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Genesis 41:1 - 41:36

Joseph Interprets Pharaoh’s Dream

Now 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.”