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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.
41
1A full two years later, Pharaoh had a dream that he was standing beside the River Nile. 2He saw seven cows coming up from the river. They looked well-fed and healthy as they grazed among the reeds. 3Then he saw another seven cows that came up behind them. They looked ugly and skinny as they stood beside the other cows on the bank of the Nile. 4Then the ugly, skinny cows ate the well-fed, healthy cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.
5Pharaoh fell asleep again and had a second dream. Seven heads of grain were growing on one stalk, ripe and healthy. 6Then seven heads of grain grew up after them, thin and dried by the east wind. 7The seven thin and dried heads of grain swallowed up the ripe and healthy ones. Then Pharaoh woke up and realized he'd been dreaming.
8The next morning Pharaoh was worried by his dreams,#41:8. “By his dreams”: supplied for clarity. so he sent for all the magicians and wise men in Egypt. Pharaoh told them about his dreams, but no one could interpret their meaning for him.
9But then the chief cupbearer spoke up. “Today I've just remembered a bad mistake I've made,” he explained. 10“Your Majesty was angry with some of your officials and you imprisoned me in the house of the commander of the guard, along with the chief baker. 11We each had a dream. They were different dreams, each with its own meaning. 12A young Hebrew was there with us, a slave of the commander of the guard. When we told him our dreams, he interpreted for us the meaning of our different dreams. 13Everything happened just as he said it would—I was given back my job and the baker was hanged.”
14Pharaoh summoned Joseph, and they quickly brought him from the prison. After he'd shaved and changed his clothes, he was presented to Pharaoh.
15Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, but no one can interpret its meaning. But I've heard that when someone tells you a dream you know how to interpret it.”
16“It's not me who can do this,” Joseph replied. “But God will explain its meaning to set Your Majesty's mind at rest.”
17Pharaoh explained to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing on the bank of the Nile. 18I saw seven cows coming up from the river. They looked well-fed and healthy as they grazed among the reeds. 19Then I saw another seven cows that came up behind them. They looked sickly and ugly and skinny—I've never seen such ugly cows in the whole of Egypt! 20These skinny, ugly cows ate the first seven healthy-looking cows. 21But afterwards you couldn't tell they'd eaten them because they looked just as skinny and ugly as before. Then I woke up.
22Then I fell asleep again. In my second dream I saw seven heads of grain growing on one stalk, ripe and healthy. 23Then seven heads of grain grew up after them, withered and thin and dried by the east wind. 24The seven thin heads of grain swallowed up the healthy ones. I told all this to the magicians, but none of them could explain its meaning to me.”
25“Pharaoh's dreams mean the same thing,” Joseph responded. “God is telling Pharaoh what he is going to do. 26The seven good cows and the seven good heads of grain represent seven good years of harvest.#41:26. “Of harvest”: supplied for clarity. The dreams mean the same thing. 27The seven skinny and ugly cows that came after them and the seven thin heads of grain dried by the east wind represent seven years of famine. 28It's just as I told Your Majesty—God has shown Pharaoh what he is going to do. 29There are going to be seven years with plenty of food produced throughout the whole country of Egypt. 30But after them will come seven years of famine. People will forget the time when there was plenty of food throughout Egypt. Famine will ruin the country. 31The time of plenty will be completely forgotten because the famine that follows it will be so terrible. 32The fact that the dream was repeated twice means that it has definitely been decided by God, and that God is going to do this soon.
33So Your Majesty should choose a man with insight and wisdom, and put him in charge of the whole country of Egypt. 34Your Majesty should also appoint officials to be in charge of the land, and have them collect one-fifth of the produce of the country during the seven years of plenty. 35They should collect all the food during the good years that are soon coming, and store the grain under Pharaoh's authority, keeping it under guard to provide food for the towns. 36This will be a food reserve for the country during the seven years of famine so that the people won't die of starvation.”
37Pharaoh and all his officials thought Joseph's proposal was a good idea. 38So Pharaoh asked them, “Where can we find a man like this who has the spirit of God in him?” 39Then Pharaoh spoke to Joseph, telling him, “Since God has revealed to you all this, and there's no one like you with such insight and wisdom, 40you will be in charge of all my affairs, and all my people will obey your orders. Only I with my status as king#41:40. “My status as king”: literally “the throne.” will be greater than you.”
41Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Look, I'm putting you in charge of the whole country of Egypt.” 42Pharaoh took off his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph's finger. He dressed him in fine linen clothes and placed a golden chain around his neck. 43He had Joseph ride in the chariot designated for his second-in-command while his attendants went ahead, shouting, “Bow down!”#41:43. “Bow down!” This Egyptian loan word is variously translated: “Attention!” “Make way!” “Praise!” “Do homage!” All relate to honoring a dignitary. This is how Pharaoh gave Joseph authority over all of Egypt.
44Then Pharaoh told Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your permission nobody will lift a hand or a foot anywhere in the whole country.” 45Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-paneah,#41:45. Meaning “The God speaks and he (the subject) lives.” and arranged for him to marry Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of On. This is how Joseph rose to power over the whole of Egypt.
46Joseph was thirty when he started working for Pharaoh, king of Egypt. After he had left Pharaoh, Joseph traveled on an inspection tour#41:46. “On an inspection tour”: supplied for clarity. throughout Egypt. 47During the seven years of good harvests, the land produced plenty of food. 48He collected all the food during the seven good years, and he stored the grain produced in the local fields in each town. 49Joseph piled up so much grain that it was like the sand of the seashore. Eventually he stopped keeping records because there was just so much!
50It was during this time, before the years of famine came, that Joseph had two sons by Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of On. 51Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh,#41:51. “Manasseh” means “cause to forget.” because he said, “The Lord has made me forget all my troubles and all my father's family.” 52His second son he named Ephraim,#41:52. “Ephraim” means “fruitful.” because he said, “God has made me fruitful in the country of my misery.”
53The seven years of plenty in Egypt came to an end, 54and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in all the other countries but the whole of Egypt had food. 55When all of Egypt was hungry, the people cried out to Pharaoh for food, and he told everyone, “Go and see Joseph and do whatever he tells you.” 56The famine had spread all over the country so Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold grain to the people of Egypt. The famine was very bad in Egypt, 57in fact the famine was very bad everywhere, so people from other countries all around came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph.