Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” Then Pharaoh took off his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, and clothed him in garments of fine linen and put the gold necklace around his neck. He had him ride in [a]his second chariot; and they proclaimed before him, “[b]Bow the knee!” And he set him over all the land of Egypt. Moreover, Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Though I am Pharaoh, yet without [c]your permission no one shall raise his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.” Then Pharaoh named Joseph [d]Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of [e]On, as his wife. And Joseph went forth over the land of Egypt.
Now Joseph was thirty years old when he [f]stood before Pharaoh, king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh and went through all the land of Egypt. During the seven years of plenty the land brought forth [g]abundantly. So he gathered all the food of these seven years which occurred in the land of Egypt and placed the food in the cities; he placed in every city the food from its own surrounding fields. Thus Joseph stored up grain [h]in great abundance like the sand of the sea, until he stopped [i]measuring it, for it was [j]beyond measure.
The Sons of Joseph
Now before the year of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of [k]On, bore to him. Joseph named the firstborn [l]Manasseh, “For,” he said, “God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” He named the second [m]Ephraim, “For,” he said, “God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.”
When the seven years of plenty which had been in the land of Egypt came to an end, and the seven years of famine began to come, just as Joseph had said, then there was famine in all the lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. So when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried out to Pharaoh for bread; and Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph; whatever he says to you, you shall do.” When the famine was spread over all the face of the earth, then Joseph opened all [n]the storehouses, and sold to the Egyptians; and the famine was severe in the land of Egypt. The people of all the earth came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe in all the earth.
- Genesis 41:43 Lit the second...which was his
- Genesis 41:43 Heb Abreck: Attention or Make way
- Genesis 41:44 Lit you no one
- Genesis 41:45 Probably Egyptian for “God speaks; he lives”
- Genesis 41:45 Or Heliopolis
- Genesis 41:46 Or entered the service of
- Genesis 41:47 Lit by handfuls
- Genesis 41:49 Lit very much
- Genesis 41:49 Lit numbering
- Genesis 41:49 Or without number
- Genesis 41:50 Or Heliopolis
- Genesis 41:51 I.e. making to forget
- Genesis 41:52 I.e. fruitfulness
- Genesis 41:56 Lit that which was in them
Joseph’s Brothers Sent to Egypt
Now Jacob saw that there was grain in Egypt, and Jacob said to his sons, “Why are you staring at one another?” He said, “Behold, I have heard that there is grain in Egypt; go down there and buy some for us [a]from that place, so that we may live and not die.” Then ten brothers of Joseph went down to buy grain from Egypt. But Jacob did not send Joseph’s brother Benjamin with his brothers, for he said, “I am afraid that harm may befall him.” So the sons of Israel came to buy grain among those who were coming, for the famine was in the land of Canaan also.
Now Joseph was the ruler over the land; he was the one who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph’s brothers came and bowed down to him with their faces to the ground. When Joseph saw his brothers he recognized them, but he disguised himself to them and spoke to them harshly. And he said to them, “Where have you come from?” And they said, “From the land of Canaan, to buy food.”
But Joseph had recognized his brothers, although they did not recognize him. Joseph remembered the dreams which he [b]had about them, and said to them, “You are spies; you have come to look at the [c]undefended parts of our land.” Then they said to him, “No, my lord, but your servants have come to buy food. We are all sons of one man; we are honest men, your servants are not spies.” Yet he said to them, “No, but you have come to look at the [d]undefended parts of our land!” But they said, “Your servants are twelve brothers in all, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and behold, the youngest is with our father today, and one is no longer alive.” Joseph said to them, “It is as I said [e]to you, you are spies; by this you will be tested: by the life of Pharaoh, you shall not go from this place unless your youngest brother comes here! Send one of you that he may get your brother, while you remain confined, that your words may be tested, whether there is truth in you. But if not, by the life of Pharaoh, surely you are spies.” So he put them all together in prison for three days.
Now Joseph said to them on the third day, “Do this and live, for I fear God: if you are honest men, let one of your brothers be confined in [f]your prison; but as for the rest of you, go, carry grain for the famine of your households, and bring your youngest brother to me, so your words may be verified, and you will not die.” And they did so. Then they said to one another, “Truly we are guilty concerning our brother, because we saw the distress of his soul when he pleaded with us, yet we would not listen; therefore this distress has come upon us.” Reuben answered them, saying, “Did I not tell [g]you, ‘Do not sin against the boy’; and you would not listen? [h]Now comes the reckoning for his blood.” They did not know, however, that Joseph understood, for there was an interpreter between them. He turned away from them and wept. But when he returned to them and spoke to them, he took Simeon from them and bound him before their eyes. Then Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain and to restore every man’s money in his sack, and to give them provisions for the journey. And thus it was done for them.
So they loaded their donkeys with their grain and departed from there. As one of them opened his sack to give his donkey fodder at the lodging place, he saw his money; and behold, it was in the mouth of his sack. Then he said to his brothers, “My money has been returned, and behold, it is even in my sack.” And their hearts [i]sank, and they turned [j]trembling to one another, saying, “What is this that God has done to us?”
Simeon Is Held Hostage
When they came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan, they told him all that had happened to them, saying, “The man, the lord of the land, spoke harshly with us, and took us for spies of the country. But we said to him, ‘We are honest men; we are not spies. We are twelve brothers, sons of our father; one is no longer alive, and the youngest is with our father today in the land of Canaan.’ The man, the lord of the land, said to us, ‘By this I will know that you are honest men: leave one of your brothers with me and take grain for the famine of your households, and go. But bring your youngest brother to me that I may know that you are not spies, but [k]honest men. I will give your brother to you, and you may trade in the land.’”
Now it came about as they were emptying their sacks, that behold, every man’s bundle of money was in his sack; and when they and their father saw their bundles of money, they were dismayed. Their father Jacob said to them, “You have bereaved me of my children: Joseph is no more, and Simeon is no more, and you would take Benjamin; all these things are against me.” Then Reuben spoke to his father, saying, “You may put my two sons to death if I do not bring him back to you; put him in my [l]care, and I will return him to you.” But [m]Jacob said, “My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he alone is left. If harm should befall him on the journey [n]you are taking, then you will bring my gray hair down to Sheol in sorrow.”
- Genesis 42:2 Lit from there
- Genesis 42:9 Lit had dreamed
- Genesis 42:9 Lit nakedness of the land
- Genesis 42:12 Lit nakedness of the land
- Genesis 42:14 Lit to you, saying
- Genesis 42:19 Lit the house of your prison
- Genesis 42:22 Lit you saying
- Genesis 42:22 Lit And behold, his blood also is required
- Genesis 42:28 Lit went out
- Genesis 42:28 Lit trembled
- Genesis 42:34 Lit you are honest
- Genesis 42:37 Lit hand
- Genesis 42:38 Lit he
- Genesis 42:38 Lit on which you are going