Genesis 41

It happened at the end of two full years, that Firaun dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river. 2Behold, there came up out of the river seven cattle, well-favoured and fat-fleshed, and they fed in the reed-grass. 3Behold, seven other cattle came up after them out of the river, ill-favoured and lean-fleshed, and stood by the other cattle on the brink of the river. 4The ill-favoured and lean-fleshed cattle ate up the seven well-favoured and fat cattle. So Firaun awoke. 5He slept and dreamed a second time: and, behold, seven heads of grain came up on one stalk, healthy and good. 6Behold, seven heads of grain, thin and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them. 7The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven healthy and full ears. Firaun awoke, and, behold, it was a dream. 8It happened in the morning that his spirit was troubled, and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all its wise men. Firaun told them his dream, but there was no one who could interpret them to Firaun.

9Then the chief cupbearer spoke to Firaun, saying, I remember my faults today. 10Firaun was angry with his servants, and put me in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, me and the chief baker. 11We dreamed a dream in one night, I and he. We dreamed each man according to the interpretation of his dream. 12There was with us there a young man, a Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard, and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams. To each man according to his dream he interpreted. 13It happened, as he interpreted to us, so it was: he restored me to my office, and he hanged him.

14Then Firaun sent and called Yusuf, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon. He shaved himself, changed his clothing, and came in to Firaun. 15Firaunsaid to Yusuf, I have dreamed a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. I have heard it said of you, that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.

16Yusuf answered Firaun, saying, It isn’t in me. God will give Firaun an answer of peace.

17Firaun spoke to Yusuf, In my dream, behold, I stood on the brink of the river: 18and, behold, there came up out of the river seven cattle, fat-fleshed and well-favoured. They fed in the reed-grass, 19and, behold, seven other cattle came up after them, poor and very ill-favoured and lean-fleshed, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for ugliness. 20The lean and ill-favoured cattle ate up the first seven fat cattle, 21and when they had eaten them up, it couldn’t be known that they had eaten them, but they were still ill-favoured, as at the beginning. So I awoke. 22I saw in my dream, and, behold, seven heads of grain came up on one stalk, full and good: 23and, behold, seven heads of grain, withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them. 24The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven good heads of grain. I told it to the magicians; but there was no one who could explain it to me.

25Yusuf said to Firaun, The dream of Firaun is one. What God is about to do he has declared to Firaun. 26The seven good cattle are seven years; and the seven good heads of grain are seven years. The dream is one. 27The seven lean and ill-favoured cattle that came up after them are seven years, and also the seven empty heads of grain blasted with the east wind; they will be seven years of famine. 28That is the thing which I spoke to Firaun. What God is about to do he has shown to Firaun. 29Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt. 30There will arise after them seven years of famine, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt. The famine will consume the land, 31and the plenty will not be known in the land by reason of that famine which follows; for it will be very grievous. 32The dream was doubled to Firaun, because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.

33Now therefore let Firaun look for a discreet and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt. 34Let Firaun do this, and let him appoint overseers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt’s produce in the seven plenteous years. 35Let them gather all the food of these good years that come, and lay up grain under the hand of Firaun for food in the cities, and let them keep it. 36The food will be for a store to the land against the seven years of famine, which will be in the land of Egypt; that the land not perish through the famine.

37The thing was good in the eyes of Firaun, and in the eyes of all his servants. 38Firaun said to his servants, Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God? 39Firaun said to Yusuf, Because God has shown you all of this, there is none so discreet and wise as you. 40You shall be over my house, and according to your word will all my people be ruled. Only in the throne I will be greater than you. 41Firaun said to Yusuf, Behold, I have set you over all the land of Egypt. 42Firaun took off his signet ring from his hand, and put it on Yusuf’s hand, and arrayed him in robes of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck, 43and he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had. They cried before him, Bow the knee! He set him over all the land of Egypt. 44Firaun said to Yusuf, I am Firaun, and without you shall no man lift up his hand or his foot in all the land of Egypt. 45Firaun called Yusuf’s name Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him Asenath Bint Potiphera priest of On as a wife. Yusuf went out over the land of Egypt.

46Yusuf was thirty years old when he stood before Firaun king of Egypt. Yusuf went out from the presence of Firaun, and went throughout all the land of Egypt. 47In the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth abundantly. 48He gathered up all the food of the seven years which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which was around every city, he laid up in the same. 49Yusuf laid up grain as the sand of the sea, very much, until he stopped counting, for it was without number. 50To Yusuf were born two sons before the year of famine came, whom Asenath Bint Potiphera priest of On, bore to him. 51Yusuf called the name of the firstborn Manasseh,[1] For, he said, God has made me forget all my toil, and all my father’s house. 52The name of the second, he called Ephraim[2]: For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.

53The seven years of plenty, that was in the land of Egypt, came to an end. 54The seven years of famine began to come, just as Yusuf had said. There was famine in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. 55When all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Firaun for bread, and Firaun said to all the Egyptians, Go to Yusuf. What he says to you, do. 56The famine was over all the surface of the earth. Yusuf opened all the store-houses, and sold to the Egyptians. The famine was severe in the land of Egypt. 57All countries came into Egypt, to Yusuf, to buy grain, because the famine was severe in all the earth.


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[1] 41:51 Manasseh sounds like the Hebrew for forget.

[2] 41:52 Ephraim sounds like the Hebrew for twice fruitful.