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Treasury of Scripture Knowledge: Genesis 41

Chapter 41

And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river.

A. M. 2289. B.C. 1715. two full years. {Shenathayim yamim,} "two years of days," two complete solar revolutions; as a month of days is a full month


that Pharaoh

20:3 37:5-10 40:5 Judges 7:13,14 Esther 6:1 Job 33:15,16 Daniel 2:1-3 Daniel 4:5-18 7:1-8 Matthew 27:19

the river

31:21 Exodus 1:22 4:9 Deuteronomy 11:10 Isaiah 19:5 Ezekiel 29:3,9

And, behold, there came up out of the river seven well favoured kine and fatfleshed; and they fed in a meadow.

there came

a meadow

Or, rather, "on, or among the reeds or sedges;" for so achoo is generally supposed to denote (see Job 8:11); so called, according to Mr. Parkhurst, from its fitness for making ropes, or the like, to connect or join things together, from achah, to join, connect: thus the Latin juncus, a bulrush, a jungendo, from joining, for the same reason. He supposes it to be that sort of reed growing near the Nile which Hasselquist describes as "having scarce any branches, but numerous leaves, which are narrow, smooth, channelled on the upper surface, and the plant about eleven feet high. The Egyptians make ropes of the leaves."

And, behold, seven other kine came up after them out of the river, ill favoured and leanfleshed; and stood by the other kine upon the brink of the river.

ill favoured


And the ill favoured and leanfleshed kine did eat up the seven well favoured and fat kine. So Pharaoh awoke.

So Pharaoh awoke

1 Kings 3:15

And he slept and dreamed the second time: and, behold, seven ears of corn came up upon one stalk, rank and good.

seven ears

A species of wheat, which grows in Egypt, bears, when perfect, seven ears on one stalk, as its natural conformation. It differs from ours in having a solid stem, or at least a stem full of pith, in order to yield sufficient nourishment and support to so great a weight as the ears which it bears.


Heb. fat.

Deuteronomy 32:14

And, behold, seven thin ears and blasted with the east wind sprung up after them.


Ezekiel 17:10 19:12 Hosea 13:15

And the seven thin ears devoured the seven rank and full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and, behold, it was a dream.

a dream

20:3 37:5

And it came to pass in the morning that his spirit was troubled; and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all the wise men thereof: and Pharaoh told them his dream; but there was none that could interpret them unto Pharaoh.

his spirit

40:6 Daniel 2:1-3 4:5,19 5:6 7:28 8:27 Habakkuk 3:16

the magicians of Egypt

The word here used (chartummim) may mean no more than interpreters of abstruse or difficult subjects; especially of dreams and visions, which formed a considerable part of the ancient pagan religion; and the Egyptian priests were the first who professed this art. The word may be of affinity with, or derived from, the Persian chiradmand, wise, learned, judicious, intelligent, from chirad, understanding, judgment, and mand, endowed with. They seem to have been such persons as Josephus calls sacred scribes; or professors of sacred learning.

Exodus 7:11,22 8:7,18,19 9:11 Leviticus 19:31 20:6 Deuteronomy 18:9-14 Isaiah 8:19 Isaiah 19:3 29:14 47:12,13 Daniel 1:20 2:2 4:7 5:7,11 Acts 17:18

the wise men

Matthew 2:1 Acts 7:22

but there

40:8 Job 5:12,13 Psalms 25:14 Isaiah 19:11-13 29:14 Daniel 2:4-11,27,28 Daniel 5:8 1 Corinthians 1:19 3:18-20

Then spake the chief butler unto Pharaoh, saying, I do remember my faults this day:

I do remember


Pharaoh was wroth with his servants, and put me in ward in the captain of the guard's house, both me and the chief baker:


39:20 40:2,3



And we dreamed a dream in one night, I and he; we dreamed each man according to the interpretation of his dream.


And there was there with us a young man, an Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard; and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams; to each man according to his dream he did interpret.


37:36 39:1,20



And it came to pass, as he interpreted to us, so it was; me he restored unto mine office, and him he hanged.

me he restored

40:12,20-22 Jeremiah 1:10 Ezekiel 43:3

Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh.


1 Samuel 2:7,8 Psalms 105:19-22 113:7,8

and they brought him hastily

Heb. made him run.

Exodus 10:16 1 Samuel 2:8 Psalms 113:7,8 Daniel 2:25

he shaved

2 Samuel 19:24 2 Kings 25:29 Esther 4:1-4 5:1 Isaiah 61:3,10 Jeremiah 52:32,33

And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it.

I have heard

9-13 Psalms 25:14 Daniel 5:12,16

that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it

or, when thou hearest a dream, thou canst interpret it.

And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.

It is not

40:8 Numbers 12:6 2 Kings 6:27 Daniel 2:18-23,28-30,47 4:2 Acts 3:7,12 Acts 14:14,15 1 Corinthians 15:10 2 Corinthians 3:5


37:14 Luke 19:42

And, behold, there came up out of the river seven kine, fatfleshed and well favoured; and they fed in a meadow:

Jeremiah 24:1-3,5,8

And when they had eaten them up, it could not be known that they had eaten them; but they were still ill favoured, as at the beginning. So I awoke.

eaten them up

Heb. come to the inward parts of them.

Ezekiel 3:3 Revelation 10:9,10


Psalms 37:19 Isaiah 9:20

And, behold, seven ears, withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them:


or, small. thin.

6 2 Kings 19:26 Psalms 129:6,7 Hosea 8:7 9:16 13:15


All the mischief done to corn or fruit by blasting, smutting, mildew, etc. are attributed to the east wind. (See Parallel Passages.) In Egypt it is peculiarly destructive, because it comes through the parched deserts of Arabia, often destroying vast numbers of people. The destructive nature of the Sam, Simoom, Smoom, or Samiel, is mentioned by almost all travellers. When this pestilential wind advances, its approach is indicated by a redness in the air. The principal stream of the blast always moves in a line of about 20 yards in breadth, and 12 feet above the surface of the earth; but its parching influence pervades all places to a considerable distance. The only means of preservation from its noxious influence is to lie flat, with the face upon the ground, till the blast be over. Camels and other animals instinctively perceive its approach, and bury their mouths and nostrils in the ground. It rarely last more than seven or eight minutes, but so poisonous are its effects, that it instantly suffocates those who are unfortunate enough to inhale it.

And the thin ears devoured the seven good ears: and I told this unto the magicians; but there was none that could declare it to me.

I told this

8 Exodus 8:19 Daniel 4:7

And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: God hath shewed Pharaoh what he is about to do.


16 Exodus 9:14 Joshua 11:6 Psalms 98:2 Isaiah 41:22,23 43:9 Daniel 2:28,29 Daniel 2:45,47 Amos 3:7 Matthew 24:40 Mark 13:23 Ephesians 1:17 Revelation 4:1

The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one.


or, signify.

2,5,29,47,53 40:18 Exodus 12:11 1 Corinthians 10:4

good ears are seven


the dream is one

2:24 Exodus 26:6 1 John 5:7

And the seven thin and ill favoured kine that came up after them are seven years; and the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind shall be seven years of famine.

seven years of famine

2 Samuel 24:19 2 Kings 8:1

This is the thing which I have spoken unto Pharaoh: What God is about to do he sheweth unto Pharaoh.

What God


Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt:


And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land;

seven years

27,54 2 Samuel 24:13 1 Kings 17:1 2 Kings 8:1 Luke 4:25 James 5:17

shall be

21,51 Proverbs 31:7 Isaiah 65:16


47:13 Psalms 105:16

And the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following; for it shall be very grievous.

the plenty

It is well known, that in Egypt there is scarcely any rain, the country depending for its fertility upon the overflowing of the Nile; and that the fertility is in proportion to the duration and quality of the overflow, in order to saturate the land and prepare for the seed. Pliny has given a scale, by which the plenty or dearth may ascertained; which may be considered as perfectly correct. The ordinary height of the inundations is 16 cubits. When the waters are lower than this standard, they do not overflow the whole ground; when above this standard they are too long in running off. In the first case, the ground is not saturated; by the second, the waters are detained so long on the ground that seed-time is lost. The province marks both. If it rise only 12 cubits, a famine is the consequence; at 13 hunger prevails; 14 produces general rejoicing; 15 perfect security; and 16 all the luxuries of life.


Heb. heavy.

1 Samuel 5:6 Isaiah 24:20

And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.


37:7,9 Job 33:14,15 2 Corinthians 13:1

it is because

Numbers 23:19 Isaiah 14:24-27 46:10,11 Matthew 24:35

established by

or, prepared of.

Isaiah 30:33 Matthew 25:34,41 Mark 10:40 1 Corinthians 2:9 Revelation 9:15

Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt.


Daniel 4:27

look out

Exodus 18:19-22 Deuteronomy 1:13 Acts 6:3

Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years.


or, overseers.

Numbers 31:14 2 Kings 11:11,12 2 Chronicles 34:12 Nehemiah 11:9

and take

Job 5:20 Psalms 33:19 Proverbs 6:6-8 22:3 27:12 Luke 16:5

And let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities.


48,49,56 45:6,7


Exodus 4:13

And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine.

that the


perish not

Heb. be not cut off.

And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants.

the thing

Psalms 105:19 Proverbs 10:20 25:11 Acts 7:10


Joshua 22:30 2 Samuel 3:36 1 Kings 21:2

And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?

in whom

Numbers 27:18 Job 32:8 Daniel 4:6,8,18 5:11,14 6:3

And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art:


Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.

Thou shalt

39:4-6 45:8,9,26 Psalms 105:21,22 Proverbs 22:29 Daniel 2:46-48 5:29 6:3

be ruled

Heb. be armed, or kiss.

1 Samuel 10:1 Job 31:27 Psalms 2:12

And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.

44 39:5,22 Esther 10:3 Proverbs 17:2 22:29 Daniel 2:7,8 4:2,3 6:3 Matthew 28:18 Philippians 2:9-11

And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck;

his ring

Esther 3:10,12 6:7-12 8:2,8,10,15 10:3 Daniel 2:46,47 5:7,29 Luke 15:22

fine linen

or, silk.

Ezekiel 27:7

a gold chain

Proverbs 1:9 31:22,24 Song of Solomon 1:10 Ezekiel 16:10,11 Daniel 5:7,16,29 Luke 19:16-19

And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt.

and they

Esther 6:8,9

Bow the knee

or, Tender father.




Philippians 2:10


42:6,30,33 45:8,26 Acts 7:10

And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.

lift up his hand

Exodus 11:7

And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnathpaaneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.


Which in Coptic signifies a revealer of secrets, or, the man to whom secrets are revealed. Jerome says this name signified in Egyptian, Savatorem mundi, "the Saviour of the world;" and Psotem-phaneh, in Coptic, is certainly "salvation of the world," from [SOT] for [soteria (swthriða)] salvation, em, the sign of the genitive case, and [PHENEH], world. If this interpretation be correct, Pharaoh must have meant Egypt by the world, or which Joseph might be justly termed the Saviour. We know that the Romans called their empire Universis Orbis-Orbis Terrarum, "all the world:" the Chinese say the same of their empire at the present day, and the phrase is used in the East: Nadir Shah is described on his coins as "Conqueror of the World," i.e., Persia. See the same phraseology applied to Syria, Palestine, etc.

Luke 2:1 Acts 11:28

priest of

or, prince.

14:18 Exodus 2:16 *marg:; 2 Samuel 8:18 20:26 *Heb:


46:20 Ezekiel 30:17


Verse 46

And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt.


37:2 Numbers 4:3 2 Samuel 5:4 Luke 3:23

he stood

1 Samuel 16:21 1 Kings 12:6,8 Proverbs 22:29 Daniel 1:19 Luke 21:36 Jude 1:24

And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls.

From A

&M. 2289, B.C. 1715, to A.M. 2296, B.C. 1708. handfuls.

26:12 Psalms 72:16

And he gathered up all the food of the seven years, which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which was round about every city, laid he up in the same.

34-36 47:21

And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering; for it was without number.

22:17 Judges 6:5 7:12 1 Samuel 13:5 Job 1:3 Psalms 78:27 Jeremiah 33:22

And unto Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, which Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On bare unto him.

unto Joseph

46:20 48:5


45 46:20


or, prince.

2 Samuel 8:18

And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house.


A.M. 2292. B.C. 1712.

48:5,13,14,18-20 Deuteronomy 33:17


i.e., Forgetting.

30 Psalms 45:10 Isaiah 57:16


Psalms 30:5,11 Proverbs 31:7 Isaiah 65:16

And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.

A. M. 2293. B.C. 1711. called he

29:32-35 30:6-13 50:23


i.e., Fruitful.

48:16-19 49:22 Isaiah 40:1,2

the land

Psalms 105:17,18 Amos 6:6 Acts 7:10

And the seven years of plenteousness, that was in the land of Egypt, were ended.

A. M. 2296. B.C. 1708

29-31 Psalms 73:20 Luke 16:25

And the seven years of dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said: and the dearth was in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.

the seven

3,4,6,7,27 45:11 Psalms 105:16 Acts 7:11


and the dearth

42:2,5,6 43:1 45:11 47:13

And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do.


2 Kings 6:25-29 Jeremiah 14:1-6 Lamentations 4:3-10

Go unto

40,41 Psalms 105:20-22 Matthew 3:17 17:5 John 1:14-16 Philippians 4:19 Colossians 1:19

And the famine was over all the face of the earth: And Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt.

the face

Isaiah 23:17 Zechariah 5:3 Luke 21:35 Acts 17:26

all the storehouses

Heb. all wherein was. sold.

42:6 47:14-24

And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands.

all countries

42:1,5 50:20 Deuteronomy 9:28 Psalms 105:16,17

in all lands