13Things turned out just as he had told us: I was restored to my post, but the other man was impaled.”
14Pharaoh therefore had Joseph summoned, and they hurriedly brought him from the dungeon. After he shaved and changed his clothes, he came to Pharaoh.#Ps 105:20. 15Pharaoh then said to Joseph: “I had a dream but there was no one to interpret it. But I hear it said of you, ‘If he hears a dream he can interpret it.’” 16“It is not I,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God who will respond for the well-being of Pharaoh.”#Gn 40:8.
17Then Pharaoh said to Joseph: “In my dream, I was standing on the bank of the Nile, 18when up from the Nile came seven cows, fat and well-formed; they grazed in the reed grass. 19Behind them came seven other cows, scrawny, most ill-formed and gaunt. Never have I seen such bad specimens as these in all the land of Egypt! 20The gaunt, bad cows devoured the first seven fat cows. 21But when they had consumed them, no one could tell that they had done so, because they looked as bad as before. Then I woke up. 22In another dream I saw seven ears of grain, full and healthy, growing on a single stalk. 23Behind them sprouted seven ears of grain, shriveled and thin and scorched by the east wind; 24and the seven thin ears swallowed up the seven healthy ears. I have spoken to the magicians, but there is no one to explain it to me.”
25Joseph said to Pharaoh: “Pharaoh’s dreams have the same meaning. God has made known to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 26The seven healthy cows are seven years, and the seven healthy ears are seven years—the same in each dream. 27The seven thin, bad cows that came up after them are seven years, as are the seven thin ears scorched by the east wind; they are seven years of famine. 28Things are just as I told Pharaoh: God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 29Seven years of great abundance are now coming throughout the land of Egypt; 30but seven years of famine will rise up after them, when all the abundance will be forgotten in the land of Egypt. When the famine has exhausted the land, 31no trace of the abundance will be found in the land because of the famine that follows it, for it will be very severe. 32That Pharaoh had the same dream twice means that the matter has been confirmed by God and that God will soon bring it about.
33“Therefore, let Pharaoh seek out a discerning and wise man and put him in charge of the land of Egypt. 34Let Pharaoh act and appoint overseers for the land to organize it during the seven years of abundance. 35They should collect all the food of these coming good years, gathering the grain under Pharaoh’s authority, for food in the cities, and they should guard it. 36This food will serve as a reserve for the country against the seven years of famine that will occur in the land of Egypt, so that the land may not perish in the famine.”
37This advice pleased Pharaoh and all his servants.#Acts 7:10. 38“Could we find another like him,” Pharaoh asked his servants, “a man so endowed with the spirit of God?” 39So Pharaoh said to Joseph: “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one as discerning and wise as you are. 40You shall be in charge of my household, and all my people will obey your command. Only in respect to the throne will I outrank you.”#1 Mc 2:53; Ps 105:21; Wis 10:14; Acts 7:10. 41Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Look, I put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” 42With that, Pharaoh took off his signet ring#Signet ring: a finger ring in which was set a stamp seal, different from the cylinder seal such as Judah wore; see note on 38:18. By receiving Pharaoh’s signet ring, Joseph was made vizier of Egypt (v. 43); the vizier was known as “seal-bearer of the king of Lower Egypt.” The gold chain was a symbol of high office in ancient Egypt. and put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. 43He then had him ride in his second chariot, and they shouted “Abrek!”#Abrek: apparently a cry of homage, though the word’s derivation and actual meaning are uncertain. before him.
Thus was Joseph installed over the whole land of Egypt. 44“I am Pharaoh,” he told Joseph, “but without your approval no one shall lift hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.” 45Pharaoh also bestowed the name of Zaphenath-paneah#Zaphenath-paneah: a Hebrew transcription of an Egyptian name meaning “the god speaks and he (the newborn child) lives.” Asenath: means “belonging to (the Egyptian goddess) Neith.” Potiphera: means “he whom Ra (the Egyptian god) gave”; a shorter form of the same name was borne by Joseph’s master (37:36). Heliopolis: in Hebrew, On, a city seven miles northeast of modern Cairo, site of the chief temple of the sun god; it is mentioned also in v. 50; 46:20; Ez 30:17. on Joseph, and he gave him in marriage Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of Heliopolis. And Joseph went out over the land of Egypt. 46Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh, king of Egypt.
After Joseph left Pharaoh, he went throughout the land of Egypt. 47During the seven years of plenty, when the land produced abundant crops, 48he collected all the food of these years of plenty that the land of Egypt was enjoying and stored it in the cities, placing in each city the crops of the fields around it. 49Joseph collected grain like the sands of the sea, so much that at last he stopped measuring it, for it was beyond measure.
50Before the famine years set in, Joseph became the father of two sons, borne to him by Asenath, daughter of Potiphera, priest of Heliopolis.#Gn 46:20; 48:5. 51Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh,#Manasseh: an allusion to this name is in the Hebrew expression, nishshani, “he made me forget.” meaning, “God has made me forget entirely my troubles and my father’s house”; 52and the second he named Ephraim,#Ephraim: related to the Hebrew expression hiphrani, “(God) has made me fruitful.” The name originally meant something like “fertile land.” meaning, “God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.”
53When the seven years of abundance enjoyed by the land of Egypt came to an end, 54the seven years of famine set in, just as Joseph had said. Although there was famine in all the other countries, food was available throughout the land of Egypt.#Ps 105:16; Acts 7:11. 55When all the land of Egypt became hungry and the people cried to Pharaoh for food, Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians: “Go to Joseph and do whatever he tells you.” 56When the famine had spread throughout the land, Joseph opened all the cities that had grain and rationed it to the Egyptians, since the famine had gripped the land of Egypt. 57Indeed, the whole world came to Egypt to Joseph to buy grain, for famine had gripped the whole world.

Genesis 41

41
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.