|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
41:9-32 God's time for the enlargement of his people is the fittest time. If the chief butler had got Joseph to be released from prison, it is probable he would have gone back to the land of the Hebrews. Then he had neither been so blessed himself, nor such a blessing to his family, as afterwards he proved. Joseph, when introduced to Pharaoh, gives honour to God. Pharaoh had dreamed that he stood upon the bank of the river Nile, and saw the kine, both the fat ones, and the lean ones, come out of the river. Egypt has no rain, but the plenty of the year depends upon the overflowing of the river Nile. See how many ways Providence has of dispensing its gifts; yet our dependence is still the same upon the First Cause, who makes every creature what it is to us, be it rain or river. See to what changes the comforts of this life are subject. We cannot be sure that to-morrow shall be as this day, or next year as this. We must learn how to want, as well as how to abound. Mark the goodness of God in sending the seven years of plenty before those of famine, that provision might be made. The produce of the earth is sometimes more, and sometimes less; yet, take one with another, he that gathers much, has nothing over; and he that gathers little, has no lack, Ex 16:18. And see the perishing nature of our worldly enjoyments. The great harvests of the years of plenty were quite lost, and swallowed up in the years of famine; and that which seemed very much, yet did but just serve to keep the people alive. There is bread which lasts to eternal life, which it is worth while to labour for. They that make the things of this world their good things, will find little pleasure in remembering that they have received them.
Verses 17-21. - Pharaoh then relates his dreams in substantially the same terms as those in which they have already been recited, only adding concerning the lean kine that they were (ver. 19) such as I never saw (literally, I never saw such as these) in all the land of Egypt for badness: and that (ver. 21) when they had eaten them (i.e. the good kine) up, it could not be known they had eaten them; - literally, and they (i.e. the good kine) went into the interior parts, i.e. the stomach (of the bad kine), and it was not known that they had gone into the interior parts - but they (the bad kine) were still ill-favored, as at the beginning - literally, and their appearance was bad as in the beginning, i.e. previously; and concerning the thin and blasted ears, that they were also (ver. 23) withered - צְנֻמות, from צָנַם, to be hard, meaning either barren (Gesenius), dry (Furst), or sapless (Kalisch) - a word which the LXX. and the Vulgate both omit. Onkelos explains by XXX, flowering, but not fruiting; and Dathius renders by jejunae. After which he (i.e. Pharaoh) informs Joseph that the professional interpreters attached to the Court (the chartummim, or masters of the occult sciences) could give him no idea of its meaning.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Pharaoh said unto Joseph,.... Relating both his dreams in a more ample manner, though to the same purpose, than before related:
in my dream, behold, I stood upon the bank of the river; the river Nile, where he could have a full sight of what were after presented to his view.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
17. Pharaoh said, In my dream, behold, I stood upon the bank of the river—The dreams were purely Egyptian, founded on the productions of that country and the experience of a native. The fertility of Egypt being wholly dependent on the Nile, the scene is laid on the banks of that river; and oxen being in the ancient hieroglyphics symbolical of the earth and of food, animals of that species were introduced in the first dream.
Genesis 41:17 Parallel Commentaries
Genesis 41:17 NIV
Genesis 41:17 NLT
Genesis 41:17 ESV
Genesis 41:17 NASB
Genesis 41:17 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible