The Prisoners’ Dreams

40 It came to pass after these things that the (A)butler and the baker of the king of Egypt offended their lord, the king of Egypt. And Pharaoh was (B)angry with his two officers, the chief butler and the chief baker. (C)So he put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the prison, the place where Joseph was confined. And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them; so they were in custody for a while.

Then the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison, (D)had a dream, both of them, each man’s dream in one night and each man’s dream with its own interpretation. And Joseph came in to them in the morning and looked at them, and saw that they were [a]sad. So he asked Pharaoh’s officers who were with him in the custody of his lord’s house, saying, (E)“Why do you look so sad today?”

And they said to him, (F)“We each have had a dream, and there is no interpreter of it.”

So Joseph said to them, (G)“Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell them to me, please.”

Then the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, “Behold, in my dream a vine was before me, 10 and in the vine were three branches; it was as though it budded, its blossoms shot forth, and its clusters brought forth ripe grapes. 11 Then Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand; and I took the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand.”

12 And Joseph said to him, (H)“This is the interpretation of it: The three branches (I)are three days. 13 Now within three days Pharaoh will (J)lift up your head and restore you to your [b]place, and you will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand according to the former manner, when you were his butler. 14 But (K)remember me when it is well with you, and (L)please show kindness to me; make mention of me to Pharaoh, and get me out of this house. 15 For indeed I was (M)stolen away from the land of the Hebrews; (N)and also I have done nothing here that they should put me into the dungeon.”

16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said to Joseph, “I also was in my dream, and there were three [c]white baskets on my head. 17 In the uppermost basket were all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, and the birds ate them out of the basket on my head.”

18 So Joseph answered and said, (O)“This is the interpretation of it: The three baskets are three days. 19 (P)Within three days Pharaoh will lift [d]off your head from you and (Q)hang you on a tree; and the birds will eat your flesh from you.”

20 Now it came to pass on the third day, which was Pharaoh’s (R)birthday, that he (S)made a feast for all his servants; and he (T)lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants. 21 Then he (U)restored the chief butler to his butlership again, and (V)he placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand. 22 But he (W)hanged the chief baker, as Joseph had interpreted to them. 23 Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph, but (X)forgot him.

Pharaoh’s Dreams

41 Then it came to pass, at the end of two full years, that (Y)Pharaoh had a dream; and behold, he stood by the river. Suddenly there came up out of the river seven cows, fine looking and fat; and they fed in the meadow. Then behold, seven other cows came up after them out of the river, ugly and gaunt, and stood by the other cows on the bank of the river. And the ugly and gaunt cows ate up the seven fine looking and fat cows. So Pharaoh awoke. He slept and dreamed a second time; and suddenly seven heads of grain came up on one stalk, plump and good. Then behold, seven thin heads, blighted by the (Z)east wind, sprang up after them. And the seven thin heads devoured the seven plump and full heads. So Pharaoh awoke, and indeed, it was a dream. Now it came to pass in the morning (AA)that his spirit was troubled, and he sent and called for all (AB)the magicians of Egypt and all its (AC)wise men. And Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was no one who could interpret them for Pharaoh.

Then the (AD)chief butler spoke to Pharaoh, saying: “I remember my faults this day. 10 When Pharaoh was (AE)angry with his servants, (AF)and put me in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, both me and the chief baker, 11 (AG)we each had a dream in one night, he and I. Each of us dreamed according to the interpretation of his own dream. 12 Now there was a young (AH)Hebrew man with us there, a (AI)servant of the captain of the guard. And we told him, and he (AJ)interpreted our dreams for us; to each man he interpreted according to his own dream. 13 And it came to pass, just (AK)as he interpreted for us, so it happened. He restored me to my office, and he hanged him.”

14 (AL)Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they (AM)brought him quickly (AN)out of the dungeon; and he shaved, (AO)changed his clothing, and came to Pharaoh. 15 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. (AP)But I have heard it said of you that you can understand a dream, to interpret it.”

16 So Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, (AQ)It is not in me; (AR)God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace.”

17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph: “Behold, (AS)in my dream I stood on the bank of the river. 18 Suddenly seven cows came up out of the river, fine looking and fat; and they fed in the meadow. 19 Then behold, seven other cows came up after them, poor and very ugly and gaunt, such ugliness as I have never seen in all the land of Egypt. 20 And the gaunt and ugly cows ate up the first seven, the fat cows. 21 When they had eaten them up, no one would have known that they had eaten them, for they were just as ugly as at the beginning. So I awoke. 22 Also I saw in my dream, and suddenly seven [e]heads came up on one stalk, full and good. 23 Then behold, seven heads, withered, thin, and blighted by the east wind, sprang up after them. 24 And the thin heads devoured the seven good heads. So (AT)I told this to the magicians, but there was no one who could explain it to me.”

25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one; (AU)God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do: 26 The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good [f]heads are seven years; the dreams are one. 27 And the seven thin and ugly cows which came up after them are seven years, and the seven empty heads blighted by the east wind are (AV)seven years of famine. 28 (AW)This is the thing which I have spoken to Pharaoh. God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do. 29 Indeed (AX)seven years of great plenty will come throughout all the land of Egypt; 30 but after them seven years of famine will (AY)arise, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine (AZ)will deplete the land. 31 So the plenty will not be known in the land because of the famine following, for it will be very severe. 32 And the dream was repeated to Pharaoh twice because the (BA)thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.

33 “Now therefore, let Pharaoh select a discerning and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt. 34 Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint [g]officers over the land, (BB)to collect one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven plentiful years. 35 And (BC)let them gather all the food of those good years that are coming, and store up grain under the [h]authority of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. 36 Then that food shall be as a [i]reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which shall be in the land of Egypt, that the land (BD)may not [j]perish during the famine.”

Joseph’s Rise to Power

37 So (BE)the advice was good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of all his servants. 38 And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find such a one as this, a man (BF)in whom is the Spirit of God?”

39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. 40 (BG)You shall be [k]over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you.” 41 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have (BH)set you over all the land of Egypt.”

42 Then Pharaoh (BI)took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand; and he (BJ)clothed him in garments of fine linen (BK)and put a gold chain around his neck. 43 And he had him ride in the second (BL)chariot which he had; (BM)and they cried out before him, “Bow the knee!” So he set him (BN)over all the land of Egypt. 44 Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no man may lift his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.” 45 And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name [l]Zaphnath-Paaneah. And he gave him as a wife (BO)Asenath, the daughter of Poti-Pherah priest of On. So Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.

46 Joseph was thirty years old when he (BP)stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt. 47 Now in the seven plentiful years the ground brought forth [m]abundantly. 48 So 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; he laid up in every city the food of the fields which surrounded them. 49 Joseph gathered very much grain, (BQ)as the sand of the sea, until he stopped counting, for it was immeasurable.

50 (BR)And to Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, whom Asenath, the daughter of Poti-Pherah priest of On, bore to him. 51 Joseph called the name of the firstborn [n]Manasseh: “For God has made me forget all my toil and all my (BS)father’s house.” 52 And the name of the second he called [o]Ephraim: “For God has caused me to be (BT)fruitful in the land of my affliction.”

53 Then the seven years of plenty which were in the land of Egypt ended, 54 (BU)and the seven years of famine began to come, (BV)as Joseph had said. The famine was in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. 55 So when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread. Then Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph; (BW)whatever he says to you, do.” 56 The famine was over all the face of the earth, and Joseph opened [p]all the storehouses and (BX)sold to the Egyptians. And the famine became severe in the land of Egypt. 57 (BY)So all countries came to Joseph in Egypt to (BZ)buy grain, because the famine was severe in all lands.


  1. Genesis 40:6 dejected
  2. Genesis 40:13 position
  3. Genesis 40:16 Or baskets of white bread
  4. Genesis 40:19 Lit. up
  5. Genesis 41:22 Heads of grain
  6. Genesis 41:26 Heads of grain
  7. Genesis 41:34 overseers
  8. Genesis 41:35 Lit. hand
  9. Genesis 41:36 Lit. supply
  10. Genesis 41:36 be cut off
  11. Genesis 41:40 In charge of
  12. Genesis 41:45 Probably Egyptian for God Speaks and He Lives
  13. Genesis 41:47 Lit. by handfuls
  14. Genesis 41:51 Lit. Making Forgetful
  15. Genesis 41:52 Lit. Fruitfulness
  16. Genesis 41:56 Lit. all that was in them

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