Genesis 41:20

ESV And the thin, ugly cows ate up the first seven plump cows,
NIV The lean, ugly cows ate up the seven fat cows that came up first.
NASB and the thin and ugly cows ate the first seven fat cows.
CSB Then the thin, sickly cows ate the first seven well-fed cows.
NLT These thin, scrawny cows ate the seven fat cows.
KJV And the lean and the ill favoured kine did eat up the first seven fat kine:

What does Genesis 41:20 mean?

Joseph is listening to the king of Egypt, known by the title Pharaoh, as he describes his disturbing dreams. No one else has been able to explain these (Genesis 41:8), so Joseph has been taken from prison after a court official remembered his interpreting ability (Genesis 41:9–16). The first dream began with seven healthy cows grazing by the Nile, followed by the arrival of seven terrible, evil-looking cows (Genesis 41:17–19).

At this point, Pharaoh's dream turns horrific. The seven gaunt, thin cows consume the healthy ones. This follows the description given earlier in this chapter (Genesis 41:1–7). However, Pharaoh will go on to point out that the sickly cows did not seem affected by eating the healthy ones; they were just as ragged and skeletal as they'd been before (Genesis 41:21). That addition will complete the first dream, and Pharaoh will go on to describe his second (Genesis 41:22).
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