Genesis 41 Expanded Bible (EXB)
The King’s Dreams
41 Two years later ·the king [L Pharaoh] dreamed he was standing ·on the bank of [L by] the Nile River. 2 He saw seven fat and ·beautiful [sleek] cows come up out of the river, and they stood there, ·eating [grazing on] the ·grass [reed beds]. 3 Then seven more cows came up out of the river, but they were thin and ugly. They stood beside the seven ·beautiful [L other] cows on the bank of the Nile. 4 The seven thin and ugly cows ate the seven ·beautiful [sleek] fat cows. Then ·the king [L Pharaoh] woke up. 5 He slept again and dreamed a second time. In his dream he saw seven ·full [plump] and ·good [healthy] heads of grain growing on one stalk. 6 After that, seven more heads of grain sprang up, but they were thin and ·burned [shriveled] by the hot east wind. 7 The thin heads of grain ate the seven ·full [plump] and good heads. Then ·the king [L Pharaoh] woke up again, and he realized it was only a dream. 8 The next morning ·the king [L his spirit] was troubled about these dreams, so he [L called and] sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. ·The king [L Pharaoh] told them his dreams, but no one could ·explain their meaning [L interpret them] to him.
9 Then the chief ·officer who served wine to the king [L cupbearer to Pharaoh] said to him, “Now I ·remember [make known] ·something I promised to do, but I forgot about it [my errors/faults/sins today]. 10 There was a time when you were angry with the [L chief] baker and me, and you put us in prison in the house of the chief butcher [37:36]. 11 In prison we each had a dream on the same night, and each dream had a different ·meaning [interpretation]. 12 A young Hebrew man, a servant of the chief butcher [37:36], was in the prison with us. When we told him our dreams, he explained their ·meanings [interpretations] to us. He told each man the ·meaning [interpretation] of his dream, and 13 things happened exactly as he ·said they would [L interpreted]: I was given back my old position, and the baker was hanged.”
14 So the king called [L and sent] for Joseph. The guards quickly brought him out of the ·prison [dungeon; L pit], and he shaved, ·put on clean [changed his] clothes, and went before ·the king [L Pharaoh].
15 ·The king [L Pharaoh] said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, but no one can ·explain its meaning to [interpret it for] me. I have heard that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.”
16 Joseph answered ·the king [L Pharaoh], “·I am not able to explain the meaning of dreams, but God will do this for the king [L It is not me, but only God can give Pharaoh a favorable interpretation].”
17 Then ·the king [L Pharaoh] said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing on the bank of the Nile River. 18 I saw seven fat and ·beautiful [sleek] cows that came up out of the river and ate the ·grass [reed beds]. 19 Then I saw seven ·more [L other] cows come out of the river that were ·thin [L poor] and lean and ugly—the worst looking cows I have seen in all the land of Egypt. 20 And these ·thin [lean] and ugly cows ate the first seven fat cows, 21 but after they had ·eaten [L gone into their belly] the seven cows, no one could tell they had ·eaten them [L gone into their belly]. They looked just as ·thin and ugly [L ugly] as they did at the beginning. Then I woke up.
22 “I had another dream. I saw seven ·full [plump] and ·good [healthy] heads of grain growing on one stalk. 23 Then seven more heads of grain sprang up after them, but these heads were thin and ·ugly [withered] and ·were burned [shriveled] by the hot east wind. 24 Then the thin heads ·ate [L swallowed] the seven ·good [healthy] heads. I told this dream to the magicians, but no one could explain ·its meaning [L it] to me.”
Joseph Tells the Dreams’ Meaning
25 Then Joseph said to ·the king [L Pharaoh], “Both of these dreams ·mean the same thing [L are one]. God is telling you what he is about to do. 26 The seven ·good [healthy] cows stand for seven years, and the seven ·good [healthy] heads of grain stand for seven years. Both dreams mean the same thing. 27 The seven thin and ugly cows stand for seven years, and the seven thin heads of grain ·burned [shriveled] by the hot east wind stand for seven years of ·hunger [famine]. 28 This will happen as I told you. God is showing ·the king [L Pharaoh] what he is about to do. 29 You will have seven years of ·good crops and plenty to eat [L great plenty] in all the land of Egypt. 30 But after ·those seven years [L them], there will come seven years of ·hunger [famine], and all the ·food that grew [L plenty] in the land of Egypt will be forgotten. The ·time of hunger will eat up [L famine will consume] the land. 31 ·People will forget what it was like to have plenty of food [L The plenty will not be known in the land], because the ·hunger [famine] that follows will be so ·great [heavy]. 32 ·You had two dreams which mean the same thing. This shows [L The doubling of the dream of Pharaoh means] that God has firmly decided that this will happen, and he will make it happen soon.
33 “So let ·the king [L Pharaoh] choose a man who is very wise and ·understanding [discerning] and set him over the land of Egypt. 34 And let ·the king [L Pharaoh] also appoint ·officers [overseers] over the land, who should take one-fifth of all the food that is grown during the seven ·good years [years of plenty]. 35 They should gather all the food that is produced during the good years that are coming, and under the king’s ·authority [control; L hand] they should store the grain in the cities and guard it. 36 That food ·should be saved to use [shall serve as a reserve] during the seven years of ·hunger [famine] that will come on the land of Egypt. Then the people in Egypt will not ·die [L be cut off] during the seven years of ·hunger [famine].”
Joseph Is Made Ruler over Egypt
37 ·This seemed like a very good idea to the king [L The thing/word was good in the eyes of Pharaoh], and all his ·officers [servants] agreed. 38 And ·the king asked them [L Pharaoh said to his servants], “Can we find a ·better man than Joseph to take this job [L man like this man]? God’s spirit is truly in him!”
39 So ·the king [L Pharaoh] said to Joseph, “God has shown you all this. There is no one as wise and ·understanding [discerning] as you are, so 40 I will put you in charge of my ·palace [house]. All the people will obey your orders, and only [L in terms of the throne] I will be greater than you.”
41 Then ·the king [L Pharaoh] said to Joseph, “Look! I have put you in charge of all the land of Egypt.” 42 Then ·the king [L Pharaoh] took off ·from his own finger his ring with the royal seal on it [L his signet ring; C a form of identification], and he put it on Joseph’s finger. He gave Joseph fine linen clothes to wear, and he put a gold chain around Joseph’s neck [C all symbols of authority]. 43 ·The king had Joseph [L He made him] ride in the second royal chariot, and people walked ahead of his chariot calling, “Bow down [C an Egyptian word of uncertain meaning]!” By doing these things, the king put Joseph in charge of all of Egypt.
44 The king said to him, “I am ·the king [L Pharaoh], and I say that no one in all the land of Egypt may lift a hand or a foot without your permission.” 45 ·The king [L Pharaoh] gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah [C may mean “the god said, ‘let him live’ ”; showing the Egyptians’ acceptance of him]. He also gave Joseph a wife named Asenath, who was the daughter of Potiphera, priest of On [C an important city seven miles northeast of Cairo also known as Heliopolis, a center of the worship of the sun]. So Joseph ·traveled through [or rose over] all the land of Egypt.
46 Joseph was thirty years old when he ·began serving [L stood before the Pharaoh] the king of Egypt. And he ·left the king’s court [L went out from before Pharaoh] and traveled through all the land of Egypt. 47 During the seven ·good years [years of plenty], the ·crops in the land grew well [land produced much; L land made by handfuls]. 48 And Joseph gathered all the food produced in Egypt during those seven years of good crops and stored the food in the cities. In every city he stored grain that had been grown in the fields around that city. 49 Joseph stored much grain, as much as the sand of the seashore—so much that he could not ·measure [count] it.
50 Joseph’s wife was Asenath daughter of Potiphera, the priest of On [41:45]. Before the years of ·hunger [famine] came, Joseph and Asenath had two sons. 51 Joseph named the ·first son [firstborn] Manasseh [C sounds like “made me forget” in Hebrew] and said, “God has made me forget all the troubles I have had and all ·my father’s family [L the house of my father].” 52 Joseph named the second son Ephraim [C related to the Hebrew word for “fruitful”; 1:22] and said, “God has ·given me children [L made me fruitful] in the land of my ·troubles [afflictions].”
53 The seven years of ·good crops [plenty] came to an end in the land of Egypt. 54 Then the seven years of ·hunger [famine] began, just as Joseph had said. In all the lands people had ·nothing to eat [famine], but in Egypt there was ·food [bread]. 55 The ·time of hunger [famine] became terrible in all of Egypt, and the people cried to ·the king [L Pharaoh] for food. He said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph and do whatever he tells you.”
56 The ·hunger [famine] was ·everywhere in that part of the world [L over all the face of the earth]. And Joseph opened ·the storehouses [L everything that was in them] and sold grain to the people of Egypt, because the ·time of hunger [famine] became ·terrible [severe] in Egypt. 57 And all the people in that part of the world came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain because the ·hunger [famine] was ·terrible [severe] everywhere in ·that part of the [L the] world.