Genesis 41:48 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 41:48, NIV: Joseph collected all the food produced in those seven years of abundance in Egypt and stored it in the cities. In each city he put the food grown in the fields surrounding it.

Genesis 41:48, ESV: and he gathered up all the food of these seven years, which occurred in the land of Egypt, and put the food in the cities. He put in every city the food from the fields around it.

Genesis 41:48, KJV: And he gathered up all the food of the seven years, which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which was round about every city, laid he up in the same.

Genesis 41:48, NASB: So he collected all the food of these seven years which occurred in the land of Egypt and put the food in the cities; he put in every city the food from its own surrounding fields.

Genesis 41:48, NLT: During those years, Joseph gathered all the crops grown in Egypt and stored the grain from the surrounding fields in the cities.

Genesis 41:48, CSB: Joseph gathered all the excess food in the land of Egypt during the seven years and put it in the cities. He put the food in every city from the fields around it.

What does Genesis 41:48 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Joseph is implementing the plan he proposed to Pharaoh (Genesis 41:33–36). God's message in Pharaoh's dream meant that the current seven years of abundant crops would be followed by seven years of little to no crops (Genesis 41:28–32). So, Joseph is using the authority given to him by Pharaoh to gather a portion of every crop and to put it into storage (Genesis 41:39–41).

The specific plan had been to gather one-fifth of the harvest from every field, to haul that grain into the cities, and to store it there for the coming famine. We're not told if any farmers objected to this confiscation of their property. Of course, in civilizations such as ancient Egypt, there wasn't freedom to disagree with deified rulers such as Pharaoh. The authority of the Pharaoh was absolute, and Joseph's plan carried Pharaoh's authority. To stand against Joseph would have required risking one's own life.

The cities served as centralized storage places for the grain in each region. They would later serve as centralized distribution centers during the famine years. Additional details about Joseph's plan are found in Genesis 47:13–26.