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Genesis 41

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1And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed, and behold, he stood by the river. 2And behold, there came up out of the river seven kine, fine-looking and fat-fleshed, and they fed in the reed-grass. 3And behold, seven other kine came up after them out of the river, bad-looking and lean-fleshed, and stood by the kine on the bank of the river. 4And the kine that were bad-looking and lean-fleshed ate up the seven kine that were fine-looking and fat. And Pharaoh awoke. 5And he slept and dreamed the second time; and behold, seven ears of corn grew up on one stalk, fat and good. 6And behold, seven ears, thin and parched with the east wind, sprung up after them. 7And the thin ears devoured the seven fat and full ears. And Pharaoh awoke; and behold, it was a dream. 8And it came to pass in the morning, that his spirit was troubled; and he sent and called for all the scribes of Egypt, and all the sages who were therein, and Pharaoh told them his dream; but there was none to interpret them to Pharaoh.
9Then spoke the chief of the cup-bearers to Pharaoh, saying, I remember mine offences this day. 10Pharaoh was wroth with his bondmen, and put me in custody into the captain of the life-guard's house, me and the chief of the bakers. 11And we dreamed a dream in one night, I and he; we dreamed each according to the interpretation of his dream. 12And there was there with us a Hebrew youth, a bondman of the captain of the life-guard, to whom we told them, and he interpreted to us our dreams; to each he interpreted according to his dream. 13And it came to pass, just as he interpreted to us, so it came about: me has he restored to my office, and him he hanged. 14Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph; and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon. And he shaved himself, and changed his clothes, and came in to Pharaoh. 15And Pharaoh said to Joseph, I have dreamt a dream, and there is none to interpret it. And I have heard say of thee, thou understandest a dream to interpret it. 16And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God#GodHebrew: Elohim will give Pharaoh an answer of peace.
17And Pharaoh said to Joseph, In my dream, behold, I stood on the bank of the river. 18And behold, there came up out of the river seven kine, fat-fleshed and of fine form, and they fed in the reed-grass. 19And behold, seven other kine came up after them, poor, and very ill-formed, and lean-fleshed — such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for badness. 20And the lean and bad kine ate up the seven first fat kine; 21and they came into their belly, and it could not be known that they had come into their belly; and their look was bad, as at the beginning. And I awoke. 22And I saw in my dream, and behold, seven ears came up on one stalk, full and good. 23And behold, seven ears, withered, thin, parched with the east wind, sprung up after them; 24and the thin ears devoured the seven good ears. And I told it to the scribes; but there was none to make it known to me. 25And Joseph said to Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one. What God#GodHebrew: Elohim will do he has made known to Pharaoh. 26The seven fine kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one. 27And the seven lean and bad kine that came up after them are seven years; and the seven empty ears, parched with the east wind, will be seven years of famine. 28This is the word which I have spoken to Pharaoh: what God#GodHebrew: Elohim is about to do he has let Pharaoh see. 29Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout the land of Egypt. 30And there will arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt, and the famine will waste away the land. 31And the plenty will not be known afterwards in the land by reason of that famine; for it will be very grievous. 32And as regards the double repetition of the dream to Pharaoh, it is that the thing is established by God#GodHebrew: Elohim and God#GodHebrew: Elohim will hasten to do it.
33And now let Pharaoh look himself out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. 34Let Pharaoh do this: let him appoint overseers over the land, and take the fifth part of the land of Egypt during the seven years of plenty, 35and let them gather all the food of these coming good years, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, for food in the cities, and keep it. 36And let the food be as store for the land for the seven years of famine, which will be in the land of Egypt, that the land perish not through the famine. 37And the word was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his bondmen. 38And Pharaoh said to his bondmen, Shall we find one as this, a man in whom the Spirit of God#GodHebrew: Elohim is? 39And Pharaoh said to Joseph, Since God#GodHebrew: Elohim has made all this known to thee, there is none so discreet and wise as thou. 40Thou shalt be over my house, and according to thy commandment shall all my people regulate themselves; only concerning the throne will I be greater than thou. 41And Pharaoh said to Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. 42And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it on Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in clothes of byssus, and put a gold chain on his neck. 43And he caused him to ride in the second chariot that he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee! and he set him over all the land of Egypt. 44And Pharaoh said to Joseph, I am Pharaoh; and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or his foot in all the land of Egypt. 45And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnath-paaneah, and gave him as wife Asnath the daughter of Potipherah the priest in On. And Joseph went out over the land of Egypt.
46And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from Pharaoh, and passed through the whole land of Egypt. 47And in the seven years of plenty the land brought forth by handfuls. 48And he gathered up all the food of the seven years that was in the land of Egypt, and put the food in the cities; the food of the fields of the city, which were round about it, he laid up in it. 49And Joseph laid up corn as sand of the sea exceeding much, until they left off numbering; for it was without number. 50And to Joseph were born two sons before the year of famine came, whom Asnath the daughter of Potipherah the priest in On bore to him. 51And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh — For God#GodHebrew: Elohim has made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house. 52And the name of the second he called Ephraim — For God#GodHebrew: Elohim has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction. 53And the seven years of plenty that were in the land of Egypt were ended; 54and the seven years of the dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said. And there was dearth in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. 55And all the land of Egypt suffered from the dearth. And the people cried to Pharaoh for bread; and Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, Go to Joseph: what he says to you, that do. 56And the famine was on all the earth. And Joseph opened every place in which there was provision, and sold grain to the Egyptians; and the famine was grievous in the land of Egypt. 57And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph, to buy grain, because the famine was grievous on the whole earth.
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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.