Joseph Interprets Pharaoh's Dream

411 Now after two years had gone by, Pharaoh had a dream; and in his dream he was by the side of the Nile; 2 And out of the Nile came seven cows, good-looking and fat, and their food was the river-grass. 3 And after them seven other cows came out of the Nile, poor-looking and thin; and they were by the side of the other cows. 4 And the seven thin cows made a meal of the seven fat cows. Then Pharaoh came out of his sleep. 5 But he went to sleep again and had a second dream, in which he saw seven heads of grain, full and good, all on one stem. 6 And after them came up seven other heads, thin and wasted by the east wind. 7 And the seven thin heads made a meal of the good heads. And when Pharaoh was awake he saw it was a dream. 8 And in the morning his spirit was troubled; and he sent for all the wise men of Egypt and all the holy men, and put his dream before them, but no one was able to give him the sense of it.

9 Then the chief wine-servant said to Pharaoh, The memory of my sin comes back to me now; 10 Pharaoh had been angry with his servants, and had put me in prison in the house of the captain of the army, together with the chief bread-maker; 11 And we had a dream on the same night, the two of us, and the dreams had a special sense. 12 And there was with us a young Hebrew, the captain's servant, and when we put our dreams before him, he gave us the sense of them. 13 And it came about as he said: I was put back in my place, and the bread-maker was put to death by hanging. 14 Then Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and they took him quickly out of prison; and when his hair had been cut and his dress changed, he came before Pharaoh. 15 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, I have had a dream, and no one is able to give me the sense of it; now it has come to my ears that you are able to give the sense of a dream when it is put before you. 16 Then Joseph said, Without God there will be no answer of peace for Pharaoh.

17 Then Pharaoh said, In my dream I was by the side of the Nile: 18 And out of the Nile came seven cows, fat and good-looking, and their food was the river-grass; 19 Then after them came seven other cows, very thin and poor-looking, worse than any I ever saw in the land of Egypt; 20 And the thin cows made a meal of the seven fat cows who came up first; 21 And even with the fat cows inside them they seemed as bad as before. And so I came out of my sleep. 22 And again in a dream I saw seven heads of grain, full and good, coming up on one stem: 23 And then I saw seven other heads, dry, thin, and wasted by the east wind, coming up after them: 24 And the seven thin heads made a meal of the seven good heads; and I put this dream before the wise men, but not one of them was able to give me the sense of it. 25 Then Joseph said, These two dreams have the same sense: God has made clear to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 26 The seven fat cows are seven years, and the seven good heads of grain are seven years: the two have the same sense. 27 The seven thin and poor-looking cows who came up after them are seven years; and the seven heads of grain, dry and wasted by the east wind, are seven years when there will be no food. 28 As I said to Pharaoh before, God has made clear to him what he is about to do. 29 Seven years are coming in which there will be great wealth of grain in Egypt; 30 And after that will come seven years when there will not be enough food; and the memory of the good years will go from men's minds; and the land will be made waste by the bad years; 31 And men will have no memory of the good time because of the need which will come after, for it will be very bitter. 32 And this dream came to Pharaoh twice, because this thing is certain, and God will quickly make it come about.

33 And now let Pharaoh make search for a man of wisdom and good sense, and put him in authority over the land of Egypt. 34 Let Pharaoh do this, and let him put overseers over the land of Egypt to put in store a fifth part of the produce of the land in the good years. 35 And let them get together all the food in those good years and make a store of grain under Pharaoh's control for the use of the towns, and let them keep it. 36 And let that food be kept in store for the land till the seven bad years which are to come in Egypt; so that the land may not come to destruction through need of food.

Joseph Made Ruler over Egypt

37 And this seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his servants. 38 Then Pharaoh said to his servants, Where may we get such a man as this, a man in whom is the spirit of God? 39 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, Seeing that God has made all this clear to you, there is no other man of such wisdom and good sense as you: 40 You, then, are to be over my house, and all my people will be ruled by your word: only as king will I be greater than you. 41 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, See, I have put you over all the land of Egypt. 42 Then Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand and put it on Joseph's hand, and he had him clothed with the best linen, and put a chain of gold round his neck; 43 And he made him take his seat in the second of his carriages; and they went before him crying, Make way! So he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt. 44 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, I am Pharaoh; and without your order no man may do anything in all the land of Egypt. 45 And Pharaoh gave Joseph the name of Zaphnath-paaneah; and he gave him Asenath, the daughter of Poti-phera, the priest of On, to be his wife. So Joseph went through all the land of Egypt.

46 Now Joseph was thirty years old when he came before Pharaoh, king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from before the face of Pharaoh and went through all the land of Egypt. 47 Now in the seven good years the earth gave fruit in masses. 48 And Joseph got together all the food of those seven years, and made a store of food in the towns: the produce of the fields round every town was stored up in the town. 49 So he got together a store of grain like the sand of the sea; so great a store that after a time he gave up measuring it, for it might not be measured. 50 And before the time of need, Joseph had two sons, to whom Asenath, the daughter of Poti-phera, priest of On, gave birth. 51 And to the first he gave the name Manasseh, for he said, God has taken away from me all memory of my hard life and of my father's house. 52 And to the second he gave the name Ephraim, for he said, God has given me fruit in the land of my sorrow. 53 And so the seven good years in Egypt came to an end. 54 Then came the first of the seven years of need as Joseph had said: and in every other land they were short of food; but in the land of Egypt there was bread. 55 And when all the land of Egypt was in need of food, the people came crying to Pharaoh for bread; and Pharaoh said to the people, Go to Joseph, and whatever he says to you, do it. 56 And everywhere on the earth they were short of food; then Joseph, opening all his store-houses, gave the people of Egypt grain for money; so great was the need of food in the land of Egypt. 57 And all lands sent to Egypt, to Joseph, to get grain, for the need was great over all the earth.

Joseph's Brethren Come to Egypt for Grain

421 Now Jacob, hearing that there was grain in Egypt, said to his sons, Why are you looking at one another? 2 And he said, I have had news that there is grain in Egypt: go down there and get grain for us, so that life and not death may be ours. 3 So Joseph's ten brothers went down to get grain from Egypt. 4 But Jacob did not send Benjamin, Joseph's brother, with them, for fear, as he said, that some evil might come to him. 5 And the sons of Israel came with all the others to get grain: for they were very short of food in the land of Canaan. 6 Now Joseph was ruler over all the land, and it was he who gave out the grain to all the people of the land; and Joseph's brothers came before him and went down on their faces to the earth.

7 And when Joseph saw his brothers, it was clear to him who they were, but he made himself strange to them, and talking roughly to them, said, Where do you come from? And they said, From the land of Canaan, to get food. 8 Now though Joseph saw that these were his brothers, they had no idea who he was. 9 Then the memory of his dreams about them came back to Joseph, and he said to them, You have come secretly to see how poor the land is. 10 And they said to him, Not so, my lord: your servants have come with money to get food. 11 We are all one man's sons, we are true men; we have not come with any secret purpose. 12 And he said to them, No, but you have come to see how poor the land is. 13 Then they said, We your servants are twelve brothers, sons of one man in the land of Canaan; the youngest of us is now with our father, and one is dead. 14 And Joseph said, It is as I said; you have come with some secret purpose; 15 But in this way will you be put to the test: by the life of Pharaoh, you will not go away from this place till your youngest brother comes here. 16 Send one of your number to get your brother, and the rest of you will be kept in prison, so that your words may be tested to see if you are true; if not, by the life of Pharaoh, your purpose is certainly secret. 17 So he put them in prison for three days. 18 And on the third day Joseph said to them, Do this, if you would keep your lives: for I am a god-fearing man: 19 If you are true men, let one of you be kept in prison, while you go and take grain for the needs of your families; 20 And come back to me with your youngest brother, so that your words may be seen to be true, and you will not be put to death. This is what you are to do.

21 And they said to one another, Truly, we did wrong to our brother, for we saw his grief of mind, and we did not give ear to his prayers; that is why this trouble has come on us. 22 And Reuben said to them, Did I not say to you, Do the child no wrong? but you gave no attention; so now, punishment has come on us for his blood. 23 They were not conscious that the sense of their words was clear to Joseph, for he had been talking to them through one who had knowledge of their language. 24 And turning away from them, he was overcome with weeping; then he went on talking to them again and took Simeon and put chains on him before their eyes. 25 Then Joseph gave orders for their bags to be made full of grain, and for every man's money to be put back into his bag, and for food to be given them for the journey: which was done. 26 Then they put the bags of grain on their asses and went away. 27 Now at their night's resting-place one of them, opening his bag to give his ass some food, saw his money in the mouth of the bag. 28 And he said to his brothers, My money has been given back: it is in my bag; then their hearts became full of fear, and turning to one another they said, What is this which God has done to us?

29 So when they came to Jacob their father, in the land of Canaan, they gave him an account of all their experiences, saying, 30 The man who is the ruler of the country was rough with us and put us in prison, saying that we had come with a secret evil purpose. 31 And we said to him, We are true men, we have no evil designs; 32 We are twelve brothers, sons of our father; one is dead, and the youngest is now with our father in the land of Canaan. 33 And the ruler of the land said, In this way I may be certain that you are true men; let one of you be kept here with me, while you go and take grain for the needs of your families; 34 And come back to me with your youngest brother: then I will be certain that you are true men, and I will give your brother back to you and let you do trade in the land. 35 And when they took the grain out of their bags, it was seen that every man's parcel of money was in his bag; and when they and their father saw the money, they were full of fear. 36 And Jacob their father said to them, You have taken my children from me: Joseph is gone and Simeon is gone, and now you would take Benjamin away; all these things have come on me. 37 And Reuben said, Put my two sons to death if I do not come back to you with him; let him be in my care and I will give him safely back to you. 38 And he said, I will not let my son go down with you; for his brother is dead and he is all I have: if evil overtakes him on the journey, then through you will my grey head go down to the underworld in sorrow. 39 Now the land was in bitter need of food.

The Disciples Pluck Grain on the Sabbath

121 At that time Jesus went through the fields on the Sabbath day; and his disciples, being in need of food, were taking the heads of grain. 2 But the Pharisees, when they saw it, said to him, See, your disciples do that which it is not right to do on the Sabbath. 3 But he said to them, Have you no knowledge of what David did when he had need of food, and those who were with him? 4 How he went into the house of God and took for food the holy bread which it was not right for him or for those who were with him to take, but only for the priests? 5 Or is it not said in the law, how the Sabbath is broken by the priests in the Temple and they do no wrong? 6 But I say to you that a greater thing than the Temple is here. 7 But if these words had been in your minds, My desire is for mercy and not for offerings, you would not have been judging those who have done no wrong. 8 For the Son of man is lord of the Sabbath.

The Man with a Withered Hand

9 And he went from there into their Synagogue: 10 And there was a man with a dead hand. And they put a question to him, saying, Is it right to make a man well on the Sabbath day? so that they might have something against him. 11 And he said to them, Which of you, having a sheep, if it gets into a hole on the Sabbath day, will not put out a helping hand and get it back? 12 Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! For this reason it is right to do good on the Sabbath day. 13 Then said he to the man, Put out your hand. And he put it out, and it was made as well as the other.

14 But the Pharisees went out and made designs against him, how they might put him to death.

The Chosen Servant

15 And Jesus, having knowledge of this, went away from there, and a great number went after him; and he made them all well, 16 Ordering them not to give people word of him: 17 So that what was said by Isaiah the prophet might come true, 18 See my servant, the man of my selection, my loved one in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my Spirit on him, and he will make my decision clear to the Gentiles. 19 His coming will not be with fighting or loud cries; and his voice will not be lifted up in the streets. 20 The crushed stem will not be broken by him; and the feebly burning light will he not put out, till he has made righteousness overcome all. 21 And in his name will the Gentiles put their hope.

A Divided House Cannot Stand

22 Then they took to him one with an evil spirit, who was blind and had no power of talking: and he made him well so that he had the power of talking and seeing. 23 And all the people were surprised and said, Is not this the Son of David?

Matthew Henry's Commentary on Matthew 12:1-23

Commentary on Matthew 12:1-8

(Read Matthew 12:1-8)

Being in the corn-fields, the disciples began to pluck the ears of corn: the law of God allowed it, Deuteronomy 5:14. No law must be understood so as to contradict its own end. And as Christ is the Lord of the sabbath, it is fit the day and the work of it should be dedicated to him.

Commentary on Matthew 12:9-13

(Read Matthew 12:9-13)

Christ shows that works of mercy are lawful and proper to be done on the Lord's day. There are more ways of doing well upon sabbath days, than by the duties of worship: attending the sick, relieving the poor, helping those who need speedy relief, teaching the young to care for their souls; these are doing good: and these must be done from love and charity, with humility and self-denial, and shall be accepted, Genesis 4:7. This, like other cures which Christ wrought, had a spiritual meaning. By nature our hands are withered, and we are unable of ourselves to do any thing that is good. Christ only, by the power of his grace, cures us; he heals the withered hand by putting life into the dead soul, works in us both to will and to do: for, with the command, there is a promise of grace given by the word.

Commentary on Matthew 12:14-21

(Read Matthew 12:14-21)

The Pharisees took counsel to find some accusation, that Jesus might be condemned to death. Aware of their design, as his time was not come, he retired from that place. Face does not more exactly answer to face in water, than the character of Christ drawn by the prophet, to his temper and conduct as described by the evangelists. Let us with cheerful confidence commit our souls to so kind and faithful a Friend. Far from breaking, he will strengthen the bruised reed; far from quenching the smoking flax, or wick nearly out, he will rather blow it up into a flame. Let us lay aside contentious and angry debates; let us receive one another as Christ receives us. And while encouraged by the gracious kindness of our Lord, we should pray that his Spirit may rest upon us, and make us able to copy his example.

Commentary on Matthew 12:22-30

(Read Matthew 12:22-30)

A soul under Satan's power, and led captive by him, is blind in the things of God, and dumb at the throne of grace; sees nothing, and says nothing to the purpose. Satan blinds the eyes by unbelief, and seals up the lips from prayer. The more people magnified Christ, the more desirous the Pharisees were to vilify him. It was evident that if Satan aided Jesus in casting out devils, the kingdom of hell was divided against itself; how then could it stand! And if they said that Jesus cast out devils by the prince of the devils, they could not prove that their children cast them out by any other power. There are two great interests in the world; and when unclean spirits are cast out by the Holy Spirit, in the conversion of sinners to a life of faith and obedience, the kingdom of God is come unto us. All who do not aid or rejoice in such a change are against Christ.