Genesis 41:27 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 41:27, NIV: The seven lean, ugly cows that came up afterward are seven years, and so are the seven worthless heads of grain scorched by the east wind: They are seven years of famine.

Genesis 41:27, ESV: The seven lean and ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, and the seven empty ears blighted by the east wind are also seven years of famine.

Genesis 41:27, KJV: And the seven thin and ill favoured kine that came up after them are seven years; and the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind shall be seven years of famine.

Genesis 41:27, NASB: The seven thin and ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, and the seven thin ears scorched by the east wind will be seven years of famine.

Genesis 41:27, NLT: The seven thin, scrawny cows that came up later and the seven thin heads of grain, withered by the east wind, represent seven years of famine.

Genesis 41:27, CSB: The seven thin, sickly cows that came up after them are seven years, and the seven worthless heads of grain scorched by the east wind are seven years of famine.

What does Genesis 41:27 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Joseph (Genesis 41:14–16) is interpreting Pharaoh's two disturbing dreams (Genesis 41:1–8). Both dreams (Genesis 41:17–24) are allegories pointing to the same message from God. Seven healthy cows and seven healthy ears of grain represent one seven-year period of prosperity (Genesis 41:25–26).

Now Joseph explains that seven emaciated cows and seven blighted ears of grain represent another seven-year period, this one of great famine in the land. What will cause this famine is unknown; it might be due to weather or some natural disaster. All that's certain is these seven famine years will be so severe that they will entirely undo the seven years of prosperity (Genesis 41:31). Now that this is known, Pharaoh should make preparations, which is exactly what Joseph suggests in the following verses (Genesis 41:34–36).