1Two years later Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing by the Nile River. 2In the dream, seven cows came out of the river and stood there eating grass. They were healthy, good-looking cows. 3Then seven more cows came out of the river and stood on the bank of the river by the healthy cows. But these cows were thin and looked sick. 4The seven sick cows ate the seven healthy cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.
5Pharaoh went back to sleep and began dreaming again. This time he dreamed that he saw seven heads of grain growing on one plant. They were healthy and full of grain. 6Then he saw seven more heads of grain sprouting, but they were thin and scorched by the hot wind. 7The thin heads of grain ate the seven good heads of grain. Then Pharaoh woke up again and realized it was only a dream. 8The next morning Pharaoh was worried about these dreams, so he sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. Pharaoh told these men the dreams, but none of them could explain the dreams.
The Servant Tells Pharaoh About Joseph
9Then the wine servant remembered Joseph and said to Pharaoh, “I remember something that happened to me. 10You were angry with the baker and me, and you put us in prison. 11Then one night he and I had a dream. Each dream had a different meaning. 12There was a young Hebrew man in prison with us. He was a servant of the commander of the guards. We told him our dreams, and he explained them to us. He told us the meaning of each dream, 13and what he said came true. He said I would be free and have my old job back, and it happened. He also said the baker would die, and it happened!”
Joseph Is Called to Explain the Dreams
14So Pharaoh called Joseph from the prison. The guards quickly got Joseph out of prison. Joseph shaved, put on some clean clothes, and went to see Pharaoh. 15Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, and no one can explain it for me. I heard that you can explain dreams when someone tells you about them.”
16Joseph answered, “I cannot! But God can explain the dream for you, Pharaoh.”
17Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing by the Nile River. 18Seven cows came up out of the river and stood there eating the grass. They were healthy, good-looking cows. 19Then I saw seven more cows come up out of the river after them, but these cows were thin and looked sick. They were the worst cows I had ever seen anywhere in Egypt! 20The thin, sick cows ate the first healthy cows, 21but they still looked thin and sick. You couldn’t even tell they had eaten the healthy cows. They looked as thin and sick as they did in the beginning. Then I woke up.
22“In my next dream I saw seven heads of grain growing on one plant. They were healthy and full of grain. 23And then seven more heads of grain grew after them, but they were thin and scorched by the hot wind. 24Then the thin heads of grain ate the seven good heads of grain.
“I told these dreams to my magicians. But no one could explain the dreams to me. What do they mean?”
Joseph Explains the Dream
25Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Both of these dreams have the same meaning. God is telling you what will happen soon. 26The seven good cows and the seven good heads of grain are seven good years. 27And the seven thin, sick-looking cows and the seven thin heads of grain mean that there will be seven years of hunger in this area. These seven bad years will come after the seven good years. 28God has shown you what will happen soon. He will make these things happen just as I told you. 29For seven years there will be plenty of food in Egypt. 30But then there will be seven years of hunger. The people will forget how much food there had been in Egypt before. This famine will ruin the country. 31It will be so bad that people will forget what it was like to have plenty of food.
32“Pharaoh, you had two dreams about the same thing. That means God wanted to show you that he really will make this happen, and he will make it happen soon! 33So, Pharaoh, you should choose a wise, intelligent man and put him in charge of Egypt. 34Then you should choose other men to collect food from the people. During the seven good years, the people must give them one-fifth of all the food they grow. 35In this way these men will collect all the food during the seven good years and store it in the cities until it is needed. Pharaoh, this food will be under your control. 36Then during the seven years of hunger, there will be food for the country of Egypt. And Egypt will not be destroyed by the famine.”
37This seemed like a very good idea to Pharaoh, and all his officials agreed. 38Then Pharaoh told them, “I don’t think we can find anyone better than Joseph to take this job! God’s Spirit is in him, making him very wise!”
39So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “God showed these things to you, so you must be the wisest man. 40I will put you in charge of my country, and the people will obey all your commands. I will be the only one more powerful than you.”
41Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I now make you governor over all of Egypt.” 42Then Pharaoh gave his special ring to Joseph. The royal seal was on this ring. Pharaoh also gave Joseph a fine linen robe and put a gold chain around his neck. 43Then he told Joseph to ride in his second chariot. Pharaoh’s officials said, “Let him be the governor over the whole land of Egypt!”#41:43 Or “Then Pharaoh had Joseph ride in the chariot of his second-in-command, and they said, ‘Bow before Joseph.’ In this way Joseph became the governor over all of Egypt.”
44Then Pharaoh said to him, “I am Pharaoh, the king over everyone in Egypt, but no one else in Egypt can lift a hand or move a foot unless you say he can.” 45Then Pharaoh gave Joseph another name, Zaphenath Paneah.#41:45 Zaphenath Paneah This Egyptian name probably means “sustainer of life,” but it is like Hebrew words meaning “a person who explains secret things.” He also gave Joseph a wife named Asenath. She was the daughter of Potiphera, a priest in the city of On. So Joseph became the governor over the whole country of Egypt.
46Joseph was 30 years old when he began serving the king of Egypt. He traveled throughout the country of Egypt. 47During the seven good years, the crops in Egypt grew very well. 48Joseph saved the food in Egypt during those seven years and stored the food in the cities. In every city he stored grain that grew in the fields around the city. 49Joseph stored so much grain that it was like the sands of the sea. He stored so much grain that it could not be measured.
50Joseph’s wife, Asenath, was the daughter of Potiphera, the priest in the city of On. Before the first year of hunger came, Joseph and Asenath had two sons. 51Joseph named the first son Manasseh.#41:51 Manasseh This is like the Hebrew word meaning “to forget.” He was given this name because Joseph said, “God made me forget all my hard work and everything back home in my father’s house.” 52Joseph named the second son Ephraim.#41:52 Ephraim This name is like the Hebrew word meaning “twice fruitful.” Joseph gave him this name because he said, “I had great troubles, but God has made me successful in everything.”
The Famine Begins
53For seven years people had all the food they needed, but those years ended. 54Then the seven years of hunger began, just as Joseph had said. No food grew anywhere in any of the countries in that area. But in Egypt people had plenty to eat because Joseph had stored the grain. 55The famine began, and the people cried to Pharaoh for food. Pharaoh said to the Egyptian people, “Go ask Joseph what to do.”
56There was famine everywhere, so Joseph gave the people grain from the warehouses. He sold the stored grain to the people of Egypt. The famine was bad in Egypt, 57but the famine was bad everywhere. So people from the countries around Egypt had to come to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain.
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1And 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 kine, well favoured and fatfleshed; and they fed in the reed-grass. 3And, behold, seven other kine came up after them out of the river, ill favoured and leanfleshed; and stood by the other kine upon the brink of the river. 4And the ill favoured and leanfleshed kine did eat up the seven well favoured and fat kine. So Pharaoh awoke. 5And he slept and dreamed a second time: and, behold, seven ears of corn came up upon one stalk, rank and good. 6And, behold, seven ears, thin and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them. 7And the thin ears swallowed up the seven rank and full ears. 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 dream; but there was none that could interpret them unto Pharaoh.
9Then spake the chief butler unto Pharaoh, saying, I do remember my faults this day: 10Pharaoh was wroth with his servants, and put me in ward in the house of the captain of the guard, me and the chief baker: 11and we dreamed a dream in one night, I and he; we dreamed each man according to the interpretation of his dream. 12And there was with us there a young man, an Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard; and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams; to each man according to his dream he did interpret. 13And it came to pass, as he interpreted to us, so it was; me he restored unto mine office, and him he hanged. 14Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh. 15And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that when thou hearest a dream thou canst interpret it. 16And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.
17And Pharaoh spake unto Joseph, In my dream, behold, I stood upon the brink of the river: 18and, behold, there came up out of the river seven kine, fatfleshed and well favoured; and they fed in the reed-grass: 19and, behold, seven other kine came up after them, poor and very ill favoured and leanfleshed, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for badness: 20and the lean and ill favoured kine did eat up the first seven fat kine: 21and when they had eaten them up, it could not be known that they had eaten them; but they were still ill favoured, as at the beginning. So I awoke. 22And I saw in my dream, and, behold, seven ears came up upon one stalk, full and good: 23and, behold, seven ears, withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them: 24and the thin ears swallowed up the seven good ears: and I told it unto the magicians; but there was none that could declare it to me. 25And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: what God is about to do he hath declared unto Pharaoh. 26The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one. 27And the seven lean and ill favoured kine that came up after them are seven years, and also the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind; they shall be seven years of famine. 28That is the thing which I spake unto Pharaoh: what God is about to do he hath shewed unto Pharaoh. 29Behold, there come seven years of great plenty 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 which followeth; for it shall be very grievous. 32And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice, it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.
33Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. 34Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint overseers 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 these good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them keep it. 36And the food shall be for a store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine. 37And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants. 38And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom the spirit of God is? 39And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou: 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. 42And Pharaoh took off his signet 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 the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he set him over all the land of Egypt. 44And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or his foot in all the land of Egypt. 45And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Poti-phera priest of On. And Joseph went out over the land of Egypt.
46And 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: the food of the field, which was round about every city, laid he up in the same. 49And Joseph laid up corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering; for it was without number. 50And unto Joseph were born two sons before the year of famine came, which Asenath the daughter of Poti-phera priest of On bare unto him. 51And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For, said he, God hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house. 52And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath made me fruitful in the land of my affliction. 53And the seven years of plenty, that was in the land of Egypt, came to an end. 54And the seven years of famine began to come, according as Joseph had said: and there was famine 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: and Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine was sore in the land of Egypt. 57And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because the famine was sore in all the earth.
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