1When two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream: He was standing by the Nile,2when out of the river there came up seven cows, sleek and fat, and they grazed among the reeds.3After them, seven other cows, ugly and gaunt, came up out of the Nile and stood beside those on the riverbank.4And the cows that were ugly and gaunt ate up the seven sleek, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.5He fell asleep again and had a second dream: Seven heads of grain, healthy and good, were growing on a single stalk.6After them, seven other heads of grain sprouted—thin and scorched by the east wind.7The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven healthy, full heads. Then Pharaoh woke up; it had been a dream.8In the morning his mind was troubled, so he sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but no one could interpret them for him.9Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “Today I am reminded of my shortcomings.10Pharaoh was once angry with his servants, and he imprisoned me and the chief baker in the house of the captain of the guard.11Each of us had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own.12Now a young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams, and he interpreted them for us, giving each man the interpretation of his dream.13And things turned out exactly as he interpreted them to us: I was restored to my position, and the other man was impaled.”14So Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was quickly brought from the dungeon. When he had shaved and changed his clothes, he came before Pharaoh.15Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.”16“I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.”17Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing on the bank of the Nile,18when out of the river there came up seven cows, fat and sleek, and they grazed among the reeds.19After them, seven other cows came up—scrawny and very ugly and lean. I had never seen such ugly cows in all the land of Egypt.20The lean, ugly cows ate up the seven fat cows that came up first.21But even after they ate them, no one could tell that they had done so; they looked just as ugly as before. Then I woke up.22“In my dream I saw seven heads of grain, full and good, growing on a single stalk.23After them, seven other heads sprouted—withered and thin and scorched by the east wind.24The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven good heads. I told this to the magicians, but none of them could explain it to me.”25Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one and the same. God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do.26The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good heads of grain are seven years; it is one and the same dream.27The seven lean, ugly cows that came up afterward are seven years, and so are the seven worthless heads of grain scorched by the east wind: They are seven years of famine.28“It is just as I said to Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do.29Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt,30but seven years of famine will follow them. Then all the abundance in Egypt will be forgotten, and the famine will ravage the land.31The abundance in the land will not be remembered, because the famine that follows it will be so severe.32The reason the dream was given to Pharaoh in two forms is that the matter has been firmly decided by God, and God will do it soon.33“And now let Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man and put him in charge of the land of Egypt.34Let Pharaoh appoint commissioners over the land to take a fifth of the harvest of Egypt during the seven years of abundance.35They should collect all the food of these good years that are coming and store up the grain under the authority of Pharaoh, to be kept in the cities for food.36This food should be held in reserve for the country, to be used during the seven years of famine that will come upon Egypt, so that the country may not be ruined by the famine.”37The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his officials.38So Pharaoh asked them, “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?”39Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you.40You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.”
Joseph in Charge of Egypt
41So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.”42Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck.43He had him ride in a chariot as his second-in-command, and people shouted before him, “Make way!” Thus he put him in charge of the whole land of Egypt.44Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your word no one will lift hand or foot in all Egypt.”45Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah and gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, to be his wife. And Joseph went throughout the land of Egypt.46Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from Pharaoh’s presence and traveled throughout Egypt.47During the seven years of abundance the land produced plentifully.48Joseph collected all the food produced in those seven years of abundance in Egypt and stored it in the cities. In each city he put the food grown in the fields surrounding it.49Joseph stored up huge quantities of grain, like the sand of the sea; it was so much that he stopped keeping records because it was beyond measure.50Before the years of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On.51Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.”52The second son he named Ephraim and said, “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”53The seven years of abundance in Egypt came to an end,54and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in all the other lands, but in the whole land of Egypt there was food.55When all Egypt began to feel the famine, the people cried to Pharaoh for food. Then Pharaoh told all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph and do what he tells you.”56When the famine had spread over the whole country, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout Egypt.57And all the world came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe 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)