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1 And it came to passe at the end of two ful yeeres, that Pharaoh dreamed: and beholde, hee stood by the riuer.

2 And behold, there came vp out of the riuer seuen well fauoured kine, and fat fleshed, and they fed in a medow.

3 And behold, seuen other kine came vp after them out of the riuer, ill fauoured and leane fleshed, and stood by the other kine, vpon the brinke of the riuer.

4 And the ill fauoured and leane fleshed kine, did eate vp the seuen well fauoured and fat kine: So Pharaoh awoke.

5 And hee slept and dreamed the second time: and beholde, seuen eares of corne came vp vpon one stalke, ranke and good.

6 And beholde, seuen thinne eares and blasted with the Eastwind, sprang vp after them.

7 And the seuen thinne eares deuoured the seuen ranke and full eares: and Pharaoh awoke, and behold, it was a dreame.

8 And it came to passe in the morning, that his spirit was troubled, and he sent and called for all the Magicians of Egypt, and all the wise men thereof: and Pharaoh tolde them his dreame; but there was none that could interprete them vnto Pharaoh.

9 Then spake the chiefe Butler vnto Pharaoh, saying, I doe remember my faults this day.

10 Pharaoh was wroth with his seruants, and put mee in warde, in the captaine of the guards house, both mee, and the chiefe Baker.

11 And we dreamed a dreame in one night, I and he: we dreamed each man according to the interpretation of his dreame.

12 And there was there with vs a yong man an Hebrew, seruant to the captaine of the guard: and wee told him, and he interpreted to vs our dreames, to each man according to his dreame, he did interpret.

13 And it came to passe, as he interpreted to vs, so it was; mee he restored vnto mine office, and him he hanged.

14 Then Pharaoh sent and called Ioseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: And he shaued himselfe, and changed his raiment, and came in vnto Pharaoh.

15 And Pharaoh said vnto Ioseph, I haue dreamed a dreame, and there is none that can interpret it: and I haue heard say of thee, that thou canst vnderstand a dreame, to interpret it.

16 And Ioseph answered Pharaoh, saying; It is not in me: God shall giue Pharaoh an answere of peace.

17 And Pharaoh said vnto Ioseph; In my dreame, behold, I stood vpon the banke of the riuer.

18 And behold, there came vp out of the riuer seuen kine, fat fleshed and well fauoured, and they fed in a medow.

19 And behold, seuen other kine came vp after them, poore and very ill fauoured, and leane fleshed, such as I neuer saw in all the land of Egypt for badnes.

20 And the leane, & the ill fauoured kine, did eate vp the first seuen fat kine.

21 And when they had eaten them vp, it could not bee knowen that they had eaten them, but they were still ill fauoured, as at the beginning: So I awoke.

22 And I saw in my dreame, and behold, seuen eares came vp in one stalke, full and good.

23 And behold, seuen eares withered, thin & blasted with the East wind, sprung vp after them.

24 And the thin eares deuoured the seuen good eares: and I told this vnto the magicians, but there was none that could declare it to me.

25 And Ioseph said vnto Pharaoh, the dreame of Pharaoh is one; God hath shewed Pharaoh what he is about to doe.

26 The seuen good kine are seuen yeeres: and the seuen good eares are seuen yeeres: the dreame is one.

27 And the seuen thin and ill fauoured kine that came vp after them, are seuen yeeres: and the seuen emptie eares blasted with the East wind, shall bee seuen yeeres of famine.

28 This is the thing which I haue spoken vnto Pharaoh: what God is about to doe, he sheweth vnto Pharaoh.

29 Behold, there come seuen yeeres of great plentie, throughout all the land of Egypt.

30 And there shall arise after them, seuen yeeres of famine, and all the plentie shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt: and the famine shall consume the land.

31 And the plentie shal not be knowen in the land, by reason of that famine following: for it shalbe very grieuous.

32 And for that the dreame was doubled vnto Pharaoh twice, it is because the thing is established by God: and God will shortly bring it to passe.

33 Now therfore let Pharaoh looke out a man discreet and wise, and set him ouer the land of Egypt.

34 Let Pharaoh doe this, and let him appoint officers ouer the land, & take vp the fift part of the land of Egypt, in the seuen plenteous yeeres.

35 And let them gather all the food of those good yeeres that come, and lay vp corne vnder the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keepe food in the cities.

36 And that food shall be for store to the land, against the seuen yeeres of famine, which shall bee in the land of Egypt, that the land perish not through the famine.

37 And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his seruants.

38 And Pharaoh said vnto his seruants, Can we find such a one, as this is, a man in whom the spirit of God is?

39 And Pharaoh said vnto Ioseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreete and wise, as thou art:

40 Thou shalt be ouer my house, and according vnto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater then thou.

41 And Pharaoh said vnto Ioseph, See, I haue set thee ouer all the land of Egypt.

42 And Pharaoh tooke off his ring from his hand, & put it vpon Iosephs hand, and arayed him in vestures of fine linnen, and put a gold chaine about his necke.

43 And he made him to ride in the second charet which he had: and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler ouer all the land of Egypt.

44 And Pharaoh said vnto Ioseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift vp his hand or foote, in all the land of Egypt.

45 And Pharaoh called Iosephs name, Zaphnath-Paaneah, and he gaue him to wife Asenath the daughter of Poti-pherah, priest of On: and Ioseph went out ouer all the lande of Egypt.

46 ( And Ioseph was thirtie yeeres old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt) and Ioseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went thorowout all the land of Egypt.

47 And in the seuen plenteous yeres the earth brought forth by handfuls.

48 And he gathered vp all the foode of the seuen yeeres, which were in the land of Egypt, and laid vp the foode in the cities: the foode of the field which was round about euery citie, laid he vp in the same.

49 And Ioseph gathered corne as the sand of the sea, very much, vntill he left numbring: for it was without number.

50 And vnto Ioseph were borne two sonnes, before the yeeres of famine came: which Asenath the daughter of Poti-pherah, Priest of On bare vnto him.

51 And Ioseph called the name of the first borne Manasseh: for God, said hee, hath made me forget all my toile, and all my fathers house.

52 And the name of the second called he Ephraim: for God hath caused mee to be fruitfull in the land of my affliction.

53 And the seuen yeeres of plenteousnesse, that was in the land of Egypt, were ended.

54 And the seuen yeeres of dearth beganne to come according as Ioseph had saide, and the dearth was in all lands: but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.

55 And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said vnto all the Egyptians, Goe vnto Ioseph: what he saith to you, doe.

56 And the famine was ouer all the face of the earth; and Ioseph opened all the storehouses, and solde vnto the Egyptians: and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt.

57 And all countreys came into Egypt to Ioseph, for to buy corne, because that the famine was so sore in all lands.

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Commentary for Genesis 41

Pharaoh's dreams. (1-8) Joseph interprets Pharaoh's dreams. (9-32) Joseph's counsel, He is highly advanced. (33-45) Joseph's children, The beginning of the famine. (46-57)1-8 The means of Joseph's being freed from prison were Pharaoh's dreams, as here related. Now that God no longer speaks to us in that way, it is no matter how little we either heed dreams, or tell them. The telling of foolish dreams can make no better than foolish talk. But these dreams showed that they were sent of God; when he awoke, Pharaoh's spirit was troubled.

9-32 God's time for the enlargement of his people is the fittest time. If the chief butler had got Joseph to be released from prison, it is probable he would have gone back to the land of the Hebrews. Then he had neither been so blessed himself, nor such a blessing to his family, as afterwards he proved. Joseph, when introduced to Pharaoh, gives honour to God. Pharaoh had dreamed that he stood upon the bank of the river Nile, and saw the kine, both the fat ones, and the lean ones, come out of the river. Egypt has no rain, but the plenty of the year depends upon the overflowing of the river Nile. See how many ways Providence has of dispensing its gifts; yet our dependence is still the same upon the First Cause, who makes every creature what it is to us, be it rain or river. See to what changes the comforts of this life are subject. We cannot be sure that to-morrow shall be as this day, or next year as this. We must learn how to want, as well as how to abound. Mark the goodness of God in sending the seven years of plenty before those of famine, that provision might be made. The produce of the earth is sometimes more, and sometimes less; yet, take one with another, he that gathers much, has nothing over; and he that gathers little, has no lack, #Ex 16:18|. And see the perishing nature of our worldly enjoyments. The great harvests of the years of plenty were quite lost, and swallowed up in the years of famine; and that which seemed very much, yet did but just serve to keep the people alive. There is bread which lasts to eternal life, which it is worth while to labour for. They that make the things of this world their good things, will find little pleasure in remembering that they have received them.

33-45 Joseph gave good advice to Pharaoh. Fair warning should always be followed by good counsel. God has in his word told us of a day of trial before us, when we shall need all the grace we can have. Now, therefore, provide accordingly. Pharaoh gave Joseph an honourable testimony. He is a man in whom the spirit of God is; and such men ought to be valued. Pharaoh puts upon Joseph marks of honour. He gave him such a name as spoke the value he had for him, Zaphnath-paaneah, "a revealer of secrets." This preferment of Joseph encourages all to trust in God. Some translate Joseph's new name, "the saviour of the world." The brightest glories, even of the upper world, are put upon Christ, the highest trust lodged in his hand, and all power given him, both in heaven and earth.

46-57 In the names of his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, Joseph owned the Divine providence. 1. He was made to forget his misery. 2. He was made fruitful in the land of his affliction. The seven plenteous years came, and were ended. We ought to look forward to the end of the days, both of our prosperity and of our opportunity. We must not be secure in prosperity, nor slothful in making good use of opportunity. Years of plenty will end; what thy hand finds to do, do it; and gather in gathering time. The dearth came, and the famine was not only in Egypt, but in other lands. Joseph was diligent in laying up, while the plenty lasted. He was prudent and careful in giving out, when the famine came. Joseph was engaged in useful and important labours. Yet it was in the midst of this his activity that his father Jacob said, Joseph is not! What a large portion of our troubles would be done away if we knew the whole truth! Let these events lead us to Jesus. There is a famine of the bread of life throughout the whole earth. Go to Jesus, and what he bids you, do. Attend to His voice, apply to him; he will open his treasures, and satisfy with goodness the hungry soul of every age and nation, without money and without price. But those who slight this provision must starve, and his enemies will be destroyed.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Genesis 41

  • Dee
    God gets all the glory.
  • EVELENA
    I studied this chapter word by word and I was amazed at God's making of a man for the Master's use grooming Joseph from critical care unit ( my modern terminology) to a man used to save all of Egypt. I am amazed at the intelligence of God! The level of God's brilliance. He is amazing.
  • A disciple
    "And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace." The Lord Jesus Christ at the right hand of God the Father sees all the inhabitants of the earth, and knows all things, and works all things by His Spirit. It should not then be thought a strange thing that good and holy men who have proven true by His Spirit, should also be so wise and understanding.
  • PRINCE
    Genesis 41 and Joseph's life is consolidated by Genesis1:2-3 before God created light, there was darkness. Even a Christian before God exalts you, there has to be tribulation to reveal whether the heart will still believe in difficult circumstances. Just like Abraham before God gave him a child was subjected to long-suffering and famine even when ISAAC came he was asked to offer him to prove faith
  • A disciple
    Note carefully how this Pharaoh reacts to the words of the man of God. This particular Pharaoh was a righteous man, and true enough to recognize good and sound words from God. He also evidently had no problem with God, with respect to his own position as king of Egypt; and was ready and able to act in faith appropriately, with respect to God's doings, and his own place as the ruler of his people.
  • Hajara
    The life of Joseph shows that humility and trust in God is the only way to success, also hard work, Joseph was all over Egypt, his position did not change anything

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