41:2 seven fine-looking, fat cows were coming up out of the Nile, 1 and they grazed in the reeds. 41:3 Then seven bad-looking, thin cows were coming up after them from the Nile, 2 and they stood beside the other cows at the edge of the river. 3 41:4 The bad-looking, thin cows ate the seven fine-looking, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.
41:5 Then he fell asleep again and had a second dream: There were seven heads of grain growing 4 on one stalk, healthy 5 and good. 41:6 Then 6 seven heads of grain, thin and burned by the east wind, were sprouting up after them. 41:7 The thin heads swallowed up the seven healthy and full heads. Then Pharaoh woke up and realized it was a dream. 7
1 tn Heb “And look, he was standing by the Nile, and look, from the Nile were coming up seven cows, attractive of appearance and fat of flesh.” By the use of the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”), the narrator invites the audience to see the dream through Pharaoh’s eyes.
2 tn Heb “And look, seven other cows were coming up after them from the Nile, bad of appearance and thin of flesh.”
3 tn Heb “the Nile.” This has been replaced by “the river” in the translation for stylistic reasons.
4 tn Heb “coming up.”
5 tn Heb “fat.”
6 tn Heb “And look.”
7 tn Heb “And look, a dream.”
sn Pharaoh’s two dreams, as explained in the following verses, pertained to the economy of Egypt. Because of the Nile River, the land of Egypt weathered all kinds of famines – there was usually grain in Egypt, and if there was grain and water the livestock would flourish. These two dreams, however, indicated that poverty would overtake plenty and that the blessing of the herd and the field would cease.