1When two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream. In his dream, he was standing by the River Nile.2Seven cows came up out of the river. They looked healthy and fat. They were eating some of the tall grass growing along the river.3After them, seven other cows came up out of the Nile. They looked ugly and skinny. They were standing beside the other cows on the riverbank.4The ugly, skinny cows ate up the seven cows that looked healthy and fat. Then Pharaoh woke up.5He fell asleep again and had a second dream. In that dream, seven ears of corn were growing on one stem. They were healthy and good.6After them, seven other ears of corn came up. They were thin and dried up by the east wind.7The thin ears of corn swallowed up the seven healthy, full ears. Then Pharaoh woke up. It had been a dream.8In the morning he was worried. So he sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. Pharaoh told them his dreams. But no one could tell him what they meant.9Then the chief wine taster spoke up. He said to Pharaoh, ‘Now I remember that I’ve done something wrong.10Pharaoh was once angry with his servants. He put me and the chief baker in prison. We were in the house of the captain of the palace guard.11Each of us had a dream the same night. Each dream had its own meaning.12A young Hebrew servant was there with us. He was a servant of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams. And he explained them to us. He told each of us the meaning of our dreams.13Things turned out exactly as he said they would. I was given back my job. The other man had a pole stuck through his body.’14So Pharaoh sent for Joseph. He was quickly brought out of the prison. Joseph shaved and changed his clothes. Then he came to Pharaoh.15Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘I had a dream. No one can tell me what it means. But I’ve heard that when you hear a dream you can explain it.’16‘I can’t do it,’ Joseph replied to Pharaoh. ‘But God will give Pharaoh the answer he wants.’17Then Pharaoh told Joseph what he had dreamed. He said, ‘I was standing on the bank of the River Nile.18Seven cows came up out of the river. They were fat and looked healthy. They were eating the tall grass growing along the river.19After them, seven other cows came up. They were bony and very ugly and thin. I had never seen such ugly cows in the whole land of Egypt.20The thin, ugly cows ate up the seven fat cows that came up first.21But no one could tell that the thin cows had eaten the fat cows. That’s because the thin cows looked just as ugly as they had before. Then I woke up.22‘In my dream I also saw seven ears of corn. They were full and good. They were all growing on one stem.23After them, seven other ears of corn came up. They were weak and thin and dried up by the east wind.24The thin ears of corn swallowed up the seven good ears. I told my dream to the magicians. But none of them could explain it to me.’25Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, ‘Both of Pharaoh’s dreams have the same meaning. God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do.26The seven good cows are seven years. And the seven good ears of corn are seven years. Both dreams mean the same thing.27The seven thin, ugly cows that came up later are seven years. So are the seven worthless ears of corn dried up by the east wind. They are seven years when there won’t be enough food.28‘It’s just as I said to Pharaoh. God has shown Pharaoh what he’s about to do.29Seven years with plenty of food are coming to the whole land of Egypt.30But seven years when there won’t be enough food will follow them. Then everyone will forget about all the food Egypt had. Terrible hunger will destroy the land.31There won’t be anything left to remind people of the years when there was plenty of food in the land. That’s how bad the hunger that follows will be.32God gave the dream to Pharaoh in two forms. That’s because the matter has been firmly decided by God. And it’s because God will do it soon.33‘So Pharaoh should look for a wise and understanding man. He should put him in charge of the land of Egypt.34Pharaoh should appoint officials to be in charge of the land. They should take a fifth of the harvest in Egypt during the seven years when there’s plenty of food.35They should collect all the extra food of the good years that are coming. Pharaoh should give them authority to store up the corn. They should keep it in the cities for food.36The corn should be stored up for the country to use later. It will be needed during the seven years when there isn’t enough food in Egypt. Then the country won’t be destroyed just because it doesn’t have enough food.’37The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and all his officials.38So Pharaoh said to them, ‘The spirit of God is in this man. We can’t find anyone else like him, can we?’39Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘God has made all this known to you. No one is as wise and understanding as you are.40You will be in charge of my palace. All my people must obey your orders. I will be greater than you only because I’m the one who sits on the throne.’
Joseph is put in charge of Egypt
41So Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘I’m putting you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.’42Then Pharaoh took from his finger the ring he used to give his official stamp. He put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes made out of fine linen. He put a gold chain around Joseph’s neck.43He also made him ride in a chariot. Joseph was now next in command after Pharaoh. People went in front of Joseph and shouted, ‘Get down on your knees!’ By doing all these things, Pharaoh put Joseph in charge of the whole land of Egypt.44Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘I am Pharaoh. But unless you give an order, no one will do anything in the whole land of Egypt.’45Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah. He gave Joseph a wife. She was Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera. Potiphera was the priest of On. Joseph travelled all over the land of Egypt.46Joseph was 30 years old when he began serving Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. He left Pharaoh’s palace and travelled all over Egypt.47During the seven years there was plenty of food. The land produced more than the people needed.48Joseph collected all the extra food produced in those seven years in Egypt. He stored it in the cities. In each city he stored up the food grown in the fields around it.49Joseph stored up huge amounts of corn. There was as much of it as sand by the sea. There was so much corn it couldn’t be measured. So Joseph stopped keeping records of it.50Before the years when there wasn’t enough food, two sons were born to Joseph. He had them by Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera. Potiphera was the priest of On.51Joseph named his first son Manasseh. That’s because he said, ‘God has made me forget all my trouble and my father’s whole family.’52He named the second son Ephraim. That’s because he said, ‘God has given me children in the land where I’ve suffered so much.’53The seven years when there was plenty of food in Egypt came to an end.54Then the seven years when there wasn’t enough food began. It happened just as Joseph had said it would. There wasn’t enough food in any of the other lands. But in the whole land of Egypt there was food.55When all the people of Egypt began to get hungry, they cried out to Pharaoh for food. He told all the Egyptians, ‘Go to Joseph. Do what he tells you.’56There wasn’t enough food anywhere in the country. So Joseph opened the storerooms. He sold corn to the Egyptians because people were very hungry all over Egypt.57People from all over the world came to Egypt. They came to buy corn from Joseph. That’s because people were very hungry everywhere.
English Standard Version
Joseph Interprets Pharaoh’s Dreams
1After two whole years, Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing by the Nile,2and behold, there came up out of the Nile seven cows, attractive and plump, and they fed in the reed grass.3And 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.4And the ugly, thin cows ate up the seven attractive, plump cows. And Pharaoh awoke.5And he fell asleep and dreamed a second time. And behold, seven ears of grain, plump and good, were growing on one stalk.6And behold, after them sprouted seven ears, thin and blighted by the east wind. (Eze 17:10; Eze 19:12; Ho 13:15)7And the thin ears swallowed up the seven plump, full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and behold, it was a dream.8So in the morning his spirit was troubled, and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt and all its wise men. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was none who could interpret them to Pharaoh. (Ge 41:24; Ex 7:11; Ex 7:22; Ps 77:4; Da 1:20; Da 2:1; Da 2:2; Da 2:3; Da 4:7; Mt 2:1)9Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “I remember my offenses today.10When Pharaoh was angry with his servants and put me and the chief baker in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, (Ge 39:20; Ge 40:2)11we dreamed on the same night, he and I, each having a dream with its own interpretation. (Ge 40:5)12A young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. When we told him, he interpreted our dreams to us, giving an interpretation to each man according to his dream. (Ge 40:12)13And as he interpreted to us, so it came about. I was restored to my office, and the baker was hanged.” (Ge 40:21)14Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they quickly brought him out of the pit. And when he had shaved himself and changed his clothes, he came in before Pharaoh. (1Sa 2:8; Ps 105:20; Ps 113:7; Da 2:25)15And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had 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.” (Ge 41:12; Da 5:16)16Joseph answered Pharaoh, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.” (Ge 40:8; Da 2:22; Da 2:28; Da 2:30; Da 2:47)17Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Behold, in my dream I was standing on the banks of the Nile. (Ge 41:1)18Seven cows, plump and attractive, came up out of the Nile and fed in the reed grass.19Seven other cows came up after them, poor and very ugly and thin, such as I had never seen in all the land of Egypt.20And the thin, ugly cows ate up the first seven plump cows,21but 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.22I also saw in my dream seven ears growing on one stalk, full and good.23Seven ears, withered, thin, and blighted by the east wind, sprouted after them,24and the thin ears swallowed up the seven good ears. And I told it to the magicians, but there was no one who could explain it to me.” (Ge 41:8; Da 4:7)25Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one; God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. (Da 2:28; Da 2:45; Re 4:1)26The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good ears are seven years; the dreams are one.27The 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 seven years of famine. (2Ki 8:1)28It is as I told Pharaoh; God has shown to Pharaoh what he is about to do. (Ge 41:25)29There will come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt, (Ge 41:47)30but after them there will arise seven years of famine, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt. The famine will consume the land, (Ge 41:54; Ge 45:6; Ge 47:13)31and the plenty will be unknown in the land by reason of the famine that will follow, for it will be very severe.32And the doubling of Pharaoh’s dream means that the thing is fixed by God, and God will shortly bring it about. (Nu 23:19; Isa 14:24; Isa 46:10)33Now therefore let Pharaoh select a discerning and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt.34Let Pharaoh proceed to appoint overseers over the land and take one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt during the seven plentiful years.35And let 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. (Ge 41:48)36That 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
37This proposal pleased Pharaoh and all his servants.38And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, in whom is the Spirit of God?” (Nu 27:18; Da 4:8; Da 4:18; Da 5:11; Da 5:14)39Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discerning and wise as you are.40You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command. Only as regards the throne will I be greater than you.” (Ps 105:21; Ac 7:10)41And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” (Ge 42:6)42Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, and clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain about his neck. (Es 3:10; Es 8:2; Es 8:8; Es 8:10; Es 8:15; Eze 16:11; Da 5:7; Da 5:29)43And he made him ride in his second chariot. And they called out before him, “Bow the knee!” Thus he set him over all the land of Egypt. (Ge 41:40; Ge 42:6; Ge 45:8; Ge 45:26; Es 6:9)44Moreover, Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no one shall lift up hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.” (Ps 105:21)45And 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.46Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh and went through all the land of Egypt. (1Sa 16:21; 1Ki 12:6; 1Ki 12:8; Da 1:19)47During the seven plentiful years the earth produced abundantly,48and 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.49And Joseph stored up grain in great abundance, like the sand of the sea, until he ceased to measure it, for it could not be measured. (Ge 22:17; Jud 7:12; 1Sa 13:5; Ps 78:27)50Before the year of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph. Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, bore them to him. (Ge 46:20; Ge 48:5)51Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh. “For,” he said, “God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father’s house.”52The name of the second he called Ephraim, “For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.” (Ge 49:22; Ho 13:15)53The seven years of plenty that occurred in the land of Egypt came to an end,54and the seven years of famine began to come, as Joseph had said. There was famine in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. (Ge 41:30; Ps 105:16; Ac 7:11)55When 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.”56So when the famine had spread over all the land, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe in the land of Egypt. (Ge 42:6; Ge 47:14; Ge 47:20; Ge 47:24)57Moreover, all the earth came to Egypt to Joseph to buy grain, because the famine was severe over all the earth. (Ge 41:54; Ge 41:56)