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“… out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.”
(Isaiah 2:3)

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Please read the Introductory Notes to this commentary.

WARNING: The text used for my commentary is my own paraphrase and must not be
considered “a translation” or authorative in any way. It is, in fact, simply my commentary.

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Source of Dates Used

בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית • B'resheet
(“In Beginning” or “At First”)
The First Book of Moses,
Commonly Called


פָּרָשָׁה מִקֵּ֖ץ

Parashah 10: Miketz
“At the End”
B’resheet 41:1-44:17

Jewish Man Reading Torah Scroll

This week's commentary from First Fruits of Zion (Messianic)
This week's commentary from (Rabbinical)
This week’s commentary from (Christian)

This Week’s Reading Schedule
  Review and meditate
  on last week’s Parashah

  Rishon [1st]: (A) 41:1-14
                          (S) 41:1-16
  Sheni [2nd]: (A) 41:15-38
                          (S) 41:17-38

  Shlishi [3rd]: 41:39-52
  R'vi'i [4th]: 41:53-42:18


  Chamishi [5th]: 42:19-43:15
  Shishi [6th]: 43:16-29
  Shvi'i [7th]: 43:30-44:13
  Maftir [Concluding]: 44:14-17

  Haftarah: (Selections)
     M'lakhim Alef (1 Kings) 3:15-4:1
     (alt) Z’kharyah 2:10–4:7

  Ketuvei HaShalichim (Apostolic Writings)
    Basar: The Gospel
      Luke 24:13-29
    Kepherim: Letters (optional)
      Acts 7:9–16 (specifically vv. 11–12)


Listen to Miketz read from the CJB


The Blessing of the Torah

Click here to listen to this canted by
Cantor Kenneth B. Cohen
of Temple Sholom, Greenwich, CT.
Aliya: (the one who “goes up” to read)  
   Bar-khu et Adonai ham-vor-ack.
   (Praise ADONAI Who is worthy to be praised.)
   Ba-rookh Adonai ham-vor-ack ley-oh-lam

   (Praise ADONAI Who is worthy to be praised for
     all eternity.)
   Ba-rookh Adonai ham-vor-ack ley-oh-lam

   (Praise ADONAI Who is worthy to be praised for
     all eternity.)
Ba-rookh ah-tah Adonai, Eh-lo-hay-noo
meh-lekh hah oh-lahm,
ah-sher ba-char ba-noo me-kol ha-ah­meem,
v’na-tahn lah-noo et torah-toe,
ba-rookh ah-tah Adonai, no-tane hah-torah.

Blessed are You, O Lord our God,
King of the Universe,
Who has chosen us from all peoples
and given us His Torah.
Blessed are You, O Lord, Giver of the Torah.

~ 41 ~

[Egypt] [MAP] 1686 BCE]

X. Parashah 10: Mikketz (“At the End”) 41:1–44:17

A. Pharaoh’s Dreams (41:1–8)

(i) 1After two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream: and Hinneh,[1] he was standing beside the Nile. 2Hinneh, seven healthy and well-fed cows came up out of the Nile and began to graze in the marsh grass. 3Hinneh, after them, seven other sickly and gaunt cows came up out of the Nile and stood alongside the other cows on the bank of the Nile. 4The sickly, gaunt cows ate the seven healthy, well-fed cows. Then Pharaoh awoke. 5He fell back asleep and dreamed a second time: and Hinneh, seven ears of grain came up on a single stalk, plump and ripe. 6Hinneh, seven other heads of grain, thin and scorched by the east wind, sprouted up after them. 7The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven plup, ripe heads. Then Pharaoh awoke, and Hinneh, it had been a dream. 8In the morning, his spirit was troubled, so he ssummoned all the magicians[8] and wise men of Egypt. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but no one could interpret them for him.

B. The Chief Cupbearer remembers Yosef (41:9-15)

9Then the chief cupbearer told Pharaoh, “Today I recall my failures. 10When Pharaoh was angry with his servants, he put me and the chief baker in custody in the house of the captain of the guard. 11One night we each had a dream, and each dream had its own interpretation. 12There was with a young Hebrew there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams and he interpreted them to us individually. 13It happened just as he had interpreted. I was restored to my office, and the other man was hanged.”

14Then Pharaoh sent for Yosef, and they quickly brought him out of the dungeon. He shaved, changed his clothies, and came to Pharaoh.


(A:ii) 15Pharaoh said to Yosef, “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.”

C. Yosef Interprets Pharaoh’s Dreams (41:16-32)

16“I can’t do it myself,” Yosef answered Pharaoh. “It is Elohim[GN] Who will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.”


(S:ii) 17So Pharaoh said to Yosef, “In my dream, Hinneh, I was standing on the bank of the Nile; 18and Hinneh, seven well-fed and healthy-looking cows came up out of the river and began grazing in the marsh grass. 19Hinneh, then seven other ugly, sickly, and gaunt cows came up after them; I have never seen such ugly cows in all the land of Egypt. 20The gaunt, ugly cows ate the first seven well-fed cows. 21When they had eaten them, you couldn’t tell that they had eaten them; they were still just as ugly. Then I woke up. 22I fell asleep and dreamed again, and in my dream, Hinneh, seven heads of grain sprouted up on one stalk, plump and ripe. 23Then, Hinneh, seven heads of grain, withered, thin, and scorched by the east wind, sprouted after them. 24The thin heads of grain swallowed the seven plump ones. I told this to the magicians, but no one could explain it to me.”

25Then Yosef told Pharaoh, “Pharaoh’s dreams mean the same thing. Elohim[25] has revealed to Pharoah what He is about to do. 26The seven good cows are seven years; and the seven ripe heads of grain are seven years. The dreams mean the same thing. 27The seven gaunt and ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, and also the seven thin heads of grain scorched by the east wind; they will be seven years of famine. 28It is just as I told Pharaoh. Elohim has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do. 29Hinneh, seven years of great abundance are coming throughout all the land of Egypt. 30Seven years of famine will come after them, and all the abundance in the land of Egypt will be forgotten. The famine will devastate the land. 31The abundance in the land will not be remembered because of the famine which follows; for it will be very severe. 32Since the dream was repeated to Pharaoh, it means the matter has been determined Elohim, and He will bring it about soon.

D. Pharaoh’s Plan (41:33-36)

33“So now let Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt. 34Let Pharaoh do this: let him appoint overseers over the land and take a fifth of Egypt’s harvest during the seven years of abundance. 35Let them gather all the excess food of these good years that are coming. Under Pharaoh’s authority, store the grain in the cities, and let them preserve it for food. 36This food will be used to supply the land during the seven years of famine that are coming in the land of Egypt. Then the land won’t be wiped out by the famine.”

E. Yosef Made Viceroy Over Egypt (41:37-46)

37This proposal pleased Pharaoh and all his servants. 38So Pharaoh asked his servants, “Can we find a man like this, a man who has the Spirit of Elohim in him?”


(iii) 39Then Pharaoh said to Yosef, “Since Elohim has shown you all of this, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. 40You shall in charge of my house, and all my people will subject to your command. Only with regard to the throne I will be greater than you.”[40] 41Pharaoh went on, “Hinneh, I am putting you over all the land of Egypt.” 42Pharaoh removed his signet ring[42] from his finger, and put it on Yosef’s finger, clothed him in garments of fine linen, and placed a gold chain around his neck. 43He had him ride in his second chariot with servants calling out before him, “Bow the knee!” So he placed him over all the land of Egypt. 44Pharaoh said to Yosef, “I am Pharaoh, but in all the land of Egypt no one will be able to lift up his hand or his foot without your permission.” 45Pharaoh named Yosef Tzafnat-Pa‘neach.[45a] He gave him Osnat,[45b] the daughter of Poti-Fera cohen of On[45c] as his wife. Yosef took charge over the land of Egypt.

46Yosef was thirty years old[46] when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. Yosef went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and took charge over all the land of Egypt.

F. Years of Plenty Begin (41:47-49) [1686 BCE]

47During the seven years of plenty the land produced abundantly. 48During those seven years Yosef collected all the surplus food in the land of Egypt and stored it in the cities. He stored the food in each city from the fields around that city. 49Yosef stored in such abundance — like the grains of sand in the sea — that he stopped keeping track because it was beyond counting.

G. Yosef’s Sons Born (41:50-52)

50Before the first year of famine came Yosef had two sons whom Osnat, the daughter of Poti-Fera cohen of On, bore to him. 51Yosef named his firstborn M’nashehManasseh, causing to forget, [1685 BCE] saying “Because Elohim has made me forget all my suffering at the hands of  my father’s household.” 52He named the second EfrayimEphraim, “twice fruitful”, [1683 BCE] saying “For Elohim has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.”


H. Years of Plenty End; Famine Begins (41:53-57) [1679-1672 BCE]

(iv) 53The seven years of abundance in the land of Egypt came to an end, 54and the seven years of famine began, just as Yosef had said. Although there was famine in every country, there was food throughout the land of Egypt . 55When extreme hunger came to the land of Egypt, the people cried out to Pharaoh for food, and Pharaoh told all the Egyptians, “Go to Yosef and do whatever he tells you.” 56When the famine had spread throughout the country, Yosef opened all the storehouses[56] and sold grain to the Egyptians, because the famine was severe in the land of Egypt. 57Every nation came to to Yosef in Egypt to buy grain, because the famine was severe everywhere.

Chapter 42

  1. Moshe repeatedly emphasizes his narrative with “Hinneh” — “Behold,” meaning pay careful attention here because this is important! [BACK]

 8. Magicians: Hebrew חַרְטֻמֵּ֥י (ḥar·ṭum·mê), an engraver, writer; by inference, diviner, magician, astrologer, one possessed of occult knowledge. [BACK]

25. It is particularly important to translate “God” [הָאֱלֹהִ֛ים (hā·’ĕ·lō·hîm), literally the God] as “Elohim” in this context. Egypt had hundreds of “gods” and Pharaoh needed to know that it was Yosef’s God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Who was interpreting his dream for him. [BACK]

40. In Egypt, Pharaoh was considered a god! So the only one in all of Egypt with more power and authority than Yosef was their “god.” [BACK]

42. The signet ring was literally Pharaoh’s “signature.” It was not just a sign of his authority, but also the tool to place Pharaoh’s seal on any official document. [BACK]

45a. Tzafnat-Pa‘neach or Zaphnath-paaneah is Egyptian and there is no Hebrew equivalent. It may mean “treasury of the glorious rest.” “Josephus (Ant. ii. 91), Targum of Onkelos, and the Syriac rendered the name by ‘Revealer of Secrets’; and this was very generally accepted in Christian tradition, the derivation being assumed to be from the Hebrew root zâphan, ‘to conceal.’” (Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges) “Canon Cook shows that it means ‘food of life,’ or ‘food of the living.’ The LXX have Psonthom-phanek, which Jerome, on the authority of the Jews in Egypt, translates ‘saviour of the world.’ By ‘the world,’ would be meant the living, as in Canon Cook’s explanation, which, in the sense of ‘he who feeds the world,’ or ‘the living,’ is the best exposition yet given.” (Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers) Jerome’s interpretation becomes significant when we consider Yosef as a type of Yeshua[BACK]

45b. Osnat means “belonging to the goddess Neith.” Neth was the goddess of war, wisdom, and hunting. [BACK]

45c. Poti-pherah means “he whom Ra gave.” “Ra (also given as Re) is the sun god of ancient Egypt. He is one of the oldest deities in the Egyptian pantheon and was later merged with others such as Horus, becoming Ra-Horakhty (the morning sun), Amun (as noonday sun), and Atum (the evening sun) associated with primal life-giving energy.” (, accessed Sept. 29, 2021) “On, known today as Heliopolis or Ain-Shams, was considered the first Egyptian capital during the predynastic period and was the birthplace of the first ancient Egyptian mythology. On was the place where creation itself was believed to take place, the spot where life began, according to Egyptian myths. On was the home of the first and the mightiest Egyptian god of all, Atum, who was believed to have risen from the Benben stone in the great temple of On to light up the dark and empty universe.” (, accessed Sept 29, 2021) [BACK]

46. Yosef was 17 years old (Gen 37:2) when Ya'akov designated him as heir (see the note on Gen 37:3), and his brothers sold him as a slave shortly thereafter, surely not more than a year or two, so we can assume he was 18 or 19 years old. He had served Potiphar for some time, surely a few years before being made his chief steward. How long afterward he was thrown into prison, we don’t know. He then had to gain the trust of the captain of the guard before being made supervisor over the prisoners, so he must have been in prison for a fairly long time. It was then two years after he interpreted the dreams of his fellow prisoners that that Pharaoh had his dream. As Yosef was 30 years old when he interpreted Pharaoh’s dream, he had been in Egypt for at least eleven years at the time, and in prison for perhaps half of that time. [BACK]

 56. “Ancient Egypt had one of the most successful and stable agricultural economies of the ancient world, and had both a system and facilities for grain storage: larger granaries were attached to temples and palaces, while smaller ones were dispersed within the town. There were essentially two types, one with a circular base, the other with a square or rectangular one. The circular granaries were shaped like beehives and were some 5 meters high and 2–3 meters in diameter. The grain was added through a door in the top by men standing on ladders, and was removed as needed from a similar door near the bottom. Very often these beehive storehouses were in groups of five or six and placed in a walled enclosure. The rectangular style of granary was constructed on similar principles, and though the side walls sloped gradually towards the top, where there was a flat roof, they were never of a true pyramidal form.” ( “Joseph’s Granaries”, accessed 27 September 2021) See also “Archaeologists find silos and administration center from early Egyptian city” from the University of Chicago News dated July 1, 2008. [BACK]

Other commentaries on Genesis 41
Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers
Pulpit Commentary
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Page originally posted on Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Page last updated on Monday, 02 October 2023 12:52 PM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

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