Joseph Interprets Two Prisoners’ Dreams
40 Some time after this, the ecupbearer of the king of Egypt and his baker committed an offense against their lord the king of Egypt. 2 And Pharaoh was angry with his two officers, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, 3 fand he put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the prison where Joseph was confined. 4 The captain of the guard appointed Joseph to be with them, and he attended them. They continued for some time in custody.
5 And one 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 interpretation. 6 When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were troubled. 7 So he asked Pharaoh’s officers who were with him in custody in his master’s house, g“Why are your faces downcast today?” 8 They said to him, h“We have had dreams, and there is no one to interpret them.” And Joseph said to them, i“Do not interpretations belong to God? Please tell them to me.”
9 So the chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph and said to him, “In my dream there was a vine before me, 10 and on the vine there were three branches. As soon as it budded, its blossoms shot forth, and the clusters ripened into grapes. 11 Pharaoh’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.” 12 Then Joseph said to him, j“This is its interpretation: kthe three branches are three days. 13 In three days Pharaoh will llift up your head and restore you to your office, and you shall place Pharaoh’s cup in his hand as formerly, when you were his cupbearer. 14 Only remember me, when it is well with you, and please do me the kindness to mention me to Pharaoh, and so get me out of this house. 15 For mI was indeed stolen out of the land of the Hebrews, and nhere also I have done nothing that they should put me into the pit.”
16 When 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, 17 and 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.” 18 And Joseph answered and said, o“This is its interpretation: the three baskets are three days. 19 pIn three days Pharaoh will lift up your head—from you!—and qhang you on a tree. And the birds will eat the flesh from you.”
20 On the third day, which was Pharaoh’s rbirthday, he made a feast for all his servants and slifted up the head of the chief cupbearer and the head of the chief baker among his servants. 21 tHe restored the chief cupbearer to his position, and uhe placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand. 22 But he vhanged the chief baker, as Joseph had interpreted to them. 23 Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.
Joseph Interprets Pharaoh’s Dreams
41 After two whole years, Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing by the Nile, 2 and behold, there came up out of the Nile seven cows, attractive and plump, and they fed in the reed grass. 3 And behold, 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. 4 And the ugly, thin cows ate up the seven attractive, plump cows. And Pharaoh awoke. 5 And he fell asleep and dreamed a second time. And behold, seven ears of grain, plump and good, were growing on one stalk. 6 And behold, after them sprouted seven ears, thin and wblighted by the east wind. 7 And the thin ears swallowed up the seven plump, full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and behold, it was a dream. 8 So in the morning xhis spirit was troubled, and he sent and called for all the ymagicians of Egypt and all its wise men. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was none who could interpret them to Pharaoh.
9 Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “I remember my offenses today. 10 When Pharaoh was zangry with his servants aand put me and the chief baker in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, 11 bwe dreamed on the same night, he and I, each having a dream with its own interpretation. 12 A young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. When we told him, che interpreted our dreams to us, giving an interpretation to each man according to his dream. 13 And das he interpreted to us, so it came about. I was restored to my office, and the baker was hanged.”
14 eThen Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they fquickly brought him gout of the pit. And when he had shaved himself and changed his clothes, he came in before Pharaoh. 15 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. hI have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” 16 Joseph answered Pharaoh, i“It is not in me; jGod will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.”1 17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Behold, kin my dream I was standing on the banks of the Nile. 18 Seven cows, plump and attractive, came up out of the Nile and fed in the reed grass. 19 Seven other cows came up after them, poor and very ugly and thin, such as I had never seen in all the land of Egypt. 20 And the thin, ugly cows ate up the first seven plump cows, 21 but when they had eaten them no one would have known that they had eaten them, for they were still as ugly as at the beginning. Then I awoke. 22 I also saw in my dream seven ears growing on one stalk, full and good. 23 Seven ears, withered, thin, and blighted by the east wind, sprouted after them, 24 and the thin ears swallowed up the seven good ears. And lI told it to the magicians, but there was no one who could explain it to me.”
25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one; mGod has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 26 The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good ears are seven years; the dreams are one. 27 The seven lean and ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, and the seven empty ears blighted by the east wind are also nseven years of famine. 28 It is as I told Pharaoh; oGod has shown to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 29 There will come pseven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt, 30 but after them there will arise qseven years of famine, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt. rThe famine will consume the land, 31 and the plenty will be unknown in the land by reason of the famine that will follow, for it will be very severe. 32 And the doubling of Pharaoh’s dream means that the sthing is fixed by God, and God will shortly bring it about. 33 Now therefore let Pharaoh select a discerning and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt. 34 Let Pharaoh proceed to appoint overseers over the land and take one-fifth of the produce of the land2 of Egypt during the seven plentiful years. 35 And tlet them gather all the food of these good years that are coming and store up grain under the authority of Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them keep it. 36 That food shall be a reserve for the land against the seven years of famine that are to occur in the land of Egypt, so that the land may not perish through the famine.”
Joseph Rises to Power
37 This proposal pleased Pharaoh and all his servants. 38 And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, uin whom is the Spirit of God?”3 39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discerning and wise as you are. 40 vYou shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command.4 Only as regards the throne will I be greater than you.” 41 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, wI have set you over all the land of Egypt.” 42 Then Pharaoh xtook his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, and yclothed him in garments of fine linen zand put a gold chain about his neck. 43 And he made him ride in his second chariot. aAnd they called out before him, “Bow the knee!”5 Thus he set him bover all the land of Egypt. 44 Moreover, Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and cwithout your consent no one shall lift up hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.” 45 And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphenath-paneah. And he gave him in marriage Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On. So Joseph went out over the land of Egypt.
46 Joseph was thirty years old when he dentered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh and went through all the land of Egypt. 47 During the seven plentiful years the earth produced abundantly, 48 and he gathered up all the food of these seven years, which occurred in the land of Egypt, and put the food in the cities. He put in every city the food from the fields around it. 49 And Joseph stored up grain in great abundance, elike the sand of the sea, until he ceased to measure it, for it could not be measured.
50 Before the year of famine came, ftwo sons were born to Joseph. Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, bore them to him. 51 Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh. “For,” he said, “God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father’s house.”6 52 The name of the second he called Ephraim, “For God has gmade me fruitful in the land of my affliction.”7
53 The seven years of plenty that occurred in the land of Egypt came to an end, 54 and hthe seven years of famine began to come, ias Joseph had said. There was famine in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. 55 When 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.”
56 So when the famine had spread over all the land, Joseph opened all the storehouses8 and jsold to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe in the land of Egypt. 57 Moreover, all the earth came to Egypt to Joseph to buy grain, because the famine was severe kover all the earth.
Joseph’s Brothers Go to Egypt
42 When lJacob learned that there was grain for sale in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why do you look at one another?” 2 And he said, “Behold, I have heard that there is grain for sale in Egypt. Go down and buy grain for us there, that we may mlive and not die.” 3 So ten of Joseph’s brothers went down to buy grain in Egypt. 4 But Jacob did not send Benjamin, nJoseph’s brother, with his brothers, for ohe feared that harm might happen to him. 5 Thus the sons of Israel came to buy among the others who came, for the famine was in the land of Canaan.
6 Now Joseph was governor pover the land. He was the one who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph’s brothers came and qbowed themselves before him with their faces to the ground. 7 Joseph saw his brothers and recognized them, but he treated them like strangers and rspoke roughly to them. “Where do you come from?” he said. They said, “From the land of Canaan, to buy food.” 8 And Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him. 9 And Joseph sremembered the dreams that he had dreamed of them. tAnd he said to them, “You are spies; you have come to see the nakedness of the land.” 10 They said to him, “No, my lord, your servants have come to buy food. 11 We are all sons of one man. We are honest men. Your servants have never been spies.”
12 He said to them, “No, it is the nakedness of the land that you have come to see.” 13 And they said, “We, your servants, are twelve brothers, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan, and behold, the youngest is this day with our father, and one uis no more.” 14 But Joseph said to them, “It is as I said to you. You are spies. 15 By this you shall be tested: by the life of Pharaoh, you shall not go from this place unless your youngest brother comes here. 16 Send one of you, and let him bring your brother, while you remain confined, that your words may be tested, whether there is truth in you. Or else, by the life of Pharaoh, surely you are spies.” 17 And he put them all together in custody for three days.
18 On the third day Joseph said to them, “Do this and you will live, vfor I fear God: 19 if you are honest men, let one of your brothers remain confined where you are in custody, and let the rest go and carry wgrain for the famine of your households, 20 and xbring your youngest brother to me. So your words will be verified, and you shall not die.” And they did so. 21 Then they said to one another, y“In truth we are guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the distress of his soul, when he begged us and we did not listen. That is why this distress has come upon us.” 22 And Reuben answered them, z“Did I not tell you not to sin against the boy? But you did not listen. So now athere comes a reckoning for his blood.” 23 They did not know that Joseph understood them, for there was an interpreter between them. 24 Then he turned away from them and bwept. And he returned to them and spoke to them. And he took Simeon from them and bound him before their eyes. 25 cAnd Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, and to replace every man’s money in his sack, and to give them provisions for the journey. This was done for them.
26 Then they loaded their donkeys with their grain and departed. 27 And as done of them opened his sack to give his donkey fodder at ethe lodging place, he saw his money in the mouth of his sack. 28 He said to his brothers, “My money has been put back; here it is in the mouth of my sack!” At this their hearts failed them, and they turned trembling to one another, saying, “What is this that God has done to us?”
29 When they came to Jacob their father in the land of Canaan, they told him all that had happened to them, saying, 30 “The man, the lord of the land, fspoke roughly to us and took us to be spies of the land. 31 But we said to him, ‘We are honest men; we have never been spies. 32 We are twelve brothers, sons of our father. One gis no more, and the youngest is this day with our father in the land of Canaan.’ 33 Then the man, the lord of the land, said to us, h‘By this I shall know that you are honest men: leave one of your brothers with me, and take igrain for the famine of your households, and go your way. 34 Bring your youngest brother to me. Then I shall know that you are not spies but honest men, and I will deliver your brother to you, and you shall jtrade in the land.’”
35 kAs they emptied their sacks, behold, every man’s bundle of money was in his sack. And when they and their father saw their bundles of money, they were afraid. 36 And Jacob their father said to them, “You have lbereaved me of my children: Joseph is no more, and Simeon is no more, and now you would take Benjamin. All this has come against me.” 37 Then Reuben said to his father, “Kill mmy two sons if I do not bring him back to you. Put him in my hands, and I will bring him back to you.” 38 But he said, “My son shall not go down with you, for nhis brother is dead, and he is the only one left. oIf harm should happen to him on the journey that you are to make, pyou would bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to Sheol.”
Joseph’s Brothers Return to Egypt
43 Now the famine was qsevere in the land. 2 And when they had eaten the grain that they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Go again, buy us a little food.” 3 But Judah said to him, “The man solemnly warned us, saying, ‘You shall not see my face unless your rbrother is with you.’ 4 If you will send our brother with us, we will go down and buy you food. 5 But if you will not send him, we will not go down, for the man said to us, ‘You shall not see my face, unless your brother is with you.’” 6 Israel said, “Why did you treat me so badly as to tell the man that you had another brother?” 7 They replied, “The man questioned us carefully about ourselves and our kindred, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother?’ What we told him was in answer to these questions. Could we in any way know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down’?” 8 And Judah said to Israel his father, “Send the boy with me, and we will arise and go, that we may slive and not die, both we and you and also our little ones. 9 I will be a pledge of his safety. From my hand you shall require him. tIf I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame forever. 10 If we had not delayed, we would now have returned twice.”
11 Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: take some of the choice fruits of the land in your bags, and carry a present down to the man, a little ubalm and a little honey, gum, myrrh, pistachio nuts, and almonds. 12 Take double the money with you. Carry back with you the money vthat was returned in the mouth of your sacks. Perhaps it was an oversight. 13 Take also your brother, and arise, go again to the man. 14 May wGod Almighty1 xgrant you mercy before the man, and may he send back your other brother and Benjamin. And as for me, yif I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.”
15 So the men took this present, and they took double the money with them, and Benjamin. They arose and went down to Egypt and stood before Joseph.
16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the zsteward of his house, “Bring the men into the house, and slaughter an animal and make ready, for the men are to dine with me at noon.” 17 The man did as Joseph told him and brought the men to Joseph’s house. 18 And the men were afraid because they were brought to Joseph’s house, and they said, “It is because of the money, which was replaced in our sacks the first time, that we are brought in, so that he may assault us and fall upon us to make us servants and seize our donkeys.” 19 So they went up to the steward of Joseph’s house and spoke with him at the door of the house, 20 and said, a“Oh, my lord, bwe came down the first time to buy food. 21 And cwhen we came to the lodging place we opened our sacks, and there was each man’s money in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight. So we have brought it again with us, 22 and we have brought other money down with us to buy food. We do not know who put our money in our sacks.” 23 He replied, “Peace to you, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has put treasure in your sacks for you. I received your money.” Then he brought Simeon out to them. 24 And when the man had brought the men into Joseph’s house and dgiven them water, and they had washed their feet, and when he had given their donkeys fodder, 25 they prepared ethe present for Joseph’s coming at noon, for they heard that they should eat bread there.
26 When Joseph came home, they brought into the house to him the present that they had with them and fbowed down to him to the ground. 27 And he inquired about their welfare and said, “Is your father well, the old man gof whom you spoke? Is he still alive?” 28 They said, “Your servant our father is well; he is still alive.” And they hbowed their heads and prostrated themselves. 29 And he lifted up his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, ihis mother’s son, and said, “Is this your youngest brother, gof whom you spoke to me? God be gracious to you, my son!” 30 Then Joseph hurried out, for jhis compassion grew warm for his brother, and he sought a place to weep. And he entered his chamber and kwept there. 31 Then he washed his face and came out. And lcontrolling himself he said, “Serve the food.” 32 They served him by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because the Egyptians could not eat with the Hebrews, for that is man abomination to the Egyptians. 33 And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth. And the men looked at one another in amazement. 34 nPortions were taken to them from Joseph’s table, but Benjamin’s portion was ofive times as much as any of theirs. And they drank and were merry2 with him.
Joseph Tests His Brothers
44 Then he commanded pthe steward of his house, q“Fill the men’s sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put each man’s money in the mouth of his sack, 2 and put my cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest, with his money for the grain.” And he did as Joseph told him.
3 As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away with their donkeys. 4 They had gone only a short distance from the city. Now Joseph said to his rsteward, “Up, follow after the men, and when you overtake them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid evil for good?1 5 Is it not from this that my lord drinks, and sby this that he practices divination? You have done evil in doing this.’”
6 When he overtook them, he spoke to them these words. 7 They said to him, “Why does my lord speak such words as these? Far be it from your servants to do such a thing! 8 Behold, tthe money that we found in the mouths of our sacks we brought back to you from the land of Canaan. How then could we steal silver or gold from your lord’s house? 9 uWhichever of your servants is found with it shall die, and we also will be vmy lord’s servants.” 10 He said, “Let it be as you say: he who is found with it shall be my servant, and the rest of you shall be innocent.” 11 Then each man quickly lowered his sack to the ground, and each man opened his sack. 12 And he searched, beginning with the eldest and ending with the youngest. And the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. 13 Then they wtore their clothes, and every man loaded his donkey, and they returned to the city.
14 When Judah and his brothers came to Joseph’s house, he was still there. They xfell before him to the ground. 15 Joseph said to them, “What deed is this that you have done? Do you not know that a man like me ycan indeed practice divination?” 16 And Judah said, “What shall we say to my lord? What shall we speak? Or how can we clear ourselves? God has found out zthe guilt of your servants; behold, we are amy lord’s servants, both we and he also in whose hand the cup has been found.” 17 But he said, “Far be it from me that I should do so! Only the man in whose hand the cup was found shall be my servant. But as for you, go up in peace to your father.”
18 Then Judah went up to him and said, b“Oh, my lord, please let your servant speak a word in my lord’s ears, and clet not your anger burn against your servant, for dyou are like Pharaoh himself. 19 My lord asked his servants, saying, ‘Have you a father, or a brother?’ 20 And we said to my lord, ‘We have a father, an old man, eand a young brother, fthe child of his old age. His brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother’s children, and his father loves him.’ 21 Then you said to your servants, g‘Bring him down to me, that I may set my eyes on him.’ 22 We said to my lord, ‘The boy cannot leave his father, for if he should leave his father, hhis father would die.’ 23 Then you said to your servants, i‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you shall not see my face again.’
24 “When we went back to your servant my father, we told him the words of my lord. 25 And when jour father said, ‘Go again, buy us a little food,’ 26 we said, ‘We cannot go down. If our youngest brother goes with us, then we will go down. For we cannot see the man’s face unless our youngest brother is with us.’ 27 Then your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife bore me ktwo sons. 28 One left me, and I said, l“Surely he has been torn to pieces,” and I have never seen him since. 29 If you mtake this one also from me, nand harm happens to him, you will bring down my gray hairs in evil to Sheol.’
30 “Now therefore, as soon as I come to your servant my father, and the boy is not with us, then, as his life is bound up in the boy’s life, 31 as soon as he sees that the boy is not with us, he will die, and your servants will bring down the gray hairs of your servant our father with sorrow to Sheol. 32 For your servant became a pledge of safety for the boy to my father, saying, o‘If I do not bring him back to you, then I shall bear the blame before my father all my life.’ 33 Now therefore, please let your servant remain instead of the boy as a servant to my lord, and let the boy go back with his brothers. 34 For how can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? I fear to see the evil that would find my father.”