1 Two years later Pharaoh had a dream. He dreamed he was standing by the Nile River.
2 Suddenly, seven nice-looking well-fed cows came up from the river and began to graze among the reeds.
3 Seven other cows came up from the river behind them. These cows were sickly and skinny. They stood behind the first seven cows on the riverbank.
4 The cows that were sickly and skinny ate the seven nice-looking well-fed cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.
5 He fell asleep again and had another dream. Seven heads of grain, full and ripe, were growing on one stalk.
6 Then seven other heads of grain sprouted thin and scorched by the desert wind.
7 The thin heads of grain swallowed the full ones. The king woke up and realized that he had been dreaming.
8 The king was upset the next morning. So he called his magicians and wise men and told them what he had dreamed. None of them could tell him what the dreams meant.
9 The kings chief cupbearer said: »Now I remember what I was supposed to do.
10 »When you were angry with your chief cook and me, you threw us both in jail in the house of the captain of the guard.
11 »One night we both had dreams. Each dream had a different meaning.
12 »A young Hebrew, who was a servant of the captain of the guard, was there with us at the time. When we told him our dreams, he explained what each of them meant.
13 »Everything happened just as he said it would. I got my job back, and the cook was put to death.«
14 So the king sent for Joseph. He was quickly brought out of jail. He shaved, changed his clothes, and went to the king.
15 The king said: »I had a dream. No one can explain what it means. I am told that you can interpret dreams.«
16 Joseph then answered Pharaoh: »I cannot do it myself, but God can give the meaning of your dreams.«
17 The king told Joseph: »I dreamed as I stood on the bank of the Nile River,
18 »I saw seven fat, healthy cows come up out of the river. They began feeding on the grass.
19 »Next, seven skinny, bony cows came up out of the river. I have never seen such terrible looking cows anywhere in Egypt.
20 »The skinny cows ate the fat ones!
21 »Even though they had eaten the fat cows, no one could tell they had eaten them. They looked just as sick as before. Then I woke up.
22 »In my second dream I saw seven good, full heads of grain growing on a single stalk.
23 »Seven other heads of grain, withered, thin, and scorched by the east wind, sprouted behind them.
24 »The thin heads of grain swallowed the seven good heads. I told this to the magicians, but no one could tell me what it meant.«
25 Joseph said to Pharaoh: »Pharaoh had the same dream twice. God has told Pharaoh what he is going to do.
26 »The seven good cows are seven years. The seven good heads of grain are seven years. It is all the same dream.
27 »The seven thin, sickly cows that came up behind them are seven years. The seven empty heads of grain scorched by the east wind are also seven years. Seven years of famine are coming!
28 »It is just as I said to Pharaoh. God has shown Pharaoh what he is going to do.
29 »Seven years are coming when there will be plenty of food in Egypt.
30 »Seven years of famine will follow. Then people will forget that there was plenty of food in Egypt. The famine will ruin the land.
31 »People will not remember that there was once plenty of food in the land, because the coming famine will be so severe.
32 »The reason Pharaoh has had a recurring dream is because the matter has been definitely decided by God. He will do it very soon.
33 »Pharaoh should look for a wise and intelligent man and put him in charge of Egypt.
34 »Make arrangements to appoint supervisors over the land. Take a fifth of Egypts harvest during the seven good years.
35 »Have them collect all the food during these good years. Store up grain under Pharaohs control, to be kept for food in the cities.
36 »This food will be a reserve supply for our country during the seven years of famine that will happen in Egypt. Then the land will not be ruined by the famine.«
37 The king and his officials approved this plan,
38 and he said to them: »We will never find a better man than Joseph. He is a man who has Gods Spirit in him.«
39 The king said to Joseph: »God has shown you all this. Therefore it is obvious that you have greater wisdom and insight than anyone else.
40 »I will put you in charge of my country. All my people will obey your orders. Your authority will be second only to mine.
41 »I now appoint you governor over all Egypt.«
42 Pharaoh took his signet ring from his hand and put it on Josephs hand. He clothed him in garments of fine linen and put the gold necklace around his neck.
43 He had him ride in his second chariot. They proclaimed before him: »Bow the knee!« Thus he set him over all the land of Egypt.
44 Moreover, Pharaoh said to Joseph: »Though I am Pharaoh, yet without your permission no one shall raise his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.«
45 Pharaoh named Joseph, Zaphenath-paneah. He gave him Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, as his wife. And Joseph went forth over the land of Egypt.
46 Now Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh, king of Egypt. Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh and went through all the land of Egypt.
47 During the seven years of plenty the land produced abundantly.
48 He gathered all the food of these seven years that occurred in the land of Egypt and placed the food in the cities. He placed in every city the food from its own surrounding fields.
49 Thus Joseph stored up grain in great abundance, like the sand of the sea. He finally stopped measuring it, for it was beyond measure.
50 Before the year of famine came, there were born to Joseph two sons, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, bore to him.
51 Joseph named his firstborn son Manasseh, because God helped him forget all his troubles and all about his fathers family.
52 He named the second son Ephraim, because God made him fruitful in the land where he had suffered.
53 The seven years when there was plenty of food in Egypt came to an end.
54 The seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in every other country, but there was food throughout Egypt.
55 When the Egyptians became hungry, they cried out to the king for food. So he ordered them to go to Joseph and do what he told them.
56 The famine grew worse and spread over the entire country. Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians.
57 People came to Egypt from all over the world to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe everywhere.