Passage: Genesis 39, 40, 41 (RSV)

Genesis 39

1Now Joseph was taken down to Egypt, and Pot'i-phar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ish'maelites who had brought him down there.
2The LORD was with Joseph, and he became a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian,
3and his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD caused all that he did to prosper in his hands.
4So Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him, and he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had.
5From the time that he made him overseer in his house and over all that he had the LORD blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had, in house and field.
6So he left all that he had in Joseph's charge; and having him he had no concern for anything but the food which he ate. Now Joseph was handsome and good-looking.
7And after a time his master's wife cast her eyes upon Joseph, and said, "Lie with me."
8But he refused and said to his master's wife, "Lo, having me my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my hand;
9he is not greater in this house than I am; nor has he kept back anything from me except yourself, because you are his wife; how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?"
10And although she spoke to Joseph day after day, he would not listen to her, to lie with her or to be with her.
11But one day, when he went into the house to do his work and none of the men of the house was there in the house,
12she caught him by his garment, saying, "Lie with me." But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and got out of the house.
13And when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and had fled out of the house,
14she called to the men of her household and said to them, "See, he has brought among us a Hebrew to insult us; he came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice;
15and when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, he left his garment with me, and fled and got out of the house."
16Then she laid up his garment by her until his master came home,
17and she told him the same story, saying, "The Hebrew servant, whom you have brought among us, came in to me to insult me;
18but as soon as I lifted up my voice and cried, he left his garment with me, and fled out of the house."
19When his master heard the words which his wife spoke to him, "This is the way your servant treated me," his anger was kindled.
20And Joseph's master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king's prisoners were confined, and he was there in prison.
21But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love, and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
22And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's care all the prisoners who were in the prison; and whatever was done there, he was the doer of it;
23the keeper of the prison paid no heed to anything that was in Joseph's care, because the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made it prosper.

Genesis 40

1Some time after this, the butler of the king of Egypt and his baker offended their lord the king of Egypt.
2And Pharaoh was angry with his two officers, the chief butler and the chief baker,
3and he put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the prison where Joseph was confined.
4The captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he waited on them; and they continued for some time in custody.
5And one night they both dreamed -- the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison -- each his own dream, and each dream with its own meaning.
6When Joseph came to them in the morning and saw them, they were troubled.
7So he asked Pharaoh's officers who were with him in custody in his master's house, "Why are your faces downcast today?"
8They said to him, "We have had dreams, and there is no one to interpret them." And Joseph said to them, "Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell them to me, I pray you."
9So the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, "In my dream there was a vine before me,
10and on the vine there were three branches; as soon as it budded, its blossoms shot forth, and the clusters ripened into grapes.
11Pharaoh's cup was in my hand; and I took the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh's cup, and placed the cup in Pharaoh's hand."
12Then Joseph said to him, "This is its interpretation: the three branches are three days;
13within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your office; and you shall place Pharaoh's cup in his hand as formerly, when you were his butler.
14But remember me, when it is well with you, and do me the kindness, I pray you, to make mention of me to Pharaoh, and so get me out of this house.
15For I was indeed stolen out of the land of the Hebrews; and here also I have done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon."
16When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was favorable, he said to Joseph, "I also had a dream: there were three cake baskets on my head,
17and in the uppermost basket there were all sorts of baked food for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating it out of the basket on my head."
18And Joseph answered, "This is its interpretation: the three baskets are three days;
19within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head -- from you! -- and hang you on a tree; and the birds will eat the flesh from you."
20On the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday, he made a feast for all his servants, and lifted up the head of the chief butler and the head of the chief baker among his servants.
21He restored the chief butler to his butlership, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh's hand;
22but he hanged the chief baker, as Joseph had interpreted to them.
23Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.

Genesis 41

1After two whole years, Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing by the Nile,
2and behold, there came up out of the Nile seven cows sleek and fat, and they fed in the reed grass.
3And behold, seven other cows, gaunt and thin, came up out of the Nile after them, and stood by the other cows on the bank of the Nile.
4And the gaunt and thin cows ate up the seven sleek and fat cows. And Pharaoh awoke.
5And he fell asleep and dreamed a second time; and behold, seven ears of grain, plump and good, were growing on one stalk.
6And behold, after them sprouted seven ears, thin and blighted by the east wind.
7And the thin ears swallowed up the seven plump and full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and behold, it was a dream.
8So in the morning 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 dream, but there was none who could interpret it to Pharaoh.
9Then the chief butler said to Pharaoh, "I remember my faults today.
10When Pharaoh was angry with his servants, and put me and the chief baker in custody in the house of the captain of the guard,
11we dreamed on the same night, he and I, each having a dream with its own meaning.
12A young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard; and when we told him, he interpreted our dreams to us, giving an interpretation to each man according to his dream.
13And as he interpreted to us, so it came to pass; I was restored to my office, and the baker was hanged."
14Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon; and when he had shaved himself and changed his clothes, he came in before Pharaoh.
15And Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it; and I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it."
16Joseph answered Pharaoh, "It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer."
17Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Behold, in my dream I was standing on the banks of the Nile;
18and seven cows, fat and sleek, came up out of the Nile and fed in the reed grass;
19and seven other cows came up after them, poor and very gaunt and thin, such as I had never seen in all the land of Egypt.
20And the thin and gaunt cows ate up the first seven fat cows,
21but when they had eaten them no one would have known that they had eaten them, for they were still as gaunt as at the beginning. Then I awoke.
22I also saw in my dream seven ears growing on one stalk, full and good;
23and seven ears, withered, thin, and blighted by the east wind, sprouted after them,
24and the thin ears swallowed up the seven good ears. And I told it to the magicians, but there was no one who could explain it to me."
25Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, "The dream of Pharaoh is one; God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do.
26The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good ears are seven years; the dream is one.
27The seven lean and gaunt cows that came up after them are seven years, and the seven empty ears blighted by the east wind are also seven years of famine.
28It is as I told Pharaoh, God has shown to Pharaoh what he is about to do.
29There will come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt,
30but after them there will arise seven years of famine, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt; the famine will consume the land,
31and the plenty will be unknown in the land by reason of that famine which will follow, for it will be very grievous.
32And the doubling of Pharaoh's dream means that the thing is fixed by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.
33Now therefore let Pharaoh select a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt.
34Let Pharaoh proceed to appoint overseers over the land, and take the fifth part of the produce of the land of Egypt during the seven plenteous years.
35And let them gather all the food of these good years that are coming, and lay up grain under the authority of Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them keep it.
36That food shall be a reserve for the land against the seven years of famine which are to befall the land of Egypt, so that the land may not perish through the famine."
37This proposal seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his servants.
38And Pharaoh said to his servants, "Can we find such a man as this, in whom is the Spirit of God?"
39So Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discreet and wise as you are;
40you shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command; only as regards the throne will I be greater than you."
41And Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Behold, I have set you over all the land of Egypt."
42Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in garments of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck;
43and he made him to ride in his second chariot; and they cried before him, "Bow the knee!" Thus he set him over all the land of Egypt.
44Moreover Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no man shall lift up hand or foot in all the land of Egypt."
45And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaph'enath-pane'ah; and he gave him in marriage As'enath, the daughter of Poti'phera priest of On. So Joseph went out over the land of Egypt.
46Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went through all the land of Egypt.
47During the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth abundantly,
48and he gathered up all the food of the seven years when there was plenty in the land of Egypt, and stored up food in the cities; he stored up in every city the food from the fields around it.
49And Joseph stored up grain in great abundance, like the sand of the sea, until he ceased to measure it, for it could not be measured.
50Before the year of famine came, Joseph had two sons, whom As'enath, the daughter of Poti'phera priest of On, bore to him.
51Joseph called the name of the first-born Manas'seh, "For," he said, "God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father's house."
52The name of the second he called E'phraim, "For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction."
53The seven years of plenty that prevailed in the land of Egypt came to an end;
54and the seven years of famine began to come, as Joseph had said. There was famine in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.
55When all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread; and Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, "Go to Joseph; what he says to you, do."
56So when the famine had spread over all the land, Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe in the land of Egypt.
57Moreover, all the earth came to Egypt to Joseph to buy grain, because the famine was severe over all the earth.

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