What does Genesis 41:44 mean?
ESV: Moreover, Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no one shall lift up hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.”
NIV: Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, 'I am Pharaoh, but without your word no one will lift hand or foot in all Egypt.'
NASB: Moreover, Pharaoh said to Joseph, 'Though I am Pharaoh, yet without your permission no one shall raise his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.'
CSB: Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I am Pharaoh and no one will be able to raise his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt without your permission."
NLT: And Pharaoh said to him, 'I am Pharaoh, but no one will lift a hand or foot in the entire land of Egypt without your approval.'
KJV: And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.
NKJV: Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no man may lift his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.”
Verse Commentary:
After witnessing firsthand that the Spirit of God was with Joseph and hearing his plan to save Egypt from famine (Genesis 41:28–36), Pharaoh quickly took action. He put Joseph in charge of preparing for the crisis. In fact, Pharaoh put Joseph in charge of everything in the kingdom, second only to himself (Genesis 41:39–41). To signify this, Joseph was given the appropriate clothing, jewelry, signets, and other marks of power. He was given the Pharaoh's second chariot and taken through the streets for the people to kneel in respect (Genesis 41:42–43).

Finally, Pharaoh summarizes the new arrangement to make clear how much authority Joseph has in Egypt. Speaking symbolically, he says Joseph has total authority in all matters. There is nothing, however small, in the nation which Joseph cannot command or control. He is empowered to redirect all resources of the entire nation for the purpose of preparing the land for the devastating famine heading their way.

This was likely a head-spinning series of events for Joseph. He had been sold into slavery years ago by his own brothers (Genesis 37:28). His most recent "job," so to speak, was an assistant in the jail where he himself was imprisoned (Genesis 39:21–23). And now he's been thrust into a position of enormous power and responsibility. His rise from jail to near-absolute power would have been stunning. Joseph must have been thoroughly convinced that God remained with him, even in his captivity (Genesis 41:38). Later, he will come to realize that these sufferings were all part of a plan to save Joseph's own family (Genesis 50:15–20).
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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