Bereisheet (Genesis): Mikeitz > Ch 41

Pharaoh has two dreams that no one can interpret

  • After 2 years, Pharaoh had a dream: he was standing by the Nile. And behold, from the Nile were coming up seven cows, of handsome appearance and robust flesh, and they pastured in the marshland. And behold, seven other cows were coming up after them from the Nile, of ugly appearance and lean of flesh, and they stood beside the cows [which were] on the Nile bank. And the cows of ugly appearance and lean of flesh devoured the seven cows that were of handsome appearance and healthy; then Pharaoh awoke. And he fell asleep and dreamed again, and behold, seven ears of grain were growing on one stalk, healthy and good. And behold, seven ears of grain, thin and beaten by the east wind, were growing up after them. And the thin ears of grain swallowed up the seven healthy and full ears of grain; then Pharaoh awoke

Joseph interprets them and tells Pharaoh of the 7 years of plenty followed by 7 years of famine

  • Pharaoh called all the necromancers of Egypt and all its sages, but no one could interpret the dreams. The chief cupbearer remembered Joseph and told Pharaoh of him. Joseph was brought before Pharaoh and told him that the two dreams were describing the same event. Joseph said, “what G-d is about to do He has shown Pharaoh. Behold, seven years are coming, great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt. And seven years of famine will arise after them, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt, and the famine will destroy the land.”

Pharaoh places Joseph in command over entire land of Egypt and gives him a wife

  • Joseph suggested that a wise man must be in charge of storing food to provide for the 7 years of famine. Pharaoh saw that Joseph was special to G-d and appointed him in command over the entire land of Egypt. And Pharaoh named Joseph 'Zaphenath Pa'neach', and he gave him Asenath the daughter of Poti phera, the governor of On, for a wife.

Joseph was 30 years old and he gathered grain for 7 years

  • Joseph was 30 years old. During the seven years of plenty, he gathered an uncountable amount of grain.

Joseph has 2 sons: Menasseh & Ephraim

  • Before the year of the famine set in, Asenath bore 2 sons to Joseph: to him. Joseph named the firstborn Menasseh, for "G-d has caused me to forget all my toil and all my father's house." And the second one he named Ephraim, for "G-d has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction."
  • When the famine came and intensified, all the inhabitants of the land came to Egypt to Joseph to purchase food.

Rashi Commentary

  • Zaphenath-Pa’neach He who explains hidden things.