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Bereishis/Genesis  41:1 - 44:17

Chapter 41

1 It happened at the end of two years to the day - Pharaoh was dreaming that behold! — he was standing over the River,  2 when behold! out of the River there emerged seven cows, of beautiful appearance and robust flesh, and they were grazing in the marshland.  3 Then behold! — seven other cows emerged after them out of the River — of ugly appearance and gaunt flesh; and they stood next to the cows on the bank of the River.  4 The cows of ugly appearance and gaunt flesh ate the seven cows of beautiful appearance and robust, and Pharaoh awoke.  5 He fell asleep and dreamt a second time, and behold! seven ears of grain were sprouting on a single stalk — healthy and good.

6 And behold! seven ears, thin, and scorched by the east wind, were growing after them.  7 Then the seven thin ears swallowed up the seven healthy and full ears; Pharaoh awoke and behold! — it had been a dream.  8 And it was in the morning - His spirit was agitated, so he sent and summoned all the necromancers of Egypt and all its wise men; Pharaoh related his dream to them, but none could interpret them for Pharaoh.

9 Then the Chamberlain of the Cupbearers spoke up before Pharaoh, "My transgressions do I mention today.  10 Pharaoh had become incensed at his servants and placed me in the ward of the house of the Chamberlain of the Butchers — me and the Chamberlain of the Bakers.

11 We dreamt a dream on the same night, I and he; each of us according to the interpretation of his dream did we dream.  12 And there, with us, was a Hebrew youth, a slave of the Chamberlain of the Butchers; we related it to him, and he interpreted our dreams for us; he interpreted for each in accordance with his dream.  13 And it was that just as he interpreted for us so did it happen; me he restored to my post and him he hanged."

14 So Pharaoh sent and summoned Joseph, and they rushed him from the dungeon. He shaved and changed his clothes, and he came to Pharaoh.  15 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I dreamt a dream, but no one can interpret it. Now I heard it said of you that you comprehend a dream to interpret it."

16 Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, "That is beyond me; it is God Who will respond with Pharaoh's welfare."

17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, "In my dream, behold! — I was standing upon the bank of the River.  18 And behold, out of the River there emerged seven cows, of robust flesh and beautiful form, and they were grazing in the marshland.  19 Suddenly, seven other cows emerged after them — scrawny and of very inferior form and of emaciated flesh; I have never seen inferiority like theirs in all the land of Egypt.  20 And the emaciated and inferior cows ate up the first seven healthy cows.  21 They came inside them, but it was not apparent that they had come inside them, for their appearance remained as inferior as at first. Then I awoke.  22 I then saw in my dream - Behold! — seven ears of grain were sprouting on a single stalk — full and good.

23 And suddenly! — seven ears of grain, withered, thin and scorched by the east wind were growing after them.  24 Then the thin ears of grain swallowed up the seven good ears; I said this to the necromancers, but no one could explain it to me."

25 Joseph said to Pharaoh, "The dream of Pharaoh is a single one; what God is about to do, He has told to Pharaoh.  26 The seven good cows are seven years, and the good ears are seven years; it is a single dream.  27 Now, the seven emaciated and bad cows who emerged after them — they are seven years; as are the seven emaciated ears scorched by the east wind. There shall be seven years of famine.  28 It is this matter that I have spoken to Pharaoh - What God is about to do He has shown to Pharaoh.

29 Behold! — seven years are coming — a great abundance throughout all the land of Egypt.  30 Then seven years of famine will arise after them and all the abundance in the land of Egypt will be forgotten; the famine will ravage the land.  31 And the abundance will be unknown in the land in the face of the subsequent famine — for it will be terribly severe.  32 As for the repetition of the dream to Pharaoh — two times — it is because the matter stands ready before God, and God is hastening to accomplish it.

33 Now let Pharaoh seek out a discerning and wise man and set him over the land of Egypt.  34 Let Pharaoh proceed and let him appoint overseers on the land, and he shall prepare the land of Egypt during the seven years of abundance.  35 And let them gather all the food of those approaching good years; let them amass fine grain under Pharaoh's authority for food in the cities, and safeguard it.  36 The food will be a reserve for the land against the seven years of famine which will befall the land of Egypt, so that the land will not perish in the famine."

37 The matter appeared good in Pharaoh's eyes and in the eyes of all his servants.  38 Pharaoh said to his servants, "Could we find another like him — a man in whom is the spirit of God?"

39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Since God has informed you of all this, there can be no one so discerning and wise as you.  40 You shall be in charge of my palace and by your command shall all my people be sustained; only by the throne shall I outrank you."

41 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, "See! I have placed you in charge of all the land of Egypt."

42 And Pharaoh removed his ring from his hand and put it on Joseph's hand. He then had him dressed in garments of fine linen and he placed a gold chain upon his neck.  43 He also had him ride in his second royal chariot and they proclaimed before him - "Avrech!" Thus, he appointed him over all the land of Egypt.

44 Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I am Pharaoh. And without you no man may lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt."  45 Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphenath-paneah and he gave him Asenath daughter of Poti-phera, Chief of On, for a wife. Thus, Joseph emerged in charge of the land of Egypt.  46 Now Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt; Joseph left Pharaoh's presence and he passed through the entire land of Egypt.

47 The earth produced during the seven years of abundance by the handfuls.  48 He gathered all food of the seven years that came to pass in Egypt, and he placed food in the cities; the food of the field around each city he placed within it.  49 Joseph amassed grain like the sand of the sea in great abundance until he ceased counting, for there was no number.

50 Now to Joseph were born two sons — when the year of famine had not yet set in — whom Asenath daughter of Poti-phera, Chief of On, bore to him.  51 Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh for, "God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father's household."  52 And the name of the second son he called Ephraim for, "God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering."

53 The seven years of abundance that came to pass in the land of Egypt ended.  54 And the seven years of famine began approaching just as Joseph had said. There was famine in all the lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.

55 When all the land of Egypt hungered, the people cried out to Pharaoh for bread. So Pharaoh said to all of Egypt, "Go to Joseph. Whatever he tells you, you should do."  56 When the famine spread over all the face of the earth, Joseph opened all the containers and sold provisions to Egypt; and the famine became severe in the land of Egypt.  57 All the earth came to Egypt to Joseph to buy provisions, for the famine had become severe in all the earth.

Chapter 42

1 Jacob perceived that there were provisions in Egypt; so Jacob said to his sons, "Why do you make yourselves conspicuous?"  2 And he said, "Behold, I have heard that there are provisions in Egypt; go down there and purchase for us from there, that we may live and not die."  3 So Joseph's brothers — ten of them — went down to buy grain from Egypt.  4 But Benjamin, Joseph's brother, Jacob did not send along with his brothers, for he said, "Lest disaster befall him."  5 So the sons of Israel came to buy provisions among the arrivals, for the famine was in the land of Canaan.

6 Now Joseph — he was the viceroy over the land, he was the provider to all the people of the land. Joseph's brothers came and they bowed to him, faces to the ground.

7 Joseph saw his brothers and he recognized them, but he acted like a stranger toward them and spoke with them harshly. He asked them, "From where do you come?" And they said, "From the land of Canaan to buy food."  8 Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him.

9 Joseph recalled the dreams that he dreamed about them, so he said to them, "You are spies! To see the land's nakedness have you come!"

10 They answered him, "Not so, my lord! For your servants have come to buy food.  11 All of us, sons of one man are we; we are truthful people; your servants have never been spies."

12 And he said to them, "No! But the land's nakedness have you come to see."

13 And they replied, "We, your servants, are twelve brothers, the son of one man in the land of Canaan. The youngest is now with our father and one is gone."

14 But Joseph said to them, "It is just as I have declared to you - 'You are spies!'  15 By this shall you be tested - By Pharaoh's life you will not leave here unless your youngest brother comes here.  16 Send one of you, and let him fetch your brother while you shall remain imprisoned, so that your words may be tested whether truth is with you; but if not, by Pharaoh's life — surely you are spies!"  17 Then he herded them into a ward for a three-day period.

18 Joseph said to them on the third day, "Do this and live; I fear God.  18 If you are truthful people, let one of your brothers be imprisoned in your place of confinement while you go and bring provisions for the hunger of your households.  20 Then bring your youngest brother to me so your words will be verified and you will not die." And they did so.

21 They then said to one another, "Indeed we are guilty concerning our brother inasmuch as we saw his heartfelt anguish when he pleaded with us and we paid no heed; that is why this anguish has come upon us."

22 Reuben spoke up to them, saying, "Did I not speak to you saying, 'Do not sin against the boy,' but you would not listen! And his blood as well — behold! — is being avenged."

23 Now they did not know that Joseph understood, for an interpreter was between them.  24 He turned away from them and wept; he returned to them and spoke to them; he took Simeon from them and imprisoned him before their eyes.

25 Joseph commanded that they fill their vessels with grain, and to return their money, each one's to his sack, and to give them provisions for the journey. And so he did for them.  26 Then they loaded their purchase onto their donkeys and departed from there.

27 When the one of them opened his sack to give feed to his donkey at the inn, he saw his money, and behold! — it was in the mouth of his sack.  28 So he said to his brothers, "My money has been returned and behold! it, too, is in my sack!" Their hearts sank, and they turned trembling one to another, saying, "What is this that God has done to us?"

29 They came to Jacob their father in the land of Canaan and they told him of all that had happened to them, saying:  30 "The man, the lord of the land, spoke harshly to us and considered us as if we were spying out the land.  31 But we said to him, 'We are truthful men - We have never been spies.  32 We are twelve brothers, sons of one father. One is gone and the youngest is now with our father in the land of Canaan.'  33 Then the man, the lord of the land, said to us, 'By this I will ascertain whether you are truthful people - One of your brothers, leave with me; and what is needed for the hunger of your households take and go.  34 And bring your youngest brother to me so I will know that you are not spies, but truthful people. I will restore your brother to you and you will be free to circulate about the land.' "

35 Then, as they were emptying their sacks, behold! — every man's bundle of money was in his sack. When they and their father saw their bundles of money, they were terrified.  36 Their father Jacob said to them, "I am the one whom you bereaved! Joseph is gone, Simeon is gone, and now you would take away Benjamin? Upon me has it all fallen!"

37 Then Reuben told his father, saying, "You may slay my two sons if I fail to bring him back to you. Put him in my care and I will return him to you."

38 But he said, "My son shall not go down with you, for his brother is dead and he alone is left. Should disaster befall him on the journey which you shall take, then you will have brought down my hoariness in sorrow to the grave."

Chapter 43

1 The famine was severe in the land.  2 When they had finished eating the provisions which they had brought from Egypt their father said to them, "Go back, buy us some food."

3 But Judah told him, saying, "The man sternly warned us saying, 'Do not see my face unless your brother is with you.'  4 If you are ready to send our brother with us, we will go down and buy you food.  5 But if you do not send, we will not go down, for the man said to us, 'Do not see my face unless your brother is with you.' "

6 Then Israel said, "Why did you treat me so ill by telling the man that you had another brother?"

7 And they said, "The man persistently asked about us and our relatives saying, 'Is your father still alive? Have you a brother?' and we responded to 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 let us arise and go, so we will live and not die, we as well as you as well as our children.  9 I will personally guarantee him; of my own hand you can demand him. If I do not bring him back to you and stand him before you, then I will have sinned to you for all time.  10 For had we not delayed, by now we could have returned twice."

11 Israel their father said to them, "If it must be so, then do this - Take of the land's glory in your baggage and bring it down to the man as a tribute — a bit of balsam, a bit of honey, wax, lotus, pistachios, and almonds.  12 And take with you double the money, and the money that was returned in the mouth of your sacks return in your hands; perhaps it was an oversight.  13 Take your brother, and arise, return to the man.  14 And may Almighty God grant you mercy before the man that he may release to you your other brother as well as Benjamin. And as for me, as I have been bereaved, so I am bereaved."

15 So the men took this tribute and they took double money in their hand, as well as Benjamin. They set out and went down to Egypt and stood before Joseph.  16 Joseph saw Benjamin with them; so he said to the one in charge of his house, "Bring the men into the house. Have meat slaughtered, and prepare it, for with me will these men dine at noon."  17 The man did as Joseph said, and the man brought the men to Joseph's house.  18 But the men became frightened when they were brought to Joseph's house, and they said, "Because of the money replaced in our sacks originally are we being brought, so that a charge can be fabricated against us, that it crash down on us, and that we be taken as slaves along with our donkeys."

19 They approached the man who was in charge of Joseph's house and spoke to him at the entrance of the house.  20 And they said, "If you please, my lord - We had indeed come down originally to buy food.  21 But it happened, when we arrived at the inn and opened our sacks, that behold! each one's money was in the mouth of his sack; it was our own money in its full amount, so we have brought it back in our hand.  22 We have also brought other money down in our hand to buy food; we do not know who put our money in our sacks."

23 He replied, "Peace with you, fear not. Your God and the God of your father has put a hidden treasure in your sacks. Your payment had reached me." And he brought Simeon out to them.

24 Then the man brought the men into Joseph's house. He provided water and they washed their feet, and he gave feed to their donkeys.  25 They prepared the tribute for when Joseph would come at noon, for they had heard that they were to eat a meal there.

26 When Joseph came to the house they brought the tribute that was in their hands to him to the house, and they prostrated themselves to him toward the ground.  27 He inquired after their welfare, and he said, "Is your aged father of whom you spoke at peace? Is he still alive?''

28 They replied, "Your servant our father is at peace; he still lives," and they bowed and prostrated themselves.  29 Then he lifted up his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother's son, so he said, "Is this your 'little' brother of whom you spoke to me?" And he said, "God be gracious to you, my son."

30 Then Joseph rushed because his compassion for his brother had been stirred and he wanted to weep; so he went into the room and wept there.  31 He washed his face and went out, fortified himself and said, "Serve food."  32 They served him separately and them separately and the Egyptians who ate with him separately, for the Egyptians could not bear to eat food with the Hebrews, it being loathsome to Egyptians.  33 They were seated before him, the firstborn according to his seniority and the youngest according to his youth. The men looked at one another in astonishment.

34 He had portions that had been set before him served to them, and Benjamin's portion was five times as much as the portion of any of them. They drank and became intoxicated with him.

Chapter 44

1 Then he instructed the one in charge of his house, saying, "Fill the men's sacks with as much food as they can carry and put each man's money in the mouth of his sack.  2 And my goblet — the silver goblet — place in the mouth of the youngest one's sack along with the money of his purchase." And he followed Joseph's word exactly.

3 The day dawned and the men were sent off, they and their donkeys.  4 They had left the city, had not gone far, when Joseph said to the one in charge of his house, "Get up, chase after the men; when you overtake them, you are to say to them, 'Why do you repay evil for good?  5 Is it not the one from which my master drinks, and with which he regularly divines? You have done evil in how you acted!' "

6 He overtook them and spoke those words to them.  7 And they said to him, "Why does my lord say such things? It would be sacrilegious for your servants to do such a thing.  8 Here, look - The money that we found in the mouth of our sacks we brought back to you from the land of Canaan. How then could we have stolen from your master's house any silver or gold?  9 Anyone among your servants with whom it is found shall die, and we also will become slaves to my lord."

10 He replied, "What you say now is also correct. The one with whom it is found shall be my slave, but the rest of you shall be exonerated."

11 Hurriedly, each one lowered his sack to the ground, and each one opened his sack.  12 He searched; he began with the oldest and ended with the youngest; and the goblet was found in Benjamin's sack.  13 They rent their garments. Each one reloaded his donkey and they returned to the city.

14 When Judah arrived with his brothers to Joseph's house, he was still there. They fell to the ground before him.  15 Joseph said to them, "What is this deed that you have done? Do you not realize that a man like me practices divination!"

16 So Judah said, "What can we say to my lord? How can we speak? And how can we justify ourselves? God has uncovered the sin of your servants. Here we are - We are ready to be slaves to my lord — both we and the one in whose hand the goblet was found."

17 But he replied, "It would be sacrilegious for me to do this. The man in whose possession the goblet was found, only he shall be my slave, and as for you — go up in peace to your father."


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