Genesis 41

Pharaoh had a dream after two years that he was standing out by the stream of the Nile,
When out of the Nile came seven cows, fat of flesh, fair to look at, sturdy, and virile.
The cows grazed in the reed grass, but then seven other cows came from the Nile close behind,
Ill to look at and lean of flesh, these new cows stood on the Nile’s bank near the first kind.
Then the ugly and skinny cows ate up the seven cows sturdy and fair to look at.
Pharaoh woke from this dream, but then he fell asleep to dream a second time after that:
Seven ears of grain, solid and healthy, grew on one stalk. Seven more ears sprung up near,
But the seven new ears of grain had been scorched by the east wind, and so they were lean ears.
Then the lean ears devoured the seven full ears. Pharaoh awoke: It was all a dream!
But in the morning his spirit was agitated, so he sent throughout his regime
To have all the wise-men and magicians of Egypt brought in to give interpretation.
Pharaoh told his dream to them, but none of them could find meaning or present revelation.

Then the chief cupbearer spoke to Pharaoh and said, “Now of my faults I must make admission.
At one point Pharaoh was angry with his servants, placed me in custody in his prison,
In the house of the captain of the guard, myself and the chief baker. And we both dreamt.
That one night we each dreamt dreams with their own meanings, but to understand, failed our attempt.
Now a young Hebrew lad was in there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard.
When we told him our dreams, he interpreted them for us, (which we had both found too hard).
He told each of us what our dreams meant. And it was just as he interpreted to us:
I was restored to my position, and the other was hanged and is now a carcass.”
Pharaoh sent and had Joseph called. They rushed him out of the dungeon. He shaved, changed his clothes,
Then he came before Pharaoh. And Pharaoh said, “I dreamt a dream. What it means, no one knows.
But I heard it said of you that when you hear a dream, you can give an interpretation.”
Joseph answered, “Not I! God will answer what is good for Pharaoh in this situation.”
Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream, I was standing on the Nile’s bank, when behold,
Out of the Nile came seven cows, fat of flesh, fair of form,” (their good health he extolled,)
“And they grazed in the reed grass. And then seven other cows came from the Nile close behind,
And these new seven were scrawny, ill, and ugly. In all Egypt, I’ve not seen their kind.
I had never seen any in such ill-condition, and then the ill cows ate the strong,
But when they ate the first cows, you could not tell, because they looked as ill as all along.
Then I woke. I saw also in my dream, on one stalk grew seven healthy ears of grain,
And then seven more stalks, thin and scorched by the east wind, sprung up behind them on the plain.
Then the thin, withered ears ate the seven good ears. Now, I’ve spoken with all my magicians,
But none of them can give me a good explanation. To do so, Joseph, is your mission.”

Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Your two dreams are the same. God has revealed His plan to Pharaoh.
Here, the seven good cows stand for seven years, the seven good ears, seven years also.
The dream is one dream. The seven ugly and lean cows that followed them are seven years,
And the seven ears of grain that were hollow, shriveled, and scorched by the east wind, those ears
Will be seven years of famine! Just as I’ve told Pharaoh, God has revealed his plan:
Here, immediately ahead are seven years of abundance in all Egypt’s land.
After them shall arise seven years of harsh famine, when all abundance is forgotten.
And the famine will ravage the land, with abundance no more. All the crops will grow rotten.
As the land becomes ravaged by famine, no trace of the plenty before shall remain,
For the famine that comes after will be exceedingly heavy, destroying all grain.
Now as for Pharaoh having the same dream twice, it means that God has determined the matter,
And that God will soon carry it out. So now let Pharaoh save Egypt from being shattered.
Now let Pharaoh select a discreet and wise man, set him over the land of Egypt.
And let Pharaoh take steps to appoint overseers for the land who are well-equipped,
To take one fifth of all Egypt’s produce in the seven years when plenty fills the land.
Let them gather the food of these good years ahead, and pile it up under Pharaoh’s hand.
All the food will be stored in the cities, and kept under guard, to act as a reserve
So that during the seven year famine that strikes Egypt, we’ll live on food we’ve preserved.”
Joseph’s plan was deemed good by Pharaoh and his servants. Pharaoh said to his servants, “Well,
Could we find us another man like him, a man in whom the spirit of God would dwell?”
So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God made this known to you, there are none as wise as you.
You shall be the one over my house, and my servants will do as you tell them to do.
Only by the throne shall I be greater than you.” Pharaoh to Joseph said one more thing,
“See, I put you in charge of the land of Egypt!” Then Pharaoh removed his signet-ring;
He took it from his hand, placed it on Joseph’s hand, and had him dressed in fine linen clothes,
And then put a gold chain on his neck, had him mount the second chariot of Pharaoh’s,
And they called out before him, “Abrek!” (which can mean “Attention!” or sometimes “Bow the knee!”)
So it was that Pharaoh placed Joseph over all the land of Egypt to oversee.

Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your leave, no man in the area
Of Egypt shall raise hand or foot.” Pharaoh then gave Joseph the name “Zaphenath Paneah”
(Which means “God speaks and He lives”). Pharaoh gave him Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera,
Priest of On, as a wife. So Joseph’s influence went out over Egypt in that era.
Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh, king of Egypt.
Joseph went out from Pharaoh’s presence and went through all the land of Egypt, well-equipped.
During the seven years of abundance, the land produced plenty. He gathered the grain,
And collected all kinds of provisions from those seven years which graced Egypt’s domain.
He stored grain in each city, and put in the city the grain from the fields around it.
Joseph piled up grain, like the sand of the sea, until there were too many to count it.
Now Joseph fathered two sons by Asenath, daughter of Potiphera, priest of On,
Before the years of famine came. Joseph gave the name of “Manasseh” to the firstborn,
(Which translates as “He Who Makes Forget”) meaning, “God made me forget all of my hardships,
And all my father’s house.” And he named the second “Ephraim” (”Double Fruit”) from his lips,
Meaning, “God has made me bear fruit in the land of my affliction.” The seven years ended,
And abundance in Egypt gave way to a seven year famine, as Joseph portended.
A great famine struck in all the lands, but in the land of Egypt there was bread throughout.
But when even all Egypt’s lands felt famine, for bread the people to Pharaoh cried out.
Pharaoh said to all of the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph, whatever he tells you, do!”
So when famine had spread through the land, Joseph opened the storehouses where grain accrued.
He gave rations to all the Egyptians, since famine in Egypt was slow gaining strength.
And all lands came to Egypt for rations, to Joseph, since famine had struck the world’s length.

Leave a comment

Your comment