New International Reader's Version

Genesis 41:1-57

Pharaoh Has Two Dreams

1When two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream. In his dream, he was standing by the Nile River. 2Seven cows came up out of the river. They looked healthy and fat. They were eating some of the tall grass growing along the river. 3After them, seven other cows came up out of the Nile. They looked ugly and skinny. They were standing beside the other cows on the riverbank. 4The ugly, skinny cows ate up the seven cows that looked healthy and fat. Then Pharaoh woke up.

5He fell asleep again and had a second dream. In that dream, seven heads of grain were growing on one stem. They were healthy and good. 6After them, seven other heads of grain came up. They were thin and dried up by the east wind. 7The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven healthy, full heads. Then Pharaoh woke up. It had been a dream.

8In the morning he was worried. So he sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. Pharaoh told them his dreams. But no one could tell him what they meant.

9Then the chief wine taster spoke up. He said to Pharaoh, “Now I remember that I’ve done something wrong. 10Pharaoh was once angry with his servants. He put me and the chief baker in prison. We were in the house of the captain of the palace guard. 11Each of us had a dream the same night. Each dream had its own meaning. 12A young Hebrew servant was there with us. He was a servant of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams. And he explained them to us. He told each of us the meaning of our dreams. 13Things turned out exactly as he said they would. I was given back my job. The other man had a pole stuck through his body.”

14So Pharaoh sent for Joseph. He was quickly brought out of the prison. Joseph shaved and changed his clothes. Then he came to Pharaoh.

15Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream. No one can tell me what it means. But I’ve heard that when you hear a dream you can explain it.”

16“I can’t do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh. “But God will give Pharaoh the answer he wants.”

17Then Pharaoh told Joseph what he had dreamed. He said, “I was standing on the bank of the Nile River. 18Seven cows came up out of the river. They were fat and looked healthy. They were eating the tall grass growing along the river. 19After them, seven other cows came up. They were bony and very ugly and thin. I had never seen such ugly cows in the whole land of Egypt. 20The thin, ugly cows ate up the seven fat cows that came up first. 21But no one could tell that the thin cows had eaten the fat cows. That’s because the thin cows looked just as ugly as they had before. Then I woke up.

22“In my dream I also saw seven heads of grain. They were full and good. They were all growing on one stem. 23After them, seven other heads of grain came up. They were weak and thin and dried up by the east wind. 24The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven good heads. I told my dream to the magicians. But none of them could explain it to me.”

25Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Both of Pharaoh’s dreams have the same meaning. God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. 26The seven good cows are seven years. And the seven good heads of grain are seven years. Both dreams mean the same thing. 27The seven thin, ugly cows that came up later are seven years. So are the seven worthless heads of grain dried up by the east wind. They are seven years when there won’t be enough food.

28“It’s just as I said to Pharaoh. God has shown Pharaoh what he’s about to do. 29Seven years with plenty of food are coming to the whole land of Egypt. 30But seven years when there won’t be enough food will follow them. Then everyone will forget about all the food Egypt had. Terrible hunger will destroy the land. 31There won’t be anything left to remind people of the years when there was plenty of food in the land. That’s how bad the hunger that follows will be. 32God gave the dream to Pharaoh in two forms. That’s because the matter has been firmly decided by God. And it’s because God will do it soon.

33“So Pharaoh should look for a wise and understanding man. He should put him in charge of the land of Egypt. 34Pharaoh should appoint officials to be in charge of the land. They should take a fifth of the harvest in Egypt during the seven years when there’s plenty of food. 35They should collect all the extra food of the good years that are coming. Pharaoh should give them authority to store up the grain. They should keep it in the cities for food. 36The grain should be stored up for the country to use later. It will be needed during the seven years when there isn’t enough food in Egypt. Then the country won’t be destroyed just because it doesn’t have enough food.”

37The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and all his officials. 38So Pharaoh said to them, “The spirit of God is in this man. We can’t find anyone else like him, can we?”

39Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “God has made all this known to you. No one is as wise and understanding as you are. 40You will be in charge of my palace. All my people must obey your orders. I will be greater than you only because I’m the one who sits on the throne.”

Joseph Is Put in Charge of Egypt

41So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I’m putting you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” 42Then Pharaoh took from his finger the ring he used to give his official stamp. He put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes made out of fine linen. He put a gold chain around Joseph’s neck. 43He also had him ride in a chariot. Joseph was now next in command after Pharaoh. People went in front of Joseph and shouted, “Get down on your knees!” By doing all these things, Pharaoh put Joseph in charge of the whole land of Egypt.

44Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh. But unless you give an order, no one will do anything in the whole land of Egypt.” 45Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah. He gave Joseph a wife. She was Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera. Potiphera was the priest of On. Joseph traveled all over the land of Egypt.

46Joseph was 30 years old when he began serving Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. He left Pharaoh’s palace and traveled all over Egypt. 47During the seven years there was plenty of food. The land produced more than the people needed. 48Joseph collected all the extra food produced in those seven years in Egypt. He stored it in the cities. In each city he stored up the food grown in the fields around it. 49Joseph stored up huge amounts of grain. There was as much of it as sand by the sea. There was so much grain it couldn’t be measured. So Joseph stopped keeping records of it.

50Before the years when there wasn’t enough food, two sons were born to Joseph. He had them by Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera. Potiphera was the priest of On. 51Joseph named his first son Manasseh. That’s because he said, “God has made me forget all my trouble and my father’s whole family.” 52He named the second son Ephraim. That’s because he said, “God has given me children in the land where I’ve suffered so much.”

53The seven years when there was plenty of food in Egypt came to an end. 54Then the seven years when there wasn’t enough food began. It happened just as Joseph had said it would. There wasn’t enough food in any of the other lands. But in the whole land of Egypt there was food. 55When all the people of Egypt began to get hungry, they cried out to Pharaoh for food. He told all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph. Do what he tells you.”

56There wasn’t enough food anywhere in the country. So Joseph opened the storerooms. He sold grain to the Egyptians because people were very hungry all over Egypt. 57People from all over the world came to Egypt. They came to buy grain from Joseph. That’s because people were very hungry everywhere.

Japanese Contemporary Bible

創世記 41:1-57



1それから二年後のある夜、今度は王が夢を見ました。ナイル川のほとりに立っていると、 2突然、川から丸々と太った雌牛が七頭出て来て、あたりの草を食べ始めるのです。 3次に、また別の雌牛が七頭出て来ます。骨と皮だけで、あばら骨が浮いて見えるようなやせた牛ばかりです。それが、歩いて行って太った牛の隣に立ったかと思うと、 4その太った牛を食べてしまったのです。王は、そこで目が覚めました。

5やがて、またうとうとと寝入ると、別の夢を見ました。今度は、一本の茎に穀物の穂が七つ出て来るのです。一つ一つはみな形も良く、実がいっぱいに詰まっています。 6ところが突然、同じ茎にまた別の穂が七つ現れました。どれもこれも熱い東風にやられてちりちりに焼け、実が入っていません。 7なんと、このしなびた穂が、実のたっぷり入った形の良い七つの穂をのみ込んでしまいました。そこでまた目が覚めました。全部、夢だったのです。

8夜が明けると、王はあれこれ考えましたが、考えれば考えるほど、夢のことが気になってしかたありません。国中の魔術師や学者を呼び集め、夢の意味を解かせようとしましたが、だれにも何のことかわかりません。 9その時、王の毒味役が口をはさみました。「実は、うっかりしておりましたが、とうに申し上げておかなければならないことがありました。 10いつでしたか、王様のお怒りを買って、私と料理長とがポティファル様の屋敷内の監獄に入れられたことがございました。 11ある夜、私どもは夢を見たのです。 12その夢を、ポティファル様の奴隷だったあるヘブル人の青年に話しましたところ、夢の意味をちゃんと説明してくれました。 13そしてすべてがそのとおりになりました。私はお赦しを得てお毒味役に復帰できましたし、料理長は死刑にされ、木につるされてしまいました。」




17そこで、王は夢の話をしました。「わしはナイル川のほとりに立っていた。 18すると突然、川から丸々と太った健康そうな雌牛が七頭出て来て、川岸のあたりの草を食べ始めた。 19ところが、別の雌牛が七頭また川から出て来た。やせて骨が浮いて見えるようなやつばかりだ。全く、あんなやせこけた牛は、エジプト中どこを捜してもいないだろう。 20ところが、そのやせた牛が、最初の太った牛をぺろりとたいらげてしまった。 21それなのに、まだやせたままなのだ。その時、目が覚めた。 22しばらくして、もう一つ夢を見た。今度は一本の茎に七つの穂が出て来たのだ。たっぷり実の入った穂ばかりだった。 23そのあと同じ茎から、やせた実のない穂が七つ出て来た。 24そして、やせた穂が、実の入ったものをのみ込んでしまった。この話を魔術師どもにしたのだが、満足に説明できる者は一人もいなかったのだ。」

25「夢は二つとも同じ意味でございます。神様が、これからエジプトでなさろうとしていることをお告げになったのです。 26七頭の太った雌牛と、実のよく入った七つの穂はどちらも、これから七年の間、豊作が続くということです。 27七頭のやせた雌牛と七つのしおれた実のない穂は、その七年間の豊作のあと、七年間ききんが続くことを表しています。 28神様は、今からしようとしておられることを、そのように王様に示されたのです。 29これから七年間は、エジプト中が豊かな繁栄を楽しむ時となりましょう。 30しかしそのあと、七年間のききんに見舞われます。以前の繁栄がすっかり忘れられ、跡形もなくなるほどの大ききんです。国土はすっかり荒れ果て、 31あまりのひどさに、豊作の年があったことなど信じられなくなるでしょう。 32同じ夢を二度ごらんになったのは、今お話ししたことが間違いなく起こるという証拠です。神様がそうお決めになったからには、すぐに夢のとおりになります。 33あまり猶予はありません。さっそくエジプト一の人材を探して、国全体の農業計画を管理させたらよろしいと存じます。 34-35エジプトを五つの管轄区に分けます。七年間は各地区の役人に命じて、余った穀物を王様の倉庫へ納めさせたらいかがでしょうか。 36そうすれば、大ききんになっても困りません。でないと、国中が災害にやられて、とんでもないことになるでしょう。」


37ヨセフの提言に、王も家臣たちもうなずきました。 38では、この仕事の責任者をだれにしたらよいのか、一同が相談を始めると、王が言いました。「ヨセフがよい。彼は神様の特別の力を頂いている。まさにうってつけではないか。」 39そして、ヨセフのほうに向き直り、こう続けました。「夢の意味を神様がおまえにお示しになったからには、おまえがわが国で一番の知恵者に違いない。 40したがってわしは今、おまえをこの仕事全体の責任者に任命する。何でもおまえの命令どおりすることにしよう。この国でおまえの上に立つ者は、わしだけだ。」


43王はまた、国で第二の地位にあることを示す車を、ヨセフに与えました。ヨセフがどこかへ出かける時は、必ずだれかが、「総理大臣閣下のお通りーっ!」と叫ぶのです。 44王はヨセフに言いました。「エジプトの王であるわしが誓う。わが国を治める全責任をおまえにゆだねる。」

45王はまた、ヨセフに、「生死をつかさどる神のような権力を持つ者」という意味のエジプト名を与えました。また、オンの祭司〔当時の有力な宗教的・政治的指導者〕ポティ・フェラの娘アセナテを、妻として与えました。ヨセフの名はたちまちエジプト中に知れ渡りました。 46この時、彼はまだ三十歳でした。王の前から下がると、さっそく国中の巡察を始めました。

47ヨセフの言ったとおり、初めの七年間はどこも豊作でした。 48その間にヨセフは、収穫の一部を国が買い上げ、近くの町々にたくわえるようにしました。 49七年たつと、倉庫はあふれるほどいっぱいになり、いったいどれほどあるのか見当もつきませんでした。

50祭司ポティ・フェラの娘アセナテは、男の子を二人産みました。ききんが来る前のことです。 51ヨセフは長男をマナセ〔「忘れさせてくださった」の意〕と名づけました。自分の青年時代のいろいろな苦しみや、父の家から離れた悲しみなどを忘れるほどに、神がよくしてくださったからです。 52次男はエフライム〔「豊かな実り」の意〕としました。「以前は奴隷だったこの国で、神様は私を豊かにしてくださった」と、彼が言ったからです。

53こうしてついに、七年の豊作期は終わりました。 54そのあと、ヨセフの言ったとおり七年間のききんが始まりました。近隣の国々もひどい不作でした。しかし、エジプト中の倉庫には穀物がたっぷりたくわえてありました。 55やがて飢える人が出始めると、王のもとには、食物を求める人たちがひっきりなしにやって来ました。すると、王は決まって、「総理大臣の指示どおりにせよ」と命じ、ヨセフのところへ行かせるのです。