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Genesis 40:1–41:57

Joseph Interprets Dreams in Prison

40 And it happened that after these things the cupbearer of the king of Egypt and his baker did wrong against their lord, against the king of Egypt. And Pharaoh was angry with his two officials, with the chief cupbearer and chief baker. And he put them in custody in the house of the commander of the guard, into the prison where Joseph was confined. And the commander of the guard appointed Joseph to be with them, and he attended them. And they were in custody many days.a And the two of them, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison, dreamed a dream one night, each his own dream, with its own interpretation. When Joseph came to them in the morning he looked at them, and behold, they were troubled. And he asked the court officials of Pharaoh that were with him in the custody of his master’s house, “Why are your faces sad today?” And they said to him, “We each dreamed a dream, but there is no one to interpret it.” And Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Please tell them to me.” Then the chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph, and he said to him, “In my dream, now behold, there was a vine before me, 10 and on the vine were three branches. And as it budded, its blossoms came up, and its clusters of grapes grew ripe. 11 And the cup of Pharaoh was in my hand, and I took the grapes and squeezed them into the cup of Pharaoh. Then I placed the cup into the hand of Pharaoh.” 12 Then Joseph said to him, “This is its interpretation: The three branches, they are three days. 13 In three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and will restore you to your office. And you shall put the cup of Pharaoh into his hand as was formerly the custom, when you were his cupbearer. 14 But remember me when it goes well with you, and please may you show kindness with respect to me, and mention me to Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house. 15 For I was surely kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews, and here also I have done nothing that they should put me in this pit.” 16 And when the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good he said to Joseph, “I also dreamed. In my dream, now behold, there were three baskets of bread upon my head. 17 And in the upper basket were all sorts of baked foods for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them out of the basket upon my head.” 18 Then Joseph answered and said, “This is its interpretation: The three baskets, they are three days. 19 In three days Pharaoh will lift your head from you and hang you on a pole,b and the birds will eat your flesh from you.” 20 And it happened that on the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, he made a feast for all his servants. And he lifted up the head of the chief cupbearer and the head of the chief baker in the midst of his servants. 21 And he restored the chief cupbearer to his cupbearing position. And he placed the cup in the hand of Pharaoh. 22 But the chief baker he hanged as Joseph had interpreted to them. 23 But the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.

Joseph Interprets Pharaoh’s Dreams

41 And it happened that after two full yearsa Pharaoh dreamed, and behold, he was standing by the Nile. And behold, seven cows, well built and fat,b were coming up from the Nile, and they grazed among the reeds. And behold, seven other cows came up after them from the Nile, ugly and gaunt,c and they stood beside thosed cows on the bank of the Nile. And the ugly and gaunte cows ate the seven well built and fatf cows. Then Pharaoh awoke. And he fell asleep and dreamed a second time, and behold, seven ears of grain, plump and good, were coming out of one stalk. And behold, seven thin ears of grain, scorched by the east wind, sprouted up after them. And the thin ears of grain swallowed up the seven plump and full ears of grain. Then Pharaoh awoke, and behold, it was a dream. And it happened that in the morning his spirit was troubled, and he sent and called all of the magiciansg of Egypt, and all its wise men, and Pharaoh told his dream to them. But they had no interpretationh for Pharaoh. Then the chief of the cupbearers spoke with Pharaoh, saying, “I remember my sins today. 10 Pharaoh was angry with his servants, and he put me and the chief baker in the custody of the house of the commander of the guard. 11 And we dreamed a dream one night, I and he, each with a dream that had a meaning.i 12 And there with us was a young man, a Hebrew servant of the commander of the guard, and we told him the dream, and he interpreted our dreams for us, each according to his dream he interpreted. 13 And it happened just as he interpreted to us, so it was. Hej restored me to my office, and himk hel hanged.” 14 Then Pharaoh sent and called for Joseph, and they brought him quickly from the prison. And he shaved and changed his clothing, and came to Pharaoh. 15 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I dreamed a dream, but there is none to interpret it. Now, I have heard concerning you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” 16 Then Joseph answered Pharaoh saying, “It is not in my power;m God will answer concerning the well-being of Pharaoh.” 17 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Now in my dream, behold, I was standing on the bank of the Nile, 18 and behold, seven cows, well built and fat,n were coming up from the Nile, and they grazed among the reeds. 19 And behold, seven other cows came up after them, poor and very ugly looking and gaunto—never have I seen any as them in all the land of Egypt for ugliness. 20 And the thin and ugly cows ate the former seven healthy cows. 21 But when they went into their belliesp it could not be known that they went into their bellies,q for their appearance was as ugly as at the beginning. Then I awoke. 22 Then I saw in my dream and behold, seven ears of grain were coming out of one stalk, full and good. 23 And behold, seven withered ears of grain, thin and scorched by the east wind, sprouted up after them. 24 And the thin ears of grain swallowed up the seven good ears of grain. And I told the magicians,r but there was none to explain it to me.” 25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one. God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 26 The seven good cows, they are seven years, and the seven good ears of grain, they are seven years. The dreams are one. 27 And the seven thin and ugly cows coming up after them, they are seven years, and the seven empty ears of grain, scorched by the east wind, they are also seven years of famine. 28 This is the word that I have spoken to Pharaoh; God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. 29 Behold, seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the whole land of Egypt. 30 Then seven years of famine will arise after them, and all the abundance in the land of Egypt will be forgotten. The famine will consume the land. 31 Abundance in the land will not be known because of the famine that follows,s for it will be very heavy. 32 Now concerning the repetition of the dream twice to Pharaoh, it is because the matter is established by God, and God will do it quickly. 33 Now then, let Pharaoh select a man who is discerning and wise, and let him set him over the land of Egypt. 34 Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint supervisors over the land, and let him take one-fifth from the land of Egypt in the seven years of abundance. 35 Then let them gather all the food of these coming good years and let them pile up grain under the hand of Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them keep it. 36 Then the food shall be as a deposit for the land for the seven years of the famine that will be in the land of Egypt, that the land will not perish on account of the famine.”

Joseph Rises to Power

37 And the plant was good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of all his servants. 38 Then Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this in whom is the spirit of God?” 39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all of this known to you there is no one as discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be over my house, and to your wordu all my people shall submit. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.” 41 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” 42 Then Pharaoh removed his signet ring from his finger and put it on the finger of Joseph. And he clothed him with garments of fine linen, and he put a chain of gold around his neck. 43 And he had him ride in his second chariot. And they cried out before him, “Kneel!” And Pharaoh set him over all the land of Egypt. 44 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your consent no one will lift his hand or his foot in all the land of Egypt.” 45 And Pharaoh called the name of Joseph Zaphenath-paneah and gave him Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, as a wife. And Joseph went out over the land of Egypt. 46 Now Joseph was thirty years oldv when he stood before Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh and traveled through the whole land of Egypt. 47 And the land produced a plenty in the seven years of abundance. 48 And he gathered all the food of the seven years which occurred in the land of Egypt. And he stored the food in the cities. The food of the field that surrounded each city he stored in its midst. 49 And Joseph piled up grain like the sand of the sea in great abundance until he stopped counting it, for it could not be counted.w 50 Before the year of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph, whom Asenath, daughter of Potiphera priest of On, bore to him. 51 And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh, for he said, “God has caused me to forget all my hardship and all my father’s house.” 52 And the name of the second he called Ephraim, for he said, “God has made me fruitful in the land of my misfortune.” 53 And the seven years of abundance which were in the land of Egypt came to

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