Pharaoh’s Dreams

41 When two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream:(A) He was standing by the Nile,(B) when out of the river there came up seven cows, sleek and fat,(C) and they grazed among the reeds.(D) 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.(E)

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

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

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

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

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

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

17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing on the bank of the Nile,(Z) 18 when out of the river there came up seven cows, fat and sleek, and they grazed among the reeds.(AA) 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.(AB)

25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one and the same.(AC) God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do.(AD) 26 The seven good cows(AE) 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.(AF)

28 “It is just as I said to Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do.(AG) 29 Seven years of great abundance(AH) are coming throughout the land of Egypt, 30 but seven years of famine(AI) will follow them. Then all the abundance in Egypt will be forgotten, and the famine will ravage the land.(AJ) 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(AK) by God, and God will do it soon.(AL)

33 “And now let Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man(AM) and put him in charge of the land of Egypt.(AN) 34 Let Pharaoh appoint commissioners(AO) over the land to take a fifth(AP) of the harvest of Egypt during the seven years of abundance.(AQ) 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.(AR) 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,(AS) so that the country may not be ruined by the famine.”

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Pharaoh’s Dreams

41 Then it came to pass, at the end of two full years, that (A)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 (B)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 (C)that his spirit was troubled, and he sent and called for all (D)the magicians of Egypt and all its (E)wise men. And Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was no one who could interpret them for Pharaoh.

Then the (F)chief butler spoke to Pharaoh, saying: “I remember my faults this day. 10 When Pharaoh was (G)angry with his servants, (H)and put me in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, both me and the chief baker, 11 (I)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 (J)Hebrew man with us there, a (K)servant of the captain of the guard. And we told him, and he (L)interpreted our dreams for us; to each man he interpreted according to his own dream. 13 And it came to pass, just (M)as he interpreted for us, so it happened. He restored me to my office, and he hanged him.”

14 (N)Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they (O)brought him quickly (P)out of the dungeon; and he shaved, (Q)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. (R)But I have heard it said of you that you can understand a dream, to interpret it.”

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

17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph: “Behold, (U)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 [a]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 (V)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; (W)God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do: 26 The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good [b]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 (X)seven years of famine. 28 (Y)This is the thing which I have spoken to Pharaoh. God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do. 29 Indeed (Z)seven years of great plenty will come throughout all the land of Egypt; 30 but after them seven years of famine will (AA)arise, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine (AB)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 (AC)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 [c]officers over the land, (AD)to collect one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven plentiful years. 35 And (AE)let them gather all the food of those good years that are coming, and store up grain under the [d]authority of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. 36 Then that food shall be as a [e]reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which shall be in the land of Egypt, that the land (AF)may not [f]perish during the famine.”

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Footnotes

  1. Genesis 41:22 Heads of grain
  2. Genesis 41:26 Heads of grain
  3. Genesis 41:34 overseers
  4. Genesis 41:35 Lit. hand
  5. Genesis 41:36 Lit. supply
  6. Genesis 41:36 be cut off

Joseph Interprets Pharaoh’s Dream

41 After two whole years, Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing by the Nile, and there came up out of the Nile seven sleek and fat cows, and they grazed in the reed grass. Then seven other cows, ugly and thin, came up out of the Nile after them, and stood by the other cows on the bank of the Nile. The ugly and thin cows ate up the seven sleek and fat cows. And Pharaoh awoke. Then he fell asleep and dreamed a second time; seven ears of grain, plump and good, were growing on one stalk. Then seven ears, thin and blighted by the east wind, sprouted after them. The thin ears swallowed up the seven plump and full ears. Pharaoh awoke, and it was a dream. In the morning his spirit was troubled; so he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt and all its wise men. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was no one who could interpret them to Pharaoh.

Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “I remember my faults today. 10 Once Pharaoh was angry with his servants, and put me and the chief baker in custody in the house of the captain of the guard. 11 We dreamed on the same night, he and I, each having a dream with its own meaning. 12 A young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. When we told him, he interpreted our dreams to us, giving an interpretation to each according to his dream. 13 As he interpreted to us, so it turned out; I was restored to my office, and the baker was hanged.”

14 Then Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was hurriedly brought out of the dungeon. When he had shaved himself and changed his clothes, he came in before Pharaoh. 15 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” 16 Joseph answered Pharaoh, “It is not I; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.” 17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing on the banks of the Nile; 18 and seven cows, fat and sleek, came up out of the Nile and fed in the reed grass. 19 Then seven other cows came up after them, poor, very ugly, and thin. Never had I seen such ugly ones in all the land of Egypt. 20 The thin and ugly cows ate up the first seven fat cows, 21 but when they had eaten them no one would have known that they had done so, for they were still as ugly as before. Then I awoke. 22 I fell asleep a second time[a] and I saw in my dream seven ears of grain, full and good, growing on one stalk, 23 and seven ears, withered, thin, and blighted by the east wind, sprouting after them; 24 and the thin ears swallowed up the seven good ears. But when I told it to the magicians, there was no one who could explain it to me.”

25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Pharaoh’s dreams 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 ears are seven years; the dreams are one. 27 The seven lean and ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, as are the seven empty ears blighted by the east wind. They are seven years of famine. 28 It is as I told Pharaoh; God has shown to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 29 There will come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt. 30 After them there will arise seven years of famine, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt; the famine will consume the land. 31 The plenty will no longer be known in the land because of the famine that will follow, for it will be very grievous. 32 And the doubling of Pharaoh’s dream means that the thing is fixed by God, and God will shortly bring it about. 33 Now therefore let Pharaoh select a man who is discerning and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. 34 Let Pharaoh proceed to appoint overseers over the land, and take one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt during the seven plenteous years. 35 Let them gather all the food of these good years that are coming, and lay up grain under the authority of Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them keep it. 36 That food shall be a reserve for the land against the seven years of famine that are to befall the land of Egypt, so that the land may not perish through the famine.”

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Footnotes

  1. Genesis 41:22 Gk Syr Vg: Heb lacks I fell asleep a second time