Bible: Genesis 39-41

Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife

39:1 Now Joseph had been brought down to Egypt. 1  An Egyptian named Potiphar, an official of Pharaoh and the captain of the guard, 2  purchased him from 3  the Ishmaelites who had brought him there. 39:2 The Lord was with Joseph. He was successful 4  and lived 5  in the household of his Egyptian master. 39:3 His master observed that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made everything he was doing successful. 6  39:4 So Joseph found favor in his sight and became his personal attendant. 7  Potiphar appointed Joseph 8  overseer of his household and put him in charge 9  of everything he owned. 39:5 From the time 10  Potiphar 11  appointed him over his household and over all that he owned, the Lord blessed 12  the Egyptian’s household for Joseph’s sake. The blessing of the Lord was on everything that he had, both 13  in his house and in his fields. 14  39:6 So Potiphar 15  left 16  everything he had in Joseph’s care; 17  he gave no thought 18  to anything except the food he ate. 19 

Now Joseph was well built and good-looking. 20  39:7 Soon after these things, his master’s wife took notice of 21  Joseph and said, “Have sex with me.” 22  39:8 But he refused, saying 23  to his master’s wife, “Look, my master does not give any thought 24  to his household with me here, 25  and everything that he owns he has put into my care. 26  39:9 There is no one greater in this household than I am. He has withheld nothing from me except you because you are his wife. So how could I do 27  such a great evil and sin against God? 39:10 Even though she continued to speak 28  to Joseph day after day, he did not respond 29  to her invitation to have sex with her. 30 

39:11 One day 31  he went into the house to do his work when none of the household servants 32  were there in the house. 39:12 She grabbed him by his outer garment, saying, “Have sex with me!” But he left his outer garment in her hand and ran 33  outside. 34  39:13 When she saw that he had left his outer garment in her hand and had run outside, 39:14 she called for her household servants and said to them, “See, my husband brought 35  in a Hebrew man 36  to us to humiliate us. 37  He tried to have sex with me, 38  but I screamed loudly. 39  39:15 When he heard me raise 40  my voice and scream, he left his outer garment beside me and ran outside.”

39:16 So she laid his outer garment beside her until his master came home. 39:17 This is what she said to him: 41  “That Hebrew slave 42  you brought to us tried to humiliate me, 43  39:18 but when I raised my voice and screamed, he left his outer garment and ran outside.”

39:19 When his master heard his wife say, 44 This is the way 45  your slave treated me,” 46  he became furious. 47  39:20 Joseph’s master took him and threw him into the prison, 48  the place where the king’s prisoners were confined. So he was there in the prison. 49 

39:21 But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him kindness. 50  He granted him favor in the sight of the prison warden. 51  39:22 The warden put all the prisoners under Joseph’s care. He was in charge of whatever they were doing. 52  39:23 The warden did not concern himself 53  with anything that was in Joseph’s 54  care because the Lord was with him and whatever he was doing the Lord was making successful.

The Cupbearer and the Baker

40:1 After these things happened, the cupbearer 55  to the king of Egypt and the royal baker 56  offended 57  their master, the king of Egypt. 40:2 Pharaoh was enraged with his two officials, 58  the cupbearer and the baker, 40:3 so he imprisoned them in the house of the captain of the guard in the same facility where Joseph was confined. 40:4 The captain of the guard appointed Joseph to be their attendant, and he served them. 59 

They spent some time in custody. 60  40:5 Both of them, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison, had a dream 61  the same night. 62  Each man’s dream had its own meaning. 63  40:6 When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were looking depressed. 64  40:7 So he asked Pharaoh’s officials, who were with him in custody in his master’s house, “Why do you look so sad today? 65  40:8 They told him, “We both had dreams, 66  but there is no one to interpret them.” Joseph responded, “Don’t interpretations belong to God? Tell them 67  to me.”

40:9 So the chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph: 68  “In my dream, there was a vine in front of me. 40:10 On the vine there were three branches. As it budded, its blossoms opened and its clusters ripened into grapes. 40:11 Now Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, so I took the grapes, squeezed them into his 69  cup, and put the cup in Pharaoh’s hand.” 70 

40:12This is its meaning,” Joseph said to him. “The three branches represent 71  three days. 40:13 In three more days Pharaoh will reinstate you 72  and restore you to your office. You will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand, just as you did before 73  when you were cupbearer. 40:14 But remember me 74  when it goes well for you, and show 75  me kindness. 76  Make mention 77  of me to Pharaoh and bring me out of this prison, 78  40:15 for I really was kidnapped 79  from the land of the Hebrews and I have done nothing wrong here for which they should put me in a dungeon.”

40:16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation of the first dream was favorable, 80  he said to Joseph, “I also appeared in my dream and there were three baskets of white bread 81  on my head. 40:17 In the top basket there were baked goods of every kind for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them from the basket that was on my head.”

40:18 Joseph replied, “This is its meaning: The three baskets represent 82  three days. 40:19 In three more days Pharaoh will decapitate you 83  and impale you on a pole. Then the birds will eat your flesh from you.”

40:20 On the third day it was Pharaoh’s birthday, so he gave a feast for all his servants. He “lifted up” 84  the head of the chief cupbearer and the head of the chief baker in the midst of his servants. 40:21 He restored the chief cupbearer to his former position 85  so that he placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand, 40:22 but the chief baker he impaled, just as Joseph had predicted. 86  40:23 But the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph – he forgot him. 87 

Joseph’s Rise to Power

41:1 At the end of two full years 88  Pharaoh had a dream. 89  As he was standing by the Nile, 41:2 seven fine-looking, fat cows were coming up out of the Nile, 90  and they grazed in the reeds. 41:3 Then seven bad-looking, thin cows were coming up after them from the Nile, 91  and they stood beside the other cows at the edge of the river. 92  41:4 The bad-looking, thin cows ate the seven fine-looking, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.

41:5 Then he fell asleep again and had a second dream: There were seven heads of grain growing 93  on one stalk, healthy 94  and good. 41:6 Then 95  seven heads of grain, thin and burned by the east wind, were sprouting up after them. 41:7 The thin heads swallowed up the seven healthy and full heads. Then Pharaoh woke up and realized it was a dream. 96 

41:8 In the morning he 97  was troubled, so he called for 98  all the diviner-priests 99  of Egypt and all its wise men. Pharaoh told them his dreams, 100  but no one could interpret 101  them for him. 102  41:9 Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “Today I recall my failures. 103  41:10 Pharaoh was enraged with his servants, and he put me in prison in the house of the captain of the guards – me and the chief baker. 41:11 We each had a dream one night; each of us had a dream with its own meaning. 104  41:12 Now a young man, a Hebrew, a servant 105  of the captain of the guards, 106  was with us there. We told him our dreams, 107  and he interpreted the meaning of each of our respective dreams for us. 108  41:13 It happened just as he had said 109  to us – Pharaoh 110  restored me to my office, but he impaled the baker.” 111 

41:14 Then Pharaoh summoned 112  Joseph. So they brought him quickly out of the dungeon; he shaved himself, changed his clothes, and came before Pharaoh. 41:15 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, 113  and there is no one who can interpret 114  it. But I have heard about you, that 115  you can interpret dreams.” 116  41:16 Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “It is not within my power, 117  but God will speak concerning 118  the welfare of Pharaoh.” 119 

41:17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing 120  by the edge of the Nile. 41:18 Then seven fat and fine-looking cows were coming up out of the Nile, and they grazed in the reeds. 121  41:19 Then 122  seven other cows came up after them; they were scrawny, very bad-looking, and lean. I had never seen such bad-looking cows 123  as these in all the land of Egypt! 41:20 The lean, bad-looking cows ate up the seven 124  fat cows. 41:21 When they had eaten them, 125  no one would have known 126  that they had done so, for they were just as bad-looking as before. Then I woke up. 41:22 I also saw in my dream 127  seven heads of grain growing on one stalk, full and good. 41:23 Then 128  seven heads of grain, withered and thin and burned with the east wind, were sprouting up after them. 41:24 The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven good heads of grain. So I told all this 129  to the diviner-priests, but no one could tell me its meaning.” 130 

41:25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Both dreams of Pharaoh have the same meaning. 131  God has revealed 132  to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 133  41:26 The seven good cows represent seven years, and the seven good heads of grain represent seven years. Both dreams have the same meaning. 134  41:27 The seven lean, bad-looking cows that came up after them represent seven years, as do the seven empty heads of grain burned with the east wind. They represent 135  seven years of famine. 41:28 This is just what I told 136  Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. 41:29 Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the whole land of Egypt. 41:30 But seven years of famine will occur 137  after them, and all the abundance will be forgotten in the land of Egypt. The famine will devastate 138  the land. 41:31 The previous abundance of the land will not be remembered 139  because of the famine that follows, for the famine will be very severe. 140  41:32 The dream was repeated to Pharaoh 141  because the matter has been decreed 142  by God, and God will make it happen soon. 143 

41:33So now Pharaoh should look 144  for a wise and discerning man 145  and give him authority 146  over all the land of Egypt. 41:34 Pharaoh should do 147  this – he should appoint 148  officials 149  throughout the land to collect one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt 150  during the seven years of abundance. 41:35 They should gather all the excess food 151  during these good years that are coming. By Pharaoh’s authority 152  they should store up grain so the cities will have food, 153  and they should preserve it. 154  41:36 This food should be held in storage for the land in preparation for the seven years of famine that will occur throughout the land of Egypt. In this way the land will survive the famine.” 155 

41:37 This advice made sense to Pharaoh and all his officials. 156  41:38 So Pharaoh asked his officials, “Can we find a man like Joseph, 157  one in whom the Spirit of God is present? 158  41:39 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Because God has enabled you to know all this, there is no one as wise and discerning 159  as you are! 41:40 You will oversee my household, and all my people will submit to your commands. 160  Only I, the king, will be greater than you. 161 

41:41See here,” Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I place 162  you in authority over all the land of Egypt.” 163  41:42 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his own hand and put it on Joseph’s. He clothed him with fine linen 164  clothes and put a gold chain around his neck. 41:43 Pharaoh 165  had him ride in the chariot used by his second-in-command, 166  and they cried out before him, “Kneel down!” 167  So he placed him over all the land of Egypt. 41:44 Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your permission 168  no one 169  will move his hand or his foot 170  in all the land of Egypt.” 41:45 Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah. 171  He also gave him Asenath 172  daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, 173  to be his wife. So Joseph took charge of 174  all the land of Egypt.

41:46 Now Joseph was 30 years old 175  when he began serving 176  Pharaoh king of Egypt. Joseph was commissioned by 177  Pharaoh and was in charge of 178  all the land of Egypt. 41:47 During the seven years of abundance the land produced large, bountiful harvests. 179  41:48 Joseph 180  collected all the excess food 181  in the land of Egypt during the seven years and stored it in the cities. 182  In every city he put the food gathered from the fields around it. 41:49 Joseph stored up a vast amount of grain, like the sand of the sea, 183  until he stopped measuring it because it was impossible to measure.

41:50 Two sons were born to Joseph before the famine came. 184  Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, was their mother. 185  41:51 Joseph named the firstborn Manasseh, 186  saying, 187  “Certainly 188  God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s house.” 41:52 He named the second child Ephraim, 189  saying, 190  “Certainly 191  God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”

41:53 The seven years of abundance in the land of Egypt came to an end. 41:54 Then the seven years of famine began, 192  just as Joseph had predicted. There was famine in all the other lands, but throughout the land of Egypt there was food. 41:55 When all the land of Egypt experienced the famine, the people cried out to Pharaoh for food. Pharaoh said to all the people of Egypt, 193 Go to Joseph and do whatever he tells you.”

41:56 While the famine was over all the earth, 194  Joseph opened the storehouses 195  and sold grain to the Egyptians. The famine was severe throughout the land of Egypt. 41:57 People from every country 196  came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain because the famine was severe throughout the earth.

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