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Genesis 41 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Pharaoh’s Dream

41 Now it happened at the end of two full years that Pharaoh had a dream, and behold, he was standing by the Nile. And lo, from the Nile there came up seven cows, sleek and [a]fat; and they grazed in the marsh grass. Then behold, seven other cows came up after them from the Nile, ugly and [b]gaunt, and they stood by the other cows on the bank of the Nile. The ugly and [c]gaunt cows ate up the seven sleek and fat cows. Then Pharaoh awoke. He fell asleep and dreamed a second time; and behold, seven ears of grain came up on a single stalk, plump and good. Then behold, seven ears, thin and scorched by the east wind, sprouted up after them. The thin ears swallowed up the seven plump and full ears. Then Pharaoh awoke, and behold, it was a dream. Now in the morning his spirit was troubled, so he sent and called for all the [d]magicians of Egypt, and all its wise men. And Pharaoh told them his [e]dreams, but there was no one who could interpret them to Pharaoh.

Then the chief cupbearer spoke to Pharaoh, saying, “I would make mention today of my own [f]offenses. 10 Pharaoh was furious with his servants, and he put me in confinement in the house of the captain of the bodyguard, both me and the chief baker. 11 We had a dream [g]on the same night, [h]he and I; each of us dreamed according to the interpretation of his own dream. 12 Now a Hebrew youth was with us there, a servant of the captain of the bodyguard, and we related them to him, and he interpreted our dreams for us. To each one he interpreted according to his own dream. 13 And just as he interpreted for us, so it happened; he restored me in my [i]office, but he hanged him.”

Joseph Interprets

14 Then Pharaoh sent and called for Joseph, and they hurriedly brought him out of the dungeon; and when he had shaved himself and changed his clothes, he came to Pharaoh. 15 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, but no one can interpret it; and I have heard [j]it said about you, that [k]when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” 16 Joseph then answered Pharaoh, saying, “[l]It is not in me; God will [m]give Pharaoh a favorable answer.” 17 So Pharaoh spoke to Joseph, “In my dream, behold, I was standing on the bank of the Nile; 18 and behold, seven cows, [n]fat and sleek came up out of the Nile, and they grazed in the marsh grass. 19 Lo, seven other cows came up after them, poor and very ugly and [o]gaunt, such as I had never seen for [p]ugliness in all the land of Egypt; 20 and the lean and [q]ugly cows ate up the first seven fat cows. 21 Yet when they had [r]devoured them, it could not be [s]detected that they had [t]devoured them, [u]for they were just as ugly as [v]before. Then I awoke. 22 I saw also in my dream, and behold, seven ears, full and good, came up on a single stalk; 23 and lo, seven ears, withered, thin, and scorched by the east wind, sprouted up after them; 24 and the thin ears swallowed the seven good ears. Then I told it to the [w]magicians, but there was no one who could explain it to me.”

25 Now Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Pharaoh’s [x]dreams are one and the same; God has told to Pharaoh what He is about to do. 26 The seven good cows are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years; the [y]dreams are one and the same. 27 The seven lean and ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, and the seven thin ears scorched by the east wind will be seven years of famine. 28 [z]It is as I have spoken to Pharaoh: God has shown to Pharaoh what He is about to do. 29 Behold, seven years of great abundance are coming in all the land of Egypt; 30 and after them seven years of famine will [aa]come, and all the abundance will be forgotten in the land of Egypt, and the famine will [ab]ravage the land. 31 So the abundance will be unknown in the land because of that subsequent famine; for it will be very severe. 32 Now as for the repeating of the dream to Pharaoh twice, it means that the matter is determined by God, and God will quickly bring it about. 33 Now let Pharaoh look for a man discerning and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. 34 Let Pharaoh take action to appoint overseers [ac]in charge of the land, and let him exact a fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven years of abundance. 35 Then let them gather all the food of these good years that are coming, and store up the grain for food in the cities under Pharaoh’s authority, and let them guard it. 36 Let the food become as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which will occur in the land of Egypt, so that the land will not perish during the famine.”

37 Now the [ad]proposal seemed good [ae]to Pharaoh and [af]to all his servants.

Joseph Is Made a Ruler of Egypt

38 Then Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, in whom is a divine spirit?” 39 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has informed you of all this, there is no one so discerning and wise as you are. 40 You shall be over my house, and according to your [ag]command all my people shall [ah]do homage; only in the throne I will be greater than you.” 41 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” 42 Then Pharaoh took off his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, and clothed him in garments of fine linen and put the gold necklace around his neck. 43 He had him ride in [ai]his second chariot; and they proclaimed before him, “[aj]Bow the knee!” And he set him over all the land of Egypt. 44 Moreover, Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Though I am Pharaoh, yet without [ak]your permission no one shall raise his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.” 45 Then Pharaoh named Joseph [al]Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of [am]On, as his wife. And Joseph went forth over the land of Egypt.

46 Now Joseph was thirty years old when he [an]stood before Pharaoh, king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh and went through all the land of Egypt. 47 During the seven years of plenty the land brought forth [ao]abundantly. 48 So he gathered all the food of these seven years which occurred in the land of Egypt and placed the food in the cities; he placed in every city the food from its own surrounding fields. 49 Thus Joseph stored up grain [ap]in great abundance like the sand of the sea, until he stopped [aq]measuring it, for it was [ar]beyond measure.

The Sons of Joseph

50 Now before the year of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of [as]On, bore to him. 51 Joseph named the firstborn [at]Manasseh, “For,” he said, “God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” 52 He named the second [au]Ephraim, “For,” he said, “God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.”

53 When the seven years of plenty which had been in the land of Egypt came to an end, 54 and the seven years of famine began to come, just as Joseph had said, then there was famine in all the lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. 55 So when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried out to Pharaoh for bread; and Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph; whatever he says to you, you shall do.” 56 When the famine was spread over all the face of the earth, then Joseph opened all [av]the storehouses, and sold to the Egyptians; and the famine was severe in the land of Egypt. 57 The people of all the earth came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe in all the earth.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 41:2 Lit fat of flesh
  2. Genesis 41:3 Lit lean of flesh
  3. Genesis 41:4 Lit lean of flesh
  4. Genesis 41:8 Or soothsayer priests
  5. Genesis 41:8 Lit dream
  6. Genesis 41:9 Or sins
  7. Genesis 41:11 Lit one night
  8. Genesis 41:11 Lit I and he
  9. Genesis 41:13 Lit place
  10. Genesis 41:15 Lit about you, saying
  11. Genesis 41:15 Lit you hear a dream to interpret it
  12. Genesis 41:16 Lit Apart from me
  13. Genesis 41:16 Lit answer the peace of Pharaoh
  14. Genesis 41:18 Lit fat of flesh
  15. Genesis 41:19 Lit lean of flesh
  16. Genesis 41:19 Lit badness
  17. Genesis 41:20 Lit bad
  18. Genesis 41:21 Lit entered their inward parts
  19. Genesis 41:21 Or known
  20. Genesis 41:21 Lit entered their inward parts
  21. Genesis 41:21 Lit and
  22. Genesis 41:21 Lit in the beginning
  23. Genesis 41:24 Or soothsayer priests
  24. Genesis 41:25 Lit dream is
  25. Genesis 41:26 Lit dream is
  26. Genesis 41:28 Lit That is the thing which I spoke
  27. Genesis 41:30 Lit arise
  28. Genesis 41:30 Lit destroy
  29. Genesis 41:34 Lit over
  30. Genesis 41:37 Lit word
  31. Genesis 41:37 Lit in the sight of
  32. Genesis 41:37 Lit in the sight of
  33. Genesis 41:40 Lit mouth
  34. Genesis 41:40 Lit kiss
  35. Genesis 41:43 Lit the second...which was his
  36. Genesis 41:43 Heb Abreck: Attention or Make way
  37. Genesis 41:44 Lit you no one
  38. Genesis 41:45 Probably Egyptian for “God speaks; he lives”
  39. Genesis 41:45 Or Heliopolis
  40. Genesis 41:46 Or entered the service of
  41. Genesis 41:47 Lit by handfuls
  42. Genesis 41:49 Lit very much
  43. Genesis 41:49 Lit numbering
  44. Genesis 41:49 Or without number
  45. Genesis 41:50 Or Heliopolis
  46. Genesis 41:51 I.e. making to forget
  47. Genesis 41:52 I.e. fruitfulness
  48. Genesis 41:56 Lit that which was in them
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Genesis 41 New International Version (NIV)

Pharaoh’s Dreams

41 When two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream: He was standing by the Nile, when out of the river there came up seven cows, sleek and fat, and they grazed among the reeds. After them, seven other cows, ugly and gaunt, came up out of the Nile and stood beside those on the riverbank. And the cows that were ugly and gaunt ate up the seven sleek, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.

He fell asleep again and had a second dream: Seven heads of grain, healthy and good, were growing on a single stalk. After them, seven other heads of grain sprouted—thin and scorched by the east wind. The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven healthy, full heads. Then Pharaoh woke up; it had been a dream.

In the morning his mind was troubled, so he sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but no one could interpret them for him.

Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “Today I am reminded of my shortcomings. 10 Pharaoh was once angry with his servants, and he imprisoned me and the chief baker in the house of the captain of the guard. 11 Each of us had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own. 12 Now a young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams, and he interpreted them for us, giving each man the interpretation of his dream. 13 And things turned out exactly as he interpreted them to us: I was restored to my position, and the other man was impaled.

14 So Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was quickly brought from the dungeon. When he had shaved and changed his clothes, he came before Pharaoh.

15 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.”

16 “I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.”

17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing on the bank of the Nile, 18 when out of the river there came up seven cows, fat and sleek, and they grazed among the reeds. 19 After them, seven other cows came up—scrawny and very ugly and lean. I had never seen such ugly cows in all the land of Egypt. 20 The lean, ugly cows ate up the seven fat cows that came up first. 21 But even after they ate them, no one could tell that they had done so; they looked just as ugly as before. Then I woke up.

22 “In my dream I saw seven heads of grain, full and good, growing on a single stalk. 23 After them, seven other heads sprouted—withered and thin and scorched by the east wind. 24 The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven good heads. I told this to the magicians, but none of them could explain it to me.

25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one and the same. God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 26 The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good heads of grain are seven years; it is one and the same dream. 27 The seven lean, ugly cows that came up afterward are seven years, and so are the seven worthless heads of grain scorched by the east wind: They are seven years of famine.

28 “It is just as I said to Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. 29 Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt, 30 but seven years of famine will follow them. Then all the abundance in Egypt will be forgotten, and the famine will ravage the land. 31 The abundance in the land will not be remembered, because the famine that follows it will be so severe. 32 The reason the dream was given to Pharaoh in two forms is that the matter has been firmly decided by God, and God will do it soon.

33 “And now let Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man and put him in charge of the land of Egypt. 34 Let Pharaoh appoint commissioners over the land to take a fifth of the harvest of Egypt during the seven years of abundance. 35 They should collect all the food of these good years that are coming and store up the grain under the authority of Pharaoh, to be kept in the cities for food. 36 This food should be held in reserve for the country, to be used during the seven years of famine that will come upon Egypt, so that the country may not be ruined by the famine.”

37 The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his officials. 38 So Pharaoh asked them, “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God[a]?”

39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.

Joseph in Charge of Egypt

41 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” 42 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. 43 He had him ride in a chariot as his second-in-command,[b] and people shouted before him, “Make way[c]!” Thus he put him in charge of the whole land of Egypt.

44 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your word no one will lift hand or foot in all Egypt.” 45 Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah and gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On,[d] to be his wife. And Joseph went throughout the land of Egypt.

46 Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from Pharaoh’s presence and traveled throughout Egypt. 47 During the seven years of abundance the land produced plentifully. 48 Joseph collected all the food produced in those seven years of abundance in Egypt and stored it in the cities. In each city he put the food grown in the fields surrounding it. 49 Joseph stored up huge quantities of grain, like the sand of the sea; it was so much that he stopped keeping records because it was beyond measure.

50 Before the years of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On. 51 Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh[e] and said, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” 52 The second son he named Ephraim[f] and said, “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”

53 The seven years of abundance in Egypt came to an end, 54 and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in all the other lands, but in the whole land of Egypt there was food. 55 When all Egypt began to feel the famine, the people cried to Pharaoh for food. Then Pharaoh told all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph and do what he tells you.”

56 When the famine had spread over the whole country, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout Egypt. 57 And all the world came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe everywhere.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 41:38 Or of the gods
  2. Genesis 41:43 Or in the chariot of his second-in-command; or in his second chariot
  3. Genesis 41:43 Or Bow down
  4. Genesis 41:45 That is, Heliopolis; also in verse 50
  5. Genesis 41:51 Manasseh sounds like and may be derived from the Hebrew for forget.
  6. Genesis 41:52 Ephraim sounds like the Hebrew for twice fruitful.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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