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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
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 River Nile. 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 the east wind. 7The thin heads of grain swallowed the seven full heads. Again the king woke up, and it had only been a dream.
8The 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.#Dn 2.2.
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 River Nile. 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. Straight away, 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 east 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, “No one could possibly handle this better than Joseph, since 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. 40I'm putting you in charge of my palace, and everybody will have to obey you. No one will be over you except me.#Ac 7.10. 41You are now governor of all Egypt!”
42Then 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.#Dn 5.29. 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 travelled all over Egypt.
46Joseph was thirty 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 “pasture land”.
53Egypt's seven years of plenty came to an end, 54and 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.#Ac 7.11. 55When 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.”#Jn 2.5.
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, because the famine was severe in their countries.