What does Genesis 41:41 mean?
ESV: And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.”
NIV: So Pharaoh said to Joseph, 'I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.'
NASB: Pharaoh also said to Joseph, 'See, I have placed you over all the land of Egypt.'
CSB: Pharaoh also said to Joseph, "See, I am placing you over all the land of Egypt."
NLT: Pharaoh said to Joseph, 'I hereby put you in charge of the entire land of Egypt.'
KJV: And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.
NKJV: And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.”
Verse Commentary:
Repetition was a common technique in ancient literature. In an era where writing materials were relatively precious, recording a statement twice implied a great level of importance. The same, to a lesser extent, applied to repeating a statement when it was spoken. In this encounter with Pharaoh, God has sent two dreams repeating the same message (Genesis 41:1–7). Joseph has noted that this implies absolute certainty from God (Genesis 41:32). Joseph, as well, repeated the interpretation of the dreams twice (Genesis 41:25–31).

As if echoing that solemn certainty, Pharaoh repeats his intent to make Joseph the second most powerful man in the nation (Genesis 41:39–40). The term de facto means "in reality" or "in practice;" though Pharaoh is the ultimate source of power, Joseph has become the de facto ruler of the entire land of Egypt.

Historians point to a position in the ancient Egyptian power structure known as the "vizier." This person may have held similar authority, under the Pharaoh, as is described being given to Joseph. It's possible that Pharaoh has given this established position to the young Hebrew slave. It's also possible Pharaoh has simply handed control of the daily functioning of his kingdom to Joseph in order to save his people from the coming famine.

In any case, Joseph will now wield enormous authority in Pharaoh's name. What follows are the steps taken to make Joseph an official, confirmed member of the Egyptian nation (Genesis 41:42–45).
Verse Context:
Genesis 41:37–57 describes Joseph's sudden and breathtaking rise to power. Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt, is convinced that God's Spirit is with Joseph, after seeing him interpret dreams and offer sound advice. He appoints Joseph to be the second most powerful man in the nation. His main task is to prepare for the devastating famine to come. Pharaoh gives to Joseph his own signet ring, along with a new Egyptian name and wife. Joseph sets about to use Pharaoh's authority to gather and store massive amounts of grain. This stockpile, built during the seven years of abundance can then be accessed when the famine strikes (Genesis 47:13–26).
Chapter Summary:
Joseph's status in Genesis 41 begins as "forgotten Hebrew prison slave" and ends as "the second most powerful man in Egypt." The cupbearer from the previous chapter finally mentions Joseph two years later, when Pharaoh is troubled by dreams which wise men can't interpret. Joseph reveals the meaning of the dreams: seven years of abundance will be followed by seven years of great famine in the land. Pharaoh, recognizing that God's Spirit is with Joseph, makes him second in command over the entire nation and tasks him with preparing for the famine.
Chapter Context:
Joseph was sold into slavery by his own brothers (Genesis 37:24–28). He then excelled in his work for an Egyptian official, only to be falsely accused and imprisoned (Genesis 39:20). There, he accurately interpreted dreams for servants of the Egyptian ruler (Genesis 40:20–22). Unfortunately, the restored cupbearer failed to mention Joseph, leaving him in prison for two more years (Genesis 40:23). A series of disturbing dreams leads to Joseph's audience with Pharaoh. This, in turn, leads to Joseph becoming the second most powerful man in the nation. The following chapters emphasize Joseph's reunion with his family. Details about his administration of food during the famine are recorded in Genesis 47:13–26.
Book Summary:
The book of Genesis establishes fundamental truths about God. Among these are His role as the Creator, His holiness, His hatred of sin, His love for mankind, and His willingness to provide for our redemption. We learn not only where mankind has come from, but why the world is in its present form. The book also presents the establishment of Israel, God's chosen people. Many of the principles given in other parts of Scripture depend on the basic ideas presented here in the book of Genesis. Within the framework of the Bible, Genesis explains the bare-bones history of the universe leading up to the captivity of Israel in Egypt, setting the stage for the book of Exodus.
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