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.
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