Joseph's Dreams

37 Jacob lived in (A)the land of his father's sojournings, in the land of Canaan.

These are the generations of Jacob.

Joseph, being seventeen years old, was pasturing the flock with his brothers. He was a boy with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father's wives. And Joseph brought (B)a bad report of them to their father. Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his sons, because he was (C)the son of his old age. And he made him (D)a robe of many colors.[a] But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peacefully to him.

Now Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers they hated him even more. He said to them, “Hear this dream that I have dreamed: Behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and behold, (E)my sheaf arose and stood upright. And behold, your sheaves gathered around it and (F)bowed down to my sheaf.” His brothers said to him, “Are you indeed to reign over us? Or are you indeed to rule over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.

Then he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers and said, “Behold, I have dreamed another dream. Behold, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” 10 But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall I and (G)your mother and your brothers indeed come (H)to bow ourselves to the ground before you?” 11 And (I)his brothers were jealous of him, (J)but his father kept the saying in mind.

Joseph Sold by His Brothers

12 Now his brothers went to pasture their father's flock near (K)Shechem. 13 And Israel said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers pasturing the flock at Shechem? Come, I will send you to them.” And he said to him, “Here I am.” 14 So he said to him, “Go now, see if it is well with your brothers and with the flock, and bring me word.” So he sent him from the Valley of (L)Hebron, and he came to Shechem. 15 And a man found him wandering in the fields. And the man asked him, “What are you seeking?” 16 “I am seeking my brothers,” he said. “Tell me, please, where they are pasturing the flock.” 17 And the man said, “They have gone away, for I heard them say, ‘Let us go to (M)Dothan.’” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at (N)Dothan.

18 They saw him from afar, and before he came near to them (O)they conspired against him to kill him. 19 They said to one another, “Here comes this dreamer. 20 Come now, (P)let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits.[b] Then we will say that a fierce animal has devoured him, and we will see what will become of his dreams.” 21 But when (Q)Reuben heard it, he rescued him out of their hands, saying, “Let us not take his life.” 22 And Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood; throw him into this pit here in the wilderness, but do not lay a hand on him”—(R)that he might rescue him out of their hand to restore him to his father. 23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, (S)the robe of many colors that he wore. 24 And they took him and (T)threw him into a pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it.

25 Then they sat down to eat. And looking up they saw a (U)caravan of (V)Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels bearing (W)gum, balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry it down to Egypt. 26 Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is it (X)if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? 27 Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and (Y)let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And his brothers listened to him. 28 Then (Z)Midianite traders passed by. And they drew Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and (AA)sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels[c] of silver. They took Joseph to Egypt.

29 When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not in the pit, he (AB)tore his clothes 30 and returned to his brothers and said, “The boy (AC)is gone, and I, where shall I go?” 31 Then they took (AD)Joseph's robe and slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood. 32 And they sent the robe of many colors and brought it to their father and said, “This we have found; please identify whether it is your son's robe or not.” 33 And he identified it and said, “It is my son's robe. (AE)A fierce animal has devoured him. Joseph is without doubt torn to pieces.” 34 Then Jacob tore his garments and put sackcloth on his loins and mourned for his son many days. 35 All his sons and all his daughters (AF)rose up to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted and said, “No, (AG)I shall go down to Sheol to my son, mourning.” Thus his father wept for him. 36 Meanwhile (AH)the Midianites had sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, (AI)the captain of the guard.

Footnotes

  1. Genesis 37:3 See Septuagint, Vulgate; or (with Syriac) a robe with long sleeves. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain; also verses 23, 32
  2. Genesis 37:20 Or cisterns; also verses 22, 24
  3. Genesis 37:28 A shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams

Joseph and Potiphar's Wife

39 Now Joseph had been brought down to Egypt, and (A)Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard, an Egyptian, (B)had bought him from the (C)Ishmaelites who had brought him down there. (D)The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his Egyptian master. His master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord (E)caused all that he did to succeed in his hands. So Joseph (F)found favor in his sight and attended him, and he made him overseer of his house (G)and put him in charge of all that he had. From the time that he made him overseer in his house and over all that he had, the Lord blessed the Egyptian's house (H)for Joseph's sake; the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had, in house and field. So he left all that he had in Joseph's charge, and because of him he had no concern about anything but the food he ate.

Now Joseph was (I)handsome in form and appearance. And after a time his master's wife cast her eyes on Joseph and said, “Lie with me.” But he refused and said to his master's wife, “Behold, because of me my master has no concern about anything in the house, and (J)he has put everything that he has in my charge. He is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept back anything from me except you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness and (K)sin against God?” 10 And as she spoke to Joseph day after day, he (L)would not listen to her, to lie beside her or to be with her.

11 But one day, when he went into the house to do his work and none of the men of the house was there in the house, 12 (M)she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand and fled and got out of the house. 13 And as soon as she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled out of the house, 14 she called to the men of her household and said to them, “See, he has brought among us a Hebrew to laugh at us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice. 15 And as soon as he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried out, he left his garment beside me and fled and got out of the house.” 16 Then she laid up his garment by her until his master came home, 17 and she told him the same story, saying, “The Hebrew servant, whom you have brought among us, came in to me to laugh at me. 18 But as soon as I lifted up my voice and cried, he left his garment beside me and fled out of the house.”

19 As soon as his master heard the words that his wife spoke to him, “This is the way your servant treated me,” his anger was kindled. 20 And Joseph's master took him and (N)put him into the (O)prison, the place where the king's prisoners were confined, and he was there in prison. 21 But (P)the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love (Q)and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 22 And the keeper of the prison (R)put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners who were in the prison. Whatever was done there, he was the one who did it. 23 The keeper of the prison paid no attention to anything that was in Joseph's charge, because (S)the Lord was with him. And whatever he did, the Lord made it succeed.

Joseph Interprets Two Prisoners' Dreams

40 Some time after this, the (T)cupbearer of the king of Egypt and his baker committed an offense against their lord the king of Egypt. And Pharaoh was angry with his two officers, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, (U)and he put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the prison where Joseph was confined. The captain of the guard appointed Joseph to be with them, and he attended them. They continued for some time in custody.

And one night they both dreamed—the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison—each his own dream, and each dream with its own interpretation. When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were troubled. So he asked Pharaoh's officers who were with him in custody in his master's house, (V)“Why are your faces downcast today?” They said to him, (W)“We have had dreams, and there is no one to interpret them.” And Joseph said to them, (X)“Do not interpretations belong to God? Please tell them to me.”

So the chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph and said to him, “In my dream there was a vine before me, 10 and on the vine there were three branches. As soon as it budded, its blossoms shot forth, and the clusters ripened into grapes. 11 Pharaoh's cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh's cup and placed the cup in Pharaoh's hand.” 12 Then Joseph said to him, (Y)“This is its interpretation: (Z)the three branches are three days. 13 In three days Pharaoh will (AA)lift up your head and restore you to your office, and you shall place Pharaoh's cup in his hand as formerly, when you were his cupbearer. 14 Only remember me, when it is well with you, and please do me the kindness to mention me to Pharaoh, and so get me out of this house. 15 For (AB)I was indeed stolen out of the land of the Hebrews, and (AC)here also I have done nothing that they should put me into the pit.”

16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was favorable, he said to Joseph, “I also had a dream: there were three cake baskets on my head, 17 and in the uppermost basket there were all sorts of baked food for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating it out of the basket on my head.” 18 And Joseph answered and said, (AD)“This is its interpretation: the three baskets are three days. 19 (AE)In three days Pharaoh will lift up your head—from you!—and (AF)hang you on a tree. And the birds will eat the flesh from you.”

20 On the third day, which was Pharaoh's (AG)birthday, he made a feast for all his servants and (AH)lifted up the head of the chief cupbearer and the head of the chief baker among his servants. 21 (AI)He restored the chief cupbearer to his position, and (AJ)he placed the cup in Pharaoh's hand. 22 But he (AK)hanged the chief baker, as Joseph had interpreted to them. 23 Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.

Joseph Interprets Pharaoh's Dreams

41 After two whole years, Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing by the Nile, and behold, there came up out of the Nile seven cows, attractive and plump, and they fed in the reed grass. And behold, 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. And the ugly, thin cows ate up the seven attractive, plump cows. And Pharaoh awoke. And he fell asleep and dreamed a second time. And behold, seven ears of grain, plump and good, were growing on one stalk. And behold, after them sprouted seven ears, thin and (AL)blighted by the east wind. And the thin ears swallowed up the seven plump, full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and behold, it was a dream. So in the morning (AM)his spirit was troubled, and he sent and called for all the (AN)magicians of Egypt and all its wise men. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was none who could interpret them to Pharaoh.

Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “I remember my offenses today. 10 When Pharaoh was (AO)angry with his servants (AP)and put me and the chief baker in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, 11 (AQ)we dreamed on the same night, he and I, each having a dream with its own interpretation. 12 A young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. When we told him, (AR)he interpreted our dreams to us, giving an interpretation to each man according to his dream. 13 And (AS)as he interpreted to us, so it came about. I was restored to my office, and the baker was hanged.”

14 (AT)Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they (AU)quickly brought him (AV)out of the pit. And 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. (AW)I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” 16 Joseph answered Pharaoh, (AX)“It is not in me; (AY)God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.”[a] 17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Behold, (AZ)in my dream I was standing on the banks of the Nile. 18 Seven cows, plump and attractive, came up out of the Nile and fed in the reed grass. 19 Seven other cows came up after them, poor and very ugly and thin, such as I had never seen in all the land of Egypt. 20 And the thin, ugly cows ate up the first seven plump cows, 21 but when they had eaten them no one would have known that they had eaten them, for they were still as ugly as at the beginning. Then I awoke. 22 I also saw in my dream seven ears growing on one stalk, full and good. 23 Seven ears, withered, thin, and blighted by the east wind, sprouted after them, 24 and the thin ears swallowed up the seven good ears. And (BA)I told it 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; (BB)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, and the seven empty ears blighted by the east wind are also (BC)seven years of famine. 28 It is as I told Pharaoh; (BD)God has shown to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 29 There will come (BE)seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt, 30 but after them there will arise (BF)seven years of famine, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt. (BG)The famine will consume the land, 31 and the plenty will be unknown in the land by reason of the famine that will follow, for it will be very severe. 32 And the doubling of Pharaoh's dream means that the (BH)thing is fixed by God, and God will shortly bring it about. 33 Now therefore let Pharaoh select a discerning and wise man, 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[b] of Egypt during the seven plentiful years. 35 And (BI)let them gather all the food of these good years that are coming and store 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 occur in the land of Egypt, so that the land may not perish through the famine.”

Joseph Rises to Power

37 This proposal pleased Pharaoh and all his servants. 38 And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, (BJ)in whom is the Spirit of God?”[c] 39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discerning and wise as you are. 40 (BK)You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command.[d] Only as regards the throne will I be greater than you.” 41 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, (BL)I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” 42 Then Pharaoh (BM)took his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph's hand, and (BN)clothed him in garments of fine linen (BO)and put a gold chain about his neck. 43 And he made him ride in his second chariot. (BP)And they called out before him, “Bow the knee!”[e] Thus he set him (BQ)over all the land of Egypt. 44 Moreover, Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and (BR)without your consent no one shall lift up hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.” 45 And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphenath-paneah. And he gave him in marriage Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On. So Joseph went out over the land of Egypt.

46 Joseph was thirty years old when he (BS)entered the service 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 plentiful years the earth produced abundantly, 48 and he gathered up 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 the fields around it. 49 And Joseph stored up grain in great abundance, (BT)like the sand of the sea, until he ceased to measure it, for it could not be measured.

50 Before the year of famine came, (BU)two sons were born to Joseph. Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, bore them to him. 51 Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh. “For,” he said, “God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father's house.”[f] 52 The name of the second he called Ephraim, “For God has (BV)made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.”[g]

53 The seven years of plenty that occurred in the land of Egypt came to an end, 54 and (BW)the seven years of famine began to come, (BX)as Joseph had said. There was famine in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. 55 When all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread. Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph. What he says to you, do.”

56 So when the famine had spread over all the land, Joseph opened all the storehouses[h] and (BY)sold to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe in the land of Egypt. 57 Moreover, all the earth came to Egypt to Joseph to buy grain, because the famine was severe (BZ)over all the earth.

Joseph's Brothers Go to Egypt

42 When (CA)Jacob learned that there was grain for sale in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why do you look at one another?” And he said, “Behold, I have heard that there is grain for sale in Egypt. Go down and buy grain for us there, that we may (CB)live and not die.” So ten of Joseph's brothers went down to buy grain in Egypt. But Jacob did not send Benjamin, (CC)Joseph's brother, with his brothers, for (CD)he feared that harm might happen to him. Thus the sons of Israel came to buy among the others who came, for the famine was in the land of Canaan.

Now Joseph was governor (CE)over the land. He was the one who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph's brothers came and (CF)bowed themselves before him with their faces to the ground. Joseph saw his brothers and recognized them, but he treated them like strangers and (CG)spoke roughly to them. “Where do you come from?” he said. They said, “From the land of Canaan, to buy food.” And Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him. And Joseph (CH)remembered the dreams that he had dreamed of them. (CI)And he said to them, “You are spies; you have come to see the nakedness of the land.” 10 They said to him, “No, my lord, your servants have come to buy food. 11 We are all sons of one man. We are honest men. Your servants have never been spies.”

12 He said to them, “No, it is the nakedness of the land that you have come to see.” 13 And they said, “We, your servants, are twelve brothers, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan, and behold, the youngest is this day with our father, and one (CJ)is no more.” 14 But Joseph said to them, “It is as I said to you. You are spies. 15 By this you shall be tested: by the life of Pharaoh, you shall not go from this place unless your youngest brother comes here. 16 Send one of you, and let him bring your brother, while you remain confined, that your words may be tested, whether there is truth in you. Or else, by the life of Pharaoh, surely you are spies.” 17 And he put them all together in custody for three days.

18 On the third day Joseph said to them, “Do this and you will live, (CK)for I fear God: 19 if you are honest men, let one of your brothers remain confined where you are in custody, and let the rest go and carry (CL)grain for the famine of your households, 20 and (CM)bring your youngest brother to me. So your words will be verified, and you shall not die.” And they did so. 21 Then they said to one another, (CN)“In truth we are guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the distress of his soul, when he begged us and we did not listen. That is why this distress has come upon us.” 22 And Reuben answered them, (CO)“Did I not tell you not to sin against the boy? But you did not listen. So now (CP)there comes a reckoning for his blood.” 23 They did not know that Joseph understood them, for there was an interpreter between them. 24 Then he turned away from them and (CQ)wept. And he returned to them and spoke to them. And he took Simeon from them and bound him before their eyes. 25 (CR)And Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, and to replace every man's money in his sack, and to give them provisions for the journey. This was done for them.

26 Then they loaded their donkeys with their grain and departed. 27 And as (CS)one of them opened his sack to give his donkey fodder at (CT)the lodging place, he saw his money in the mouth of his sack. 28 He said to his brothers, “My money has been put back; here it is in the mouth of my sack!” At this their hearts failed them, and they turned trembling to one another, saying, “What is this that God has done to us?”

29 When they came to Jacob their father in the land of Canaan, they told him all that had happened to them, saying, 30 “The man, the lord of the land, (CU)spoke roughly to us and took us to be spies of the land. 31 But we said to him, ‘We are honest men; we have never been spies. 32 We are twelve brothers, sons of our father. One (CV)is no more, and the youngest is this day with our father in the land of Canaan.’ 33 Then the man, the lord of the land, said to us, (CW)‘By this I shall know that you are honest men: leave one of your brothers with me, and take (CX)grain for the famine of your households, and go your way. 34 Bring your youngest brother to me. Then I shall know that you are not spies but honest men, and I will deliver your brother to you, and you shall (CY)trade in the land.’”

35 (CZ)As they emptied their sacks, behold, every man's bundle of money was in his sack. And when they and their father saw their bundles of money, they were afraid. 36 And Jacob their father said to them, “You have (DA)bereaved me of my children: Joseph is no more, and Simeon is no more, and now you would take Benjamin. All this has come against me.” 37 Then Reuben said to his father, “Kill (DB)my two sons if I do not bring him back to you. Put him in my hands, and I will bring him back to you.” 38 But he said, “My son shall not go down with you, for (DC)his brother is dead, and he is the only one left. (DD)If harm should happen to him on the journey that you are to make, (DE)you would bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to Sheol.”

Footnotes

  1. Genesis 41:16 Or (compare Samaritan, Septuagint) Without God it is not possible to give Pharaoh an answer about his welfare
  2. Genesis 41:34 Or over the land and organize the land
  3. Genesis 41:38 Or of the gods
  4. Genesis 41:40 Hebrew and according to your command all my people shall kiss the ground
  5. Genesis 41:43 Abrek, probably an Egyptian word, similar in sound to the Hebrew word meaning to kneel
  6. Genesis 41:51 Manasseh sounds like the Hebrew for making to forget
  7. Genesis 41:52 Ephraim sounds like the Hebrew for making fruitful
  8. Genesis 41:56 Hebrew all that was in them

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