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 behold, from the Nile seven cows came up, fine-looking 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]thin, and they stood by the other cows on the bank of the Nile. Then the ugly and [c]thin cows ate the seven fine-looking and fat cows. Then Pharaoh awoke. But 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. And the thin ears swallowed 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 messengers and called for all the (C)soothsayer priests of Egypt, and all its (D)wise men. And Pharaoh told them his [d]dreams, but (E)there was no one who could interpret them for Pharaoh.

Then the chief cupbearer spoke to Pharaoh, saying, “I would make mention today of (F)my own [e]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 Then (I)we had a dream one night, [f]he and I; each of us dreamed according to the interpretation of his own dream. 12 Now a Hebrew youth was there with us, a (J)servant of the captain of the bodyguard, and we told him the dreams, and (K)he interpreted our dreams for us. For each man he interpreted according to his own dream. 13 And just (L)as he interpreted for us, so it happened; Pharaoh restored me in my office, but he hanged [g]the chief baker.”

Joseph Interprets

14 Then Pharaoh sent word 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 [h]it said about you, that [i]when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” 16 Joseph then answered Pharaoh, saying, “[j](Q)It has nothing to do with me; (R)God will [k]give Pharaoh an answer for his own good.” 17 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream, there I was, standing on the bank of the Nile; 18 and behold, seven cows, [l]fat and fine-looking came up out of the Nile, and they grazed in the marsh grass. 19 Then behold, seven other cows came up after them, poor and very [m]ugly and [n]thin, such as I had never seen for [o]ugliness in all the land of Egypt; 20 and the thin and ugly cows ate the first seven fat cows. 21 Yet when they had [p]devoured them, it could not be [q]detected that they had [r]devoured them, [s]for they were just as ugly as [t]before. Then I awoke. 22 I saw also in my dream, and behold, seven ears of grain, full and good, came up on a single stalk; 23 and behold, 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 soothsayer priests, but there was no one who could explain it to me.”

25 And Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Pharaoh’s [u]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 [v]dreams are one and the same. 27 The seven thin 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 [w]It is as I have spoken to Pharaoh: (V)God has shown 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 [x]come, and all the abundance will be forgotten in the land of Egypt, and the famine will [y]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 confirmed by God, and God will quickly bring it about. 33 So now let Pharaoh look for a man (Z)discerning and wise, and appoint him over the land of Egypt. 34 Let Pharaoh take action to appoint overseers [z]in charge of the land, and let him take a fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt as a tax in the seven years of abundance. 35 Then have them (AA)collect 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 have them guard it. 36 Let the food be used 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 [aa]proposal seemed good [ab]to Pharaoh and [ac]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, (AB)in whom there is a divine spirit?” 39 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has informed you of all this, there is no one as (AC)discerning and wise as you are. 40 (AD)You shall be [ad]in charge of my house, and all my people shall [ae]be obedient to you; only regarding the throne will I be greater than you.” 41 Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “See, I have placed you (AE)over all the land of Egypt.” 42 Then Pharaoh (AF)took off his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, and clothed him in garments of fine linen, and (AG)put the gold necklace around his neck. 43 And he had him ride in [af]his second chariot; and they proclaimed ahead of him, “[ag]Bow the knee!” And he placed him over all the land of Egypt. 44 Moreover, Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Though I am Pharaoh, yet (AH)without [ah]your permission no one shall raise his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.” 45 Then Pharaoh named Joseph [ai]Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of [aj](AI)On, to be his wife. And Joseph went out over the land of Egypt.

46 Now Joseph was (AJ)thirty years old when he [ak]stood in the presence of 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 produced [al]abundantly. 48 So he collected all the food of these seven years which occurred in the land of Egypt and put the food in the cities; he put in every city the food from its own surrounding fields. 49 Joseph stored up grain [am]in great abundance like the sand of the sea, until he stopped [an]measuring it, for it was [ao]beyond measure.

The Sons of Joseph

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

53 When the seven years of plenty which had taken place in the land of Egypt came to an end, 54 and (AM)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 suffered famine, the people cried out to Pharaoh for bread; and Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph; (AN)whatever he says to you, you shall do.” 56 When the famine was spread over the entire face of the earth, then Joseph opened all [as]the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians; and the famine was severe in the land of Egypt. 57 Then the people of all the earth came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because (AO)the famine was severe in all the earth.

Joseph’s Brothers Sent to Egypt

42 Now (AP)Jacob saw that there was grain in Egypt, and Jacob said to his sons, “Why are you staring at one another?” Then he said, “Look, (AQ)I have heard that there is grain in Egypt; go down there and buy some for us from [at]that place, (AR)so that we may live and not die.” So ten of Joseph’s brothers went down to buy grain from Egypt. But Jacob did not send Joseph’s brother (AS)Benjamin with his brothers, for he said, “(AT)I am afraid that harm may happen to him.” So the sons of Israel came to buy grain among those who were coming, (AU)because the famine was also in the land of Canaan.

Now (AV)Joseph was the ruler over the land; he was the one who sold grain to all the people of the land. And Joseph’s brothers came and (AW)bowed down to him with their faces to the ground. When Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he disguised himself to them and (AX)spoke to them harshly. He said to them, “Where have you come from?” And they said, “From the land of Canaan, to buy food.”

But Joseph had recognized his brothers, although (AY)they did not recognize him. And Joseph (AZ)remembered the dreams which he [au]had about them, and he said to them, “You are spies; you have come to look at the [av]undefended parts of our land.” 10 And they said to him, “No, (BA)my lord, but your servants have come to buy food. 11 We are all sons of one man; we are (BB)honest men, your servants are not spies.” 12 Yet he said to them, “No, but you have come to look at the [aw]undefended parts of our land!” 13 But they said, “Your servants are twelve brothers in all, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and behold, the youngest is with (BC)our father today, and (BD)one is no longer alive.” 14 Yet Joseph said to them, “It is as I said [ax]to you, you are spies; 15 by this you will be tested: (BE)by the life of Pharaoh, you shall not leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here! 16 Send one of you and have him get your brother, while you remain confined, so that your words may be tested, whether there is (BF)truth in you. But if not, by the life of Pharaoh, you are certainly spies!” 17 So he put them all together in (BG)prison for three days.

18 Now Joseph said to them on the third day, “Do this and live, for (BH)I fear God: 19 if you are honest men, let one of your brothers be confined in [ay]your prison; but as for the rest of you, go, carry grain for the famine of your households, 20 and (BI)bring your youngest brother to me, so that your words may be verified, and you will not die.” And they did so. 21 Then they said to one another, “(BJ)Truly we are guilty concerning our brother, because we saw the distress of his soul when he pleaded with us, yet we would not listen; for that reason this distress has happened to us.” 22 Reuben answered them, saying, “(BK)Did I not tell [az]you, ‘Do not sin against the boy’; and you would not listen? [ba](BL)Now justice for his blood is required.” 23 They did not know, however, that Joseph understood, for there was an interpreter between them. 24 Then he turned away from them and (BM)wept. But when he returned to them and spoke to them, he (BN)took Simeon from them and bound him before their eyes. 25 (BO)Then Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, but also to return every man’s money in his sack, and to give them provisions for the journey. And that is what was done for them.

26 So they loaded their donkeys with their grain and departed from there. 27 But when one of them opened his sack to give his donkey feed at the overnight campsite, he saw his (BP)money; and behold, it was in the opening of his sack! 28 So he said to his brothers, “My money has been returned, and look, it is right in my sack!” Then their hearts [bb]sank, and they turned [bc]trembling to one another, saying, “(BQ)What is this that God has done to us?”

Simeon Is Held Hostage

29 When they came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan, they told him everything that had happened to them, saying, 30 “The man, the lord of the land, (BR)spoke harshly with us, and took us for spies of the country. 31 But we said to him, ‘We are (BS)honest men; we are not spies. 32 We are twelve brothers, sons of our father; one is no longer alive, and the youngest is with our father today in the land of Canaan.’ 33 But the man, the lord of the land, said to us, ‘(BT)By this I will know that you are honest men: leave one of your brothers with me and take grain for the famine of your households, and go. 34 But bring your youngest brother to me so that I may know that you are not spies, but [bd]honest men. I will give your brother to you, and you may (BU)trade in the land.’”

35 Now it came about, as they were emptying their sacks, that behold, (BV)every man’s bag of money was in his sack; and when they and their father saw their bags of money, they were afraid. 36 And their father Jacob said to them, “You have (BW)deprived me of my sons: Joseph is gone, and Simeon is gone, and now you would take Benjamin; all these things are against me.” 37 Then Reuben spoke to his father, saying, “You may put my two sons to death if I do not bring him back to you; put him in my [be]care, and I will return him to you.” 38 But [bf]Jacob said, “My son shall not go down with you; for his (BX)brother is dead, and he alone is left. (BY)If harm should happen to him on the journey [bg]you are taking, then you will (BZ)bring my gray hair down to Sheol in sorrow.”


  1. Genesis 41:2 Lit fat of flesh
  2. Genesis 41:3 Lit thin of flesh
  3. Genesis 41:4 Lit thin of flesh
  4. Genesis 41:8 Lit dream
  5. Genesis 41:9 Or sins
  6. Genesis 41:11 Lit I and he
  7. Genesis 41:13 Lit him
  8. Genesis 41:15 Lit about you, saying
  9. Genesis 41:15 Lit you hear a dream to interpret it
  10. Genesis 41:16 Lit Apart from me
  11. Genesis 41:16 Lit answer the peace of Pharaoh
  12. Genesis 41:18 Lit fat of flesh
  13. Genesis 41:19 Lit bad
  14. Genesis 41:19 Lit thin of flesh
  15. Genesis 41:19 Lit badness
  16. Genesis 41:21 Lit entered their inward parts
  17. Genesis 41:21 Or known
  18. Genesis 41:21 Lit entered their inward parts
  19. Genesis 41:21 Lit and
  20. Genesis 41:21 Lit in the beginning
  21. Genesis 41:25 Lit dream is
  22. Genesis 41:26 Lit dream is
  23. Genesis 41:28 Lit That is the thing which I spoke
  24. Genesis 41:30 Lit arise
  25. Genesis 41:30 Lit destroy
  26. Genesis 41:34 Lit over
  27. Genesis 41:37 Lit word
  28. Genesis 41:37 Lit in the sight of
  29. Genesis 41:37 Lit in the sight of
  30. Genesis 41:40 Lit over
  31. Genesis 41:40 Lit kiss your mouth; LXX obey at your command
  32. Genesis 41:43 Lit the second...which was his
  33. Genesis 41:43 Or Make way
  34. Genesis 41:44 Lit you no one
  35. Genesis 41:45 Prob. Egyptian for “God speaks; he lives”
  36. Genesis 41:45 Or Heliopolis
  37. Genesis 41:46 Or entered the service of
  38. Genesis 41:47 Lit by handfuls
  39. Genesis 41:49 Lit very much
  40. Genesis 41:49 Lit numbering
  41. Genesis 41:49 Or without number
  42. Genesis 41:50 Or Heliopolis
  43. Genesis 41:51 I.e., making to forget
  44. Genesis 41:52 I.e., fruitfulness
  45. Genesis 41:56 Lit that which was in them
  46. Genesis 42:2 Lit there
  47. Genesis 42:9 Lit had dreamed
  48. Genesis 42:9 Lit nakedness of the land
  49. Genesis 42:12 Lit nakedness of the land
  50. Genesis 42:14 Lit to you, saying
  51. Genesis 42:19 Lit the house of your prison
  52. Genesis 42:22 Lit you, saying,
  53. Genesis 42:22 Lit And behold, his blood also is required
  54. Genesis 42:28 Lit went out
  55. Genesis 42:28 Lit trembled
  56. Genesis 42:34 Lit you are honest
  57. Genesis 42:37 Lit hand
  58. Genesis 42:38 Lit he
  59. Genesis 42:38 Lit on which you are going

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