The Dreams of Two Prisoners
1Some time after this, the cupbearer of the king of Egypt and his baker offended their lord the king of Egypt.2Pharaoh was angry with his two officers, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker,3and he put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the prison where Joseph was confined.4The captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he waited on them; and they continued for some time in custody.5One night they both dreamed—the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison—each his own dream, and each dream with its own meaning.6When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were troubled.7So he asked Pharaoh's officers, who were with him in custody in his master's house, “Why are your faces downcast today?”8They said to him, “We have had dreams, and there is no one to interpret them.” And Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Please tell them to me.”9So the chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, “In my dream there was a vine before me,10and on the vine there were three branches. As soon as it budded, its blossoms came out and the clusters ripened into grapes.11Pharaoh's cup was in my hand; and I took the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh's cup, and placed the cup in Pharaoh's hand.”12Then Joseph said to him, “This is its interpretation: the three branches are three days;13within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your office; and you shall place Pharaoh's cup in his hand, just as you used to do when you were his cupbearer.14But remember me when it is well with you; please do me the kindness to make mention of me to Pharaoh, and so get me out of this place.15For in fact I was stolen out of the land of the Hebrews; and here also I have done nothing that they should have put me into the dungeon.”16When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was favorable, he said to Joseph, “I also had a dream: there were three cake baskets on my head,17and in the uppermost basket there were all sorts of baked food for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating it out of the basket on my head.”18And Joseph answered, “This is its interpretation: the three baskets are three days;19within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head—from you!—and hang you on a pole; and the birds will eat the flesh from you.”20On the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday, he made a feast for all his servants, and lifted up the head of the chief cupbearer and the head of the chief baker among his servants.21He restored the chief cupbearer to his cupbearing, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh's hand;22but the chief baker he hanged, just as Joseph had interpreted to them.23Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.Chapter 41Joseph Interprets Pharaoh's Dream
1After two whole years, Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing by the Nile,2and there came up out of the Nile seven sleek and fat cows, and they grazed in the reed grass.3Then seven other cows, ugly and thin, came up out of the Nile after them, and stood by the other cows on the bank of the Nile.4The ugly and thin cows ate up the seven sleek and fat cows. And Pharaoh awoke.5Then he fell asleep and dreamed a second time; seven ears of grain, plump and good, were growing on one stalk.6Then seven ears, thin and blighted by the east wind, sprouted after them.7The thin ears swallowed up the seven plump and full ears. Pharaoh awoke, and it was a dream.8In the morning his spirit was troubled; so he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt and all its wise men. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was no one who could interpret them to Pharaoh.9Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “I remember my faults today.10Once Pharaoh was angry with his servants, and put me and the chief baker in custody in the house of the captain of the guard.11We dreamed on the same night, he and I, each having a dream with its own meaning.12A young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. When we told him, he interpreted our dreams to us, giving an interpretation to each according to his dream.13As he interpreted to us, so it turned out; I was restored to my office, and the baker was hanged.”14Then Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was hurriedly brought out of the dungeon. When he had shaved himself and changed his clothes, he came in before Pharaoh.15And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.”16Joseph answered Pharaoh, “It is not I; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.”17Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing on the banks of the Nile;18and seven cows, fat and sleek, came up out of the Nile and fed in the reed grass.19Then seven other cows came up after them, poor, very ugly, and thin. Never had I seen such ugly ones in all the land of Egypt.20The thin and ugly cows ate up the first seven fat cows,21but when they had eaten them no one would have known that they had done so, for they were still as ugly as before. Then I awoke.22I fell asleep a second time and I saw in my dream seven ears of grain, full and good, growing on one stalk,23and seven ears, withered, thin, and blighted by the east wind, sprouting after them;24and the thin ears swallowed up the seven good ears. But when I told it to the magicians, there was no one who could explain it to me.”25Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Pharaoh's dreams are one and the same; God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do.26The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good ears are seven years; the dreams are one.27The seven lean and ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, as are the seven empty ears blighted by the east wind. They are seven years of famine.28It is as I told Pharaoh; God has shown to Pharaoh what he is about to do.29There will come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt.30After them there will arise seven years of famine, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt; the famine will consume the land.31The plenty will no longer be known in the land because of the famine that will follow, for it will be very grievous.32And the doubling of Pharaoh's dream means that the thing is fixed by God, and God will shortly bring it about.33Now therefore let Pharaoh select a man who is discerning and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt.34Let Pharaoh proceed to appoint overseers over the land, and take one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt during the seven plenteous years.35Let them gather all the food of these good years that are coming, and lay up grain under the authority of Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them keep it.36That food shall be a reserve for the land against the seven years of famine that are to befall the land of Egypt, so that the land may not perish through the famine.”Joseph's Rise to Power
37The proposal pleased Pharaoh and all his servants.38Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find anyone else like this—one in whom is the spirit of God?”39So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is no one so discerning and wise as you.40You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command; only with regard to the throne will I be greater than you.”41And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.”42Removing his signet ring from his hand, Pharaoh put it on Joseph's hand; he arrayed him in garments of fine linen, and put a gold chain around his neck.43He had him ride in the chariot of his second-in-command; and they cried out in front of him, “Bow the knee!” Thus he set him over all the land of Egypt.44Moreover Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no one shall lift up hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.”45Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, as his wife. Thus Joseph gained authority over the land of Egypt.46Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went through all the land of Egypt.47During the seven plenteous years the earth produced abundantly.48He gathered up all the food of the seven years when there was plenty in the land of Egypt, and stored up food in the cities; he stored up in every city the food from the fields around it.49So Joseph stored up grain in such abundance—like the sand of the sea—that he stopped measuring it; it was beyond measure.50Before the years of famine came, Joseph had two sons, whom Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, bore to him.51Joseph named the firstborn Manasseh, “For,” he said, “God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father's house.”52The second he named Ephraim, “For God has made me fruitful in the land of my misfortunes.”53The seven years of plenty that prevailed in the land of Egypt came to an end;54and the seven years of famine began to come, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in every country, but throughout the land of Egypt there was bread.55When all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread. Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph; what he says to you, do.”56And since the famine had spread over all the land, Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe in the land of Egypt.57Moreover, all the world came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain, because the famine became severe throughout the world.