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ESV — Chronological: Day 26
26
Reading
Genesis 41-42

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 wblighted 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 xhis spirit was troubled, and he sent and called for all the ymagicians 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 zangry with his servants aand put me and the chief baker in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, 11 bwe 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, che interpreted our dreams to us, giving an interpretation to each man according to his dream. 13 And das he interpreted to us, so it came about. I was restored to my office, and the baker was hanged.”

14 eThen Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they fquickly brought him gout 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. hI have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” 16 Joseph answered Pharaoh, i“It is not in me; jGod will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.”1 17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Behold, kin 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 lI 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; mGod 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 nseven years of famine. 28 It is as I told Pharaoh; oGod has shown to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 29 There will come pseven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt, 30 but after them there will arise qseven years of famine, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt. rThe 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 sthing 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 land2 of Egypt during the seven plentiful years. 35 And tlet 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, uin whom is the Spirit of God?”3 39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discerning and wise as you are. 40 vYou shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command.4 Only as regards the throne will I be greater than you.” 41 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, wI have set you over all the land of Egypt.” 42 Then Pharaoh xtook his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph's hand, and yclothed him in garments of fine linen zand put a gold chain about his neck. 43 And he made him ride in his second chariot. aAnd they called out before him, “Bow the knee!”5 Thus he set him bover all the land of Egypt. 44 Moreover, Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and cwithout 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 dentered 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, elike the sand of the sea, until he ceased to measure it, for it could not be measured.

50 Before the year of famine came, ftwo 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.”6 52 The name of the second he called Ephraim, “For God has gmade me fruitful in the land of my affliction.”7

53 The seven years of plenty that occurred in the land of Egypt came to an end, 54 and hthe seven years of famine began to come, ias 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 storehouses8 and jsold 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 kover all the earth.

Joseph's Brothers Go to Egypt

42 When lJacob 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 mlive and not die.” So ten of Joseph's brothers went down to buy grain in Egypt. But Jacob did not send Benjamin, nJoseph's brother, with his brothers, for ohe 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 pover the land. He was the one who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph's brothers came and qbowed themselves before him with their faces to the ground. Joseph saw his brothers and recognized them, but he treated them like strangers and rspoke 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 sremembered the dreams that he had dreamed of them. tAnd 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 uis 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, vfor 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 wgrain for the famine of your households, 20 and xbring 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, y“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, z“Did I not tell you not to sin against the boy? But you did not listen. So now athere 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 bwept. And he returned to them and spoke to them. And he took Simeon from them and bound him before their eyes. 25 cAnd 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 done of them opened his sack to give his donkey fodder at ethe 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, fspoke 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 gis 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, h‘By this I shall know that you are honest men: leave one of your brothers with me, and take igrain 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 jtrade in the land.’”

35 kAs 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 lbereaved 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 mmy 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 nhis brother is dead, and he is the only one left. oIf harm should happen to him on the journey that you are to make, pyou would bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to Sheol.”

Footnotes

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