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Genesis Chapter 41 | Parsha: Mikkets

1After two years’ time, Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing by the Nile, 2when out of the Nile there came up seven cows, handsome and sturdy, and they grazed in the reed grass. 3But presently, seven other cows came up from the Nile close behind them, ugly and gaunt, and stood beside the cows on the bank of the Nile; 4and the ugly gaunt cows ate up the seven handsome sturdy cows. And Pharaoh awoke.

5He fell asleep and dreamed a second time: Seven ears of grain, solid and healthy, grew on a single stalk. 6But close behind them sprouted seven ears, thin and scorched by the east wind. 7And the thin ears swallowed up the seven solid and full ears. Then Pharaoh awoke: it was a dream!

8Next morning, his spirit was agitated, and he sent for all the magicians of Egypt, and all its wise men; and Pharaoh told them his dreams, but none could interpret them for Pharaoh.

9The chief cupbearer then spoke up and said to Pharaoh, “I must make mention today of my offenses. 10Once Pharaoh was angry with his servants, and placed me in custody in the house of the chief steward, together with the chief baker. 11We had dreams the same night, he and I, each of us a dream with a meaning of its own. 12A Hebrew youth was there with us, a servant of the chief steward; and when we told him our dreams, he interpreted them for us, telling each of the meaning of his dream. 13And as he interpreted for us, so it came to pass: I was restored to my post, and the other was impaled.”

14Thereupon Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was rushed from the dungeon. He had his hair cut and changed his clothes, and he appeared before Pharaoh. 15And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, but no one can interpret it. Now I have heard it said of you that for you to hear a dream is to tell its meaning.” 16Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, “Not I! God will see to Pharaoh’s welfare.”

17Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream, I was standing on the bank of the Nile, 18when out of the Nile came up seven sturdy and well-formed cows and grazed in the reed grass. 19Presently there followed them seven other cows, scrawny, ill-formed, and emaciated—never had I seen their likes for ugliness in all the land of Egypt! 20And the seven lean and ugly cows ate up the first seven cows, the sturdy ones; 21but when they had consumed them, one could not tell that they had consumed them, for they looked just as bad as before. And I awoke. 22In my other dream, I saw seven ears of grain, full and healthy, growing on a single stalk; 23but right behind them sprouted seven ears, shriveled, thin, and scorched by the east wind. 24And the thin ears swallowed the seven healthy ears. I have told my magicians, but none has an explanation for me.”

25And Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Pharaoh’s dreams are one and the same: God has told Pharaoh what He is about to do. 26The seven healthy cows are seven years, and the seven healthy ears are seven years; it is the same dream. 27The seven lean and ugly cows that followed are seven years, as are also the seven empty ears scorched by the east wind; they are seven years of famine. 28It is just as I have told Pharaoh: God has revealed to Pharaoh what He is about to do. 29Immediately ahead are seven years of great abundance in all the land of Egypt. 30After them will come seven years of famine, and all the abundance in the land of Egypt will be forgotten. As the land is ravaged by famine, 31no trace of the abundance will be left in the land because of the famine thereafter, for it will be very severe. 32As for Pharaoh having had the same dream twice, it means that the matter has been determined by God, and that God will soon carry it out.

33“Accordingly, let Pharaoh find a man of discernment and wisdom, and set him over the land of Egypt. 34And let Pharaoh take steps to appoint overseers over the land, and organize the land of Egypt in the seven years of plenty. 35Let all the food of these good years that are coming be gathered, and let the grain be collected under Pharaoh’s authority as food to be stored in the cities. 36Let that food be a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which will come upon the land of Egypt, so that the land may not perish in the famine.”

37The plan pleased Pharaoh and all his courtiers. 38And Pharaoh said to his courtiers, “Could we find another like him, a man in whom is the spirit of God?” 39So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is none so discerning and wise as you. 40You shall be in charge of my court, and by your command shall all my people be directed; only with respect to the throne shall I be superior to you.” 41Pharaoh further said to Joseph, “See, I put you in charge of all the land of Egypt.” 42And removing his signet ring from his hand, Pharaoh put it on Joseph’s hand; and he had him dressed in robes of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck. 43He had him ride in the chariot of his second-in-command, and they cried before him, “Abrek!” Thus he placed him over all the land of Egypt.

44Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh; yet without you, no one shall lift up hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.” 45Pharaoh then gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him for a wife Asenath daughter of Poti-phera, priest of On. Thus Joseph emerged in charge of the land of Egypt.— 46Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt.—Leaving Pharaoh’s presence, Joseph traveled through all the land of Egypt.

47During the seven years of plenty, the land produced in abundance. 48And he gathered all the grain of the seven years that the land of Egypt was enjoying, and stored the grain in the cities; he put in each city the grain of the fields around it. 49So Joseph collected produce in very large quantity, like the sands of the sea, until he ceased to measure it, for it could not be measured.

50Before the years of famine came, Joseph became the father of two sons, whom Asenath daughter of Poti-phera, priest of On, bore to him. 51Joseph named the first-born Manasseh, meaning, “God has made me forget completely my hardship and my parental home.” 52And the second he named Ephraim, meaning, “God has made me fertile in the land of my affliction.”

53The seven years of abundance that the land of Egypt enjoyed came to an end, 54and the seven years of famine set in, just as Joseph had foretold. There was famine in all lands, but throughout the land of Egypt there was bread. 55And when all the land of Egypt felt the hunger, the people cried out to Pharaoh for bread; and Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph; whatever he tells you, you shall do.”— 56Accordingly, when the famine became severe in the land of Egypt, Joseph laid open all that was within, and rationed out grain to the Egyptians. The famine, however, spread over the whole world. 57So all the world came to Joseph in Egypt to procure rations, for the famine had become severe throughout the world.

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