A.L.R. These are the symbols (or Verses) of the perspicuous Book.
We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’an, in order that ye may learn
We do relate unto thee the most beautiful of stories, in that We reveal
this (portion of the) Qur’an: before
this, thou too was among those who knew it not.
Behold! Joseph said to his father: “O my father! I did see eleven
the sun and the moon: I saw them
prostrate themselves to me!”
Said (the father): “My (dear) little son! relate not thy vision to
lest they concoct a plot against thee:
for Satan is to man an avowed enemy!
“Thus will thy Lord choose thee and teach thee the interpretation
(and events) and perfect His favour to
thee and to the posterity of Jacob – even as He
perfected it to thy fathers Abraham and
Isaac aforetime! for God is full of knowledge
Verily in Joseph and his brethren are signs (or symbols) for seekers
They said: “Truly Joseph and his brother are loved more by our
we: But we are a goodly body! really our
father is obviously wandering (in his mind)!
“Slay ye Joseph or cast him out to some (unknown) land, that so the
of your father may be given to you
alone: (there will be time enough) for you to be
righteous after that!”
Said one of them: “Slay not Joseph, but if ye must do something,
down to the bottom of the well: he will
be picked up by some caravan of travellers.”
They said: “O our father! why dost thou not trust us with Joseph,-
are indeed his sincere well-wishers?
“Send him with us tomorrow to enjoy himself and play, and we shall
every care of him.”
(Jacob) said: “Really it saddens me that ye should take him away: I
the wolf should devour him while ye
attend not to him.”
They said: “If the wolf were to devour him while we are (so large)
then should we indeed (first) have
So they did take him away, and they all agreed to throw him down to the
bottom of the well: and We put into his heart (this Message): ‘Of
a surety thou shalt
(one day) tell them the truth of this
their affair while they know (thee) not’
Then they came to their father in the early part of the night, weeping.
They said: “O our father! We went racing with one another, and left
with our things; and the wolf devoured
him…. But thou wilt never believe us even
though we tell the truth.”
They stained his shirt with false blood. He said: “Nay, but your
made up a tale (that may pass) with you,
(for me) patience is most fitting: Against that
which ye assert, it is God (alone) Whose
help can be sought”..
Then there came a caravan of travellers: they sent their water-carrier
water), and he let down his bucket (into
the well)…He said: “Ah there! Good news!
Here is a (fine) young man!” So
they concealed him as a treasure! But God knoweth
well all that they do!
The (Brethren) sold him for a miserable price, for a few dirhams counted
out: in such low estimation did they
The man in Egypt who bought him, said to his wife: “Make his stay
us) honourable: may be he will bring us much good, or we
shall adopt him as a son.”
Thus did We establish Joseph in the
land, that We might teach him the interpretation
of stories (and events). And God hath
full power and control over His affairs; but
most among mankind know it not.
When Joseph attained His full manhood, We gave him power and
knowledge: thus do We reward those who
But she in whose house he was, sought to seduce him from his (true)
she fastened the doors, and said:
“Now come, thou (dear one)!” He said: “God forbid!
truly (thy husband) is my lord! he made
my sojourn agreeable! truly to no good
those who do wrong!”
And (with passion) did she desire him, and he would have desired her,
that he saw the evidence of his Lord:
thus (did We order) that We might turn away
from him (all) evil and shameful deeds:
for he was one of Our servants, sincere and
So they both raced each other to the door, and she tore his shirt from
back: they both found her lord near the
door. She said: “What is the (fitting)
punishment for one who formed an evil
design against thy wife, but prison or a
He said: “It was she that sought to seduce me – from my (true)
one of her household saw (this) and bore
witness, (thus):- “If it be that his shirt is rent
from the front, then is her tale true,
and he is a liar!
“But if it be that his shirt is torn from the back, then is she the
liar, and he is
telling the truth!”
So when he saw his shirt,- that it was torn at the back,- (her husband)
“Behold! It is a snare of you women! truly, mighty is
“O Joseph, pass this over! (O wife), ask forgiveness for thy sin,
thou hast been at fault!”
Ladies said in the City: “The wife of the (great) ‘Aziz is seeking
her slave from his (true) self: Truly
hath he inspired her with violent love: we see she
is evidently going astray.”
When she heard of their malicious talk, she sent for them and prepared a
for them: she gave each of them a knife: and she said (to Joseph),
before them.” When they saw him,
they did extol him, and (in their amazement) cut
their hands: they said, “God
preserve us! no mortal is this! this is none other than a
She said: “There before you is the man about whom ye did blame me!
seek to seduce him from his (true) self
but he did firmly save himself guiltless!….and
now, if he doth not my bidding, he shall
certainly be cast into prison, and (what is
more) be of the company of the
He said: “O my Lord! the prison is more to my liking than that to
invite me: Unless Thou turn away their
snare from me, I should (in my youthful folly)
feel inclined towards them and join the
ranks of the ignorant.”
So his Lord hearkened to him (in his prayer), and turned away from him
their snare: Verily He heareth and
knoweth (all things).
Then it occurred to the men, after they had seen the signs, (that it was
to imprison him for a time.
Now with him there came into the prison two young men. Said one of them:
“I see myself (in a dream) pressing
wine.” said the other: “I see myself (in a dream)
carrying bread on my head, and birds are
eating, thereof.” “Tell us” (they said) “The
truth and meaning thereof: for we see
thou art one that doth good (to all).”
He said: “Before any food comes (in due course) to feed either of
you, I will
surely reveal to you the truth and
meaning of this ere it befall you: that is part of the
(duty) which my Lord hath taught me. I
have (I assure you) abandoned the ways of a
people that believe not in God and that
(even) deny the Hereafter.
“And I follow the ways of my fathers,- Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob;
never could we attribute any partners
whatever to God: that (comes) of the grace of
God to us and to mankind: yet most men
are not grateful.
“O my two companions of the prison! (I ask you): are many lords
among themselves better, or the One God,
Supreme and Irresistible?
“If not Him, ye worship nothing but names which ye have named,- ye
your fathers,- for which God hath sent
down no authority: the command is for none
but God: He hath commanded that ye
worship none but Him: that is the right
religion, but most men understand not…
“O my two companions of the prison! As to one of you, he will pour
wine for his lord to drink: as for the
other, he will hang from the cross, and the birds
will eat from off his head. (so) hath
been decreed that matter whereof ye twain do
And of the two, to that one whom he consider about to be saved, he said:
“Mention me to thy lord.” But
Satan made him forget to mention him to his lord: and
(Joseph) lingered in prison a few (more)
The king (of Egypt) said: “I do see (in a vision) seven fat kine,
lean ones devour, and seven green ears
of corn, and seven (others) withered. O ye
chiefs! Expound to me my vision if it be
that ye can interpret visions.”
They said: “A confused medley of dreams: and we are not skilled in
interpretation of dreams.”
But the man who had been released, one of the two (who had been in
and who now bethought him after (so
long) a space of time, said: “I will tell you the
truth of its interpretation: send ye me
“O Joseph!” (he said) “O man of truth! Expound to us (the
dream) of seven
fat kine whom seven lean ones devour,
and of seven green ears of corn and (seven)
others withered: that I may return to
the people, and that they may understand.”
(Joseph) said: “For seven years shall ye diligently sow as is your
the harvests that ye reap, ye shall
leave them in the ear,- except a little, of which ye
“Then will come after that (period) seven dreadful (years), which
devour what ye shall have laid by in
advance for them,- (all) except a little which ye
shall have (specially) guarded.
“Then will come after that (period) a year in which the people will
abundant water, and in which they will
press (wine and oil).”
So the king said: “Bring ye him unto me.” But when the messenger came to
him, (Joseph) said: “Go thou back
to thy lord, and ask him, ‘What is the state of mind
of the ladies who cut their hands’? For
my Lord is certainly well aware of their snare.”
(The king) said (to the ladies): “What was your affair when ye did
seduce Joseph from his (true)
self?” The ladies said: “God preserve us! no evil know
we against him!” Said the ‘Aziz’s
wife: “Now is the truth manifest (to all): it was I
who sought to seduce him from his (true)
self: He is indeed of those who are (ever)
true (and virtuous).
“This (say I), in order that He may know that I have never been
false to him
in his absence, and that God will never guide the snare of
the false ones.
“Nor do I absolve my own self (of blame): the (human) soul is
prone to evil, unless my Lord do bestow
His Mercy: but surely my Lord is Oft-
forgiving, Most Merciful.”
So the king said: “Bring him unto me; I will take him specially to
about my own person.” Therefore
when he had spoken to him, he said: “Be assured
this day, thou art, before our own
presence, with rank firmly established, and fidelity
(Joseph) said: “Set me over the store-houses of the land: I will
them, as one that knows (their
Thus did We give established power to Joseph in the land, to take
therein as, when, or where he pleased.
We bestow of our Mercy on whom We please,
and We suffer not, to be lost, the
reward of those who do good.
But verily the reward of the Hereafter is the best, for those who
are constant in righteousness.
Then came Joseph’s brethren: they entered his presence, and he knew
but they knew him not.
And when he had furnished them forth with provisions (suitable) for
he said: “Bring unto me a brother
ye have, of the same father as yourselves, (but a
different mother): see ye not that I pay
out full measure, and that I do provide the best
“Now if ye bring him not to me, ye shall have no measure (of corn)
me, nor shall ye (even) come near
They said: “We shall certainly seek to get our wish about him from
father: Indeed we shall do it.”
And (Joseph) told his servants to put their stock-in-trade (with which
had bartered) into their saddle-bags, so
they should know it only when they returned
to their people, in order that they
might come back.
Now when they returned to their father, they said: “O our father!
measure of grain shall we get (unless we
take our brother): So send our brother with
us, that we may get our measure; and we
will indeed take every care of him.”
He said: “Shall I trust you with him with any result other than
when I trusted
you with his brother aforetime? But God
is the best to take care (of him), and He is
the Most Merciful of those who show
Then when they opened their baggage, they found their stock-in-trade had
been returned to them. They said:
“O our father! What (more) can we desire? this our
stock-in-trade has been returned to us:
so we shall get (more) food for our family; We
shall take care of our brother; and add
(at the same time) a full camel’s load (of grain
to our provisions). This is but a small
(Jacob) said: “Never will I send him with you until ye swear a
to me, in God’s name, that ye will be
sure to bring him back to me unless ye are
yourselves hemmed in (and made
powerless). And when they had sworn their solemn
oath, he said: “Over all that we
say, be God the witness and guardian!”
Further he said: “O my sons! enter not all by one gate: enter ye by
gates. Not that I can profit you aught
against God (with my advice): None can
command except God: On Him do I put my trust: and let all that
trust put their trust
And when they entered in the manner their father had enjoined, it did
profit them in the least against (the
plan of) God: It was but a necessity of Jacob’s
soul, which he discharged. For he was,
by our instruction, full of knowledge (and
experience): but most men know not.
Now when they came into Joseph’s presence, he received his (full)
stay with him. He said (to him):
“Behold! I am thy (own) brother; so grieve not at
aught of their doings.”
At length when he had furnished them forth with provisions (suitable)
them, he put the drinking cup into his
brother’s saddle-bag. Then shouted out a crier:
“O ye (in) the caravan! behold! ye
are thieves, without doubt!”
They said, turning towards them: “What is it that ye miss?”
They said: “We miss the great beaker of the king; for him who
is (the reward of) a camel load; I will
be bound by it.”
(The brothers) said: “By God! well ye know that we came not to make
mischief in the land, and we are no
(The Egyptians) said: “What then shall be the penalty of this, if
(proved) to have lied?”
They said: “The penalty should be that he in whose saddle-bag it is
should be held (as bondman) to atone for
the (crime). Thus it is we punish the wrong-
So he began (the search) with their baggage, before (he came to) the
baggage of his brother: at length he
brought it out of his brother’s baggage. Thus did
We plan for Joseph. He could not take
his brother by the law of the king except that
willed it (so). We raise to degrees (of wisdom) whom We please: but over
endued with knowledge is one, the
They said: “If he steals, there was a brother of his who did steal
(him).” But these things did Joseph
keep locked in his heart, revealing not the secrets
to them. He (simply) said (to himself):
“Ye are the worse situated; and God knoweth
best the truth of what ye assert!”
They said: “O exalted one! Behold! he has a father, aged and
(who will grieve for him); so take one
of us in his place; for we see that thou art
(gracious) in doing good.”
He said: “God forbid that we take other than him with whom we found
property: indeed (if we did so), we
should be acting wrongfully.
Now when they saw no hope of his (yielding), they held a conference in
private. The leader among them said:
“Know ye not that your father did take an oath
from you in God’s name, and how, before
this, ye did fail in your duty with Joseph?
Therefore will I not leave this land
until my father permits me, or God commands me;
and He is the best to command.
“Turn ye back to your father, and say, ‘O our father! behold! thy
committed theft! we bear witness only to
what we know, and we could not well guard
against the unseen!
“‘Ask at the town where we have been and the caravan in which we
and (you will find) we are indeed telling
Jacob said: “Nay, but ye have yourselves contrived a story (good
for you. So patience is most fitting
(for me). Maybe God will bring them (back) all to
me (in the end). For He is indeed full
of knowledge and wisdom.”
And he turned away from them, and said: “How great is my grief for
Joseph!” And his eyes became white with sorrow, and he
fell into silent melancholy.
They said: “By God! (never) wilt thou cease to remember Joseph
reach the last extremity of illness, or
until thou die!”
He said: “I only complain of my distraction and anguish to God, and
from God that which ye know not…
“O my sons! go ye and enquire about Joseph and his brother, and
up hope of God’s Soothing Mercy: truly
no one despairs of God’s Soothing Mercy,
except those who have no faith.”
Then, when they came (back) into (Joseph’s) presence they said: “O
one! distress has seized us and our
family: we have (now) brought but scanty capital:
so pay us full measure, (we pray thee),
and treat it as charity to us: for God doth
reward the charitable.”
He said: “Know ye how ye dealt with Joseph and his brother, not
(what ye were doing)?”
They said: “Art thou indeed Joseph?” He said, “I am
Joseph, and this is my
brother: God has indeed been gracious to
us (all): behold, he that is righteous and
patient,- never will God suffer the
reward to be lost, of those who do right.”
They said: “By God! indeed has God preferred thee above us, and we
certainly have been guilty of sin!”
He said: “This day let no reproach be (cast) on you: God will
and He is the Most Merciful of those who
“Go with this my shirt, and cast it over the face of my father: he
will come to
see (clearly). Then come ye (here) to me
together with all your family.”
When the caravan left (Egypt), their father said: “I do indeed
presence of Joseph: Nay, think me not a
They said: “By God! truly thou art in thine old wandering
Then when the bearer of the good news came, He cast (the shirt) over his
face, and he forthwith regained clear
sight. He said: “Did I not say to you, ‘I know
from God that which ye know not?'”
They said: “O our father!
ask for us forgiveness for our sins, for we were
truly at fault.”
He said: “Soon will I ask my Lord for forgiveness for you: for he
Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
Then when they entered the presence of Joseph, he provided a home for
parents with himself, and said:
“Enter ye Egypt (all) in safety if it please God.”
And he raised his parents high on the throne (of dignity), and they fell
in prostration, (all) before him. He
said: “O my father! this is the fulfilment of my
vision of old! God hath made it come
true! He was indeed good to me when He took
me out of prison and brought you (all
here) out of the desert, (even) after Satan had
sown enmity between me and my brothers.
Verily my Lord understandeth best the
mysteries of all that He planneth to do,
for verily He is full of knowledge and
“O my Lord! Thou hast indeed bestowed on me some power, and taught
something of the interpretation of
dreams and events,- O Thou Creator of the heavens
and the earth! Thou art my Protector in
this world and in the Hereafter. Take Thou my
soul (at death) as one submitting to Thy
will (as a Muslim), and unite me with the
Such is one of the stories of what happened unseen, which We reveal by
inspiration unto thee; nor wast thou
(present) with them then when they concerted
their plans together in the process of
weaving their plots.
37 Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, the land of Canaan.
2 This is the account of Jacob’s family line.
Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them.
3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate[a] robe for him. 4 When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.
5 Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. 6 He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: 7 We were binding sheaves
of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood
upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.”
8 His brothers said to him, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said.
9 Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”
10 When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked
him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and
your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” 11 His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.
Joseph Sold by His Brothers
12 Now his brothers had gone to graze their father’s flocks near Shechem, 13 and Israel said to Joseph, “As you know, your brothers are grazing the flocks near Shechem. Come, I am going to send you to them.”
“Very well,” he replied.
14 So he said to him, “Go and see if all is well with your brothers and with the flocks, and bring word back to me.” Then he sent him off from the Valley of Hebron.
When Joseph arrived at Shechem, 15 a man found him wandering around in the fields and asked him, “What are you looking for?”
16 He replied, “I’m looking for my brothers. Can you tell me where they are grazing their flocks?”
17 “They have moved on from here,” the man answered. “I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’”
So Joseph went after his brothers and found them near Dothan. 18 But they saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him.
19 “Here comes that dreamer!” they said to each other. 20 “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.”
21 When Reuben heard this, he tried to rescue him from their hands. “Let’s not take his life,” he said. 22 “Don’t shed any blood. Throw him into this cistern here in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him.” Reuben said this to rescue him from them and take him back to his father.
23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the ornate robe he was wearing— 24 and they took him and threw him into the cistern. The cistern was empty; there was no water in it.
25 As they sat down to eat their meal, they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were loaded with spices, balm and myrrh, and they were on their way to take them down to Egypt.
26 Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? 27 Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed.
28 So when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels[b] of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt.
29 When Reuben returned to the cistern and saw that Joseph was not there, he tore his clothes. 30 He went back to his brothers and said, “The boy isn’t there! Where can I turn now?”
31 Then they got Joseph’s robe, slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood. 32 They took the ornate robe back to their father and said, “We found this. Examine it to see whether it is your son’s robe.”
33 He recognized it and said, “It is my son’s robe! Some ferocious animal has devoured him. Joseph has surely been torn to pieces.”
34 Then Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and mourned for his son many days. 35 All his sons and daughters came to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “No,” he said, “I will continue to mourn until I join my son in the grave.” So his father wept for him.
36 Meanwhile, the Midianites[c] sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard.
Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife
39 Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there.
2 The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. 3 When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, 4 Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. 5 From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field. 6 So Potiphar left everything he had in Joseph’s care; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate.
Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, 7 and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!”
8 But he refused.
“With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself
with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my
care. 9 No one is greater in this house than I am.
My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his
wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” 10 And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her.
11 One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. 12 She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.
13 When she saw that he had left his cloak in her hand and had run out of the house, 14 she called her household servants. “Look,” she said to them, “this Hebrew has been brought to us to make sport of us! He came in here to sleep with me, but I screamed. 15 When he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.”
16 She kept his cloak beside her until his master came home. 17 Then she told him this story: “That Hebrew slave you brought us came to me to make sport of me. 18 But as soon as I screamed for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.”
19 When his master heard the story his wife told him, saying, “This is how your slave treated me,” he burned with anger. 20 Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined.
But while Joseph was there in the prison, 21 the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. 22 So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. 23 The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.
The Cupbearer and the Baker
40 Some time later, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt offended their master, the king of Egypt. 2 Pharaoh was angry with his two officials, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, 3 and put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the same prison where Joseph was confined. 4 The captain of the guard assigned them to Joseph, and he attended them.
After they had been in custody for some time, 5 each of the two men—the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were being held in prison—had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own.
6 When Joseph came to them the next morning, he saw that they were dejected. 7 So he asked Pharaoh’s officials who were in custody with him in his master’s house, “Why do you look so sad today?”
8 “We both had dreams,” they answered, “but there is no one to interpret them.”
Then Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams.”
9 So the chief cupbearer told Joseph his dream. He said to him, “In my dream I saw a vine in front of me, 10 and on the vine were three branches. As soon as it budded, it blossomed, and its clusters ripened into grapes. 11 Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes, squeezed them into Pharaoh’s cup and put the cup in his hand.”
12 “This is what it means,” Joseph said to him. “The three branches are three days. 13 Within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head
and restore you to your position, and you will put Pharaoh’s cup in his
hand, just as you used to do when you were his cupbearer. 14 But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison. 15 I was forcibly carried off from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing to deserve being put in a dungeon.”
16 When the chief baker saw that Joseph had given a favorable interpretation, he said to Joseph, “I too had a dream: On my head were three baskets of bread.[a] 17 In the top basket were all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them out of the basket on my head.”
18 “This is what it means,” Joseph said. “The three baskets are three days. 19 Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head and impale your body on a pole. And the birds will eat away your flesh.”
20 Now the third day was Pharaoh’s birthday, and he gave a feast for all his officials. He lifted up the heads of the chief cupbearer and the chief baker in the presence of his officials: 21 He restored the chief cupbearer to his position, so that he once again put the cup into Pharaoh’s hand— 22 but he impaled the chief baker, just as Joseph had said to them in his interpretation.
23 The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him.
41 When two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream: He was standing by the Nile, 2 when out of the river there came up seven cows, sleek and fat, and they grazed among the reeds. 3 After them, seven other cows, ugly and gaunt, came up out of the Nile and stood beside those on the riverbank. 4 And the cows that were ugly and gaunt ate up the seven sleek, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.
5 He fell asleep again and had a second dream: Seven heads of grain, healthy and good, were growing on a single stalk. 6 After them, seven other heads of grain sprouted—thin and scorched by the east wind. 7 The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven healthy, full heads. Then Pharaoh woke up; it had been a dream.
8 In the morning his mind was troubled, so he sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but no one could interpret them for him.
9 Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “Today I am reminded of my shortcomings. 10 Pharaoh was once angry with his servants, and he imprisoned me and the chief baker in the house of the captain of the guard. 11 Each of us had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own. 12 Now a young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams, and he interpreted them for us, giving each man the interpretation of his dream. 13 And things turned out exactly as he interpreted them to us: I was restored to my position, and the other man was impaled.”
14 So Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was quickly brought from the dungeon. When he had shaved and changed his clothes, he came before Pharaoh.
15 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.”
16 “I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.”
17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing on the bank of the Nile, 18 when out of the river there came up seven cows, fat and sleek, and they grazed among the reeds. 19 After them, seven other cows came up—scrawny and very ugly and lean. I had never seen such ugly cows in all the land of Egypt. 20 The lean, ugly cows ate up the seven fat cows that came up first. 21 But even after they ate them, no one could tell that they had done so; they looked just as ugly as before. Then I woke up.
22 “In my dream I saw seven heads of grain, full and good, growing on a single stalk. 23 After them, seven other heads sprouted—withered and thin and scorched by the east wind. 24 The
thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven good heads. I told this to
the magicians, but none of them could explain it to me.”
25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one and the same. God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 26 The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good heads of grain are seven years; it is one and the same dream. 27 The
seven lean, ugly cows that came up afterward are seven years, and so
are the seven worthless heads of grain scorched by the east wind: They
are seven years of famine.
28 “It is just as I said to Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. 29 Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt, 30 but seven years of famine will follow them. Then all the abundance in Egypt will be forgotten, and the famine will ravage the land. 31 The abundance in the land will not be remembered, because the famine that follows it will be so severe. 32 The reason the dream was given to Pharaoh in two forms is that the matter has been firmly decided by God, and God will do it soon.
33 “And now let Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man and put him in charge of the land of Egypt. 34 Let Pharaoh appoint commissioners over the land to take a fifth of the harvest of Egypt during the seven years of abundance. 35 They
should collect all the food of these good years that are coming and
store up the grain under the authority of Pharaoh, to be kept in the
cities for food. 36 This food should be held in reserve for the country, to be used during the seven years of famine that will come upon Egypt, so that the country may not be ruined by the famine.”
37 The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his officials. 38 So Pharaoh asked them, “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God[b]?”
39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.”
Joseph in Charge of Egypt
41 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” 42 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. 43 He had him ride in a chariot as his second-in-command,[c] and people shouted before him, “Make way[d]!” Thus he put him in charge of the whole land of Egypt.
44 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your word no one will lift hand or foot in all Egypt.” 45 Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah and gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On,[e] to be his wife. And Joseph went throughout the land of Egypt.
46 Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from Pharaoh’s presence and traveled throughout Egypt. 47 During the seven years of abundance the land produced plentifully. 48 Joseph collected all the food produced in those seven years of abundance in Egypt and stored it in the cities. In each city he put the food grown in the fields surrounding it. 49 Joseph stored up huge quantities of grain, like the sand of the sea; it was so much that he stopped keeping records because it was beyond measure.
50 Before the years of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On. 51 Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh[f] and said, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” 52 The second son he named Ephraim[g] and said, “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”
53 The seven years of abundance in Egypt came to an end, 54 and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in all the other lands, but in the whole land of Egypt there was food. 55 When all Egypt began to feel the famine, the people cried to Pharaoh for food. Then Pharaoh told all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph and do what he tells you.”
56 When the famine had spread over the whole country, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout Egypt. 57 And all the world came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe everywhere.
Joseph’s Brothers Go to Egypt
42 When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why do you just keep looking at each other?” 2 He continued, “I have heard that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us, so that we may live and not die.”
3 Then ten of Joseph’s brothers went down to buy grain from Egypt. 4 But Jacob did not send Benjamin, Joseph’s brother, with the others, because he was afraid that harm might come to him. 5 So Israel’s sons were among those who went to buy grain, for there was famine in the land of Canaan also.
6 Now Joseph was the governor of the land, the person who sold grain to all its people. So when Joseph’s brothers arrived, they bowed down to him with their faces to the ground. 7 As soon as Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he pretended to be a stranger and spoke harshly to them. “Where do you come from?” he asked.
“From the land of Canaan,” they replied, “to buy food.”
8 Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him. 9 Then he remembered his dreams about them and said to them, “You are spies! You have come to see where our land is unprotected.”
10 “No, my lord,” they answered. “Your servants have come to buy food. 11 We are all the sons of one man. Your servants are honest men, not spies.”
12 “No!” he said to them. “You have come to see where our land is unprotected.”
13 But they replied, “Your servants were twelve brothers, the sons of one man, who lives in the land of Canaan. The youngest is now with our father, and one is no more.”
14 Joseph said to them, “It is just as I told you: You are spies! 15 And this is how you will be tested: As surely as Pharaoh lives, you will not leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here. 16 Send one of your number to get your brother; the rest of you will be kept in prison, so that your words may be tested to see if you are telling the truth. If you are not, then as surely as Pharaoh lives, you are spies!” 17 And he put them all in custody for three days.
18 On the third day, Joseph said to them, “Do this and you will live, for I fear God: 19 If you are honest men, let one of your brothers stay here in prison, while the rest of you go and take grain back for your starving households. 20 But you must bring your youngest brother to me, so that your words may be verified and that you may not die.” This they proceeded to do.
21 They said to one another, “Surely we are being punished because of our brother. We saw how distressed he was when he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen; that’s why this distress has come on us.”
22 Reuben replied, “Didn’t I tell you not to sin against the boy? But you wouldn’t listen! Now we must give an accounting for his blood.” 23 They did not realize that Joseph could understand them, since he was using an interpreter.
24 He turned away from them and began to weep, but then came back and spoke to them again. He had Simeon taken from them and bound before their eyes.
25 Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, to put each man’s silver back in his sack, and to give them provisions for their journey. After this was done for them, 26 they loaded their grain on their donkeys and left.
27 At the place where they stopped for the night one of them opened his sack to get feed for his donkey, and he saw his silver in the mouth of his sack. 28 “My silver has been returned,” he said to his brothers. “Here it is in my sack.”
Their hearts sank and they turned to each other trembling and said, “What is this that God has done to us?”
29 When they came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan, they told him all that had happened to them. They said, 30 “The man who is lord over the land spoke harshly to us and treated us as though we were spying on the land. 31 But we said to him, ‘We are honest men; we are not spies. 32 We were twelve brothers, sons of one father. One is no more, and the youngest is now with our father in Canaan.’
the man who is lord over the land said to us, ‘This is how I will know
whether you are honest men: Leave one of your brothers here with me, and
take food for your starving households and go. 34 But bring your youngest brother to me so I will know that you are not spies but honest men. Then I will give your brother back to you, and you can trade[h] in the land.’”
35 As they were emptying their sacks, there in each man’s sack was his pouch of silver! When they and their father saw the money pouches, they were frightened. 36 Their father Jacob said to them, “You have deprived me of my children. Joseph is no more and Simeon is no more, and now you want to take Benjamin. Everything is against me!”
37 Then Reuben said to his father, “You may put both of my sons to death if I do not bring him back to you. Entrust him to my care, and I will bring him back.”
38 But Jacob said, “My son will not go down there with you; his brother is dead and he is the only one left. If harm comes to him on the journey you are taking, you will bring my gray head down to the grave in sorrow.”
The Second Journey to Egypt
43 Now the famine was still severe in the land. 2 So when they had eaten all the grain they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Go back and buy us a little more food.”
3 But Judah said to him, “The man warned us solemnly, ‘You will not see my face again unless your brother is with you.’ 4 If you will send our brother along with us, we will go down and buy food for you. 5 But
if you will not send him, we will not go down, because the man said to
us, ‘You will not see my face again unless your brother is with you.’”
6 Israel asked, “Why did you bring this trouble on me by telling the man you had another brother?”
7 They replied, “The man questioned us closely about ourselves and our family. ‘Is your father still living?’ he asked us. ‘Do you have another brother?’ We simply answered his questions. How were we to know he would say, ‘Bring your brother down here’?”
8 Then Judah said to Israel his father, “Send the boy along with me and we will go at once, so that we and you and our children may live and not die. 9 I myself will guarantee his safety; you can hold me personally responsible for him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him here before you, I will bear the blame before you all my life. 10 As it is, if we had not delayed, we could have gone and returned twice.”
11 Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be, then do this: Put some of the best products of the land in your bags and take them down to the man as a gift—a little balm and a little honey, some spices and myrrh, some pistachio nuts and almonds. 12 Take double the amount of silver with you, for you must return the silver that was put back into the mouths of your sacks. Perhaps it was a mistake. 13 Take your brother also and go back to the man at once. 14 And may God Almighty[i] grant you mercy before the man so that he will let your other brother and Benjamin come back with you. As for me, if I am bereaved, I am bereaved.”
15 So the men took the gifts and double the amount of silver, and Benjamin also. They hurried down to Egypt and presented themselves to Joseph. 16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, “Take these men to my house, slaughter an animal and prepare a meal; they are to eat with me at noon.”
17 The man did as Joseph told him and took the men to Joseph’s house. 18 Now the men were frightened when they were taken to his house. They thought, “We were brought here because of the silver that was put back into our sacks the first time. He wants to attack us and overpower us and seize us as slaves and take our donkeys.”
19 So they went up to Joseph’s steward and spoke to him at the entrance to the house. 20 “We beg your pardon, our lord,” they said, “we came down here the first time to buy food. 21 But
at the place where we stopped for the night we opened our sacks and
each of us found his silver—the exact weight—in the mouth of his sack.
So we have brought it back with us. 22 We have also brought additional silver with us to buy food. We don’t know who put our silver in our sacks.”
23 “It’s all right,” he said. “Don’t be afraid. Your God, the God of your father, has given you treasure in your sacks; I received your silver.” Then he brought Simeon out to them.
24 The steward took the men into Joseph’s house, gave them water to wash their feet and provided fodder for their donkeys. 25 They prepared their gifts for Joseph’s arrival at noon, because they had heard that they were to eat there.
26 When Joseph came home, they presented to him the gifts they had brought into the house, and they bowed down before him to the ground. 27 He asked them how they were, and then he said, “How is your aged father you told me about? Is he still living?”
28 They replied, “Your servant our father is still alive and well.” And they bowed down, prostrating themselves before him.
29 As he looked about and saw his brother Benjamin, his own mother’s son, he asked, “Is this your youngest brother, the one you told me about?” And he said, “God be gracious to you, my son.” 30 Deeply moved at the sight of his brother, Joseph hurried out and looked for a place to weep. He went into his private room and wept there.
31 After he had washed his face, he came out and, controlling himself, said, “Serve the food.”
served him by himself, the brothers by themselves, and the Egyptians
who ate with him by themselves, because Egyptians could not eat with
Hebrews, for that is detestable to Egyptians. 33 The men had been seated before him in the order of their ages, from the firstborn to the youngest; and they looked at each other in astonishment. 34 When portions were served to them from Joseph’s table, Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as anyone else’s. So they feasted and drank freely with him.
A Silver Cup in a Sack
44 Now Joseph gave these instructions to the steward of his house: “Fill the men’s sacks with as much food as they can carry, and put each man’s silver in the mouth of his sack. 2 Then put my cup, the silver one, in the mouth of the youngest one’s sack, along with the silver for his grain.” And he did as Joseph said.
3 As morning dawned, the men were sent on their way with their donkeys. 4 They had not gone far from the city when Joseph said to his steward, “Go after those men at once, and when you catch up with them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid good with evil? 5 Isn’t this the cup my master drinks from and also uses for divination? This is a wicked thing you have done.’”
6 When he caught up with them, he repeated these words to them. 7 But they said to him, “Why does my lord say such things? Far be it from your servants to do anything like that! 8 We even brought back to you from the land of Canaan the silver we found inside the mouths of our sacks. So why would we steal silver or gold from your master’s house? 9 If any of your servants is found to have it, he will die; and the rest of us will become my lord’s slaves.”
10 “Very well, then,” he said, “let it be as you say. Whoever is found to have it will become my slave; the rest of you will be free from blame.”
11 Each of them quickly lowered his sack to the ground and opened it. 12 Then the steward proceeded to search, beginning with the oldest and ending with the youngest. And the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. 13 At this, they tore their clothes. Then they all loaded their donkeys and returned to the city.
14 Joseph was still in the house when Judah and his brothers came in, and they threw themselves to the ground before him. 15 Joseph said to them, “What is this you have done? Don’t you know that a man like me can find things out by divination?”
16 “What can we say to my lord?” Judah replied. “What can we say? How can we prove our innocence? God has uncovered your servants’ guilt. We are now my lord’s slaves—we ourselves and the one who was found to have the cup.”
17 But Joseph said, “Far be it from me to do such a thing! Only the man who was found to have the cup will become my slave. The rest of you, go back to your father in peace.”
18 Then Judah went up to him and said: “Pardon your servant, my lord, let me speak a word to my lord. Do not be angry with your servant, though you are equal to Pharaoh himself. 19 My lord asked his servants, ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’ 20 And we answered, ‘We have an aged father, and there is a young son born to him in his old age. His brother is dead, and he is the only one of his mother’s sons left, and his father loves him.’
21 “Then you said to your servants, ‘Bring him down to me so I can see him for myself.’ 22 And we said to my lord, ‘The boy cannot leave his father; if he leaves him, his father will die.’ 23 But you told your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you will not see my face again.’ 24 When we went back to your servant my father, we told him what my lord had said.
25 “Then our father said, ‘Go back and buy a little more food.’ 26 But
we said, ‘We cannot go down. Only if our youngest brother is with us
will we go. We cannot see the man’s face unless our youngest brother is
27 “Your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife bore me two sons. 28 One of them went away from me, and I said, “He has surely been torn to pieces.” And I have not seen him since. 29 If you take this one from me too and harm comes to him, you will bring my gray head down to the grave in misery.’
30 “So now, if the boy is not with us when I go back to your servant my father, and if my father, whose life is closely bound up with the boy’s life, 31 sees that the boy isn’t there, he will die. Your servants will bring the gray head of our father down to the grave in sorrow. 32 Your
servant guaranteed the boy’s safety to my father. I said, ‘If I do not
bring him back to you, I will bear the blame before you, my father, all
33 “Now then, please let your servant remain here as my lord’s slave in place of the boy, and let the boy return with his brothers. 34 How can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? No! Do not let me see the misery that would come on my father.”
Joseph Makes Himself Known
45 Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, “Have everyone leave my presence!” So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. 2 And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh’s household heard about it.
3 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still living?” But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence.
4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! 5 And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. 6 For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. 7 But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.[j]
8 “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt. 9 Now hurry
back to my father and say to him, ‘This is what your son Joseph says:
God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; don’t delay. 10 You shall live in the region of Goshen and be near me—you, your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and all you have. 11 I will provide for you there, because five years of famine are still to come. Otherwise you and your household and all who belong to you will become destitute.’
12 “You can see for yourselves, and so can my brother Benjamin, that it is really I who am speaking to you. 13 Tell my father about all the honor accorded me in Egypt and about everything you have seen. And bring my father down here quickly.”
14 Then he threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin embraced him, weeping. 15 And he kissed all his brothers and wept over them. Afterward his brothers talked with him.
16 When the news reached Pharaoh’s palace that Joseph’s brothers had come, Pharaoh and all his officials were pleased. 17 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Tell your brothers, ‘Do this: Load your animals and return to the land of Canaan, 18 and bring your father and your families back to me. I will give you the best of the land of Egypt and you can enjoy the fat of the land.’
19 “You are also directed to tell them, ‘Do this: Take some carts from Egypt for your children and your wives, and get your father and come. 20 Never mind about your belongings, because the best of all Egypt will be yours.’”
21 So the sons of Israel did this. Joseph gave them carts, as Pharaoh had commanded, and he also gave them provisions for their journey. 22 To each of them he gave new clothing, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred shekels[k] of silver and five sets of clothes. 23 And this is what he sent to his father: ten donkeys loaded with the best things of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain and bread and other provisions for his journey. 24 Then he sent his brothers away, and as they were leaving he said to them, “Don’t quarrel on the way!”
25 So they went up out of Egypt and came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan. 26 They told him, “Joseph is still alive! In fact, he is ruler of all Egypt.” Jacob was stunned; he did not believe them. 27 But when they told him everything Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the carts Joseph had sent to carry him back, the spirit of their father Jacob revived. 28 And Israel said, “I’m convinced! My son Joseph is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.”
Jacob Goes to Egypt
46 So Israel set out with all that was his, and when he reached Beersheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.
2 And God spoke to Israel in a vision at night and said, “Jacob! Jacob!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
3 “I am God, the God of your father,” he said. “Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there. 4 I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will surely bring you back again. And Joseph’s own hand will close your eyes.”
5 Then Jacob left Beersheba, and Israel’s sons took their father Jacob and their children and their wives in the carts that Pharaoh had sent to transport him. 6 So Jacob and all his offspring went to Egypt, taking with them their livestock and the possessions they had acquired in Canaan. 7 Jacob brought with him to Egypt his sons and grandsons and his daughters and granddaughters—all his offspring.
8 These are the names of the sons of Israel (Jacob and his descendants) who went to Egypt:
Reuben the firstborn of Jacob.
9 The sons of Reuben:
Hanok, Pallu, Hezron and Karmi.
10 The sons of Simeon:
Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jakin, Zohar and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman.
11 The sons of Levi:
Gershon, Kohath and Merari.
12 The sons of Judah:
Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez and Zerah (but Er and Onan had died in the land of Canaan).
The sons of Perez:
Hezron and Hamul.
13 The sons of Issachar:
Tola, Puah,[l] Jashub[m] and Shimron.
went and told Pharaoh, “My father and brothers, with their flocks and
herds and everything they own, have come from the land of Canaan and are now in Goshen.” 2 He chose five of his brothers and presented them before Pharaoh.
3 Pharaoh asked the brothers, “What is your occupation?”
“Your servants are shepherds,” they replied to Pharaoh, “just as our fathers were.” 4 They also said to him, “We have come to live here for a while, because the famine is severe in Canaan and your servants’ flocks have no pasture. So now, please let your servants settle in Goshen.”
5 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Your father and your brothers have come to you, 6 and the land of Egypt is before you; settle your father and your brothers in the best part of the land. Let them live in Goshen. And if you know of any among them with special ability, put them in charge of my own livestock.”
7 Then Joseph brought his father Jacob in and presented him before Pharaoh. After Jacob blessed[a] Pharaoh, 8 Pharaoh asked him, “How old are you?”
9 And Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty. My years have been few and difficult, and they do not equal the years of the pilgrimage of my fathers.” 10 Then Jacob blessed[b] Pharaoh and went out from his presence.
11 So Joseph settled his father and his brothers in Egypt and gave them property in the best part of the land, the district of Rameses, as Pharaoh directed. 12 Joseph
also provided his father and his brothers and all his father’s
household with food, according to the number of their children.
Joseph and the Famine
was no food, however, in the whole region because the famine was
severe; both Egypt and Canaan wasted away because of the famine. 14 Joseph collected all the money that was to be found in Egypt and Canaan in payment for the grain they were buying, and he brought it to Pharaoh’s palace. 15 When the money of the people of Egypt and Canaan was gone, all Egypt came to Joseph and said, “Give us food. Why should we die before your eyes? Our money is all gone.”
16 “Then bring your livestock,” said Joseph. “I will sell you food in exchange for your livestock, since your money is gone.” 17 So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and he gave them food in exchange for their horses, their sheep and goats, their cattle and donkeys. And he brought them through that year with food in exchange for all their livestock.
that year was over, they came to him the following year and said, “We
cannot hide from our lord the fact that since our money is gone and our livestock belongs to you, there is nothing left for our lord except our bodies and our land. 19 Why should we perish before your eyes—we and our land as well? Buy us and our land in exchange for food, and we with our land will be in bondage to Pharaoh. Give us seed so that we may live and not die, and that the land may not become desolate.”
Joseph bought all the land in Egypt for Pharaoh. The Egyptians, one and
all, sold their fields, because the famine was too severe for them. The land became Pharaoh’s, 21 and Joseph reduced the people to servitude,[c] from one end of Egypt to the other. 22 However, he did not buy the land of the priests, because they received a regular allotment from Pharaoh and had food enough from the allotment Pharaoh gave them. That is why they did not sell their land.
23 Joseph said to the people, “Now that I have bought you and your land today for Pharaoh, here is seed for you so you can plant the ground. 24 But when the crop comes in, give a fifth
of it to Pharaoh. The other four-fifths you may keep as seed for the
fields and as food for yourselves and your households and your
25 “You have saved our lives,” they said. “May we find favor in the eyes of our lord; we will be in bondage to Pharaoh.”
26 So Joseph established it as a law concerning land in Egypt—still in force today—that a fifth of the produce belongs to Pharaoh. It was only the land of the priests that did not become Pharaoh’s.
27 Now the Israelites settled in Egypt in the region of Goshen. They acquired property there and were fruitful and increased greatly in number.
28 Jacob lived in Egypt seventeen years, and the years of his life were a hundred and forty-seven. 29 When the time drew near for Israel to die, he called for his son Joseph and said to him, “If I have found favor in your eyes, put your hand under my thigh and promise that you will show me kindness and faithfulness. Do not bury me in Egypt, 30 but when I rest with my fathers, carry me out of Egypt and bury me where they are buried.”
“I will do as you say,” he said.
31 “Swear to me,” he said. Then Joseph swore to him, and Israel worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.[d]