Genesis 41:18 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 41:18, NIV: when out of the river there came up seven cows, fat and sleek, and they grazed among the reeds.

Genesis 41:18, ESV: Seven cows, plump and attractive, came up out of the Nile and fed in the reed grass.

Genesis 41:18, KJV: And, behold, there came up out of the river seven kine, fatfleshed and well favoured; and they fed in a meadow:

Genesis 41:18, NASB: and behold, seven cows, fat and fine-looking came up out of the Nile, and they grazed in the marsh grass.

Genesis 41:18, NLT: and I saw seven fat, healthy cows come up out of the river and begin grazing in the marsh grass.

Genesis 41:18, CSB: when seven well-fed, healthy-looking cows came up from the Nile and grazed among the reeds.

What does Genesis 41:18 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Pharaoh is describing his dreams to Joseph (Genesis 41:17). The king's magicians and wise men have been unable to explain these visions (Genesis 41:1–8). After hearing about Joseph's ability to interpret (Genesis 41:9–13), Pharaoh summoned him from prison (Genesis 41:14–15). Joseph credited God alone with the ability to untangle the dreams, yet promised to give Pharaoh that answer (Genesis 41:16).

This description echoes the one given at the start of this chapter. Pharaoh's first vision is of seven healthy, well-fed cows. These will soon be devoured by seven ragged, starving cows (Genesis 41:19–20).