Genesis 41:1 — 42:38
41 And it came about at the end of two full years that Pharaoh was dreaming and here he was standing by the river Nile. 2 And here ascending out of the river Nile were seven cows beautiful in appearance and fat-fleshed, and they went feeding among the Nile grass. 3 And here there were seven other cows ascending after them out of the river Nile, ugly in appearance and thin-fleshed, and they took their stand alongside the cows by the bank of the river Nile. 4 Then the cows that were ugly in appearance and thin-fleshed began to eat up the seven cows that were beautiful in appearance and fat. At this Pharaoh woke up.
5 However, he went back to sleep and dreamed a second time. And here there were seven ears of grain coming up on one stalk, fat and good. 6 And here there were seven ears of grain, thin and scorched by the east wind, growing up after them. 7 And the thin ears of grain began to swallow up the seven fat and full ears of grain. At this Pharaoh woke up and here it was a dream.
8 And it developed in the morning that his spirit became agitated. So he sent and called all the magic-practicing priests of Egypt and all her wise men, and Pharaoh went on to relate his dreams to them. But there was no interpreter of them for Pharaoh.
9 Then the chief of the cupbearers spoke with Pharaoh, saying: “My sins I am mentioning today. 10 Pharaoh was indignant at his servants. So he committed me to the jail of the house of the chief of the bodyguard, both me and the chief of the bakers. 11 After that we both dreamed a dream in the one night, both I and he. We dreamed each one his dream with its own interpretation. 12 And there was with us there a young man, a Hebrew, a servant of the chief of the bodyguard. When we related them to him, he proceeded to interpret our dreams to us. He interpreted to each according to his dream. 13 And it turned out that just as he had interpreted to us so it happened. Me he returned to my office, but him he hanged.”
14 And Pharaoh proceeded to send and to call Joseph, that they might bring him quickly from the prison hole. Hence he shaved and changed his mantles and went in to Pharaoh. 15 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph: “I have dreamed a dream, but there is no interpreter of it. Now I myself have heard it said about you that you can hear a dream and interpret it.” 16 At this Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying: “I need not be considered! God will announce welfare to Pharaoh.”
17 And Pharaoh went on to speak to Joseph: “In my dream here I was standing on the bank of the river Nile. 18 And here ascending out of the river Nile were seven cows fat-fleshed and beautiful in form, and they began to feed among the Nile grass. 19 And here there were seven other cows ascending after them, poor and very bad in form and thin-fleshed. For badness I have not seen the like of them in all the land of Egypt. 20 And the skinny and bad cows began to eat up the first seven fat cows. 21 So these came into their bellies, and yet it could not be known that they had come into their bellies, as their appearance was bad just as at the start. At that I woke up.
22 “After that I saw in my dream and here there were seven ears of grain coming up on one stalk, full and good. 23 And here there were seven ears of grain shriveled, thin, scorched by the east wind, growing up after them. 24 And the thin ears of grain began to swallow up the seven good ears of grain. So I stated it to the magic-practicing priests, but there was none telling me.”
25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh: “The dream of Pharaoh is but one. What the [true] God is doing he has told to Pharaoh. 26 The seven good cows are seven years. Likewise the seven good ears of grain are seven years. The dream is but one. 27 And the seven skinny and bad cows that came up after them are seven years; and the seven empty ears of grain, scorched by the east wind, will prove to be seven years of famine. 28 This is the thing that I have spoken to Pharaoh: What the [true] God is doing he has caused Pharaoh to see.
29 “Here there are seven years coming with great plenty in all the land of Egypt. 30 But seven years of famine will certainly arise after them, and all the plenty in the land of Egypt will certainly be forgotten and the famine will simply consume the land. 31 And the plenty once in the land will not be known as a result of that famine afterward, because it will certainly be very severe. 32 And the fact that the dream was repeated to Pharaoh twice means that the thing is firmly established on the part of the [true] God, and the [true] God is speeding to do it.
33 “So now let Pharaoh look for a man discreet and wise and set him over the land of Egypt. 34 Let Pharaoh act and appoint overseers over the land, and he must take up one fifth of the land of Egypt during the seven years of plenty. 35 And let them collect all the foodstuffs of these coming good years, and let them pile up grain under Pharaoh’s hand as foodstuffs in the cities, and they must safeguard it. 36 And the foodstuffs must serve as a supply for the land for the seven famine years, which will develop in the land of Egypt, in order that the land may not be cut off by the famine.”
37 Well, the thing proved to be good in the eyes of Pharaoh and of all his servants. 38 So Pharaoh said to his servants: “Can another man be found like this one in whom the spirit of God is?” 39 After that Pharaoh said to Joseph: “Since God has caused you to know all this, there is no one as discreet and wise as you are. 40 You will personally be over my house, and all my people will obey you implicitly. Only as to the throne shall I be greater than you.” 41 And Pharaoh added to Joseph: “See, I do place you over all the land of Egypt.” 42 With that Pharaoh removed his signet ring from his own hand and put it upon Joseph’s hand and clothed him with garments of fine linen and placed a necklace of gold about his neck. 43 Moreover, he had him ride in the second chariot of honor that he had, so that they should call out ahead of him, “Avrékh!” thus putting him over all the land of Egypt.
44 And Pharaoh further said to Joseph: “I am Pharaoh, but without your authorization no man may lift up his hand or his foot in all the land of Egypt.” 45 After that Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphenath-paneah and gave him Asenath the daughter of Potiphera the priest of On as a wife. And Joseph began to go out over the land of Egypt. 46 And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh the king of Egypt.
Then Joseph went out from before Pharaoh and toured about in all the land of Egypt. 47 And during the seven years of plenty the land went on producing by the handfuls. 48 And he kept collecting all the foodstuffs of the seven years that came upon the land of Egypt and he would put the foodstuffs in the cities. The foodstuffs of the field that was round about a city he put in the midst of it. 49 And Joseph continued piling up grain in very great quantity, like the sand of the sea, until finally they gave up counting it, because it was without number.
50 And before the year of the famine arrived there were born to Joseph two sons, whom Asenath the daughter of Potiphera the priest of On bore to him. 51 So Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh, because, to quote him, “God has made me forget all my trouble and all the house of my father.” 52 And the name of the second he called Ephraim, because, to quote him, “God has made me fruitful in the land of my wretchedness.”
53 And the seven years of the plenty that had obtained in the land of Egypt gradually ended, 54 and, in turn, the seven years of the famine started to come, just as Joseph had said. And the famine developed in all the lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was found bread. 55 Finally all the land of Egypt became famished and the people began to cry to Pharaoh for bread. Then Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians: “Go to Joseph. Whatever he says to YOU, YOU are to do.” 56 And the famine obtained over all the surface of the earth. Then Joseph began to open up all the grain depositories that were among them and to sell to the Egyptians, as the famine got a strong grip on the land of Egypt. 57 Moreover, people of all the earth came to Egypt to buy from Joseph, because the famine had a strong grip on all the earth.
42 Eventually Jacob got to see that there were cereals in Egypt. Then Jacob said to his sons: “Why do YOU keep looking at one another?” 2 And he added: “Here I have heard that there are cereals in Egypt. Go down there and buy for us from there, that we may keep alive and not die off.” 3 Accordingly ten brothers of Joseph went down to buy grain from Egypt. 4 But Jacob did not send Benjamin, Joseph’s brother, with his other brothers, because he said: “Otherwise a fatal accident may befall him.”
5 So Israel’s sons came along with the others who were coming to buy, because the famine existed in the land of Canaan. 6 And Joseph was the man in power over the land. He was the one that did the selling to all people of the earth. Consequently Joseph’s brothers came and bowed low to him with their faces to the earth. 7 When Joseph got to see his brothers, he at once recognized them, but he made himself unrecognizable to them. So he spoke harshly with them and said to them: “Where have YOU come from?” to which they said: “From the land of Canaan to buy foodstuffs.”
8 Thus Joseph recognized his brothers, but they themselves did not recognize him. 9 Immediately Joseph remembered the dreams that he had dreamed respecting them, and he went on to say to them: “YOU are spies! YOU have come to see the exposed condition of the land!” 10 Then they said to him: “No, my lord, but your servants have come to buy foodstuffs. 11 We are all of us sons of but one man. We are upright men. Your servants do not act as spies.” 12 But he said to them: “Not so! Because YOU have come to see the exposed condition of the land!” 13 At this they said: “Your servants are twelve brothers. We are the sons of but one man in the land of Canaan; and here the youngest is with our father today, whereas the other one is no more.”
14 However, Joseph said to them: “It is what I have spoken to YOU, saying, ‘YOU are spies!’ 15 By this YOU will be tested out. As Pharaoh lives, YOU will not go out of here except when YOUR youngest brother comes here. 16 Send one of YOU that he may get YOUR brother while YOU have been bound, that YOUR words may be tested out as the truth in YOUR case. And if not, then, as Pharaoh lives, YOU are spies.” 17 With that he put them together in custody for three days.
18 After that Joseph said to them on the third day: “Do this and keep alive. I fear the [true] God. 19 If YOU are upright, let one of YOUR brothers be kept bound in YOUR house of custody, but the rest of YOU go, take cereals for the famine in YOUR houses. 20 Then YOU will bring YOUR youngest brother to me, that YOUR words may be found trustworthy; and YOU will not die.” And they proceeded to do so.
21 And they began to say one to the other: “Unquestionably we are guilty with regard to our brother, because we saw the distress of his soul when he implored compassion on our part, but we did not listen. That is why this distress has come upon us.” 22 Then Reuben answered them, saying: “Did not I say to YOU, ‘Do not sin against the child,’ but YOU did not listen? And now his blood, here it is certainly asked back.” 23 As for them, they did not know that Joseph was listening, because there was an interpreter between them. 24 Consequently he turned away from them and began to weep. Then he returned to them and spoke to them and took Simeon from them and bound him before their eyes. 25 After that Joseph gave the command, and they went filling up their receptacles with grain. Also, they were to return the money of the men to each one’s individual sack and to give them provisions for the journey. Accordingly it was done so to them.
26 So they loaded their cereals upon their asses and got on their way from there. 27 When one opened his sack to give fodder to his ass at the lodging place, he got to see his money, and here it was in the mouth of his bag. 28 At that he said to his brothers: “My money has been returned and now here it is in my bag!” Then their hearts sank, so that they turned trembling to one another, saying: “What is this God has done to us?”
29 At length they came to Jacob their father to the land of Canaan and told him all the things that had befallen them, saying: 30 “The man who is the lord of the country spoke harshly with us, since he took us for men spying on the country. 31 But we said to him, ‘We are upright men. We do not act as spies. 32 We are twelve brothers, the sons of our father. One is no more, and the youngest is today with our father in the land of Canaan.’ 33 But the man who is the lord of the country said to us, ‘By this I am going to know YOU are upright: Have one brother of YOURS stay with me. Then YOU take something for the famine in YOUR houses and go. 34 And bring YOUR youngest brother to me, that I may know that YOU are no spies but YOU are upright. Your brother I shall give back to YOU, and YOU may carry on business in the land.’”
35 And it came about that when they were emptying their sacks here was each one’s bundle of money in his sack. And they as well as their father got to see their bundles of money, and they became afraid. 36 Then Jacob their father exclaimed to them: “It is I YOU have bereaved! Joseph is no more and Simeon is no more, and Benjamin YOU are going to take! It is upon me that all these things have come!” 37 But Reuben said to his father: “My own two sons you may put to death if I do not bring him back to you. Give him over to my care, and I shall be the one to return him to you.” 38 However, he said: “My son will not go down with YOU men, because his brother is dead and he has been left by himself. If a fatal accident should befall him on the way on which YOU would go, then YOU would certainly bring down my gray hairs with grief to Sheol.”