Genesis 40 - 43
Joseph Interprets the Officials’ DreamsNow it happened that after these things, the cupbearer and the baker for the king of Egypt offended their lord, the king of Egypt. 2 And Pharaoh was furious with his two officials, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker. 3 So he put them in confinement in the house of the captain of the bodyguard, in the jail, the same place where Joseph was imprisoned. 4 And the captain of the bodyguard appointed Joseph as overseer over them, and he attended to them; and they were in confinement for some time. 5 Then the cupbearer and the baker for the king of Egypt, who were confined in jail, both had a dream the same night, each man with his own dream and each dream with its own interpretation. 6 Now Joseph came to them in the morning and saw them, and behold, they were dejected. 7 So he asked Pharaoh’s officials who were with him in confinement in his master’s house, saying, “Why are your faces so sad today?” 8 Then they said to him, “We have had a dream, and there is no one to interpret it.” Then Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Recount it to me, please.” 9 So the chief cupbearer recounted his dream to Joseph and said to him, “In my dream, behold, there was a vine in front of me; 10 and on the vine were three branches. And as it was budding, its blossoms came out, and its clusters produced ripe grapes. 11 Now Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand; so I took the grapes and squeezed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and I put the cup into Pharaoh’s hand.” 12 Then Joseph said to him, “This is the interpretation of it: the three branches are three days; 13 within three more days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your office; and you will put Pharaoh’s cup into his hand according to your former custom when you were his cupbearer. 14 Only remember me when it goes well with you, and please show me lovingkindness by remembering me to Pharaoh and getting me out of this house. 15 For I was in fact stolen from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing that they should have put me into the pit.” 16 And the chief baker saw that he had interpreted favorably, so he said to Joseph, “I also saw in my dream, and behold, there were three baskets of white bread on my head; 17 and in the top basket there were some of all sorts of baked food for Pharaoh, and the birds were eating them out of the basket on my head.” 18 Then Joseph answered and said, “This is its interpretation: the three baskets are three days; 19 within three more days Pharaoh will lift up your head off of you and will hang you on a tree, and the birds will eat your flesh off of you.” 20 Thus it happened on the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, that 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 among his servants. 21 And he restored the chief cupbearer to his office, and he put the cup into Pharaoh’s hand; 22 but he hanged the chief baker, just as Joseph had interpreted to them. 23 Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.
Joseph Interprets Pharaoh’s DreamNow it happened at the end of two full years that Pharaoh had a dream, and behold, he was standing by the Nile. 2 And behold, from the Nile there came up seven cows, sleek and fat; and they grazed in the reeds. 3 Then behold, seven other cows came up after them from the Nile, ugly and thin, and they stood by the other cows on the bank of the Nile. 4 And the ugly and thin cows ate up the seven sleek and fat cows. Then Pharaoh awoke. 5 He again fell asleep and dreamed a second time; and behold, seven ears of grain came up on a single stalk, plump and good. 6 And behold, seven ears, thin and scorched by the east wind, sprouted up after them. 7 And the thin ears swallowed up the seven plump and full ears. Then Pharaoh awoke, and behold, it was a dream. 8 Now it happened that in the morning his spirit was troubled, so he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt and all its wise men. And Pharaoh recounted to them his dream, but there was no one who could interpret them to Pharaoh. 9 Then the chief cupbearer spoke to Pharaoh, saying, “I would bring to remembrance today my own offenses. 10 Pharaoh was furious with his servants, and he put me in confinement in the house of the captain of the bodyguard, both me and the chief baker. 11 And we had a dream on the same night, he and I; each of us dreamed according to the interpretation of his own dream. 12 Now there was with us a Hebrew youth, a slave of the captain of the bodyguard, and we recounted them to him, and he interpreted our dreams for us. To each one he interpreted according to his own dream. 13 And just as he interpreted for us, so it happened; he restored me in my office, but he hanged him.” 14 Then Pharaoh sent and called for Joseph, and they rushed him out of the pit; and he shaved himself and changed his clothes, and he came to Pharaoh. 15 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, but no one can interpret it; yet I have heard it said about you, that you hear a dream and that you can interpret it.” 16 Joseph then answered Pharaoh, saying, “It is not in me; God will answer concerning the welfare of Pharaoh.” 17 So Pharaoh spoke to Joseph, “In my dream, behold, I was standing on the bank of the Nile; 18 and behold, seven cows, fat and sleek came up out of the Nile, and they grazed in the reeds. 19 And behold, seven other cows came up after them, poor and very ugly and lean, such as I had never seen in all the land of Egypt, in regard to ugliness; 20 and the lean and ugly cows ate up the first seven fat cows. 21 But they devoured them, and yet it could not be known that they had devoured them. For they were just as ugly as before. Then I awoke. 22 Then I saw also in my dream, and behold, seven ears, full and good, came up on a single stalk; 23 and behold, seven ears, withered, thin, and scorched by the east wind, sprouted up after them; 24 and the thin ears swallowed the seven good ears. So I told it to the magicians, but there was no one who could declare it to me.” 25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Pharaoh’s dreams are one and the same; God has declared 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 and the same. 27 And the seven lean and ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, and the seven lean ears scorched by the east wind will be seven years of famine. 28 It is as I have spoken to Pharaoh: God has shown to Pharaoh what He is about to do. 29 Behold, seven years of great abundance are coming in all the land of Egypt; 30 and after them seven years of famine will arise, and all the abundance will be forgotten in the land of Egypt, and the famine will ravage the land, 31 so that the abundance will be unknown in the land because of that subsequent famine; for it will be very heavy. 32 Now as for the repeating of the dream to Pharaoh twice, it means that the matter is confirmed by God, and God will quickly bring it about. 33 So now let Pharaoh look for a man understanding and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. 34 Let Pharaoh take action and appoint overseers over the land, and let him exact a fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven years of abundance. 35 Then let them gather all the food of these good years that are coming, and let them store up the grain for food in the cities under Pharaoh’s authority, and let them keep watch over it. 36 And let the food be appointed for the land for the seven years of famine which will happen in the land of Egypt, so that the land will not be cut off during the famine.”
Joseph Is Set over Egypt37 And the proposal seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his servants. 38 Then Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, in whom is a divine spirit?” 39 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made you know all of this, there is no one so understanding and wise as you are. 40 You shall be over my house, and according to your command all my people shall do homage; only in the throne I will be greater than you.” 41 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” 42 Then Pharaoh removed his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand and clothed him in garments of fine linen and put the gold necklace around his neck. 43 And he had him ride in his second chariot; and they called out before him, “Bow the knee!” And he set him over all the land of Egypt. 44 Moreover, Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Though I am Pharaoh, yet without your permission no one shall raise his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.” 45 Then Pharaoh named Joseph Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, as a wife. And Joseph went forth over the land of Egypt. 46 Now Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh, king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh and passed through all the land of Egypt. 47 And during the seven years of plenty the land brought forth abundantly. 48 So he gathered all the food of these seven years which happened in the land of Egypt and placed the food in the cities; he placed in every city the food from its own surrounding fields. 49 Thus Joseph stored up grain in great abundance like the sand of the sea, until he stopped measuring it, for it was beyond measure.
The Sons of Joseph50 Now before the year of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, bore to him. 51 And Joseph named the firstborn Manasseh, “For,” he said, “God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” 52 And he named the second Ephraim, “For,” he said, “God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.” 53 Then the seven years of plenty which had been in the land of Egypt came to an end, 54 and the seven years of famine began to come, just as Joseph had said. So there was famine in all the lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. 55 Then all the land of Egypt was famished, and the people cried out to Pharaoh for bread; and Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph; whatever he says to you, you shall do.” 56 Now the famine was over all the face of the land. And Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold to the Egyptians; and the famine was severe in the land of Egypt. 57 Now all the earth also came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph because the famine was severe in all the earth.
Joseph’s Brothers Sent to EgyptNow Jacob saw that there was grain in Egypt, and Jacob said to his sons, “Why are you staring at one another?” 2 Then he said, “Behold, I have heard that there is grain in Egypt; go down there and buy some for us from there, so that we may live and not die.” 3 So ten brothers of Joseph went down to buy grain from Egypt. 4 But Jacob did not send Joseph’s brother Benjamin with his brothers, for he said, “Lest any harm befall him.” 5 So the sons of Israel came to buy grain among those who were coming, for the famine was in the land of Canaan also. 6 Now Joseph was the one in power over the land; he was the one who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph’s brothers came and bowed down to him with their faces to the ground. 7 And Joseph saw his brothers and recognized them, but he disguised himself to them and spoke to them harshly. And he said to them, “Where have you come from?” And they said, “From the land of Canaan, to buy food.” 8 But Joseph recognized his brothers, although they did not recognize him. 9 And Joseph remembered the dreams which he had about them and said to them, “You are spies; you have come to look at the nakedness of the land.” 10 Then they said to him, “No, my lord, but your servants have come to buy food. 11 We are all sons of one man; we are honest men; your servants are not spies.” 12 And he said to them, “No, but you have come to look at the nakedness of our land!” 13 So they said, “Your servants are twelve brothers in all, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and behold, the youngest is with our father today, and one is no more.” 14 And Joseph said to them, “It is as I said to you, you are spies; 15 by this you will 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 that he may get your brother, while you remain confined, that your words may be tested, whether there is truth in you. But if not, by the life of Pharaoh, surely you are spies.” 17 Then he put them all together in prison for three days. 18 And Joseph said to them on the third day, “Do this and live, for I fear God: 19 if you are honest men, let one of your brothers be confined in your prison; but as for the rest of you, go, bring grain for the famine of your households, 20 and bring your youngest brother to me, so your words may be proven true, and you will not die.” And they did so. 21 Then they said to one another, “Surely we are guilty concerning our brother because we saw the distress of his soul when he begged us, yet we would not listen; therefore this distress has come upon us.” 22 And Reuben answered them, saying, “Did I not tell you, saying, ‘Do not sin against the boy’; yet you would not listen? So also his blood, behold, it is required of us.” 23 Now they did not know that Joseph was listening, for there was an interpreter between them. 24 And he turned away from them and wept. Then he returned to them and spoke to them. And he took Simeon from them and bound him before their eyes. 25 Then Joseph gave a command to fill their bags with grain and to restore every man’s money in his sack and to give them provisions for the journey. And thus it was done for them. 26 So they loaded their donkeys with their grain and went from there. 27 Then one of them opened his sack to give his donkey fodder at the lodging place. And he saw his money; and behold, it was in the mouth of his sack. 28 So he said to his brothers, “My money has been returned, and behold, it is even in my sack.” And their hearts sank, and they turned trembling to one another, saying, “What is this that God has done to us?”
Jacob Is Bereaved29 Then they came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan and told him all that had happened to them, saying, 30 “The man, the lord of the land, spoke harshly with us and took us for spies of the country. 31 So we said to him, ‘We are honest men; we are not spies. 32 We are twelve brothers, sons of our father; one is no more, and the youngest is with our father today in the land of Canaan.’ 33 Then the man, the lord of the land, said to us, ‘By this I will know that you are honest men: leave one of your brothers with me and take grain for the famine of your households, and go. 34 But bring your youngest brother to me that I may know that you are not spies, but honest men. I will give your brother to you, and you may trade in the land.’” 35 Now it happened that they were emptying their sacks, and behold, every man’s bundle of money was in his sack; and they and their father saw their bundles of money, and they feared. 36 And their father Jacob said to them, “You have bereaved me of my children: Joseph is no more, and Simeon is no more, and you would take Benjamin; all these things are against me.” 37 Then Reuben spoke to his father, saying, “You may put my two sons to death if I do not bring him back to you; put him in my hand, and I will return him to you.” 38 But Jacob said, “My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he alone remains. If harm should befall him on the journey on which you are going, then you will bring my gray hair down to Sheol in sorrow.”
The Brothers Return to EgyptNow the famine was heavy in the land. 2 And it happened when they had finished eating the grain which they had brought from Egypt, that their father said to them, “Go back, buy us a little food.” 3 Judah spoke to him, however, saying, “The man solemnly warned us, saying, ‘You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.’ 4 If you send our brother with us, we will go down and buy you food. 5 But if you do not send him, we will not go down; for the man said to us, ‘You will not see my face unless your brother is with you.’” 6 Then Israel said, “Why did you treat me so badly by telling the man whether you still had another brother?” 7 But they said, “The man questioned particularly about us and our kin, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Have you another brother?’ So we told him concerning these things. Could we possibly have known that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down’?” 8 Then Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the boy with me, and we will arise and go, that we may live and not die, we as well as you and our little ones. 9 I myself will be the guarantee for him; from my hand you may require him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, then I shall bear the sin before you all my days. 10 For if we had not delayed, surely by now we could have returned twice.” 11 Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: take some of the best products of the land in your bags, and bring them down to the man as a present, a little balm and a little honey, aromatic gum and myrrh, pistachio nuts and almonds. 12 Now take double the money in your hand, and take back in your hand the money that was put back in the mouth of your sacks; perhaps it was a mistake. 13 And take your brother also, and arise, return to the man; 14 and may God Almighty grant you compassion before the man, so that he will release to you your other brother and Benjamin. And as for me, if I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.” 15 So the men took this present, and they took double the money in their hand, and Benjamin; and they arose and went down to Egypt and stood before Joseph.
Joseph Sees Benjamin16 Then Joseph saw Benjamin with them and said to his house steward, “Bring the men into the house, and slay an animal and prepare it; for the men are to eat with me at noon.” 17 So the man did as Joseph said and brought the men to Joseph’s house. 18 And the men were afraid because they were brought to Joseph’s house; and they said, “It is because of the money that was returned in our sacks the first time that we are being brought in, that he may seek occasion against us and fall upon us and take us for slaves with our donkeys.” 19 So they came near to Joseph’s house steward and spoke to him at the entrance of the house, 20 and they said, “Oh, my lord, we indeed came down the first time to buy food, 21 and it happened when we came to the lodging place, that we opened our sacks, and behold, each man’s money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full. So we have brought it back in our hand. 22 We have also brought down other money in our hand to buy food; we do not know who put our money in our sacks.” 23 And he said, “Be well, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has given you treasure in your sacks; your money has come to me.” Then he brought Simeon out to them. 24 Then the man brought the men into Joseph’s house and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their donkeys fodder. 25 So they prepared the present for Joseph’s coming at noon; for they had heard that they were to eat a meal there. 26 Then Joseph came home, and they brought into the house to him the present which was in their hand and bowed to the ground before him. 27 And he asked them about their well-being and said, “Is your old father well, of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?” 28 And they said, “Your servant our father is well; he is still alive.” They bowed down and prostrated themselves. 29 Then he lifted his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son. And he said, “Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me?” And he said, “May God be gracious to you, my son.” 30 And Joseph hurried out for he was deeply stirred with compassion over his brother, and he sought a place to weep; and he entered his chamber and wept there. 31 Then he washed his face and came out; and he restrained himself and said, “Set the meal.” 32 So they set the meal for him by himself, and for them by themselves, and for the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because the Egyptians could not eat bread with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians. 33 And they were seated before him, the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth, and the men looked at one another in astonishment. 34 And he took portions to them from his own table, but Benjamin’s portion was five times greater than any of theirs. So they feasted and drank freely with him.