The Story of Joseph: Part 2

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GENESIS 41:1-57

1 Then it came to pass, at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh had a dream; and behold, he stood by the river.
2 Suddenly there came up out of the river seven cows, fine looking and fat; and they fed in the meadow.
3 Then behold, seven other cows came up after them out of the river, ugly and gaunt, and stood by the other cows on the bank of the river.
4 And the ugly and gaunt cows ate up the seven fine looking and fat cows. So Pharaoh awoke.
5 He slept and dreamed a second time; and suddenly seven heads of grain came up on one stalk, plump and good.
6 Then behold, seven thin heads, blighted by the east wind, sprang up after them.
7 And the seven thin heads devoured the seven plump and full heads. So Pharaoh awoke, and indeed, it was a dream.
8 Now 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 its wise men. And Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was no one who could interpret them for Pharaoh.
9 Then the chief butler spoke to Pharaoh, saying: “I remember my faults this day.
10 “When Pharaoh was angry with his servants, and put me in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, both me and the chief baker,
11 “we each dreamed a dream in one night, he and I. Each of us dreamed according to the interpretation of his own dream.
12 “Now there was a young Hebrew man with us there, a servant of the captain of the guard. And we told him, and he interpreted our dreams for us; to each man he interpreted according to his own dream.
13 “And it came to pass, just as he interpreted for us, so it happened. He restored me to my office, and he hanged him.”
14 Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him quickly out of the dungeon; and he shaved, changed his clothing, and came to Pharaoh.
15 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have dreamed a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that you can understand a dream, to interpret it.”
16 So Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace.”
17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph: “Behold, in my dream I stood on the bank of the river.
18 “Suddenly seven cows came up out of the river, fine looking and fat; and they fed in the meadow.
19 “Then behold, seven other cows came up after them, poor and very ugly and gaunt, such ugliness as I have never seen in all the land of Egypt.
20 “And the gaunt and ugly cows ate up the first seven, the fat cows.
21 “When they had eaten them up, no one would have known that they had eaten them, for they were just as ugly as at the beginning. So I awoke.
22 “Also I saw in my dream, and suddenly seven heads came up on one stalk, full and good.
23 “Then behold, seven heads, withered, thin, and blighted by the east wind, sprang up after them.
24 “And the thin heads devoured the seven good heads. So I told this 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; God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do:
26 “The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good heads are seven years; the dreams are one.
27 “And the seven thin and ugly cows which came up after them are seven years, and the seven empty heads blighted by the east wind are seven years of famine.
28 “This is the thing which I have spoken to Pharaoh. God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do.
29 “Indeed seven years of great plenty will come throughout all the land of Egypt;
30 “but after them seven years of famine will arise, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine will deplete the land.
31 “So the plenty will not be known in the land because of the famine following, for it will be very severe.
32 “And the dream was repeated to Pharaoh twice because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.
33 “Now therefore, let Pharaoh select a discerning and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt.
34 “Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, to collect one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven plentiful years.
35 “And let them gather all the food of those good years that are coming, and store up grain under the authority of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities.
36 “Then that food shall be as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which shall be in the land of Egypt, that the land may not perish during the famine.”
37 So the advice 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, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?”
39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you.
40 “You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you.”
41 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.”
42 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand; and he clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck.
43 And he had him ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried out before him, “Bow the knee!” So he set him over all the land of Egypt.
44 Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no man may lift his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.”
45 And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphnath-Paaneah. And he gave him as a wife Asenath, the daughter of Poti-Pherah priest of On. So Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.
46 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 Now in the seven plentiful years the ground brought forth abundantly.
48 So 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; he laid up in every city the food of the fields which surrounded them.
49 Joseph gathered very much grain, as the sand of the sea, until he stopped counting, for it was without number.
50 And to Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, whom Asenath, the daughter of Poti-Pherah priest of On, bore to him.
51 Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: “For God 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 Then the seven years of plenty which were in the land of Egypt ended,
54 and the seven years of famine began to come, as Joseph had said. The famine was in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.
55 So when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread. Then Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph; whatever he says to you, do.”
56 The famine was over all the face of the earth, and Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold to the Egyptians. And the famine became severe in the land of Egypt.
57 So all countries came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain, because the famine was severe in all lands.

GENESIS 42:1-38

1 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, “Indeed I have heard that there is grain in Egypt; go down to that place and buy for us there, that we may live and not die.”
3 So Joseph’s ten brothers went down to buy grain in Egypt.
4 But Jacob did not send Joseph’s brother Benjamin with his brothers, for he said, “Lest some calamity befall him.”
5 And the sons of Israel went to buy grain among those who journeyed, for the famine was in the land of Canaan.
6 Now Joseph was governor over the land; and it was he who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph’s brothers came and bowed down before him with their faces to the earth.
7 Joseph saw his brothers and recognized them, but he acted as a stranger to them and spoke roughly to them. Then he said to them, “Where do you come from?” And they said, “From the land of Canaan to buy food.”
8 So Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him.
9 Then Joseph remembered the dreams which he had dreamed about them, and said to them, “You are spies! You have come to see the nakedness of the land!”
10 And they said to him, “No, my lord, but your servants have come to buy food.
11 “We are all one man’s sons; we are honest men; your servants are not spies.”
12 But he said to them, “No, but you have come 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 in fact, the youngest is with our father today, and one is no more.”
14 But Joseph said to them, “It is as I spoke to you, saying, ‘You are spies!’
15 “In this manner you shall be tested: By the life of Pharaoh, you shall not leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here.
16 “Send one of you, and let him bring your brother; and you shall be kept in prison, that your words may be tested to see whether there is any truth in you; or else, by the life of Pharaoh, surely you are spies!”
17 So he put them all together in prison three days.
18 Then Joseph said to them the third day, “Do this and live, for I fear God:
19 “If you are honest men, let one of your brothers be confined to your prison house; but you, go and carry grain for the famine of your houses.
20 “And bring 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, “We are truly guilty concerning our brother, for we saw the anguish of his soul when he pleaded with us, and we would not hear; therefore this distress has come upon us.”
22 And Reuben answered them, saying, “Did I not speak to you, saying, ‘Do not sin against the boy’; and you would not listen? Therefore behold, his blood is now required of us.”
23 But 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 he returned to them again, and talked with them. And he took Simeon from them and bound him before their eyes.
25 Then Joseph gave a command to fill their sacks with grain, to restore every man’s money to his sack, and to give them provisions for the journey. Thus he did for them.
26 So they loaded their donkeys with the grain and departed from there.
27 But as one of them opened his sack to give his donkey feed at the encampment, he saw his money; and there it was, in the mouth of his sack.
28 So he said to his brothers, “My money has been restored, and there it is, in my sack!” Then their hearts failed them and they were afraid, saying to one another, “What is this that God has done to us?”
29 Then they went to Jacob their father in the land of Canaan and told him all that had 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 “But we said to him, ‘We are honest men; we are not spies.
32 ‘We are twelve brothers, sons of our father; one is no more, and the youngest is with our father this day in the land of Canaan.’
33 “Then the man, the lord of the country, said to us, ‘By this I will know that you are honest men: Leave one of your brothers here with me, take food for the famine of your households, and be gone.
34 ‘And bring your youngest brother to me; so I shall know that you are not spies, but that you are honest men. I will grant your brother to you, and you may trade in the land.'”
35 Then it happened as they emptied their sacks, that surprisingly each man’s bundle of money was in his sack; and when they and their father saw the bundles of money, they were afraid.
36 And Jacob their father said to them, “You have bereaved me: Joseph is no more, Simeon is no more, and you want to take Benjamin. All these things are against me.”
37 Then Reuben spoke to his father, saying, “Kill my 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 his brother is dead, and he is left alone. If any calamity should befall him along the way in which you go, then you would bring down my gray hair with sorrow to the grave.”

GENESIS 43:1-34

1 Now the famine was severe in the land.
2 And it came to pass, when they had eaten up the grain which they had brought from Egypt, that their father said to them, “Go back, buy us a little food.”
3 But Judah spoke to him, saying, “The man solemnly warned us, saying, ‘You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.'”
4 “If you 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 And Israel said, “Why did you deal so wrongfully with me as to tell the man whether you had still another brother?”
7 But they said, “The man asked us pointedly about ourselves and our family, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Have you another brother?’ And we told him according to these words. Could we possibly have known that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down’?”
8 Then Judah said to Israel his father, “Send the lad with me, and we will arise and go, that we may live and not die, both we and you and also our little ones.
9 “I myself will be surety for him; from my hand you shall require him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame forever.
10 “For if we had not lingered, surely by now we would have returned this second time.”
11 And their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: Take some of the best fruits of the land in your vessels and carry down a present for the man– a little balm and a little honey, spices and myrrh, pistachio nuts and almonds.
12 “Take double money in your hand, and take back in your hand the money that was returned in the mouth of your sacks; perhaps it was an oversight.
13 “Take your brother also, and arise, go back to the man.
14 “And may God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may release your other brother and Benjamin. If I am bereaved, I am bereaved!”
15 So the men took that present and Benjamin, and they took double money in their hand, and arose and went down to Egypt; and they stood before Joseph.
16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, “Take these men to my home, and slaughter an animal and make ready; for these men will dine with me at noon.”
17 Then the man did as Joseph ordered, and the man brought the men into Joseph’s house.
18 Now the men were afraid because they were brought into Joseph’s house; and they said, “It is because of the money, which was returned in our sacks the first time, that we are brought in, so that he may seek an occasion against us and fall upon us, to take us as slaves with our donkeys.”
19 When they drew near to the steward of Joseph’s house, they talked with him at the door of the house,
20 and said, “O sir, we indeed came down the first time to buy food;
21 “but it happened, when we came to the encampment, that we opened our sacks, and there, each man’s money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight; so we have brought it back in our hand.
22 “And we have brought down other money in our hands to buy food. We do not know who put our money in our sacks.”
23 But he said, “Peace be with you, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has given you treasure in your sacks; I had your money.” Then he brought Simeon out to them.
24 So 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 Then they made the present ready for Joseph’s coming at noon, for they heard that they would eat bread there.
26 And when Joseph came home, they brought him the present which was in their hand into the house, and bowed down before him to the earth.
27 Then he asked them about their well-being, and said, “Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?”
28 And they answered, “Your servant our father is in good health; he is still alive.” And they bowed their heads down and prostrated themselves.
29 Then he lifted his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, and said, “Is this your younger brother of whom you spoke to me?” And he said, “God be gracious to you, my son.”
30 Now his heart yearned for his brother; so Joseph made haste and sought somewhere to weep. And he went into his chamber and wept there.
31 Then he washed his face and came out; and he restrained himself, and said, “Serve the bread.”
32 So they set him a place by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves; because the Egyptians could not eat food 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 looked in astonishment at one another.
34 Then he took servings to them from before him, but Benjamin’s serving was five times as much as any of theirs. So they drank and were merry with him.

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