1¶ And 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 beautiful cows and very fat, and they fed in a meadow.
3And, behold, seven other cows came up after them out of the river, ugly and lean-fleshed, and stood by the other cows upon the brink of the river.
4And the ugly and lean-fleshed cows ate up the seven beautiful and fat cows. So Pharaoh awoke.
5And he slept and dreamed the second time; and, behold, seven heads of wheat came up upon one stalk, full and beautiful.
6And, behold, seven thin heads, blasted with the east wind sprung up after them.
7And the seven thin heads devoured the seven full and beautiful heads. 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 magicians of Egypt and all the wise men thereof; and Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was no one that could interpret them unto Pharaoh.
9¶ Then the chief butler spoke unto Pharaoh, saying, I remember my sins today;
10Pharaoh was angry with his slaves and put me in the prison of the captain of the guard’s house, both me and the prince of the bakers.
11And we both dreamed a dream in one night; we dreamed each man according to the interpretation of his dream.
12And there was there with us a young man, a Hebrew, slave to the captain of the guard; and we told him, and he interpreted our dreams to us; he interpreted to each man according to his dream.
13And it came to pass, as he interpreted to us, so it was; me he restored unto my office, and him he hanged.
14Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon; and they cut his hair and changed his clothes, and he came in unto Pharaoh.
15And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is no one that can interpret it; but I have heard say of thee that thou canst hear dreams to interpret them.
16And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me; God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.
17¶ And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, In my dream, behold, I stood upon the bank of the river;
18and, behold, there came up out of the river seven cows, fat-fleshed and beautiful in appearance; and they fed in a meadow.
19And, behold, seven other cows came up after them, lean and very ugly in appearance, and thin, such as I have never seen in all the land of Egypt for ugliness.
20And the lean and ugly cows ate up the first seven fat cows;
21and when they had eaten them up, it could not be known that they had eaten them; but they were still ugly, as at the beginning. So I awoke.
22And I also saw in my dream, and, behold, seven heads came up in one stalk, full and beautiful;
23and, behold, seven heads, withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them.
24And the thin heads devoured the seven good heads; and I told this unto the magicians, but there was no one that could declare it to me.
25Then Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: God has showed Pharaoh what he is about to do.
26The seven beautiful cows are seven years; and the seven good heads are seven years; the dream is one and the same.
27Also the seven thin and ugly cows that came up after them are seven years; and the seven empty heads blasted with the east wind shall be seven years of famine.
28This is the thing which I have spoken unto Pharaoh. What God is about to do he has shown unto Pharaoh.
29Behold, seven years of great plenty are coming throughout all the land of Egypt.
30And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land;
31and the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following; for it shall be very grievous.
32And that the dream came unto Pharaoh twice, it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.
33¶ Now therefore let Pharaoh find a discreet and wise man and set him over the land of Egypt.
34Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years.
35And let them gather all the food of those good years that come and lay up wheat under the hand of Pharaoh to feed the cities, and let them store it up.
36And let that food be stored for the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; and the land shall not perish through the famine.
37And the word was good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of all his slaves.
38And Pharaoh said unto his slaves, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?
39And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God has showed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art.
40Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled; only in the throne will I be greater than thou.
41And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.
42Then Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand and put it upon Joseph’s hand and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen and put a gold chain about his neck;
43and he made him to ride in his second chariot; and they cried before him, Abrech Tender Father-honour this one as a precious father; and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt.
44And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee no one shall lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.
45And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphnathpaaneah, and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.
46¶ And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh and went throughout all the land of Egypt.
47And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls.
48And he gathered up all the food of the seven years, which were in the land of Egypt and laid up the food in the cities, placing in each city the food of the field, which was round about.
49And Joseph gathered wheat as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left off numbering; for it was without number.
50And unto Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, which Asenath, the daughter of Potipherah, prince of On, bore unto him.
51And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh; For God, said he, has made me forget all my toil and all my father’s house.
52And the name of the second he called Ephraim, For God, said he, has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.
53And the seven years of the abundance that was in the land of Egypt were ended.
54And the seven years of famine began to come, according as Joseph had said; and the famine was in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.
55And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread. And Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do.
56And the famine was over all the face of the earth. Then Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold unto the Egyptians; for the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt.
57And all the earth came into Egypt to buy from Joseph because the famine was so sore in all lands.
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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.
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