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Genesis 41

41
Joseph Interprets Pharaoh’s Dreams
1Two years later Pharaoh had a dream: He was standing beside the Nile, # Gn 41:17-23 2when seven healthy-looking, well-fed cows came up from the Nile and began to graze among the reeds. 3After them, seven other cows, sickly and thin, came up from the Nile and stood beside those cows along the bank of the Nile. 4The sickly, thin cows ate the healthy, well-fed cows. Then Pharaoh woke up. 5He fell asleep and dreamed a second time: Seven heads of grain, plump and ripe, came up on one stalk. 6After them, seven heads of grain, thin and scorched by the east wind, sprouted up. 7The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven plump, ripe ones. Then Pharaoh woke up, and it was only a dream.
8When morning came, he was troubled, # Dn 2:1,3 so he summoned all the magicians of Egypt and all its wise men. # Ex 7:11,22; Dn 1:20; 2:2 Pharaoh told them his dreams, but no one could interpret them for him.
9Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “Today I remember my faults. 10Pharaoh had been angry with his servants, and he put me and the chief baker in the custody of the captain of the guard. 11He and I had dreams on the same night; each dream had its own meaning. 12Now a young Hebrew, a slave of the captain of the guards, was with us there. We told him our dreams, he interpreted our dreams for us, and each had its own interpretation. 13It turned out just the way he interpreted them to us: I was restored to my position, and the other man was hanged.” # Gn 40:1-22
14Then Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and they quickly brought him from the dungeon. # Ps 105:20 He shaved, changed his clothes, and went to Pharaoh. # Dn 2:25
15Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said about you that you can hear a dream and interpret it.” # Dn 5:16
16“I am not able to,” # Dn 2:30 Joseph answered Pharaoh. “It is God who will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.” # Or “God will answer Pharaoh with peace of mind .” # Gn 40:8; Dn 2:22,28,47
17So Pharaoh said to Joseph: “In my dream I was standing on the bank of the Nile, 18when seven well-fed, healthy-looking cows came up from the Nile and began to graze among the reeds. 19After them, seven other cows — ugly, very sickly, and thin — came up. I’ve never seen such ugly ones as these in all the land of Egypt. 20Then the thin, ugly cows ate the first seven well-fed cows. 21When they had devoured them, you could not tell that they had devoured them; their appearance was as bad as it had been before. Then I woke up. 22In my dream I had also seen seven heads of grain, plump and ripe, coming up on one stalk. 23After them, seven heads of grain — withered, thin, and scorched by the east wind — sprouted up. 24The thin heads of grain swallowed the seven plump ones. I told this to the magicians, but no one can tell me what it means.” # Is 8:19; Dn 4:7
25Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Pharaoh’s dreams mean the same thing. God has revealed to Pharaoh what He is about to do. # Dn 2:28-29,45; Rv 4:1 26The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven ripe heads are seven years. The dreams mean the same thing. 27The seven thin, ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, and the seven worthless, scorched heads of grain are seven years of famine. # 2Kg 8:1
28“It is just as I told Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do. 29Seven # Lit Look! Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt. 30After them, seven years of famine will take place, and all the abundance in the land of Egypt will be forgotten. The famine will devastate the land. # Gn 41:54,56; 47:13; Ps 105:16 31The abundance in the land will not be remembered because of the famine that follows it, for the famine will be very severe. 32Since the dream was given twice to Pharaoh, it means that the matter has been determined by God, and He will carry it out soon.
33“So now, let Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man and set him over the land of Egypt. 34Let Pharaoh do this: Let him appoint overseers over the land and take a fifth of the harvest of the land of Egypt during the seven years of abundance. 35Let them gather all the excess food during these good years that are coming. Under Pharaoh’s authority, store the grain in the cities, so they may preserve it as food. 36The food will be a reserve for the land during the seven years of famine that will take place in the land of Egypt. Then the country will not be wiped out by the famine.”
Joseph Exalted
37The proposal pleased Pharaoh and all his servants. 38Then Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find anyone like this, a man who has God’s spirit # Or the spirit of the gods, or a god’s spirit in him? ” # Jb 32:8; Dn 4:8,9,18; 5:11,14 39So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one as intelligent and wise as you are. 40You will be over my house, and all my people will obey your commands. # Lit will kiss your mouth # Ps 105:21; Ac 7:10 Only with regard to the throne will I be greater than you.” 41Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “See, I am placing you over all the land of Egypt.” 42Pharaoh removed his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, clothed him with fine linen garments, and placed a gold chain around his neck. # Est 3:10; 8:2; Dn 5:7,16,29 43He had Joseph ride in his second chariot, and servants called out before him, “Abrek!” # Perhaps an Egyptian word meaning “Attention” or a Hb word meaning “Kneel.” So he placed him over all the land of Egypt. 44Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but no one will be able to raise his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt without your permission.” 45Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-paneah and gave him a wife, Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest at On. # Or Heliopolis And Joseph went throughout # Or Joseph gained authority over the land of Egypt.
Joseph’s Administration
46Joseph was 30 years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Joseph left Pharaoh’s presence and traveled throughout the land of Egypt.
47During the seven years of abundance the land produced outstanding harvests. 48Joseph gathered all the excess food in the land of Egypt during the seven years and put it in the cities. He put the food in every city from the fields around it. 49So Joseph stored up grain in such abundance — like the sand of the sea — that he stopped measuring it because it was beyond measure.
50Two sons were born to Joseph before the years of famine arrived. # Gn 46:20; 48:5 Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest at On, # Or Heliopolis bore them to him. 51Joseph named the firstborn Manasseh, meaning, “God has made me forget all my hardship in my father’s house.” 52And the second son he named Ephraim, meaning, “God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.”
53Then the seven years of abundance in the land of Egypt came to an end, 54and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in every country, but throughout the land of Egypt there was food. 55Extreme hunger came to all the land of Egypt, and the people cried out to Pharaoh for food. Pharaoh told all Egypt, “Go to Joseph and do whatever he tells you.” 56Because the famine had spread across the whole country, Joseph opened up all the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe in the land of Egypt. 57Every nation came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain, for the famine was severe in every land. # Gn 12:10
41
The King’s Dreams
1Two years later the king dreamed he was standing on the bank of the Nile River. 2He saw seven fat and beautiful cows come up out of the river, and they stood there, eating the grass. 3Then seven more cows came up out of the river, but they were thin and ugly. They stood beside the seven beautiful cows on the bank of the Nile. 4The seven thin and ugly cows ate the seven beautiful fat cows. Then the king woke up. 5The king slept again and dreamed a second time. In his dream he saw seven full and good heads of grain growing on one stalk. 6After that, seven more heads of grain sprang up, but they were thin and burned by the hot east wind. 7The thin heads of grain ate the seven full and good heads. Then the king woke up again, and he realized it was only a dream. 8The next morning the king was troubled about these dreams, so he sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. The king told them his dreams, but no one could explain their meaning to him.
9Then the chief officer who served wine to the king said to him, “Now I remember something I promised to do, but I forgot about it. 10There was a time when you were angry with the baker and me, and you put us in prison in the house of the captain of the guard. 11In prison we each had a dream on the same night, and each dream had a different meaning. 12A young Hebrew man, a servant of the captain of the guard, was in the prison with us. When we told him our dreams, he explained their meanings to us. He told each man the meaning of his dream, and 13things happened exactly as he said they would: I was given back my old position, and the baker was hanged.”
14So the king called for Joseph. The guards quickly brought him out of the prison, and he shaved, put on clean clothes, and went before the king.
15The king said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, but no one can explain its meaning to me. I have heard that you can explain a dream when someone tells it to you.”
16Joseph answered the king, “I am not able to explain the meaning of dreams, but God will do this for the king.”
17Then the king said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing on the bank of the Nile River. 18I saw seven fat and beautiful cows that came up out of the river and ate the grass. 19Then I saw seven more cows come out of the river that were thin and lean and ugly—the worst looking cows I have seen in all the land of Egypt. 20And these thin and ugly cows ate the first seven fat cows, 21but after they had eaten the seven cows, no one could tell they had eaten them. They looked just as thin and ugly as they did in the beginning. Then I woke up.
22“I had another dream. I saw seven full and good heads of grain growing on one stalk. 23Then seven more heads of grain sprang up after them, but these heads were thin and ugly and were burned by the hot east wind. 24Then the thin heads ate the seven good heads. I told this dream to the magicians, but no one could explain its meaning to me.”
Joseph Tells the Dreams’ Meaning
25Then Joseph said to the king, “Both of these dreams mean the same thing. God is telling you what he is about to do. 26The seven good cows stand for seven years, and the seven good heads of grain stand for seven years. Both dreams mean the same thing. 27The seven thin and ugly cows stand for seven years, and the seven thin heads of grain burned by the hot east wind stand for seven years of hunger. 28This will happen as I told you. God is showing the king what he is about to do. 29You will have seven years of good crops and plenty to eat in all the land of Egypt. 30But after those seven years, there will come seven years of hunger, and all the food that grew in the land of Egypt will be forgotten. The time of hunger will eat up the land. 31People will forget what it was like to have plenty of food, because the hunger that follows will be so great. 32You had two dreams which mean the same thing. This shows that God has firmly decided that this will happen, and he will make it happen soon.
33“So let the king choose a man who is very wise and understanding and set him over the land of Egypt. 34And let the king also appoint officers over the land, who should take one-fifth of all the food that is grown during the seven good years. 35They should gather all the food that is produced during the good years that are coming, and under the king’s authority they should store the grain in the cities and guard it. 36That food should be saved to use during the seven years of hunger that will come on the land of Egypt. Then the people in Egypt will not die during the seven years of hunger.”
Joseph Is Made Ruler over Egypt
37This seemed like a very good idea to the king, and all his officers agreed. 38And the king asked them, “Can we find a better man than Joseph to take this job? God’s spirit is truly in him!”
39So the king said to Joseph, “God has shown you all this. There is no one as wise and understanding as you are, so 40I will put you in charge of my palace. All the people will obey your orders, and only I will be greater than you.”
41Then the king said to Joseph, “Look! I have put you in charge of all the land of Egypt.” 42Then the king took off from his own finger his ring with the royal seal on it, and he put it on Joseph’s finger. He gave Joseph fine linen clothes to wear, and he put a gold chain around Joseph’s neck. 43The king had Joseph ride in the second royal chariot, and people walked ahead of his chariot calling, “Bow down!” By doing these things, the king put Joseph in charge of all of Egypt.
44The king said to him, “I am the king, and I say that no one in all the land of Egypt may lift a hand or a foot without your permission.” 45The king gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah. He also gave Joseph a wife named Asenath, who was the daughter of Potiphera, priest of On. So Joseph traveled through all the land of Egypt.
46Joseph was thirty years old when he began serving the king of Egypt. And he left the king’s court and traveled through all the land of Egypt. 47During the seven good years, the crops in the land grew well. 48And Joseph gathered all the food produced in Egypt during those seven years of good crops and stored the food in the cities. In every city he stored grain that had been grown in the fields around that city. 49Joseph stored much grain, as much as the sand of the seashore—so much that he could not measure it.
50Joseph’s wife was Asenath daughter of Potiphera, the priest of On. Before the years of hunger came, Joseph and Asenath had two sons. 51Joseph named the first son Manasseh and said, “God has made me forget all the troubles I have had and all my father’s family.” 52Joseph named the second son Ephraim and said, “God has given me children in the land of my troubles.”
53The seven years of good crops came to an end in the land of Egypt. 54Then the seven years of hunger began, just as Joseph had said. In all the lands people had nothing to eat, but in Egypt there was food. 55The time of hunger became terrible in all of Egypt, and the people cried to the king for food. He said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph and do whatever he tells you.”
56The hunger was everywhere in that part of the world. And Joseph opened the storehouses and sold grain to the people of Egypt, because the time of hunger became terrible in Egypt. 57And all the people in that part of the world came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain because the hunger was terrible everywhere in that part of the world.