Pharaoh has two dreams, 1-8. Joseph interprets them, 9-32. He gives Pharaoh counsel, and is highly advanced and married to Asenath, 33-45. The seven years of plenty, 46-49. He begets children, 50-52. The famine begins, 53-57.
1 And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed. And behold, he stood by the river. 2 And behold, there came up out of the river seven well-favored and fat-fleshed cows, and they fed in a meadow. 3 And behold, seven other cows came up after them out of the river, ill-favored and lean-fleshed, and stood by the other cows upon the brink of the river. 4 And the ill-favored and lean-fleshed cows ate up the seven well-favored and fat cows. So Pharaoh awoke. 5 And he slept and dreamed the second time. And behold, seven heads of grain came up upon one stalk, healthy and good. 6 And behold, seven heads, thin and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them. 7 And the seven thin heads devoured the seven healthy and full heads. And Pharaoh awoke, and behold, it was a dream. 8 And it came to pass 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 told them his dream, but there was no one who could interpret them to Pharaoh.
9 Then the chief butler spoke to Pharaoh, saying, "I remember my faults this day. 10 Pharaoh was angry with his servants and put me in custody in the captain of the guard's house—both me and the chief baker. 11 And we dreamed a dream in one night—I and he. We each dreamed according to the interpretation of his dream. 12 And there was with us a young man, a Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard, and we told him, and he interpreted our dreams to us. To each man according to his dream he interpreted. 13 And it came to pass, as he interpreted to us, it was so. He restored me to my office, and he hanged him."
14 Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon. And he shaved himself and changed his clothing and came before Pharaoh. 15 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I have dreamed a dream and there is no one who can interpret it. And I have heard it said of you that you can understand a dream to interpret it." 16 And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, "It is not in me. God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace." 17 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, "In my dream, behold, I stood upon the bank of the river. 18 And behold, there came out of the river seven cows, fat-fleshed and well-favored, and they fed in a meadow. 19 And behold, seven other cows came out after them, poor, very ill-favored, and lean-fleshed, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for badness. 20 And the lean and the ill-favored cows ate up the first seven fat cows. 21 And when they had eaten them up, it could not be known that they had eaten them, but they were still ill-favored, as at the beginning. So I awoke. 22 And I saw in my dream, and behold, seven heads came up on one stalk, full and good. 23 And behold, seven heads, withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them. 24 And the thin heads devoured the seven good heads. And I told this to the magicians, but there was no one who could explain it to me."
25 And Joseph said to Pharaoh, "The dream of Pharaoh is one. God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 26 The seven good cows are seven years and the seven good heads are seven years. The dream is one. 27 And the seven thin and ill-favored cows that came up after them are seven years and the seven empty heads blasted with the east wind will be seven years of famine. 28 This is the thing which I have spoken to Pharaoh. What God is about to do he shows to Pharaoh. 29 Behold, there shall come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt. 30 And there shall arise after them seven years of famine, and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt, and the famine shall consume the land. 31 And the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of the famine following, for it will be very grievous. 32 And for that the dream was doubled to Pharaoh twice. It is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass. 33 Now therefore, let Pharaoh look for a man discreet and wise and set him over the land of Egypt. 34 Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years. 35 And let them gather all the food of those good years that come and lay up grain under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. 36 And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt, so that the land may not perish through the famine."
37 And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of all his servants.
38 And Pharaoh said to his servants, "Can we find such a man as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?" 39 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Because God has shown you all this, there is no one so discreet and wise as you are. 40 You shall be over my house, and according to your word all my people shall be ruled. Only in the throne I will be greater than you." 41 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Behold, I have set you over all the land of Egypt." 42 And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. 43 And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had. And they cried before him, "Bow the knee." And he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt. 44 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I am Pharaoh, and without you no man shall lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt." 45 And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnath-paaneah, and he gave him for a wife Asenath the daughter of Poti-pherah priest of On. And Joseph went over all the land of Egypt.
46 And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh and went throughout all the land of Egypt. 47 And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls. 48 And he gathered all the food of the seven years which were in the land of Egypt and laid up the food in the cities. The food of the field which was around every city, he laid up in the same. 49 And Joseph gathered grain as the sand of the sea, very much, until he ceased numbering, for it was without number.
50 And to Joseph two sons were born before the years of famine came, which Asenath the daughter of Poti-pherah priest of On bore to him. 51 And Joseph called the name of the first-born Manasseh. "For God," he said, "has made me forget all my toil and all my father's house." 52 And the name of the second he called Ephraim. "For God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction."
53 And the seven years of plenteousness that was in the land of Egypt had ended. 54 And the seven years of famine began to come, according as Joseph had said. And the famine 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 to all the Egyptians, "Go to Joseph. What he says to you, do." 56 And the famine was over all the face of the earth, and Joseph opened all the store-houses and sold to the Egyptians. And the famine became severe in the land of Egypt. 57 And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph to buy grain because the famine was distressing in all lands.
Matthew Henry Commentary - Genesis, Chapter 41[➚]