Genesis 41:2 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 41:2, NIV: when out of the river there came up seven cows, sleek and fat, and they grazed among the reeds.

Genesis 41:2, ESV: and behold, there came up out of the Nile seven cows, attractive and plump, and they fed in the reed grass.

Genesis 41:2, KJV: And, behold, there came up out of the river seven well favoured kine and fatfleshed; and they fed in a meadow.

Genesis 41:2, NASB: And behold, from the Nile seven cows came up, fine-looking and fat; and they grazed in the marsh grass.

Genesis 41:2, NLT: In his dream he saw seven fat, healthy cows come up out of the river and begin grazing in the marsh grass.

Genesis 41:2, CSB: when seven healthy-looking, well-fed cows came up from the Nile and began to graze among the reeds.

What does Genesis 41:2 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt, is dreaming (Genesis 41:1). As he stands by the Nile River, he sees seven good-looking, plump, cows come up out of the water and begin to eat the grass along the bank. Ancient Egyptians were a very spiritual people who worshiped a variety of gods. Cows were symbolic of various deities in Egyptian religion, such as Isis and Osiris.

Egyptians also placed great emphasis on the importance of dreams. The nature of this dream seems to have made an especially deep impression on Pharaoh (Genesis 41:8). He understood this dream was abnormal and held some important meaning.

The following verses will reveal the rest of his dream: seven gaunt, ugly-looking cows appearing and consuming the healthy ones (Genesis 41:3–4). The inability of diviners and court magicians to explain this dream will lead Pharaoh to seek additional help (Genesis 41:8).