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Genesis 41:17-24


41:17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing 1  by the edge of the Nile. 41:18 Then seven fat and fine-looking cows were coming up out of the Nile, and they grazed in the reeds. 2  41:19 Then 3  seven other cows came up after them; they were scrawny, very bad-looking, and lean. I had never seen such bad-looking cows 4  as these in all the land of Egypt! 41:20 The lean, bad-looking cows ate up the seven 5  fat cows. 41:21 When they had eaten them, 6  no one would have known 7  that they had done so, for they were just as bad-looking as before. Then I woke up. 41:22 I also saw in my dream 8  seven heads of grain growing on one stalk, full and good. 41:23 Then 9  seven heads of grain, withered and thin and burned with the east wind, were sprouting up after them. 41:24 The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven good heads of grain. So I told all this 10  to the diviner-priests, but no one could tell me its meaning.” 11 

1 tn Heb “In my dream look, I was standing.” The use of the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”) here (and also in vv. 18, 19, 22, 23) invites the hearer (within the context of the narrative, Joseph; but in the broader sense the reader or hearer of the Book of Genesis) to observe the scene through Pharaoh’s eyes.

2 tn Heb “and look, from the Nile seven cows were coming up, fat of flesh and attractive of appearance, and they grazed in the reeds.”

3 tn Heb “And look.”

4 tn The word “cows” is supplied here in the translation for stylistic reasons.

5 tn Heb “the seven first fat cows.”

6 tn Heb “when they went inside them.”

7 tn Heb “it was not known.”

8 tn Heb “and I saw in my dream and look.”

9 tn Heb “And look.”

10 tn The words “all this” have been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

11 tn Heb “and there was no one telling me.”

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