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The Apocryphal Old Testament Collection of the most important non-canonical Old Testament books designed for general use.

Chapter XL

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Text Commentary

1And in those days Pharaoh had two dreams in one night, about a famine there was to be in all the land; and he woke up from his sleep and called all the interpreters of dreams there were in Egypt, and the magicians, and he told them his two dreams, and they were not able to interpret them. 2Then the chief butler remembered Joseph and spoke to the king about him; and he had him fetched from the prison and repeated his two dreams to him. 3And he told Pharaoh that his two dreams were one; and he said to him, There will be seven years of plenty throughout the land of Egypt, and after that seven years of famine, such as there have never been before in all the land. 4Pharaoh should now appoint controllers 1 The Eth. MSS differ among themselves: Lat. ‘speculatores’. in all the land of Egypt, who can store up food in every city during the seven years 2 So Lat.: Eth. ‘throughout the days of the years’. of plenty, so that there will be food for the seven years of famine, and the land will not perish through the famine, for it will be very severe.

5And the Lord made Pharaoh look favourably on what Joseph said, 3 Lit. ‘And the Lord gave Joseph grace and mercy in the eyes of Pharaoh’. and Pharaoh said to his servants, we shall not find anywhere such a wise and knowledgeable man as this man; for the spirit of the Lord is with him. 6And he appointed him viceroy 4 Lit. ‘the second’. in all his kingdom, and gave him authority over the whole of Egypt, and mounted him in Pharaoh's viceroy's chariot. 7And he dressed him in fine linen and put a gold chain on his neck, and he was acclaimed El El wa Abirer. 5 So Eth. (God, God, the Mighty One of God'): Lat. ‘Elel et Habirel’. And Pharaoh 6 Lit. ‘he’. put a ring on his finger 7 Lit. ‘hand’. and placed his household in his charge; and he made a great man of him and said to him, Only as regards the throne will I be greater than you.

8And Joseph rules over all the land of Egypt; and all Pharaoh's princes and all his servants and all who did the king's business loved him, for he was straight in his dealings, without pride or arrogance, and he showed favour to no one and accepted no bribes, but decided every case that was brought before him with strict impartiality. 8 Lit. ‘but judged in uprightness all the peoples of the land’. 9And the land of Egypt lived at peace under Pharaoh because of Joseph, for the Lord was with him and made all those that knew him and had heard about him look with favour on him and on his family; and Pharaoh's kingdom was well ordered, and there was no adversary 9 Or ‘Satan’. nor any evil person in it. 10And the king named Joseph Zaphnath-paaneah; and he gave Joseph as a wife the daughter of Potiphar (the daughter, that is, of the priest of Heliopolis, the chief cook).

11And Joseph was thirty years old the day that he entered Pharaoh's service; 10 All MSS add ‘when he entered Pharaoh's service’ – clearly a dittograph. and it was in that same year in which Isaac died. 12And it came to pass as Joseph had foretold in the interpretation of Pharaoh's 11 Lit. ‘his’. two dreams, just as he had foretold it, there were seven years of plenty throughout the land of Egypt, and the land of Egypt produced abundantly, one measure producing eighteen hundred measures. 13And Joseph gathered food in every city until each one was stacked so full of corn that it was no longer possible to keep a record of how much there was.

Notes:

1 The Eth. MSS differ among themselves: Lat. ‘speculatores’.

2 So Lat.: Eth. ‘throughout the days of the years’.

3 Lit. ‘And the Lord gave Joseph grace and mercy in the eyes of Pharaoh’.

4 Lit. ‘the second’.

5 So Eth. (God, God, the Mighty One of God'): Lat. ‘Elel et Habirel’.

6 Lit. ‘he’.

7 Lit. ‘hand’.

8 Lit. ‘but judged in uprightness all the peoples of the land’.

9 Or ‘Satan’.

10 All MSS add ‘when he entered Pharaoh's service’ – clearly a dittograph.

11 Lit. ‘his’.

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