Daily Bible Reading
Today's reading: Genesis 41-42
Look for the promises in God’s word. As you read and find them, write them in your journal along with the scripture reference.
Joseph’s Rise to Power
1. At the end of two full years Pharaoh had a dream. As he was standing by the Nile,
2. seven fine-looking, fat cows were coming up out of the Nile, and they grazed in the reeds.
3. Then seven bad-looking, thin cows were coming up after them from the Nile, and they stood beside the other cows at the edge of the river.
4. The bad-looking, thin cows ate the seven fine-looking, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.
5. Then he fell asleep again and had a second dream: There were seven heads of grain growing on one stalk, healthy and good.
6. Then seven heads of grain, thin and burned by the east wind, were sprouting up after them.
7. The thin heads swallowed up the seven healthy and full heads. Then Pharaoh woke up and realized it was a dream.
8. In the morning he was troubled, so he called for all the diviner-priests of Egypt and all its wise men. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but no one could interpret them for him.
9. Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “Today I recall my failures.
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.
11. We each had a dream one night; each of us had a dream with its own meaning.
12. Now a young man, a Hebrew, a servant of the captain of the guards, was with us there. We told him our dreams, and he interpreted the meaning of each of our respective dreams for us.
13. It happened just as he had said to us – Pharaoh restored me to my office, but he impaled the baker.”
14. Then Pharaoh summoned Joseph. So they brought him quickly out of the dungeon; he shaved himself, changed his clothes, and came before Pharaoh.
15. Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. But I have heard about you, that you can interpret dreams.”
16. Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “It is not within my power, but God will speak concerning the welfare of Pharaoh.”
17. Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing by the edge of the Nile.
18. Then seven fat and fine-looking cows were coming up out of the Nile, and they grazed in the reeds.
19. Then seven other cows came up after them; they were scrawny, very bad-looking, and lean. I had never seen such bad-looking cows as these in all the land of Egypt!
20. The lean, bad-looking cows ate up the seven fat cows.
21. When they had eaten them, no one would have known that they had done so, for they were just as bad-looking as before. Then I woke up.
22. I also saw in my dream seven heads of grain growing on one stalk, full and good.
23. Then seven heads of grain, withered and thin and burned with the east wind, were sprouting up after them.
24. The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven good heads of grain. So I told all this to the diviner-priests, but no one could tell me its meaning.”
25. Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Both dreams of Pharaoh have the same meaning. God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do.
26. The seven good cows represent seven years, and the seven good heads of grain represent seven years. Both dreams have the same meaning.
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 seven years of famine.
28. This is just what I told Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do.
29. Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the whole land of Egypt.
30. But seven years of famine will occur after them, and all the abundance will be forgotten in the land of Egypt. The famine will devastate the land.
31. The previous abundance of the land will not be remembered because of the famine that follows, for the famine will be very severe.
32. The dream was repeated to Pharaoh because the matter has been decreed by God, and God will make it happen soon.
33. “So now Pharaoh should look for a wise and discerning man and give him authority over all the land of Egypt.
34. Pharaoh should do this – he should appoint officials throughout the land to collect one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt during the seven years of abundance.
35. They should gather all the excess food during these good years that are coming. By Pharaoh’s authority they should store up grain so the cities will have food, and they should preserve it.
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.”
37. This advice made sense to Pharaoh and all his officials.
38. So Pharaoh asked his officials, “Can we find a man like Joseph, one in whom the Spirit of God is present?”
39. So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Because God has enabled you to know all this, there is no one as wise and discerning as you are!
40. You will oversee my household, and all my people will submit to your commands. Only I, the king, will be greater than you.
41. “See here,” Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I place you in authority over all the land of Egypt.”
42. Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his own hand and put it on Joseph’s. He clothed him with fine linen clothes and put a gold chain around his neck.
43. Pharaoh had him ride in the chariot used by his second-in-command, and they cried out before him, “Kneel down!” So he placed him over all the land of Egypt.
44. Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your permission no one will move his hand or his foot in all the land of Egypt.”
45. Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah. He also gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, to be his wife. So Joseph took charge of all the land of Egypt.
46. Now Joseph was 30 years old when he began serving Pharaoh king of Egypt. Joseph was commissioned by Pharaoh and was in charge of all the land of Egypt.
47. During the seven years of abundance the land produced large, bountiful harvests.
48. Joseph collected all the excess food in the land of Egypt during the seven years and stored it in the cities. In every city he put the food gathered from the fields around it.
49. Joseph stored up a vast amount of grain, like the sand of the sea, until he stopped measuring it because it was impossible to measure.
50. Two sons were born to Joseph before the famine came. Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, was their mother.
51. Joseph named the firstborn Manasseh, saying, “Certainly God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s house.”
52. He named the second child Ephraim, saying, “Certainly God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”
53. The seven years of abundance in the land of Egypt came to an end.
54. Then the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had predicted. There was famine in all the other lands, but throughout the land of Egypt there was food.
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, “Go to Joseph and do whatever he tells you.”
56. While the famine was over all the earth, Joseph opened the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians. The famine was severe throughout the land of Egypt.
57. People from every country came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain because the famine was severe throughout the earth.
Joseph’s Brothers in Egypt
1. When Jacob heard there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why are you looking at each other?”
2. He then said, “Look, I hear that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy grain for us so that we may live and not die.”
3. So ten of Joseph’s brothers went down to buy grain from Egypt.
4. But Jacob did not send Joseph’s brother Benjamin with his brothers, for he said, “What if some accident happens to him?”
5. So Israel’s sons came to buy grain among the other travelers, for the famine was severe in the land of Canaan.
6. Now Joseph was the ruler of the country, the one who sold grain to all the people of the country. Joseph’s brothers came and bowed down before him with their faces to the ground.
7. When Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he pretended to be a stranger to them and spoke to them harshly. He asked, “Where do you come from?” They answered, “From the land of Canaan, to buy grain for food.”
8. Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him.
9. Then Joseph remembered the dreams he had dreamed about them, and he said to them, “You are spies; you have come to see if our land is vulnerable!”
10. But they exclaimed, “No, my lord! Your servants have come to buy grain for food!
11. We are all the sons of one man; we are honest men! Your servants are not spies.”
12. “No,” he insisted, “but you have come to see if our land is vulnerable.”
13. They replied, “Your servants are from a family of twelve brothers. We are the sons of one man in the land of Canaan. The youngest is with our father at this time, and one is no longer alive.”
14. But Joseph told them, “It is just as I said to you: You are spies!
15. You will be tested in this way: As surely as Pharaoh lives, you will not depart from this place unless your youngest brother comes here.
16. One of you must go and get your brother, while the rest of you remain in prison. In this way your words may be tested to see if you are telling the truth. If not, then, as surely as Pharaoh lives, you are spies!”
17. He imprisoned them all for three days.
18. On the third day Joseph said to them, “Do as I say and you will live, for I fear God.
19. If you are honest men, leave one of your brothers confined here in prison while the rest of you go and take grain back for your hungry families.
20. But you must bring your youngest brother to me. Then your words will be verified and you will not die.” They did as he said.
21. They said to one other, “Surely we’re being punished because of our brother, because we saw how distressed he was when he cried to us for mercy, but we refused to listen. That is why this distress has come on us!”
22. Reuben said to them, “Didn’t I say to you, ‘Don’t sin against the boy,’ but you wouldn’t listen? So now we must pay for shedding his blood!”
23. (Now they did not know that Joseph could understand them, for he was speaking through an interpreter.)
24. He turned away from them and wept. When he turned around and spoke to them again, he had Simeon taken from them and tied up before their eyes.
25. Then Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, to return each man’s money to his sack, and to give them provisions for the journey. His orders were carried out.
26. So they loaded their grain on their donkeys and left.
27. When one of them opened his sack to get feed for his donkey at their resting place, he saw his money in the mouth of his sack.
28. He said to his brothers, “My money was returned! Here it is in my sack!” They were dismayed; they turned trembling one to another and said, “What in the world has God done to us?”
29. They returned to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan and told him all the things that had happened to them, saying,
30. “The man, the lord of the land, spoke harshly to us and treated us as if we were spying on the land.
31. But we said to him, ‘We are honest men; we are not spies!
32. We are from a family of twelve brothers; we are the sons of one father. One is no longer alive, and the youngest is with our father at this time in the land of Canaan.’
33. “Then the man, the lord of the land, said to us, ‘This is how I will find out if you are honest men. Leave one of your brothers with me, and take grain for your hungry households and go.
34. But bring your youngest brother back to me so I will know that you are honest men and not spies. Then I will give your brother back to you and you may move about freely in the land.’”
35. When they were emptying their sacks, there was each man’s bag of money in his sack! When they and their father saw the bags of money, they were afraid.
36. Their father Jacob said to them, “You are making me childless! Joseph is gone. Simeon is gone. And now you want to take Benjamin! Everything is against me.”
37. Then Reuben said to his father, “You may put my two sons to death if I do not bring him back to you. Put him in my care and I will bring him back to you.”
38. But Jacob replied, “My son will not go down there with you, for his brother is dead and he alone is left. If an accident happens to him on the journey you have to make, then you will bring down my gray hair in sorrow to the grave.”