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 (A)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 (B)his spirit was troubled, so he sent and called for all the [d](C)magicians of Egypt, and all its (D)wise men. And Pharaoh told them his [e]dreams, but (E)there was no one who could interpret them to Pharaoh.

Then the chief cupbearer spoke to Pharaoh, saying, “I would make mention today of (F)my own [f]offenses. 10 Pharaoh was (G)furious with his servants, and (H)he put me in confinement in the house of the captain of the bodyguard, both me and the chief baker. 11 (I)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 (J)servant of the captain of the bodyguard, and we related them to him, and (K)he interpreted our dreams for us. To each one he interpreted according to his own dream. 13 And just (L)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 (M)called for Joseph, and they (N)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, (O)but no one can interpret it; and (P)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](Q)It is not in me; (R)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 (S)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; (T)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 (U)will be seven years of famine. 28 [z]It is as I have spoken to Pharaoh: (V)God has shown to Pharaoh what He is about to do. 29 Behold, (W)seven years of great abundance are coming in all the land of Egypt; 30 and after them (X)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 (Y)the matter is determined by God, and God will quickly bring it about.

Read full chapter


  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

Bible Gateway Sponsors