At the End of Two Years
41.1. And it was 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 fattened 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. And they stood by the other cows on the bank of the river. 4. And the ill favored and lean cows ate the seven well favored and fat cows. So Pharaoh awoke.
41:5. And he slept and dreamed a second time and, behold, seven heads of grain came up upon one stalk, fat and good. 6. And behold, seven thin heads of grain even blasted by the east wind sprang up after them. 7. And the seven thin heads of grain devoured the seven fat and full heads of grain. Then Pharaoh awoke and, behold, it was a dream.
41:8. And it happened in the morning that his spirit was troubled and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt and all its wise men. Pharaoh told them his dream, but there was no one who could interpret them to Pharaoh. 9. Then the chief cupbearer spoke to Pharaoh saying, “I do remember my error this day.” 10. Pharaoh was very angry with his servants and put me in custody in the captain of the guard’s house, me and the chief baker. 11. And we dreamed a dream in one night, I and he. We dreamed each man according to the interpretation of his dream. 12. And there was there with us a young man, a Hebrew servant to the captain of the guard and we told him, and he interpreted our dreams for us, to each man according to his dream he did interpret. 13. And it happened, as he interpreted to us, so it was. He restored me to my office, and he hanged him.”
Joseph Interprets Pharaoh’s Dream
41:14. Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved and changed his clothes and came in to Pharaoh. 15. And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have dreamed a dream and no one can interpret it, and I have heard say of you that you can understand a dream to interpret it.” 16. And Joseph answered Pharaoh saying, “It is not I! 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, seven cows, fat and well favored came up out of the river and they fed in a meadow. 19. Then, behold, seven other cows came up after them, poor and 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 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. Then I saw in my next dream and, behold, seven heads of grain came up in one-stalk, full and good: 23. and, behold, seven heads of grain, withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprang up after them: 24. and the thin heads of grain devoured the seven good heads of grain. I told this to the magicians, but there was no one who could declare it to me.”
41:25. And Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dream of Pharaoh is one: God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do. 26. The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good heads of grain 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 of grain blasted with the east wind will be seven years of famine. 28. This is the thing that I have spoken to Pharaoh. What God showed to Pharaoh is what He is about to do. 29. Behold there are seven years of great plenty coming throughout all the land of Egypt. 30. And after them will come seven years of famine, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt, and the famine will consume the land. 31. And the plenty will not be known in the land by reason of that famine following, for it will be very severe. 32. And because of 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 seek 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 plentiful years. 35. And let them gather all the food that comes in those good years, and lay up grain under the hand of Pharaoh and let them keep food in the cities. 36. And that food will be stored for the land against the seven years of famine which will be in the land of Egypt, so the land would not perish during the famine.”
41:37. And that 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 one as this is, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?” 39. And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is no one so discreet and wise as you. 40. You will be over my house, and according to your word will all my people be ruled. Only in the throne will I be greater than you.”
Joseph Appointed Over Egypt
41:41. Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” 42. And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, and arrayed him in fine linen robes and put a gold chain around his neck. 43. And he made him ride in the second chariot which he had, and they cried before him, “Bow the knee!” And he set him over all the land of Egypt. 44. And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without you no man will lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.” 45. And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zephanath-paneah, and gave him for his wife Asenath the daughter of Poti-phera, priest of On. And Joseph went out 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.
41:47. And in the seven plentiful years the earth brought forth by handfuls. 48. And he gathered up 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 all around every city, he laid up in the same city. 49. And Joseph gathered grain as the sand of the sea, very much, until he stopped numbering, for it was without number.
41:50. And to Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, whom Asenath the daughter of Poti-phera priest of On bore to him. 51. And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh (M’nasheh), for he said, “God has made me forget all my toil, and all my father’s house.” 52. And the name of the second he called Ephraim (Efrayim), “For God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.”
41:53. Then the seven years of plentifulness that were in the land of Egypt were ended. 54. And the seven years of famine began to come, according as Joseph had said, and the famine was in all lands, but there was bread in all the land of Egypt. 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. Do what he says to you.” 56. And the famine was over all the face of the earth and Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold to the Egyptians, and the famine was severe in the land of Egypt. 57. And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph to buy grain because the famine was severe in all lands.
Jacob Sends Joseph’s Brothers
42.1. Now when Jacob saw that there was grain in Egypt, Jacob said to his sons, “Why do you look at one another?” 2. And he said, “Look, I have heard that there is grain in Egypt. Get down there and buy for us from there, so we can live and not die.” 3. And Joseph’s ten brothers went down to buy grain in Egypt. 4. But Jacob did not send Benjamin, Joseph’s brother, with his brothers for he said. “Lest perhaps disaster would befall him.”
42:5. And the sons of Israel came to buy grain among those who came, for the famine was in the land of Canaan. 6. And Joseph was the governor over the land, and it was he who sold to all the people of the land. Joseph’s brothers came and bowed themselves down before him with their faces to the ground.
42:7. And Joseph saw his brothers and he recognized them, but made himself a stranger to them and spoke roughly to them. And he said to them, “Where did you come from?” And they said, “From the land of Canaan to buy food.” 8. And Joseph knew his brothers, but they did not recognize him. 9. And Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them and said to them, “You are spies! You have come to see the nakedness, vulnerability, of the land.” 10. And they said to him, “No, my lord, but your servants came to buy food. 11. We are all one man’s sons. We are honest men. Your servants are not spies.” 12. And he said to them, “No, but you came to see the nakedness of the land.” 13. And they said, “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 is not.” 14. And Joseph said to them, that is what I said to you saying, “You are spies. 15. Here is how you will be proved: By the life of Pharaoh you will not go forth from here until your youngest brother comes here. 16. Send one of you and let him get your brother and you will be kept in prison, so that your words may be proved, whether there is any 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. And on the third day Joseph said to them, “Do this and live, for I revere God. 19. If you are honest men, let one of your brothers be bound in the house of your prison. Go, carry grain for the famine of your houses, 20. but bring your youngest brother to me, so your words will be verified and you will not die.” And they did so. 21. And they said one to another, “We are truly guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul when he pleaded with us and we would not listen. Therefore this distress has come upon us.” 22. And Reuben answered them saying, “Did I not tell you saying, Do not sin against the boy! But you would not listen. Therefore, behold, also his blood is required.”
42:23. And they did not know that Joseph understood them, for he spoke to them through an interpreter. 24. And he turned himself away from them and wept, then returned to them again and spoke with them, and took Simeon from them and bound him before their eyes. 25. Then Joseph commanded to fill their sacks with grain, and to restore each man’s money into his sack and to give them provision for the way. And thus he did for them. 26. And they loaded their donkeys with the grain and left from there. 27. And as one of them opened his sack to give his donkey feed at their lodging, he saw his money, for, behold, it was in his sack’s mouth. 28. And he said to his brothers, “My money is restored and, see, it is even in my sack.” And their heart failed them and they were afraid, saying to one another, “What is this that God has done to us?”
42:29. And they came to Jacob their father in the land of Canaan, and told him all that happened to them saying, 30. “The man who is lord of the land spoke roughly to us, and took us for spies of the country. 31. And we said to him, ‘We are honest men, we are not spies 32. We are twelve brothers, sons of our father. One is not, and the youngest is today with our father in the land of Canaan.’ 33. And the man, lord of the country, said to us, ‘Here is how I shall know that you are honest men. “Leave one of your brothers here with me and take food for the famine of your households, and leave. 34. Then bring your youngest brother to me and I shall know that you are not spies, but that you are honest men, then I shall deliver your brother to you, and you could travel in the land.’”
42:35. And it was as they emptied their sacks, that, behold, every man’s bundle of money was in his sack and when both they and their father saw the bundles of money, they were afraid. 36. And Jacob their father said to them, “You have grieved me. Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and you will take Benjamin away. All these things are against me.” 37. And Reuben spoke to his father saying, “Slay my two sons, if I do not bring him to you. Deliver him into my hand and I shall bring him to you again.” 38. And he said, “My son will not go down with you, for his brother is dead and he alone is left. If disaster befalls him by the way in which you go, then you will bring down my gray hairs to the grave in sorrow.”
Second Trip to Egypt
43.1. And the famine was severe in the land. 2. And it was, when they had eaten up the grain which they had brought out of Egypt, their father said to them, “Go again. Buy us a little food.” 3. And Judah spoke to him saying, “The man did solemnly protest to us saying, ‘You will not see my face unless your brother is with you.’ 4. If you will send our brother with us, we will go down and buy food for you. 5. But if you will not send him, we will not go down, for the man said to us, ‘You will not see my face unless your brother is with you.’” 6. And Israel said, “Why did you deal so badly with me, as to tell the man whether you had yet another brother?” 7. And they said, “The man asked us directly about us and about our relatives saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother?’ And we told him according to the tenor of these words. How could we know for sure that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down?’” 8. And Judah said to Israel his father, “Send the lad with me and we will be up and go, so we may live and not die; we, you, and also our little ones. 9. I shall be surety for him. You will require him from my hand: if I do not bring him to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame forever. 10. For unless we had lingered, surely now we would have returned this second time.” 11. And their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so now, do this: take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels and carry a present down to the man, a little balsam, a little honey, spices, myrrh, nuts, and almonds. 12. And take double money in your hand and the money that was brought again in the mouth of your sacks, carry it again in your hand. Maybe it was an oversight. 13. Also take your brother and get up, go again to the man. 14. And God Almighty give compassion for you before the man, so he may send away your other brother and Benjamin. If I am grieved of my children, I am grieved.”
43:15. And the men took that present and they took double money in their hand and Benjamin, and rose up and went down to Egypt and stood before Joseph. 16. And when Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the head of his household, “Bring these men home and slay and make ready, for these men will dine with me at noon.” 17. And the man did as Joseph bade, and the man brought the men into Joseph’s house. 18. And the men were afraid, because they were brought into Joseph’s house and they said, “We are brought in because of the money that was returned in our sacks at the first time, so he may seek charges against us and fall upon us and take us for bond men and our donkeys.” 19. And they came near to the man who was over Joseph’s house, the steward, and they spoke with him at the door of the house 20. and said, “O sir, we came down indeed at the first time to buy food. 21. And it happened, when we came to the lodging place, that we opened our sacks and, behold, each man’s money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight and we have brought it again in our hand. 22. And we have brought other money down in our hands to buy food: we cannot tell who put our money in our sacks.” 23. And he said, “Peace be to you. Do not be in awe! Your God and the God of your father has given you treasure in your sacks. I had your money.” And he brought Simeon out to them.
43:24. And the man brought the men into Joseph’s house and gave them water and they washed their feet, and he gave their donkeys feed. 25. And they made ready the present before Joseph came at noon, for they heard that they would dine there. 26. And when Joseph came home, they brought into the house the present for him which was in their hand, and bowed themselves to the ground before him. 27. And he asked them about their welfare and said, “Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he yet alive?” 28. And they answered, “Your servant our father is in good health, he is yet alive.” And they bowed down their heads and paid homage. 29. And he lifted up his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, and said, “Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me?” And he said, “God will be gracious to you, my son.” 30. And Joseph hurried, for his affection toward his brother was kindled and he sought to weep, then he entered his chamber and wept there. 31. And he washed his face and went out and was restraining himself and said, “Serve the meal.” 32. And they served him by himself and for them by themselves and for the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because the Egyptians could not eat a meal with the Hebrews, for that is an 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 marvelled at one another. 34. And he took and sent portions to them from before him, but Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as any of theirs. And they drank and were merry with him.
Joseph Returns the Money Again
44.1. And he commanded the steward of his house saying, “Fill the men’s sacks with food, as much as they can carry and put each man’s money in his sack’s mouth. 2. And put my cup, the silver cup and his grain money in the sack’s mouth of the youngest.” And he did according to the word that Joseph had spoken. 3. As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away, they and their donkeys. 4. When they had left the city, not far off, Joseph said to his steward, “Get up! Follow after the men and when you overtake them, say to them, ‘Why have you rewarded bad for good? 5. Is this not the cup from which my lord drinks, and indeed by which he divines? You have done evil in so doing.’”
44:6. And he overtook them and spoke these same words to them. 7. And they said to him, “Why does my lord say these words? Far be it from us that your servants should do according to this thing. 8. Behold, the money that we found in our sacks’ mouths, we brought to you again out of the land of Canaan. How then should we steal silver or gold out of your lord’s house? 9. With whomever of your servants it is found, let him die, then we too will be my lord’s bond men.” 10. And he said, “Now also let it be according to your words: he with whom it is found will be my servant and you will be blameless.” 11. Then each man speedily took down his sack to the ground, and each man opened his sack.
44:12. And he searched, beginning at the eldest and left at the youngest: and the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. 13. Then they tore their clothes and each man loaded his donkey and returned to the city. 14. And Judah and his brothers came to Joseph’s house, for he was still there, and they fell before him on the ground. 15. And Joseph said to them, “What deed is this that you have done? Do you not know that such a man as I can certainly divine?” 16. And Judah said, “What will we say to my lord? What will we speak? Or how will we clear ourselves? God has found out the iniquity of your servants. Behold, we are my lord’s servants, both we and he also with whom the cup is found.” 17. And he said, “Far be it from me that I should do so, but the man in whose hand the cup is found, he will be my servant. And as for you, go in peace to your father.”
Next week’s Torah readings: Vayigash