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Genesis 41

41
1 AFTER TWO full years, Pharaoh dreamed that he stood by the river [Nile].
2 And behold, there came up out of the river [Nile] seven well-favored cows, sleek and handsome and fat; and they grazed in the reed grass [in a marshy pasture].
3 And behold, seven other cows came up after them out of the river [Nile], ill favored and gaunt and ugly, and stood by the fat cows on the bank of the river [Nile].
4 And the ill-favored, gaunt, and ugly cows ate up the seven well-favored and fat cows. Then Pharaoh awoke.
5 But he slept and dreamed the second time; and behold, seven ears of grain came out on one stalk, plump and good.
6 And behold, after them seven ears [of grain] sprouted, thin and blighted by the east wind.
7 And the seven thin ears [of grain] devoured the seven plump and full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and behold, it was a dream.
8 So when morning came his spirit was troubled, and he sent and called for all the magicians and all the wise men of Egypt. And Pharaoh told them his dreams, but not one could interpret them to [him].
9 Then the chief butler said to Pharaoh, I remember my faults today.
10 When Pharaoh was angry with his servants and put me in custody in the captain of the guard's house, both me and the chief baker,
11 We dreamed a dream in the same night, he and I; we dreamed each of us according to [the significance of] the interpretation of his dream.
12 And there was there with us a young man, a Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard and chief executioner; and we told him our dreams, and he interpreted them to us, to each man according to the significance of his dream.
13 And as he interpreted to us, so it came to pass; I was restored to my office [as chief butler], and the baker was hanged.
14 Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon. But Joseph [first] shaved himself, changed his clothes, and made himself presentable; then he came into Pharaoh's presence.
15 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it; and I have heard it said of you that you can understand a dream and interpret it.
16 Joseph answered Pharaoh, It is not in me; God [not I] will give Pharaoh a [favorable] answer of peace.
17 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, In my dream, behold, I stood on the bank of the river [Nile];
18 And behold, there came up out of the river [Nile] seven fat, sleek, and handsome cows, and they grazed in the reed grass [of a marshy pasture].
19 And behold, seven other cows came up after them, undernourished, gaunt, and ugly [just skin and bones; such emaciated animals] as I have never seen in all of Egypt.
20 And the lean and ill favored cows ate up the seven fat cows that had come first.
21 And when they had eaten them up, it could not be detected and known that they had eaten them, for they were still as thin and emaciated as at the beginning. Then I awoke. [But again I fell asleep and dreamed.]
22 And I saw in my dream, and behold, seven ears [of grain] growing on one stalk, plump and good.
23 And behold, seven [other] ears, withered, thin, and blighted by the east wind, sprouted after them.
24 And the thin ears devoured the seven good ears. Now I told this to the magicians, but there was no one who could tell me what it meant.
25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, The [two] dreams are one; God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do.
26 The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good ears [of grain] are seven years; the [two] dreams are one [in their meaning].
27 And the seven thin and ill favored cows that came up after them are seven years, and also the seven empty ears [of grain], blighted and shriveled by the east wind; they are seven years of hunger and famine.
28 This is the message just as I have told Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do.
29 Take note! Seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt are coming.
30 Then there will come seven years of hunger and famine, and [there will be so much want that] all the great abundance of the previous years will be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and hunger (destitution, starvation) will exhaust (consume, finish) the land.
31 And the plenty will become quite unknown in the land because of that following famine, for it will be very woefully severe.
32 That the dream was sent twice to Pharaoh and in two forms indicates that this thing which God will very soon bring to pass is fully prepared and established by God.
33 So now let Pharaoh seek out and provide a man discreet, understanding, proficient, and wise and set him over the land of Egypt [as governor].
34 Let Pharaoh do this; then let him select and appoint officers over the land, and take one-fifth [of the produce] of the [whole] land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years [year by year].
35 And let them gather all the food of these good years that are coming and lay up grain under the direction and authority of Pharaoh, and let them retain food [in fortified granaries] in the cities.
36 And that food shall be put in store for the country against the seven years of hunger and famine that are to come upon the land of Egypt, so that the land may not be ruined and cut off by the famine.
37 And the plan seemed good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of all his servants.
38 And Pharaoh said to his servants, Can we find this man's equal, a man in whom is the spirit of God?
39 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, Forasmuch as [your] God has shown you all this, there is nobody as intelligent and discreet and understanding and wise as you are.
40 You shall have charge over my house, and all my people shall be governed according to your word [with reverence, submission, and obedience]. Only in matters of the throne will I be greater than you are.
41 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.
42 And Pharaoh took off his [signet] ring from his hand and put it on Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in [official] vestments of fine linen and put a gold chain about his neck;
43 He made him to ride in the second chariot which he had, and [officials] cried before him, Bow the knee! And he set him over all the land of Egypt.
44 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without you shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.
45 And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphenath-paneah and he gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, to be his wife. And Joseph made an [inspection] tour of all the land of Egypt.
46 Joseph [who had been in Egypt thirteen years] was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh and went [about his duties] through all the land of Egypt.
47 In the seven abundant years the earth brought forth by handfuls [for each seed planted].
48 And he gathered up all the [surplus] food of the seven [good] years in the land of Egypt and stored up the food in the cities; he stored away in each city the food from the fields around it.
49 And Joseph gathered grain as the sand of the sea, very much, until he stopped counting, for it could not be measured.
50 Now to Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, whom Asenath daughter of Potiphera, the priest of On, bore to him.
51 And Joseph called the firstborn Manasseh [making to forget], For God, said he, has made me forget all my toil and hardship and all my father's house.
52 And the second he called Ephraim [to be fruitful], For [he said] God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.
53 When the seven years of plenty were ended in the land of Egypt,
54 The seven years of scarcity and famine began to come, as Joseph had said they would; the famine was in all [the surrounding] lands, but in all of Egypt there was food.
55 But when all the land of Egypt was weakened with hunger, the people [there] cried to Pharaoh for food; and Pharaoh said to [them] all, Go to Joseph; what he says to you, do.
56 When the famine was over all the land, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold to the Egyptians; for the famine grew extremely distressing in the land of Egypt.
57 And all countries came to Egypt to Joseph to buy grain, because the famine was severe over all [the known] earth.

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.