Genesis 41:3
And, behold, seven other cows came up after them out of the river, ill favored and skinney; and stood by the other cows on the brink of the river.
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41:1-8 The means of Joseph's being freed from prison were Pharaoh's dreams, as here related. Now that God no longer speaks to us in that way, it is no matter how little we either heed dreams, or tell them. The telling of foolish dreams can make no better than foolish talk. But these dreams showed that they were sent of God; when he awoke, Pharaoh's spirit was troubled.The dreams are recited. "By the river." In the dream Pharaoh supposes himself on the banks of the Nile. "On rite green." The original word denotes the reed, or marsh grass, on the banks of the Nile. The cow is a very significant emblem of fruitful nature among the Egyptians, the hieroglyphic symbol of the earth and of agriculture; and the form in which Isis the goddess of the earth was adored. "Dreamed a second time." The repetition is designed to confirm the warning given, as Joseph afterward explains Genesis 41:32. Corn (grain) is the natural emblem of fertility and nurture. "Blasted with the east wind The east wind". The east wind is any wind coming from the east of the meridian, and may be a southeast or a northeast, as well as a direct east. The Hebrews were accustomed to speak only of the four winds, and, therefore, must have used the name of each with great latitude. The blasting wind in Egypt is said to be usually from the southeast. "And, behold, it was a dream." The impression was so distinct as to be taken for the reality, until he awoke and perceived that it was only a dream. "His spirit was troubled." Like the officers in the prison Genesis 40:6, he could not get rid of the feeling that the twofold dream portended some momentous event. "The scribes" - the hieroglyphs, who belonged to the priestly caste, and whose primary business was to make hieroglyphic and other inscriptions; while they were accustomed to consult the stars, interpret dreams, practise soothsaying, and pursue the other occult arts. The sages; whose chief business was the cultivation of the various arts above mentioned, while the engraving or inscribing department strictly belonged to the hieroglyphs or scribes. "His dream;" the twofold dream. "Interpreted them" - the two dreams.CHAPTER 41

Ge 41:1-24. Pharaoh's Dream.

1. at the end of two full years—It is not certain whether these years are reckoned from the beginning of Joseph's imprisonment, or from the events described in the preceding chapter—most likely the latter. What a long time for Joseph to experience the sickness of hope deferred! But the time of his enlargement came when he had sufficiently learned the lessons of God designed for him; and the plans of Providence were matured.

Pharaoh dreamed—"Pharaoh," from an Egyptian word Phre, signifying the "sun," was the official title of the kings of that country. The prince, who occupied the throne of Egypt, was Aphophis, one of the Memphite kings, whose capital was On or Heliopolis, and who is universally acknowledged to have been a patriot king. Between the arrival of Abraham and the appearance of Joseph in that country, somewhat more than two centuries had elapsed. Kings sleep and dream, as well as their subjects. And this Pharaoh had two dreams in one night so singular and so similar, so distinct and so apparently significant, so coherent and vividly impressed on his memory, that his spirit was troubled.

Which shows how sparingly the river overflowed the lands. And, behold, seven other kine came up after them out of the river, ill favoured, and leanfleshed,.... Thin and haggard, their bones stuck out, having scarce any flesh upon them, and made a wretched figure:

and stood by the other kine; and looked so much the worse, when compared with them:

upon the brink of the river; it not being overflowed, so that there was no grass to be had, but just upon the bank, where these kept for that purpose; for the fruitfulness of Egypt was owing to the river Nile; as that overflowed or did not, there was plenty or famine; hence both these sorts of creatures came up out of that.

And, behold, seven other kine came up after them out of the river, ill favored and leanfleshed; and stood by the other kine upon the brink of the river.
Verse 3. - And, behold, seven other kind came up after them out of the river, ill. favored and lean-fleshed. The second seven cows, "evil to look upon," i.e. bad in appearance, and "thin (beaten small, dakoth, from dakak, to crush or beat small) of flesh," also proceeded from the river, since a failure in the periodical overflow of the Nile was the usual cause of scarcity and famine in Egypt. And stood by the other kine upon the brink of the river. The use of the term lip, שָׂפָה, for brink, common enough in Hebrew (Genesis 22:17; Exodus 14:30; 1 Kings 5:9), occurs also in a papyrus of the nineteenth dynasty, "I sat down by the lip of the river," which appears to suggest the impression that the verse in the text was written by one who was equally familiar with both languages (Canon Cook in 'Speaker s Commentary,' p. 485). Joseph's interpretations were fulfilled three days afterwards, on the king's birth-day. הלּדת יום: the day of being born; the inf. Hoph. is construed as a passive with the accus. obj., as in Genesis 4:18, etc. Pharaoh gave his servants a feast, and lifted up the heads of both the prisoners, but in very different ways. The cup-bearer was pardoned, and reinstated in his office; the baker, on the other hand, was executed.
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