Genesis 41

1Two years later, Pharaoh had a dream. He dreamed that he was standing by the Nile River. 2In the dream, seven cows come out of the river and stood there eating grass. They were healthy, good-looking cows. 3Then seven more cows came out of the river and stood on the bank of the river by the healthy cows. But these cows were thin and sick looking. 4The seven sick cows ate the seven healthy cows. Then Pharaoh woke up. 5Pharaoh went back to sleep and began dreaming again. This time, he dreamed that he saw seven heads of grain growing on one plant. They were healthy and full of grain. 6And then he saw seven more heads of grain sprouting. But they were thin and scorched by the hot wind. 7The thin heads of grain ate the seven good heads of grain. Then Pharaoh woke up again and realized it was only a dream. 8The next morning Pharaoh was worried about these dreams. So he sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. Pharaoh told these men the dreams, but none of them could interpret the dreams. 9Then the wine servant remembered Joseph. The servant said to Pharaoh, “I remember something that happened to me. 10You were angry with me and the baker, and you put us in prison. 11Then one night he and I had a dream. Each dream had a different meaning. 12There was a young Hebrew man in prison with us. He was a servant of the commander of the guards. We told him our dreams, and he explained them to us. He told us the meaning of each dream. 13And what he said came true. He said I would be free and have my old job back. And that happened. He also said the baker would die, and that happened!” 14So Pharaoh called Joseph from the prison. The guards quickly got Joseph out of prison. Joseph shaved and put on some clean clothes. Then he went to see Pharaoh. 15Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream. But no one can interpret the dream for me. I heard that you can interpret dreams when someone tells you about them.” 16Joseph answered, “I can’t! But maybe God will explain them for you, Pharaoh.” 17Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream, I was standing by the Nile River. 18Then seven cows came up out of the river and stood there eating the grass. They were healthy, good-looking cows. 19Then I saw seven more cows come out of the river after them. But these cows were thin and sick looking. They were the worst cows I had ever seen anywhere in Egypt! 20Then the thin, sick cows ate the first healthy cows! 21But they still looked thin and sick. You couldn’t even tell they had eaten the healthy cows. They looked as thin and sick as they did in the beginning. Then I woke up. 22“In my next dream I saw seven heads of grain growing on one plant. They were healthy and full of grain. 23And then seven more heads of grain grew after them. But they were thin and scorched by the hot wind. 24Then the thin heads of grain ate the seven good heads of grain. “I told these dreams to my magicians. But no one could explain the dreams to me. What do they mean?” 25Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “These two dreams are about the same thing. God is telling you what will happen soon. 26Both dreams really mean the same thing. The seven good cows and the seven good heads of grain are seven good years. 27And the seven thin, sick-looking cows and the seven thin heads of grain mean that there will be seven years of hunger in this area. These seven bad years will come after the seven good years. 28God has shown you what will happen soon. And God will make these things happen just like I told you. 29For seven years there will be plenty of food in Egypt. 30But then there will be seven years of hunger. People in Egypt will forget how much food there had been in the past. This famine will ruin the country. 31People will forget what it was like to have plenty of food. 32“Pharaoh, you had two dreams about the same thing. Why? God wanted to show you that he really will make this happen. And he will make it happen soon! 33So Pharaoh, you should choose a wise, intelligent man and put him in charge of Egypt. 34Then you should choose other men to collect food from the people. During the seven good years, the people must give them one fifth of all the food they grow. 35In this way, these men will collect lots of food during the seven good years and store it in the cities until it is needed. In this way, Pharaoh, this food will be under your control. 36Then during the seven years of hunger, there will be food for the country of Egypt. And Egypt will not be destroyed by the famine.” 37This seemed like a very good idea to Pharaoh, and all his officials agreed. 38Then Pharaoh told them, “I don’t think we can find anyone better than Joseph to take this job! God’s Spirit is in him making him very wise!” 39So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “God showed these things to you, so you must be the wisest man. 40I will put you in charge of my country, and the people will obey all your commands. I will be the only person more powerful than you.” 41˻There was a special ceremony and parade when Pharaoh made Joseph the governor.˼ Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I now make you governor over all of Egypt.” 42Then Pharaoh gave his special ring to Joseph. The royal seal was on this ring. Pharaoh also gave Joseph a fine linen robe and put a gold chain around his neck. 43Pharaoh told Joseph to ride in the second chariot ˻in the parade˼. Special guards walked ahead of Joseph’s chariot and told the people, “Bow down to Joseph.” So Joseph became the governor over all of Egypt. 44Pharaoh said to him, “I am Pharaoh, the king, ˻so I will do what I want to do˼. But no other person in Egypt can lift a hand or move a foot unless you say he can.” 45Pharaoh gave Joseph another name, Zaphenath Paneah. Pharaoh also gave Joseph a wife named Asenath. She was the daughter of Potiphera, a priest in the city of On. So Joseph became the governor over the whole country of Egypt. 46Joseph was 30 years old when he began serving the king of Egypt. Joseph traveled throughout the country of Egypt. 47During the seven good years, the crops in Egypt grew very well. 48And Joseph saved the food in Egypt during those seven years. Joseph stored the food in the cities. In every city, Joseph stored grain that grew in the fields around the city. 49Joseph stored very much grain. It was like the sands of the sea. He stored so much grain that it could not be measured. 50Joseph’s wife was Asenath. She was the daughter of Potiphera, the priest in the city of On. Before the first year of hunger came, Joseph and Asenath had two sons. 51The first son was named Manasseh. Joseph named him this because Joseph said, “God made me forget all of the troubles I have had, and everything about my home.” 52Joseph named the second son Ephraim. Joseph gave him this name because Joseph said, “I had great troubles, but God has made me successful in everything.” 53For seven years, people had all the food they needed. But then those years ended. 54And the seven years of hunger began, just like Joseph had said. No food grew anywhere in any of the countries in that area. But in Egypt, people had plenty to eat! Why? Because Joseph had stored the grain. 55The time of hunger began, and the people cried to Pharaoh for food. Pharaoh said to the Egyptian people, “Go ask Joseph what to do.” 56There was famine everywhere, so Joseph gave the people grain from the warehouses. Joseph sold the stored grain to the people of Egypt. The famine was bad in Egypt. 57But the famine was bad everywhere! So people from the countries around Egypt had to come to Egypt to buy grain.

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